back to article Royal Mail double-dip billing bug enrages stocking-filling biz

Royal Mail apologised on Thursday for the resurgence of technical problems that have bedevilled the website over recent weeks. The SmartStamp and Online Postage applications are both playing up at the worst possible time of year as business customers rush to get Christmas mail out the door. About 600 of the 30,000 SmartStamp and …

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Anonymous Coward

Prima Facie case of theft

Lock up the Board of the Post Office

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WTF?

Migrate to a new platform? In the busiest part of the year?

Idiots. Just ...

I did work in one place where we were forced to do a major update on the 24th, at about 16:00. And then the support guys had their holiday ruined.

Idiots

I hear they're about to do it again this year too - but I don't work there any more.

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Bronze badge
Facepalm

Capgemini, which manages the Royal Mail website, is looking into the problems

I can see the problem right there.

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Anonymous Coward

Must try harder (a lot harder)

Just about everything Royal Mail is up the creek at the minute. Tracking on a parcel earlier in the week showed it 24 hours later as having left the depot 3 hours before I'd made the order. Delivery, predictably, was a day later than the worthless "guarantee", and involved an unwanted trip to the sorting office to collect as the so-called postman had pulled the usual trick of ignoring our functioning door bell slipping a red card through the door by stealth, complete with suspicious "time of attempted delivery" that suggested it had been pre-written at the sorting office to avoid him having to actually try to deliver the parcel.

I really, really want to like the Royal Mail; they used to be quite remarkably good until they started concentrating on everything in sight but their core task of actually delivering mail to the right address in a reasonable time frame. Competing with HDNL for the title of "most despised and dysfunctional delivery firm" won't win them any friends, or any business.

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Silver badge

Pull the other one

>Not the best time for postage screw-ups, admit bosses

On the contrary, for the PO this is the best time. No doubt they were hoping this glitch would get buried in the increased volume of mail associated with this time of year.

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Windows

Royal Fail indeed. Add this to the reported problems being faced by their Horizon IT system and it doesn't look good (just google royal mail horizon system)

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Anonymous Coward

and it'll take you a long time to get the money back

Judging by the hoops you need jump through and proof of every concievable person that touched a parcel that went missing from the mailperson putting the card in my door to it never arriving back at the post office to be collected. 5 months and they offered to refund the postage, not the cost of the item even tho it was fully insured

royal arseholes, I use UPS nowadays

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Silver badge

"Capgemini, which manages the Royal Mail website, is looking into the problems, the root cause of which remains unclear at the time of writing."

I think the root cause is clear from the first part of the sentence.

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Stop

They really are idiots.

If I were running a business that is vastly busier at Christmas than any time of year, I wouldn't have thought that six weeks before Christmas was the ideal time for migrating your systems to a new platform, personally.

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FAIL

Oh great

Although I have been inconvenienced quite a bit by these outages, I did not think that I had been double charged or overcharged for anything. However, this article caused me to worry, so I went to the Royal Mail website to check, and got this.

Error: Problem encountered - Display process failure

Excellent.

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Yep, it's well and truly consigniaed.

I hope the telephone support staff are arranging a very special party for the person who okayed major changes to the Royal Mail's IT systems in the run-up to Christmas. You know the sort of party with bunting, balloons, a few stakes, rope and a very low tide...

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Thumb Down

Idiots

"When shall we upgrade our systems?"

"How about just before we know they will be really busy for Christmas?"

"Oh, excellent idea! Then all our customers can test them for us!!"

The really worrying thing is that as well as double charging me, the system appears slower than before. Oh, and has a 19 character limit on addresses when adding them to your address book.

Useful features, such as being able to add more than one stamp per sheet of labels are also missing.

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Unhappy

Lousy Service

Today,Dec.11 the Postal Website is still down.

No Info/News/Press Release.Brilliant!!! What a Way

to run a Business and keep Customers Happy.

Hope that managment Looses their Christmas Bonus!!

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FAIL

The Royal Mail Site has always been CRAP

I have tried using the Royal Mail site for online postage for ages now and it is DREADFUL, USELESS, BADLY DESIGNED, TOTALLY NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE. They can carry on trying to "fix" it, but they haven't a hope - IT WILL NEVER WORK PROPERLY!

Capgemini should chuck the whole thing in the bin and start again. If you finally get the message, Capgemini, DON'T USE PDF. It is a "BROKEN TECHNOLOGY" also not fit for purpose.

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FAIL

Royal Fail

Still not working for me either. just taken over 20 minutes to get one address label printed. With 3 more still to do yet. I would just take them to the post office and pay there if i hadn't topped up my prepay account with £30.

Did no one think to backup the working version before they 'upgraded' the website so they could roll it back if it didn't work?

Over two weeks of the site not working correctly, hope someone gets the chop for this screw up

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FAIL

Unbelievable

The Royal Mail's print your own postage site WAS brilliant - I've been using it almost daily for over a year. For me, someone who can't easily get to a post office, it was a huge benefit. I never had any particular problems with it, and found it reliable and quick to use.

For the past 2 weeks its been totally unusable. How could cap gemini get it so spectacularly wrong at such an important time of year? I can't wait to read a full post-mortem.

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Small businesses once more get crapped on

I have a small business and have relied on smartstamp for over 5 years.

We seem to be constantly battling to get our post through to customers. The bad weather last christmas really affected our sales and upset many customers. Trying to get packages delivered to customers in the USA earlier in the year was a nightmare.

The numbers of "lost" packages seems to be increasing. After filling in lots of paperwork we may eventually recover the cost of the postage. Whooppee ding dong!!! What about the cost of the items themselves?

Now for almost 4 weeks Smartstamp has been an utter disgrace.

All we get is a faceless apology that does nothing to handle the situation.

Not only have we been charged twice on a number of occassions when topping up, we have also been charged a number of times for pages of stamps that never got printed off.

Hopefully, eventually, we may get this money back.

But what about the lost time involved, which probably runs into dozens of hours this last month.

Also, we can't just get on with what we do best right now, as we have yet another fire fight to simply get stuff delivered to our customers.

Our sales items are fairly low value and so we can't afford the jump and use a courier service. Boy oh boy I wish we could.

I don't think anyone really gives a toss about us or similar small businesses.

So long as we keep paying our vat, taxes and paye on time, no one cares.

It seems heads should roll for this, but they most likely won't. One will just blame another and the mamoth will just rumble along until one day all that is left is some fossilised bones rotting away in a ditch.

How very sad, but how very predictable.

I'm off to try and research an alternative....

Good luck everyone.

Bobby

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