Postcard from Royal Mail

Yesterday I received this postcard through the door from Royal Mail. An item I ordered from ebay had been sent with insufficient postage, so they delivered this postcard to let me know I had a fee to pay.

It has information overleaf about who the parcel was for, why it can’t be delivered and how you can pay the outstanding amount. One of the ways is to affix the correct amount of postage to the top corner and send the card back to them. A pretty clever idea and a unique use for a postcard that I haven’t seen before.

Has anyone ever received one of these? Perhaps it’s not something anyone else would be happy to get (especially when they’re asking you to pay :joy:), but because of postcrossing I thought it was interesting that they’d sent a postcard!


Interesting - I’ve not come across this before! It’s a clever solution, though paying online is perhaps easier nowadays

1 Like

@NatM I agree and I imagine most people do just pay online, especially since you can choose a delivery day.

1 Like

These are normal in Switzerland, but in the other direction. If I send a letter or parcel and don’t cover the postage, Swiss Post will send it on and then send me one of these indicating the missing amount plus the “penalty” for underpaying in the first place.
I think it’s a good system, much better than letting the sent item collect dust in a warehouse somewhere without my knowledge.

1 Like

These have made a come back because of the SMS Text message scams, that people have been receiving throughout the Pandemic.

I have not recieved one, but have had the red card through the door, directing me to the local delivery office to pay the fee there and collect the item, including an underpaid International letter.



Out of interest, if you don’t mind me asking, how much is the fee?

1 Like

Interesting, thanks for sharing this! I wonder how many other countries do this then. Although it does make me wonder a few things… Firstly, what happens if there is no return address? Secondly, how do they ensure people pay the penalty? And finally, what do they do if someone doesn’t pay?

@Maddymail It depends on the item and whether a customs charge is involved.

For me it was only £2 as the parcel was very small. However, you can see below it could be a lot higher if you are expecting anything larger than a small package! These are the basic fees:

Also, if a customs charge is involved, the fee becomes however much the customs charge is, PLUS an £8 handling fee!!!

1 Like

I think if there’s no return address (like for most postcards), I think they hold the item for a certain time before destroying it. I know that the public transport system holds auctions for unclaimed items in lost-and-found, but I’ve never heard of the post doing anything similar. As for people who don’t pay, I assume the post sends a reminder and puts them on a “no-post-list” if they still won’t pay. But that is just speculation.

1 Like