Royal Mail sorting fines fuel uproar

Royal Mail has failed to appease the mailing house industry despite reimbursing millions of pounds in charges for direct mail campaigns which have failed to go through its new sorting machinery – and stalling the scheme.
The problems began earlier in the year when Royal Mail started charging firms if their mailshots jammed.
As Jenny Ledgar, Royal Mail’s network access director, said: “We need the mail to be as clean and efficient as possible so it can fly through the machines. When envelopes jam in the machines it costs us money to sort out.”
The outcry the fines provoked caused the postal operator to refund the majority of charges and to put an embargo on future charges until September.
But a summit held by the DMA Mailing House Council appears to have fuelled the frustration with Royal Mail, which is demanding that every single envelope should go through – 100% compliance – or fines will follow.
Royal Mail also insisted the so-called reversion charges are not a revenue-raising exercise, and claimed the £12m generated by the charges is “out of proportion with the heat we get from it”.
Loricas chief executive and vice-chair of the Council Howard Matthews argued: “Even with these new proposals, we don’t know if they are proportionate because there is nobody to say what the true costs to Royal Mail are. There has to be an independent source to come in and verify this because at the moment Royal Mail is judge, jury and executioner.
“What Royal Mail still refuses to acknowledge is that within every 3million mailing there will be some faulty envelopes because the mail is handled too many times. This means that if a revenue protections officer wishes to fail a container, they will be able to find a fault because there is no such thing as a perfect mailing.”

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