While franking machines are relatively straightforward to use and can save you a tremendous amount on your business mail and postage, it doesn’t mean that mistakes cannot be made.
A lot of businesses are aware of the tremendous discounts franking machines can provide over stamps, but – even with the franking machine – human error can still occur, especially if you are processing a large amount of mail on a daily, weekly or monthly basis!
But when a franking problem occurs – what can you do and can you rectify the problem?
In this blog, we take a look at some of the top franking mistakes, including how to rectify them, avoid them and ensure posting franked mail is as easy as possible.
Posting franked mail with the wrong date
If you have put the wrong date on your mail, you have two options:
If you have a Royal Mail Mailmark franking machine, you can cross out the incorrect date with black ink, choose ‘Zero test print’ and check the date is correct, then re-frank your mail with the correct date either on the bottom left hand corner or shorter edge of the envelope. If you are using a label, place it on your mail to the left of the original mark.
If you are not using a Royal Mail Mailmark franking machine but a standard franking machine, cross out the incorrect data with black ink, change the date on your franking machine and set the postage to £0.00. Then re-frank the envelope with the correct date on the bottom left hand corner or shorter edge of your mail.
Alternatively, frank a label with the correct date and £0.00 postage then put the label on the original envelope so that it covers up the incorrect date but doesn’t hide the tariff you already paid.
Processing right away and not franking everything in one go
Don’t start processing your mail as soon as you receive it, especially if you post mail internationally. Instead, make sure you separate your mail into the different classes if you are planning to send different items via 1st class or 2nd class.
Once you have organised your mail into 1st and 2nd class, do it all in one go. This will ensure all your mail is sent, saving you time and ensuring nothing is left behind, as well as save you money on ink, letters and other supplies.
If you ever under pay for your franked mail, just add another impression with the correct amount to the bottom left hand corner. You can also frank a label with the missing amount and put that on the envelop next to the original franking impression.
If you have overpaid, don’t post it. Take out the contents and apply the correct postage tariff to a new envelope or package. Any unused franks can be sent to Royal Mail and, providing your total claim is at least £10.00 and all impressions are clear, readable and made within six months of the date, a full refund will be given – minus a 15% administration fee.
Missed the last post
If you have missed the last post or collection time and your mail is already franked, you can re-frank your mail with the following day’s date or hold onto the items and post them the next day. For urgent mail, you can put your franked mail inside a late posting envelope (available from your franking machine supplier), but according to the Royal Mail, you are limited to using one ‘late posting envelope’ each day with a limit of 30 letters. Finally, if you post your franked mail after the final collection time, it will not be processed until the following day.
Sending everything via the postbox
If you have a lot of mail to send, you can save time and effort by using mail bags. If you post less than thirty items you can post your franked mail in normal postboxes providing you use an outer supplied by your franking manufacturer or independent provider. If you have more than thirty items, you can post your mail via the post office, royal mail delivery offices, mail centres and business postboxes.
Not monitoring your postage
How much are you spending on postage? Are you choosing the right postage option? Are you overpaying on your post? More sophisticated franking machines come with built-in reporting to track your cost centres. With these tools, you can get a clear view of your franking expenditure over a daily, weekly or monthly period and start to optimise your franking process to reduce your overall costs. Our F series franking machines, for example, can readily track cost centres and come with integrated reporting to track your expenditure.
Not presenting your post correctly
If you are posting or dropping off franked mail, make sure your post is presented correctly, follow these steps:
- Sort your franked mail into class, size and destination.
- Use red pouches for first class, green for second class, and white for international mail
- If you have a lot of mail, use mail bags (provided by Royal Mail) and place them into the right bag depending on their mail class.
Following our tips should ensure that you don’t fall victim to the most common franking mistakes. However, if you are still having trouble or require more support with your franking, why not get in touch and see how one of our expert team can help?
Or, you can explore our checklist and see whether your franking machine is actually helping you cut costs in the best way.