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10 Things To Know About The Royal Mail

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

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Royal Mail Prohibited Goods

Both commercial and personal customers of the Royal Mail are subject to certain prohibitions meant to keep the mail system safe for the public and Royal Mail employees. The Royal Mail provides comprehensive lists of prohibited goods for personal customers at http://www.royalmail.com/personal/help-and-support/Tell-me-about-Prohibited-Goods and a similar list for business customers at http://www.royalmail.com/business/help-and-support/tell-me-about-prohibited-goods.

As a personal user of the Royal Mail service you are responsible for knowing whether or not it is prohibited. If you send something prohibited the post office will deal with it, as they like. Often the parcel is immediately discarded and not returned to you.

Prohibited Royal Mail Items

Aerosols – Grooming products like aerosols, body sprays and asthma inhalers can be sent but spray paints, air fresheners and other toxic aerosol products cannot be sent through Royal Mail.

Alcohol Beverages – These can be sent through the mail as long as the alcohol content is lower than 70% ABV.

Ammunition – With the exception of air gun pellets and soft projectiles, bullets and other ammunition cannot be sent through the mail.

Batteries – Batteries that spill acid or that are made of used alkaline metal, nickel metal or that are damaged cannot be sent through the mail.

Medical waste – Contaminated dressing, bandages and needles cannot be sent through the mail

Controlled drugs and narcotics – You can’t send cocaine, heroin, opium, cannabis, LSD amyl nitrate or narcotic drugs of any kind through the post.

Corrosive substances – Any substance that can cause damage to human tissue cannot be sent through the mail. This includes many dyes, acid, rust removers and caustic soda.

Dry ice – May not be sent through mail or used as a coolant for perishables.

Used Engine Oil – Diesel oil and other types of engine oil are banned from the postal delivery.

Electronic Items with 100Wh Batteries – You may not send some types of power tools or laptops that contain these features

Explosive – Chemical compounds or devices capable of explosions or pyrotechnics may not be put through the mail.

Flammables – You may not send flammable liquids or solids through the mail including lighter fuel, paint thinners, petroleum, nail varnish, nitro-cellulose based film zinc powder, matches and fire lighters.

Frozen water – Packs of ice may not be sent to keep perishables cool. This is because it melts and the rest of the mail and parcels get wet.

Gases – Propane and other compressed gases in scuba tanks, fire extinguishers or air bags cannot be put transported through the British mail system.

Living Creatures – This should go without saying but you may not put an animal in a parcel.

Foreign Lottery Tickets – You may only mail UK lottery tickets.

There are scores more restrictions including obscene publications, pesticides and radioactive materials. To see a full list of banned items go to http://www.royalmail.com/personal/help-and-support/Tell-me-about-Prohibited-Goods.

If you do not know whether or not you can post an item call Royal Mail Customer Services at 08457 740 740. Textphone users should call 0845 800 0606.

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Royal Mail Prices/Rates

Royal Mail has always been considered to be the cheapest service provider when it comes to the delivery of small parcels and letters. For a small 750 gram parcel Royal Mail trumps its competitors with a cost of 2.60 pounds. The nearest commercial competitor charges 4.20 pounds for the same service. Still prices for most services with the Royal Mail did recently go up.

How much it is going to cost you to mail a letter or parcel is largely dependent on the service that you choose, the weight of the deliverable and many other factors. It is best to go to the post-office and consult with an agent to find out an accurate price or rate.

How to Access Royal Mail Prices and Rates

There are many different ways to find charts and information about the Royal Mail and there are many options. What delivery will cost you depends largely on your UK Royal Mail and Parcelforce Worldwide services and Royal Mail prices for mailing internationally.

It also depends on what you are sending. There are very definitive rules as to what can be sent and for how much money.

Small parcels are defined as being no more than 45 cm, no wider than 35 cm and with a depth of no more than 8 cm. The weight limit for small parcels is 2 kg.

Medium parcels can be up to 61 cm in length, 46 cm in width and 46 cm in depth. The weight limit for a medium sized parcel is 20 kg.

Large parcels can be as long as 1.5 m in length and 3 m in length and girth combined. The weight limit is 30 kg. You can only send large parcels via Parcelforce Worldwide services.

Letters are defined by a length of no more than 24 cms and a width of no more than 16.5 cm. Letters can’t be thicker than 0.5 centimeters and must have a weight limit of 100 grams.

Large letters measure up to 35.3cm in length and 25 cm in width. They can have a thickness of 2.5 cm and a weight limit of 750g.

How to Contact Royal Mail About Prices and Rates

You can easily find out all the information that you need to know in general by visiting www.royalmail.com or by calling the Royal Mail Customer Service Department at 087457 740 740.

The Royal Mail also offers a Textphone service for those how are deaf or hearing impaired at 08456 000 606.

If you specifically want information about Parcelforce Worldwide services you can visit www.parcelforce.com or directly call the at 08448 004 4666.

The Royal Mail also provides an online .pdf version of its brochure that has all of the prices for every service including International Confirmed Mail, International Standard Mail, Royal Mail Air Mail, Royal Mail Surface Mail, Royal Mail International Signed For Mail, UK Guaranteed Mail and more. This brochure can also be made available in different formats. You can get it in very large print, Braille, and as an Audio CD or Audio Cassette. There is no charge for requesting a copy of any of the alternative versions of the brochure.

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Royal Mail Locations

There are Royal Mail locations all over the United Kingdom. However, not all of them are open at the same hours. If you need to go to a location there is an easy way to find the one that is closest to you.

Your best bet is to go to the Branch Finder page at http://www.royalmail.com/branch-finder. You will be directed to a drop down menu that has spaces in which you can enter your postal code or the name of your town. After you enter your information you click on search and then select the service that you require from a drop down menu list.

ParcelForce Worldwide Depot Finder

If you need to find a ParcelForce Depot there is a similar online tool available. You simply enter your postcode and it will help you find one of the many worldwide locations of the depots. You do not even have to know the full postal code to take advantage of this service.

One word to the wise in regards to the Depot locater tool: It can only give you a rough idea of the distance from where you are to the depot. So the location may be a bit nearer or further than you think.

You can also call 0800 224466 if you have no way of being online on a smartphone or computer. The Parcelforce Worldwide website is located at http://www.parcelforce.com/.

Post Office Location

Royal Mail’s subsidiary known as Post Office also has an online branch location finder. You simply enter your full or partial postal code into a field to find the nearest location to you. The results that turn up will also the phone number, the distance away the location is way from you and the hours.

Sometimes if you live in a remote area of the UK the Finder Tool will not reveal the result you are looking for because the population was too rural or because the name you are using is actually a suburb name. If you can’t get the results on the finder tool to locate the outlet then the best thing to do is to try typing in the name or postal code of the nearest largest city to you.

You can find the Post Office information at http://www.postoffice.co.uk/branch-finder?intcampaignid=homebranch2.

Using the Postal Code Finder Online

If you don’t know your postal code and you want to use a branch finder the online Post Office site that is a subsidiary of Royal Mail has one at http://www.postoffice.co.uk/postcode-finder. All you need to do is type in address, street and name of your city or town and you will be given the postcode needed so that you can then use that to find the handiest branch of the Royal Mail, Parcelforce Depot or Post Office.

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Royal Mail Jobs

If you are looking for Royal Mail jobs you have five separate areas that you can look into in order to find a career. These include the Royal Mail, Parcelforce Worldwide, Group Technology, Apprenticeships and Graduates 2013. Each area has its own website at http://www.royalmailgroup.com/our-people/careers/royal-mail.

Royal Mail Careers

The Royal Mail hires people who aspire to be the best at delivery serve because that is what they aspire to be across the UK and across the European Union. They are looking for efficient people to fulfill their most visible roles which is that of postmen and postwomen.

They also hire drivers that deal with the public, train and airport personnel, businesses and financial institutions. Drivers for the Royal Mail are given special training.

Other jobs that are less visible are the mail sorters and data inputters that can work as part of a larger team in a mail sorting and distribution facility.

The Royal Mail makes sure its employees are very well trained and compliant with quality standards. This is in line with the many changes and modernisation that the Royal Mail as a whole is going through. Employees at the Royal Mail are also guaranteed a high standard safety. They offer diversity and fair practices, a competitive salary and all of the personal and economic development needed to ensure a secure future.

Parcelforce Worldwide

At Parcelforce Worldwide there is a real effort to find the best employees as they strive to have the highest records of quality service in the postal delivery industry. They currently employ over 4,000 people. Parcelforce has its headquarters in Milton Keynes and operates a network of over 52 depots through the United Kingdom. The two major hubs are located in Coventry.

Parcelforce Worldwide hires for many different positions including delivery and customer service roles from across the United Kingdom. They also need sales people for behind their desks in their locations. They also hire many customer service position and support-related functions at their Milton Keynes headquarters.

For more information about finding jobs at Parcelforce Worldwide go to http://www.royalmailgroup.com/our-people/careers/parcelforce-worldwide.

Group Technology

The Royal Mail Group Technology team has a great deal to do with why the agency is such a modern success. Jobs at this level are all about integrating new technology across the entire Royal Mail system. This branch of the post office is mainly looking for talented technology professionals.

Royal Mail Apprenticeships

The Royal Mail Group also offers two apprenticeship programs: the Advanced Engineering Apprenticeship and the Vehicle Technician Apprenticeship Scheme.

The Advanced Engineer Apprenticeship trains people for the position of designing and implementing postal technology. The purpose of the position is to work towards a BTEC in Engineering or Level 3 National Vocational Qualification.

The Vehicle Technician Apprenticeship trains technicians and mechanics to help keep the postal service’s 38,000 vehicles on the road. For more information about Royal Mail Apprenticeships at http://www.royalmailgroup.com/our-people/careers/apprenticeships.

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Royal Mail Credit Card

The Royal Mail provides two different types of financial money-related card services to their customers. The first is the Royal Mail Credit Card and the second is a Travel Debit Card. The Royal Mail Credit Card can also be used in various ways to make travel safer and purchase insurance.

The Royal Mail Post Office Credit Card

The Royal Mail does not just deliver the mail. It also provides individuals with financial services and one of these offerings is a credit card. This is called the Post Office Credit Card, and the Bank of Ireland UK offers it.

The Royal Mail has a very good deal and many new welcome perks to offer new clients of the Post Office Credit Card.

First off, you can transfer your current credit card balance to their credit card and then pay 0% interest for more than eighteen months. However, you do have to pay a fee of 2.98% of your balance before you can use the new card. This offer also does not apply if you leave the transfer of the balance from one credit card to another for more than three months.

There are many benefits to using this card. One is the perk of having to pay no fees on any purchases that you make in a foreign currency overseas. You are also not charged fees if you are shopping online or from home or on the telephone.

Travel money is also cheaper if you use this credit card to buy travel money at the Post Office. You do not have pay a cash fee.

Another perk that is offered is paying 0% interest on all of the purchases for the next three months. The interest rate after that will be determined by your credit history and other factors. The representative example of interest charged is 17 % APR with a 17.8% per annum and a credit limit of 1200 pounds.

Great Features Royal Mail Post Office Card

There are also many other benefits to owning a post office credit card, starting with free purchase protection insurance. This means that you will be able to insure items against accidental damage, loss and theft for up to ninety days.

Another great perk is that there is no annual fee. The card is accepted wherever MasterCard credit cards are accepted and in over 32 million locations around the globe.

You can also add up to three additional cardholders for free. Bear in mind that anyone with his or her name on a card will also be sharing your credit limit. It is the primary account holder that is responsible for any balances on any additional card. The additional card holder must be at least eighteen years old and a resident of the United Kingdom.

For more information about the card go to the official Post Office website at http://www.postoffice.co.uk/credit-card.

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Royal Mail Hours

Royal Mail hours apply to many different aspects of the Royal Mail postal service. Usually all a citizen in the United Kingdom would like to do is find out when a local branch is open. If this is the case then the site has a branch finder that is quite convenient.

Your first step is to go to the Branch Finder page at http://www.royalmail.com/branch-finder. You will be led to a drop down menu that shows you fields in which you can enter your postal code or town. You click on ‘search’, after the information is entered, and then choose the service that you require from a drop down list. One of the services listed will be the hours of a nearby Royal Mail location.

ParcelForce Worldwide Depot

There is similar tool available called the Depot Finder that helps you find your nearest Parcelforce depot. You simply enter your postcode and it will help you find one of the 52 ParecelForce Worldwide depots that are located across the world. One of the unique features of this finder is that it will work even if you do not know your full postal code – at least most of the time.

Keep in mind, too, that the destination estimated distance from where you are is just that! The estimations are based on GPS maps and may not take into account certain geographical features like big buildings or creeks when it gives you an idea of how far away an open Parcel Force branch might be from you.

You can also call 0800 224466 if you have no access to a computer. The Parcelforce Worldwide website is located at http://www.parcelforce.com/.

Post Office Hours

Royal Mail’s subsidiary known as Post Office also has a similar branch finder. You simply enter your full or partial postal code into a field to find the nearest outlet. Then you click on the outlet that you want to visit and the hours are provided to you.

Sometimes if you live in a very small village or town, the Branch Finder Tool does not reveal the closest town. If this happens and you are unable to locate the outlet then the best thing to do is to try typing in the name or postal code of the nearest largest city to you.

You can find the Post Office Hours at http://www.postoffice.co.uk/branch-finder?intcampaignid=homebranch2.

Using the Postal Code Finder Online

If you don’t know your postal code and you want to use a branch finder, the online Post Office site that is a subsidiary of Royal Mail has one at http://www.postoffice.co.uk/postcode-finder. All you need to do is type in the building address, street and town and you will be given the postcode needed so that you can then use that to locate where your nearest branch of Royal Mail, Parcelforce Depot or Post Office might be. You then can look up where the hours of that location happens to be.

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Royal Mail Exchange Rate

Many United Kingdom citizens intending on a business trip or adventure rely on the post office to purchase their foreign currency. The Royal Mail is known for offering the best exchange rates.

How the Royal Mail Exchange Rate Works

For information about how this works it is easiest for travellers to go to http://www.postoffice.co.uk/foreign-currency to receive exact instructions about how to proceed when it comes to exchanging your currency. You simply take advantage of the Click and Collect system where you order up the amount of money you need and then have it delivered to you the next day. If you do not want your currency delivered to you, you can also pick it up in one of the many Royal Mail postal outlets.

If you order foreign currency online then the exchange rates are much more lucrative. The exchange rates allow you to buy from 400 pounds to 2,500 pounds. You can usually order the currency up to five days in advance. To get delivery of the money the next day it is best to order before 3 pm on the previous day.

At the website URL above you will also find a tool that can help you find out what currency you are going to need for your journey. This lists all the countries in the world along with the currency that is used in that place.

Sometimes a country has restrictions or does not accept traveller’s cheques. In that case it is a good idea to consult with a banking expert in person at a Royal Mail post office branch. If you do that then you will not be charged with any type of commission fee and you can pay with cash as well as your Visa and MasterCard.

The Travel Money Card

The Royal Mail also issues something called the Money Travel. This looks and behaves just like a pre-loaded debit card. However to procure one you must load it with a minimum of fifty pounds. To load it further while you are abroad you can do it through the website, via SMS or over the phone.

This is not an obscure item. The Travel Money Card is accepted in thirty two million locations in 210 countries and is available in these foreign currencies: Euro, US Dollar, Australian Dollar, Canadian Dollar, New Zealand Dollar, South African Rand, Swiss Franc and Sterling. It can be used in shops, restaurants and is welcome anywhere in the world where MasterCard is accepted.

If you want to take advantage of The Travel Money Card keep in mind that when you order it online that it takes six to eight working days for it arrive in the mail. You should also familiarize yourself with the limits and fees that are associated with using this method of payment. More details about the Travel Money Card can be found at http://www.postoffice.co.uk/travel-money/card

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Royal Mail Travel Insurance

The Royal Mail Service also offers many different services with regards to travel including the ability
to purchase foreign currency as well as services that help you get your documents and passports in order. Travel insurance is underwritten by Ageas Insurance Limited of England and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

Different Trip Travel Insurance

The Royal Mail is well-regarded for its Classic single trip coverage that only costs 2.50 pounds a day. This is the insurance to buy if you are travelling in Europe. You should note that the insurance does not apply if you are travelling in Turkey and Egypt. You also have to request certain types of extra coverage if you plan to take part in winter sports. You can find out more about this type of coverage at http://www.postoffice.co.uk/travelinsurance/single-trip.

Annual Multi-Trip

The Annual Multi-Trip Insurance allows you to travel for up to 31 days at a time, as many times as you wish, as long as you accomplish it all within one year. When you buy this type of insurance you get ten percent off if you buy off-line.

This type of insurance offers you a great deal of coverage including 5 million pounds worth of medical coverage for when you go abroad. This type of coverage is also family friendly with children under 18 years of age receiving coverage free of cost.

Annual Multi-Trip coverage is also issued very quickly. Usually the claim is settled within five business days.

There are also three levels of insurance to choose from including a Basic, Classic and Premium level and you can choose them at various geographical areas. The general areas are the UK, Europe, Worldwide (not including USA, Canada and the Caribbean) and Worldwide including USA, Canada and the Caribbean.

One caveat is that you must also sign a Health Declaration that is posed to you in the form of an online questionnaire.

When you choose multi-trip coverage you can also add other components. Winter sports coverage is a popular option that offers three weeks of coverage for snowboarding, skiing, snowmobiling and skiing as well as supplemental insurance in case of the theft of equipment or injuries.

You can also get coverage for other hazardous activities such as sea kayaking, mountain biking and scuba diving. You can see a full list of activities that are covered at http://www.postoffice.co.uk/sites/default/files/6788_TI%20policy_Basic_online_tag.pdf.

You can get excess waiver coverage to lower the cost of any claims that you make.

It is a good idea to do business with the Royal Mail because it was voted the winner of the “Best Travel Insurance Provider” from 2006 to 2012 by the online organization known as the British Travel Awards.

For more information about this type of coverage you can go to http://www.postoffice.co.uk/travelinsurance/annual.

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Royal Mail Savings

The Royal Mail in the United Kingdom is not just a postal service, it is also a bank. It has partnered with several UK banks to be able to offer this service. Different financial services are available on behalf of different institutions.

Royal Mail Savings Products

The Royal Mail Saving Products, which used to be the Post Office Savings Bank, sells Premium Bonds. A premium bond is a Lottery Bond that is issued by the UK National Savings and Investments agency. The bonds are regularly entered in a prize drawing and the government must deliver on a promise to buy them back. These savings products were introduced by Harold Macmillan (Earl of Stockton and Prime Minister) in 1956.

As of October 2013, the government pays 1.3% interest on this type of bond. However individuals do not collect the interest. Instead it is pooled and a monthly lottery distributes tax-free premiums or prizes. The numbers are chosen by ERNIE, which stands for Electronic Random Number Indicator Experiment.

Investors can buy this royal Mail Savings Bond product at any time and the prizes range from being 25 pounds to 1 million pounds. The bond is held for a full calendar month after their purchase and then the numbers are entered each month into EARNIE. Investors are eligible to win a big prize until the bond is cashed in.

Typical Royal Mail Bank Banking Services

Examples of personal banking services that are available are cash withdrawals, paying bills and rent in cash, and cheques, enquiring as to your bank balance, and cashing cheques.

When you go to a Royal Mail office in the United Kingdom you will find a Royal Mail bank machine. These cash machines are mostly provide by the Bank of Ireland.

The most basic account that is offered is called The Post Office Card Account. This is a basic bank account that allows customers to collect child tax credits, unemployment payments and other payments from the government. The Card Account helps you manage your money from the government and not spend it too fast as they can only be used at a Post Office Counter, or an ATM at a local Post Office. Just about any payment from the HMRC is processed via HMRC. You can use this type of account to directly pay your Building Society, Child Care Provider, or approved training course.

If you open a Royal Mail Bank Account you must use it. If it is not used within a year it is closed. J.P Morgan Europe on behalf of the Post Office administers these bank accounts. The Royal Mail business services are also offered through Santander. Santander is a United Kingdom bank that is owned by the Spanish Sartander group and it is the third largest bank in the United Kingdom.

For more information about all of the range of free services that are offered go to http://www.royalmail.com/

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