Wait a minute, Mr Postman!

By | October 9, 2023

This week’s newsletter is all about post…

Last week, the price of a 1st class stamp went up from £1.10 to £1.25 each, although second class stamps have mercifully stayed the same price.  If you currently have a book of stamps tucked away in your wallet, then provided they’re the new style ones with the barcodes on them, they’ll still be valid to use.  It just means that when you run out and have to buy new ones, those will be more expensive.

It feels like everywhere you turn, things are getting more expensive these days… so when something free comes along, it makes a nice change!  On that note, I thought I’d let you all know that Royal Mail are offering free collections of post and parcels until January next year, provided you book the collection online using either their website or their app.  You still have to pay for the postage, mind, but they won’t charge you any extra to pick it up from your house, rather than you having to lug it to the Post Office and pay for it over the counter.

This can be a really useful option for if you struggle to get to the Post Office, or if your local branch has closed or limited its opening hours recently.  And if you’re sending a parcel that you want to be tracked, so that you know when it’s arrived, it actually works out cheaper (for the moment, at least) to do it online rather than in a branch.

You’ll need to know the dimensions and the approximate weight of what you’re sending, so make sure to dig out a tape measure and some kitchen scales before you start!  Once you’ve got those ready, you can either go to their website or download the free “Royal Mail” app from the App Store or the Google Play Store.  Using the app can be a bit more of a faff than the website because you need to create an account, and the screen is a bit smaller, but it works in pretty much exactly the same way as the website.

To book a collection, look for a large “Send an item” button and click or tap on that.  It’ll give you some instructions and bits of information to fill in, such as the size and weight of the item, the type of postage you want – and of course, where the postie needs to collect it from and the address that it’s going to.  I reckon even Postman Pat would struggle without those vital bits of information!

Now, if all of that seems like a bit much, or if you’d rather go to the branch and deal with a human being, then I completely understand.  There seems to be a big push at the moment to make everything digital and move lots of vital services online – which is fine if you’re a tech genius, but not so helpful for the many people who can’t (or don’t want to) dive into the digital world just yet!

So if you’re feeling a little backed into a corner by the advance of technology, you’re not alone.  Here at Helpful Books we do our best to bridge that gap through our books and courses, the Tech Inner Circle and this very newsletter, but we don’t want people to feel like they have to know this stuff to get on with their lives.  And apparently, we aren’t the only ones…

Age UK has recently begun a campaign to keep public services accessible offline for those who prefer it that way – you can read more about the campaign on their website, where you can sign their petition.  If you don’t want to sign it online, or you have friends who aren’t online who’d also want to sign it, you can ask Age UK to email you a copy to print out, or you can write to Freepost Age UK campaigns (no expensive stamp required!) and they’ll send you a paper copy of the petition that you can sign and send back to them.

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