Avoid Franking Machine Surcharges by Measuring Mail

Large Volume Franking Machine

We have mentioned in other blog posts how technology has changed the way UK businesses handle the mail room. Franking machines are at the top of the mail room food chain, making the process of sending large volumes of business mail more efficient than it has ever been. Franking mail is also cost-effective. Using a high-quality franking machine reduces overpayment by accurately weighing each piece and applying the correct postage. See our latest Smart (Mailmark compliant) franking machines here.

Even with a modern franking machine, a business may find itself routinely receiving letters from Royal Mail informing them of underpayment. The difficulty with these letters is understanding the problem. Royal Mail sends out so many letters that they are unable to pinpoint the reason why a business might be struggling with underpayment. Here is one potential culprit: mail size.

It used to be that franked mail was rated only by weight. You could run multiple pieces through your machine and rest assured that postage would be properly calculated regardless of the size of those pieces. This is no longer the case. Postage must now account for the length, width, and thickness of pieces – in addition to the weight.

When in Doubt, Measure With A Smart Franking Machine

Royal Mail acknowledges that not a lot of franking machines have the capability of accurately measuring the size of pieces being franked. Their advice is to measure any piece if you are not sure what size it should be rated at. They provide a helpful chart on their website that breaks down the various sizes of letters and parcels businesses most commonly frank.

Be aware that underpayment as a result of not correctly measuring can result in surcharges assessed by Royal Mail. However, do not let the threat of surcharges lead you to overpay. Just get a copy of the Royal Mail chart and take a few minutes to familiarise yourself with the sizes.

Royal Mail also recommends making the most efficient use of envelopes and boxes. For example, they say there's no need to use a large letter envelope for sending an A4 document when that document could be folded in half and fit into a C5 envelope. As long as the envelope is still less than 5mm thick, it would qualify as a standard letter, incurring a less expensive postage rate.

Don't Leave Your Customers with the Bill

One last thing to remember about underpaying postage is that Royal Mail will still deliver your pieces to customers even if the postage is not correct. Underpayment will require recipients to pay the balance due along with a handling fee. Do this frequently enough, and your company will still get a letter, and you will end up paying the surcharge as well.

The last thing you want to do is spend more money than you have to on postage. That's why franked mail is such a good idea. But you don't want to underpay either. So make a practice of measuring your mail if there's ever a question about size.

IMS Franking are well-known for their excellent customer service and competitive rates on franking machine leasing to businesses large and small. Why not speak to a member of the IMS team today on 01189 820 988? We are based just outside Reading, Berkshire and cover the whole of the UK.
 

Sources:

Royal Mail – https://business.help.royalmail.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/89

Why not contact us and find out what IMS can do for you?