Here are ten very interesting things that you might want to know about the Royal Mail Service in the United Kingdom
1. Dogs really do attack the postmen and women on a regular basis.
Attacks by dogs really are a significant threat to the Royal Mail’s postmen and postwomen. Since 2011 there have been over 5,500 attacks with a resulting work loss of 4,100 days. Over 2,400 postmen were attacked by dogs from April 2012 to April 2013.
Much of this was due to people letting their dogs run free in the yard. For information on how to prevent your dog from attacking the post person go to the Dog Awareness page on the Royal Mail website at http://www.royalmailgroup.com/customers/customer-commitment/preventing-dog-attacks.
2. Your money is refunded if your Special Delivery Mail does not meet its destination.
The Royal Mail Special Delivery Service is an expedited mail service that does indeed guarantee delivery by 9 am or 1 pm the next day or your money is refunded.
3. You cannot insure works of art and photographs or loss or damage.
If you are shipping works of art through the Royal Mail they are exempt from the usual liability and compensation measures. This includes prints, paintings, statues, sculptures, prints, photographic images, negatives and slides.
4. You get a discount on bulk mail if you print an RMFSCC barcode on the envelope.
Your bulk business price can be lowered if you either “frank” the barcode on the envelope using a dedicating franking machine or stamp it on each piece of mail with a rubber stamp.
5. Fleet mail is slowly being phased out of the operations of Royal Mail.
The famous fleet mail service has featured postal workers delivering mail on delivery bicycles for four decades. Except in very rural areas this feature of delivery is being phased out of service and many of the bicycles are being shipped to Africa by the charity Re-Cycle.
6. You can send wine and cider internationally, but not vodka or certain liquors.
It is okay to send beer, ale, lager, cider, wine and champagne as long as they are labeled as 24% ABV or less. You can’t send rum, vodka, whiskey or spirits that have a greater than 24% ABV. It is okay to send both if the destination is within the UK.
7. You cannot send blood or urine through Royal Mail unless it is packaged as a Dangerous Good.
Diagnostic specimens may only be sent through the mail through the request of a dentist or doctor and the sample may not exceed 50 mg in volume. The packaging must also comply with Packaging Instruction 650.
8. You can send arms and ammunition through Royal Mail.
You can send low-powered air weapons with lead pellets as long as they are sent by express 48 service that ensures that the recipient gets the weapon within 48 hours. There is no enhanced compensation if these items get damaged through the mail.
9. There could be many strikes and consequent pauses in mail service in the near future.
As a response to the Royal Mail’s privatization the Communications Union is planning strikes that could start on October 23, 2013. These protests could cause an interruption in service.
10. Only medical professionals can send drugs through the mail.
You can’t send prescription drugs through the mail if you are an ordinary citizen but you can send them if you are a physician if it is for medical or scientific purposes. The drugs must be securely closed and in a polythene bag and be tightly packed in outer packaging. The drugs must also be non-toxic and non-flammable. For more information about this go to http://www.parcelforce.com/help-information/sending-advice/prohibitions-and-restrictions