Sending a parcel, as anyone whose tried to do it recently, is not as simple as it once was. Gone are the days of pop it on the scales and stick a stamp on.
Now with width, thickness and weight rules and regulations, there’s a whole rigmarole around making sure you’ve paid the right amount – not least so the recipient at the other end doesn’t end up with a nasty surprise along with their parcel.
So we have some sympathy with optician Andy Bevis.
He’s seen the cost of sending out glasses to customers rocket by nearly 20 per cent from £2.20 to £2.60.
It might not seem like a lot, but if you, as he does, send a lot of parcels out, it would soon add up.
And to make matters worse, because he wasn’t aware of the changes, he ended up getting complaints from angry customers who’d had to pay the difference at the other end.
The Royal Mail, somewhat predictably, says it was just trying to simplify things.
By cutting down on the number of weight categories, its aim was to make the system more easy to understand to customers.
But as My Bevis will testify, we’re sure, he’d rather have a slightly more complex system and the old charges.
That said, the Royal Mail has made some concessions, dropping the level at which customers can get a discount from 5,000 parcels a year to 1,000.
That’s certainly a positive step, but overall, it seems like the changes will mainly be punitive to customers.
The lesson the Royal Mail could learn from this debacle is that it needs to work on getting its message out there.
Mr Bevis certainly can’t be the only one affected by a change that most people didn’t even know had happened.