By Two Legs Good

On Saturday, the 26th, we got a card from the Royal Mail telling us they were holding a letter we'd been sent to ransom, demanding we pay £1.19 because the "sender didn't pay full postage".

There's no way of telling who it's from or what it is so you can decide whether it's worth paying - all you can do is pay. It's like a kidnapper telling you he's kidnapped both your kids, killed one and will let the other go for a fee, but won't tell you which he killed. Without knowing if it's the one you liked, how do you know if it's worth paying up?

So we took the risk and paid up, and today, the 29th, it got delivered. It was a flimsy brown envelope 254mm by 176mm, with a standard 2nd class stamp on it and a single sheet of paper inside. Apparently, that makes it a "large letter" by 14mm and 9mm respectively. Less than a fingers' width in either direction, that's how nit-picky they've become.

(Seriously, that's worth charging an extra 19p for? What for, the extra steroids the postie needs to lift that extra 2g of paper? The eye-dropper-worth of extra petrol to transport it on it's journey of less than 2 miles?)

Of the £1.19 ransom, 19p was for unpaid postage, and the other £1.00 was a "handling fee". That's a £1 fee over and above the 51p they've already had to deliver the letter, for the benefit of delaying the delivery by an extra 3 days.

Inside we found a letter dated the 17th, telling us we had an appointment on the 24th. By the time the Royal Mail issued their ransom demand, the letter was already irrelevantly too late.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how annoyed do you think we are?

It's stuff like that though that contributes to the constant drip, drip, drip that makes modern life seem so shite.

Seriously, sending appointment details by 2nd class so it doesn't get to you in time? Wrong postage for envelope? Nitpicking over millimetres? 3 days to collect 19p and give you a letter, and charging £1 for that "service" when the postie could have knocked the door and got 19p in cash?

We are standing on the shoulders of giants, but most of us are scared of heights and hurling ourselves suicidally towards the ground.

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