First and second class mail in the UK

Discussion in 'The NAAFI Bar' started by Bugsy, Aug 13, 2009.

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  1. I wasn’t sure where to put this, so it’s here. It concerns something that’s always baffled me a bit. It’s the following:

    The UK has first and second class mail. What I don’t understand is how that actually works, since all the mail is shoved into the same pick-up receptacles and not segregated. So are the second-class letters chucked out by the sorting machine and delivered the next day, or what? I mean, it all has to be delivered at some stage, so why not do it all in one go? It seems a fearful waste of time and energy to me, but perhaps somebody in the know can point out any advantages in such a system. Personally, I can’t see any, apart from earning a bit more for the Royal Mail, or whatever it's called this week.

  2. I'm not entirely convinced that it really gets there any quicker just because you pay for first. Certainly not in most towns and cities. Might make a difference if you live out in the sticks or on some of the islands oop north or if there is a high volume of mail and few staff to deliver it.

    A flat rate would make more sense, but it would probably be seen as levelling down 1st, rather than upgrading 2nd.

    It will deffo get worse if it's privatised. I am certain of that!
  3. Simple answer - yes, first and second class mail items are separated, by sorting machines, which detect the 2 vertical lines on 2nd class stamps and prepaid envelopes and 1 vertical line on 1st class. First class items usually reach their destination next delivery day (Mon to Sat inclusive), second class usually a day later. Some post boxes in the centres on main cities or outside main post offices have 2 slots, 1 for 1st class and international, the other for 2nd class, but items are still sorted by machine. At the same time as sorting into 1st & 2nd class, postcodes are also read and converted to orange dash codes, so that items can be sent to their destinations.
  4. Good answer Copepod, but what do they actually do to the second class mail that's any different to first class? Surely it all goes to the same big sorting office, then it's sorted into cities, towns etc, then surely it all has to go in the same lorry / van / train carriage?
    I reckon that once they've sorted out second class into a big bag, they just kick it around the sorting office for 24 hours to teach you not to be such a cheapskate in future. Probably a principle thing.
  5. The subject of mail and post offices pisses me off big time. Our local post office closed last year for no good reason. It did a roaring trade, the post office didnt rent the building and paid my Sri Lankan mate the postmaster 1400 quid a month. For this they got free shop space, free sales, free accounting and zero risk. It was closed because of "policy". Now, all the old buggers on the estate it served have to walk a mile to the next post office. So many of them, for whom a couple of hundred yards walk to the post office was about all they could manage but was an outing for them, no longer bother. We rarely see them any more.

    As for the post... ah f uck it, in for a penny (black)... When I were a lad and Werthers fu cking mints were nowhere to be seen, I used to stick a fourpenny stamp on a letter in Keswick and as long as it got posted before nine in the morning me Gran used to get it delivered next day, or at the latest the day after in ime for her to read it after breakfast in Penzance. Nowadays, the mail is delivered any time up to 1600 hours several days later, if at all. I did hear that the post wankers lose a million letters a week, dunno if thats true. Bah! Wheres me medoxymil?
  6. That's pretty much it in a nutshell!
  7. It does sound quite logical, doesn't it? Which, sort of, brings me back to a part of the original problem. Why bother? The amount of mail is the same anyway, and it also has to go to the same places. I simply can't see the point of the whole system.

    I remember chatting to a retired postie in Milton Keynes about eight years ago and he told me that it was all bollix. He said that they never bothered sorting first and second class anyway. Admittedly, he might have been pulling me plonker, but it's had me thinking ever since.

    I had a butcher's on the Royal Mail website, then I tried to phone them. I wish I'd never bothered, since I'm sure an audience with the fückin' pope is easier to arrange than getting through to them folks. That's why I decided to ask the question on ARRSE.

  8. Not quite. I have it on good account from, ahem, 'a friend' that 2nd Class mail is segregated early and side-lined whilst the 1st Class mail gets sorted and dispatched. Once the 1st Class mail has been worked, the office inevitably turns to the 2nd Class stuff. On a quiet day the 2nd class mail will actually go out on the same dispatch as the 1st. On a busy day it won't. Unless its a really busy day, when there's a good chance the whole lot will just get sorted and dispatched together.

    Also, and this is of vital importance, 1st Class stamps are, pardoning the pun, somewhat classier than 2nd Class. Archaic? Of course it is.
  9. Once they get seperated the 1st class gets sent to the correct house and 2nd class gets sent to the neighbours
  10. spike7451

    spike7451 RIP

    I got a note put thru the door by the postie last week telling me the was a letter waiting for me at the post office & it had 17p insufficient postage on it &,on top of the 17p,the was a £1.00 'handling fee'.
    So I went & got it,it was an A4 envelope (job application) sent 2nd class.
    Apparently 1st & 2nd class mail is only for letter's & not what I was sent.To send an A4 size letter costs 61p!!!
  11. blue-sophist

    blue-sophist LE Good Egg (charities)

    Working from off-shore, I get constantly amazed by how fast a parcel containing a Bear can get from Jersey to the mainland.

    I think the record is 23 hours from a Jersey Post outlet to a doorstep in the north of UK - and that's not with any special handling either.

    Glad to know that Lloyds TSB [my UK Bank] can take 3 days to shift funds from me to holidays4heroes by electronic transfer. :roll:
  12. Our post used to arrive around 0800, it now arrives between 1500 and 1700, it is always a mix of 1st and 2nd class post, in fact it is mainly crap that goes straight in the recycle bin. We have had the same postie for a couple of years now, he wears these plug thingies in his ears, listening to music I suppose, and the weird cnut wears shorts whatever the weather.
  13. spike7451

    spike7451 RIP

    Sgt Braille holds the record set last week,
    Sent second class at 1300Hrs in my local Sub Post Office here in NI & arrived the following morning at his next assignment in Geordieland!
  14. blue-sophist

    blue-sophist LE Good Egg (charities)

    One of the reasons for the strikes - they really hate having their little routines disrupted. Efficiency or re-arranging the 'walks' isn't their problem - they just like things kept the same.

    My Lady Parcel Postie wears shorts - I'm not complaining in her case.

    Has anyone out there ever worked the Post?
    I have - It's a fairly sh1tty job, actually.
    But they certainly like to milk the grief.
    And they have "certain systems" :wink:
  15. blue-sophist

    blue-sophist LE Good Egg (charities)