3 Common Mail Franking Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Picture of a Franking Machine

If you use a mail franking machine to process business mail – and you should – please understand that mail franking machines are not perfect. Even the newest Mailmark machines are not foolproof. There are times when mail is incorrectly franked and then has to be fixed. Thankfully, fixing mistakes is not hard to do.

Below are three common franking mistakes and instructions for fixing them. Note that instructions are different depending on the machine you are using. A modern Mailmark machine utilises one process while standard and SMARTmeter franking machines utilise a slightly different process.

Incorrect Date

Dating your franked mail correctly is important to ensure proper processing and billing. You may find that you franked a particular piece of mail with the wrong date. The first thing to do is stop processing your mail. Do not run any more pieces through until you fix the date problem.

If you are using a Mailmark machine, do the following:

  • Cross out the incorrect date using a single line in black ink.
  • Adjust the date on your machine, then do a zero-test print to ensure it is correct.
  • Frank the piece again, on the lower left corner of the envelope.


If you are using a standard or SMARTmeter machine, follow the same process, with two exceptions:

  • You will not need to do a test print; and
  • You will need to set the postage to £0.00.


Incorrect Postage: Too Little

If you franked your business mail with too little postage, you can correct the mistake by re-franking the mail. If you are working with a Mailmark machine, the process is as follows:

  • Use black ink to cross out the barcode (BUT NOT the postage paid) and initial next to it.
  • Frank the piece again, adding enough postage to equal the correct amount.


The process for a standard or SMARTmeter machine is a bit easier. All you have to do is frank the piece again with the extra postage. In both cases, the mail will be re-franked on the lower left-hand corner.

Incorrect Postage: Too Much

Finally, you may frank your mail and find that you paid too much postage. Correcting this mistake is the simplest of all. Regardless of the machine you are using, do not post the affected pieces. Rather, start over again with new envelopes.

Save the envelopes with the incorrect postage if you want a refund. Royal Mail provides refunds beginning with a minimum amount of £10. Just submit your incorrectly marked envelopes to Royal Mail using the Bolton address found on their website. They will completely refund your postage minus a 15% fee for administration.

Mail franking machines are great tools for utilising business mail efficiently and at the lowest possible rates. Still, mistakes are made in the mail franking process. Should you make a mistake, there is no need to panic. Just correct your mistake and move on. Royal Mail is not about to come after you for it.

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