Frequently asked questions about franking machines

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Frequently asked questions about franking machines ...

If you want to maximise the value of your franking machine, it’s best to get up-to-speed on everything they can do and the mistakes you should avoid. We have spoken previously about getting the most out of your franking machine, but what if you have other questions?

In this blog, we’ll address some of the most frequently asked questions in relation to franking and provide you with a series of answers and tips to help you keep on top of your activities.

  • What is a franking machine?

A franking machine allows businesses to accurately weigh their own mail and correctly assign the right amount of postage to an item. The process is called ‘franking’. A franking mark is equivalent to a stamp.

  • How much cheaper is a franking machine?

Franked mail is much cheaper than stamps – but how much cheaper depends on what your business is sending and how much of it. As it stands, a stamp for a 1st class letter (up to 100g) will cost you 65p, whereas the standard franking price is 57p – and 55p if you use Mailmark – at 10p (15%) saving over using a stamp.

To understand how the right franking machine can help save you money, read our  eBook.

  • What are the benefits of a franking machine?

Using a franking machine will not only allow you to get the lowest prices for your mail but also allow you to better manage your spend, improve your mail efficiency as you spend less time stamping your mail (incredibly useful if you send large volumes of mail),

if your business has a logo you can add this to your franking mark so your customers can see it, as well as adding your return address in case any mail cannot be delivered. 

  • How do you use a franking machine?

Place your item onto the scale, select your letter, large letter or parcel, UK or international and the class (1st or 2nd). Modern franking machines will have integrated scales in them and will be able to determine the price of the item for you.

Feed the letter, facing upwards, into the machine and a franked mark will then be stamped onto the envelope. You can also choose to add your company logo and/or message if you choose. Modern franking machines can feed the mail in bundles automatically. 

  • How do you prepare franked mail for post and collection?

First, include a return address. Second, make sure to include a label – you can get these from your franking machine supplier. Third, make sure your franking marks are printed in blue ink and are in the top right-hand corner of your mail. Finally, if you miss a collection date, frank in advance. You can change the date on your machine or if you have a Mailmark franking machine, it will automatically change the date to the following day at 5 PM. Your mail must be postmarked with the date it has been posted.

  • Do I need a Mailmark franking machine?

Not necessarily. While Mailmark presents the best value for money, it ultimately depends on how much mail you actually send. Mailmark does come with improved mail tracking and online reporting, however, allowing you to see the value of mail communication.

  • What do I do if I make a mistake?

Wrong date? Put a line through the incorrect date with black ink, change the date on your franking machine and set the postage to £0.00.

Too little postage? You can either:

  • Add another impression with the necessary amount to the bottom left-hand corner
  • Frank the shorter edge of the envelope
  • Frank a label with the extra amount and place it on the envelope to the left of the original impression

Too much postage? Do not post the item but remove the contents and start again. Send your unused envelopes and prints to Royal Mail for a full refund.

Pricing and costs

  • How much does a franking machine cost?

The cost of the franking machine depends on what your business needs – and whether or not it wants to purchase a franking machine outright, rent or lease one. Each option has its benefits and the option you choose will be based on your business’ requirements. 

  • Are there any franking machine deals?

At DPS, we offer flexible finance options and a number of franking machine deals. Please contact us and we’ll find a solution that fits your needs.

Maintenance

  • Does a franking machine need to be serviced?

As with any machine, to ensure it’s working correctly it needs to be serviced. If you lease or rent a franking machine on a contractual basis, it will be serviced and repaired at regular intervals. Royal Mail terms require that franking machines are serviced on an annual basis by an approved provider. 

  • Do I need a licence to be able to use it?

Yes. Any business or person using a franking machine must have a licence.

  • Who can repair my franking machine?

The franking machine manufacturer or supplier can repair your franking machine.

  • What is smart meter technology?

Smart meter technology enables data capture, allowing you to access detailed reporting about your franking activity and is available as standard with all modern franking machines. Smart meter technology also ensures that you apply the correct VAT. If the incorrect VAT is applied, you can claim it back later on as the smart meter technology records that information.

Training and support

  • Where can I get training and support on using my franking machine?

At DPS, of course. While most providers can offer support, few offer around-the-clock support, dedicated account management and training on how to use and make the most of your franking machine. For more information, contact us or if you are an existing customer, get in touch with your account manager.

If you still require support or have questions that have not been answered in our franking machine FAQ, please get in touch. One of our dedicated account managers will be in touch shortly.

Our useful checklist is available to download below, with more information on the cost of franked mail:

How much is your franked mail really costing you? A checklist for ensuring you're getting the best value from your franking machine.

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