Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Checking the cost of Christmas

Trading Standards officers in North Ayrshire are targeting local Post Offices to ensure people are not over-charged when sending letters in the run-up to Christmas.

A similar exercise last year resulted in three Post Offices receiving warning-letters after they failed to quote the correct price for postage on large letters. 

It is understood some letters were quoted at a price of £2.80, when the actual cost should have been £2.05, an overcharge of more than 25-percent.

Previously, officers from North Ayrshire Council’s Trading Standards department acted in a facilitating role, looking to educate and reinforce the legal obligations placed upon Post Offices to correctly assess postage costs.  However, this year, officers will take court action if any Post Office is found to be overcharging consumers.

Cllr Marie Burns, North Ayrshire’s SNP Cabinet Member for Economy and Employment, said, “Post Offices provide essential services to consumers, communities and businesses, and users of these services must have confidence that the items handled by the Post Office are weighed and measured accurately and priced correctly. 

 “While most Post Offices clearly work within the law and charge customers the correct amount, we have found some isolated cases where some counter staff are not measuring letters and parcels correctly prior to charging consumers.

 “We want to ensure that, during a busy time of year when many people will be using the Post Office to send Christmas cards and presents, they do not find themselves out of pocket.”

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