Monday, 16 February 2009

Return to Sender

I'm going to see just how much Deutsche Post live up to their
positioning as "part of one of the world's leading logistics companies"
as a result of a recent very German experience.

A couple of weeks ago, I sent a little card to my mother in the UK with the usual postage for something under 20g. I was rather taken aback when the card was returned with a huge sticker from the Post on it (almost the size of the card itself...) demanding an extra €2.70.
Apparantly, the dimensions of the little card were too great for it to be classified as a "Standard Letter", that is, the breadth should fall between 9 and 12.5cm.

Rather bemused, I measured the card and found it to be a proud Imperial 5.5 inches square (particularly fitting, I felt, as the picture is one by Constable). This translates to 13.4 cm. But, looking at the next size of permitted envelopes in the world of Deutsche Post, I noted that these require a minimum length of 14cm, so my card falls 6mm short. In other words, my card doesn't really exist in the wonderful world of the leading global logistics experts.

Anyway, I have written a letter to the powers that be and I will be most interested to hear and see if I get a reply. I would have thought that the Post in whichever country should be encouraging peoploe to write letters, not penalising them for the sake of a few millimetres here and there.


Anonymous said...

Dear Ms Imgrund,

I know how you must be feeling about Deutsche Post, because I had quite a similar experience trying to send some standard UK christmas cards to some friends. (NB: I am a German student currently studying in London.) The real matter seems to be that UK and German post card measures are not the same and the "standard UK" cards extremely unfortunately do not fit the 90-cent-letter size as well...

In my opinion it is quite unfortunate that you'd either send your cards via Royal Mail about 8 weeks too early or pay Deutsche Post a fortune... but on the other hand, there are not problably too many people struggling with this as the "standard German" post christmas card fits the 55-cent-letter size.

Sue Imgrund said...

I did get a reply from them which wasn't amazingly helpful and just explained how their system is automated blah blah so that cards that have to be sorted by hand cost extra.

But they did send me a few stamps as compensation so I won't be too hard on them...

Lesson to be learned is always to buy cards from the country you want to send them from which does make things rather dull at Christmas as the selection here is not brilliant as I'm sure you know!