Every day we receive post that either has insufficient stamps to cover the postage or no stamps at all.
All items posted for delivery in the Bailiwick are now subject to our Underpaid or Unpaid Postage and Fees scheme.
How it works
For individual items we send a card to the recipient to explain that an item has been held at our headquarters, as insufficient postage has been paid. The card specifies the associated costs to receive the item. The recipient has three weeks to visit us, examine the item and decide whether they want to pay the associated costs to receive it.
Currently the costs associated with underpaid items is the difference of the underpaid amount plus a £1 administration fee.
If a local Large Letter weighing 90g is posted with a Letter stamp worth 48p rather than 66p for a Large Letter (up to 100g) then the costs will be 18p plus £1 = £1.18.
If a local Letter weighing 90g is posted with no stamps at all rather than the required 48p for a local Letter (up to 100g) then the costs will be 48p plus £1 = £1.48.
There are a number of ways in which you can pay your underpaid item fee:
- Online - click here and complete the form and payment card screens.
- With stamps - affix stamps to the correct value of the underpaid charge in the space provided on the Underpaid Item card and post in any post box or at any Post Office.
- By phone - call Customer Services on 711720 and pay by debit card, quoting the Ref. No. on the bottom left of the Underpaid Item card.
- With cash - cash payment can be taken by the Customer Services team at Envoy House. Please go to reception upstairs for these payments.
Items received by Royal Mail, or any other postal administration, sent into the Bailiwick will also have the associated costs collected on their behalf.
Items sent internationally with insufficient postage paid will be returned to sender. If a return address is not included on the item then it will be held by us for collection for up to three weeks and may be destroyed after this time.
The Importance of a Return Address
Including a return address on any items that you post in the future will be more important than ever. It enables us to return items back to you if they can't be delivered or if there are any issues with the postage paid.
We recommend that you include an external return address on all items posted to local, UK and foreign destinations. The best place for your return address is on the back of your post (in the middle at the top, no bigger than 70mm x 30mm).
Companies with franking machines can put their return address in the slogan block in their franking impression. The supplier of your machine will automatically apply Royal Mail's Return Address Guidelines that we have adopted for ease of handling. If you want to protect your company's identity you can choose to have a PO Box address (see blue link) as your return address.
Adding a return address ensures that any undeliverable post can be returned by the delivering administration. Return of undeliverable post cannot be guaranteed if your details are not on the outside of the item.
Guernsey Post Limited Underpaid Postage Scheme
From Monday 5 September 2011 all items posted for delivery in the Bailiwick will be subject to the Scheme below, which is in addition to the Guernsey Postal Law (2001):
1.1 Where the amount of postage and/or fee paid in respect of an item of mail is less than the amount payable under this Scheme, or where no postage or fee has been paid, Guernsey Post may:
1.1.1 deliver the item of mail to the address;
1.1.2 allow the Addressee or someone on the Addressee's behalf to collect it from a specified office;
1.1.3 return the item of mail to the Sender;
1.1.4 treat the item of mail as undeliverable; or
1.1.5 otherwise deal with or dispose of the item of mail at the discretion of Guernsey Post.
1.2 In each case set out in section 1.1 Guernsey Post may first retain the item of mail for as long as it considers necessary.
1.3 Guernsey Post may require the Addressee or Sender to pay an amount to be fixed by Guernsey Post before the item of mail is delivered or released for collection. The amount due may include a surcharge in addition to the underpaid or unpaid postage. Where the amount due is not paid the item of mail may be dealt with or disposed of at the discretion of Guernsey Post.
Frequently Asked Questions about Underpaid Post
Click on the blue text links below to see the answer to your selected question.
Underpaid postage is a growing problem for us and each year we handle a significant number of items that don't have enough postage paid.
Local underpaid items are held with Customer Services at Envoy House reception and an 'Underpaid Item' form is sent to the recipient. The recipient can then choose how he/she will pay for the release of the item (please see underpaid postage 'payment' section above for payment methods). The item cannot be opened until the necessary payment has been made. If you choose not to accept the item we will hold the item for an additional three weeks before we destroy it.
We charge the difference of the underpaid amount plus a handling fee of £1.
We receive a growing number of items each day that either have insufficient stamps to cover the postage or no stamps at all. The charges that we impose are necessary to cover the cost and handling of underpaid or unpaid items.
If you post an item, which has been underpaid, to these areas we will indicate on the item the necessary charges. These will be collected by the local delivery office from the recipient.
International items will be returned to the sender - this is why using a Return Address (scroll up to see more information) is so important. We will indicate on the item how much additional postage is required to successfully send the item.
These items cost us the most to send and is a significant amount. By sending the item back to the sender we hope to educate the sender of the importance of using the correct postage and therefore avoid any future reoccurances. It is also very difficult for the receiving post office to understand how much money to recover, as they will be using a different currency.
If you are a local business sending a large number of underpaid items we will contact you directly if you are using a Return Address. If you haven't included a Return Address then we will handle these using the processes mentioned above for local, UK, Jersey, IOM and international items.
Please follow the payment options on the form, fill in our online payment form or call our Customer Services team on 01481 711720. Alternatively you can visit Customer Services at Envoy House reception.
There is no obligation to take and pay for the item. You can view the item and decide whether you want to accept it. It is only when you choose to accept that we will charge you.
We hold all items for three weeks.
All items should include a Return Address. It ensures that, should anything happen to the item, it can always be returned to you. Using a Return Address is particularly important if you are posting something internationally, as it will be returned to you if the postage has been underpaid. If you do not use a Return Address your item will be held for three weeks and then destroyed.
The best way to reduce the number of underpaid items is to contact the sender immediately and explain that they have sent you an underpaid item. It is only by you (the recipient) making them aware of the issue that is likely to make them take notice.