JULIA Wooden was amazed to receive a Christmas card in the post – nearly two months late.
But what really left her stunned was that she was still charged £1.10 to pick it up from the post office.
Mrs Wooden, 65, of Nicholas Crescent, Fareham, got a card from the post office telling her she had mail to collect from the main post office in the town centre.
She was told she needed to pay 10p because the item was underpaid, and an extra £1 handling fee.
After handing over the cash, she realised the envelope contained a Christmas card from her niece, who lives in London, and had been posted with a first class stamp on December 13.
Because of the size of the envelope, the stamp underpaid the postage fee by 10p, It finally turned up in the post on February 8 – six weeks later.
Mrs Wooden said: ‘I was racking my brain thinking who could this be?
‘I went down to pick it up. I was told it had just come through as they had a backlog on the post because of the severe weather conditions. I was absolutely flabbergasted. Somebody had sent that with a good will. To me it’s one big joke. I felt like refusing it but it was from a niece.
‘I couldn’t believe it. You would have been better off to send it by pigeon post.’
Richard Hall, spokesman for Royal Mail, said: ‘We apologise to the customer for the excessive delay in receiving this item of mail.
‘Royal Mail handles 68m items of mail each day and it not always possible to explain why an item of mail has not arrived on time. In collecting surcharges, Royal Mail is ensuring that the correct amount of postage is paid. This helps to keep prices down and ensures that those who pay the correct postage do not end up subsidising those who don’t.’