What's With Royal Mail Nowadays?

This morning I was stood at the door as the postman walked up the drive and handed me the day's post.

Normally I would have cheerfully thanked him and wished him a good day, because isn't that what you're meant to do with your local "postie"? However, what he'd handed me was a collection of un-addressed junk mail and what I actually said was "Is that it! Just junk!?". To which he simply replied "Yeah, that's it".

There wasn't in fact any post for us. Nothing with our name or address on anyway. Just some flyers for bed/carpet companies and a letter addressed to "Dear Car Owner". If I'd have thought quicker I'd have said to him "Here, you can have it back". But, alas, he was off in a flash and I had to then make a detour via the bin to get rid of it.

What sad state are Royal Mail in that they're reduced to delivering nothing but junk!

It's getting so bad now I've thought about putting a bin directly beneath the letter box. Cuts out the middle man between them and the bin. I'd say about 1 in 20 of the items coming through our door is something I want. If I taped the letter box up I don't think I'd miss out on much.

I know they started delivering junk as a fund-raising method a few years ago as I opted out of it. That process involves finding the address to write to and actually writing them a old-fashioned-style letter. Opting out only lasts two years though and obviously my time is now up.

And don't even get me started on the elastic bands the "postie" keeps dropping in our porch. That's just plain rude. And on the street. They're everywhere.

There's no wonder Postman Pat now works for "Special Delivery Service". He must have been too ashamed to continue working for Royal Mail.


    • avatar
    • Manu
    • Tue 8 Jun 2010 07:23 AM

    Here (Belgium/Antwerp region) a while back people started putting a sticker on their mail box asking "no commercial mail/No unaddressed mail". This is now a general habbit, and the postal service (and commercial posters) tend to leave the mailboxes with the sticker alone. I know other regions and countries (eg. Holland) have this too.

    It saves me from having to throw away heaps of paper.

    Maybe something you could start over there?

      • avatar
      • Jake Howlett
      • Tue 8 Jun 2010 07:29 AM

      The same happens here and would probably work (or at least help). It's the principle of it though. As a house-proud couple we don't want to undo all the attention to detail we've put in to the house by having an ugly sticker on the door.

      Show the rest of this thread

    1. I have the same sticker on my mailbox. Wish the people who distribute all the flyers regarding our elections would honor it too :-(

      Such a waste of paper ...


      • avatar
      • Ferdy
      • Tue 8 Jun 2010 01:23 PM

      I have one of those stickers too. It works great here in the Netherlands. Now all I get is bills.

  1. Well I think this is a case of "don't shoot the messenger" :)

  2. We have the same problem. I have a cardboard box in the basement full of junk mail that serves as tinder for starting fires in the wood stove. The box is about a half meter cube and is overflowing. Throughout the winter, I think I got the mountain of paper down to the top of the box once. I'm debating whether to have a large bonfire in the pit out back as the papers tend to make a lot of black smoke and send ash everywhere when not burned in the stove... and it's now against ordinance locally to do so.

    Maybe grind it all up and mix with wax to make waterproof fire sticks and sell them at a profit? Hm.

      • avatar
      • Jake Howlett
      • Tue 8 Jun 2010 09:15 AM

      Alternatively I could store them all up, walk round the corner and post them back in the Royal Mail post box and let them deal with it. If only I could be bothered. It's a good job I'm always too busy otherwise I'd probably find myself doing stupid stuff like that.

    • avatar
    • Dragon Cotterill
    • Tue 8 Jun 2010 09:36 AM

    A few years ago I tried another tactic. I put a notice on the letter box stating "All non targeted mail deposited in this box will be subjected to Proofreading for a fee of £50."

    I would scan the flyer/letter and then mail merge it into a report template. I then sent a letter back (no postage paid) to any address found on those letters, with a copy of their flyer, a word report (auto generated by the OCR software) and demanding the payment of the fee. I got two payments overall, but didn't aggressively pursue others.

    Mind you, I was unemployed at the time. But after a couple of months, those flyers and junk mail started drying up.

    • avatar
    • Paul
    • Tue 8 Jun 2010 09:37 AM

    The Royalmail are in the process of moving to cloud Exchange so you may be lucky to get any mail in the future.

    • avatar
    • Aaron Hardin
    • Tue 8 Jun 2010 11:08 AM

    For the junk mail like credit card offers, if it has prepaid postage envelop in it, you could send everything back in that envelop removing your address of course. It makes the senders pay three times. They pay to send it to you, they pay for the return, and then they have to throw it away too.

    Now that I think about it I'm also helping the economy by using the postal service more :)

  3. More fun with English: in the UK, you get your post from the Royal Mail. In the US, you get your mail from the US Post Office. But no matter where you get it or what you call it, it's mostly junk. There are a couple of internet outfits over here that are supposed to be able to help you turn off the flood of junk mail, but I tried this and didn't notice a lot of difference.

    • avatar
    • Caroline
    • Mon 14 Jun 2010 04:48 AM

    I guess you've heard of the telephone preference service? I believe there's a similar concept for post. Google it. I also believe that the postman earns more by delivery extra junk than by just delivering standard post, in the same way I earned an extra £1 or something when I had a paper round when there was an extra set of flyers as well. So don't shoot the messenger! Around here I get lots of stuff about insurance for the older person etc. I'm just a teeny bit youger than you, so definitely not targeted mailing!

      • avatar
      • Postman
      • Tue 15 Jun 2010 09:55 AM


      Yes there are 2 - The Mailing Preference service (for addressed mail) http://www.mpsonline.org.uk/mpsr/

      and Royal Mails D2D Opt Out (you have to re-register every 2 years on this one) details at http://www.royalmail.com/portal/rm/content1?catId=400126&mediaId=500081

      But as from Last Monday we don't get any extra for delivering D2D leaflets.

    • avatar
    • anonymous
    • Wed 10 Nov 2010 10:06 AM

    @ Jake Howlett

    How about a beautifully handcarved wooden plaque (with gold lettering if you're into that, or maybe sleek metal instead) which reads the same thing? just underneath your number/name.

    Should have minimum visual impact.

    The problem is that some people do respond to these ads, so it's hard to expect Royal Mail to distinguish who should and should not have them without telling them..

    • avatar
    • Sam
    • Wed 17 Nov 2010 11:14 PM

    The thing most of you don't realise is that royal mail actually lose money on general letters everyday because they have to deliver a letter for 41p whether it's down the road or from lands end to john o'groats via train,aeroplane,car,foot. Royal mail would have to stop delivering your important mail what you rely on if they didn't get million pound contracts off companies to deliver this "junk Mail". So next time you start moaning about what rubbish royal mail bring you then just think of all the helpful stuff they do for you. We only deliver to 99.9% of addresses because of a contract signed with the queen years ago, otherwise it would not be worth it. So unless you want to be collecting and delivering your own mail maybe yo should start ticking all these boxes which say you wish to receive promotional offers etc.

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