Post Office offers compensation after Royal Mail brands 77 stamps ‘invalid’

Post Office offers compensation after Royal Mail brands 77 stamps ‘invalid’

GB News has spoken to dozens of people whose stamps from Post Office were deemed "counterfeit" by Royal Mail

Jessica Sheldon

By Jessica Sheldon

Published: 29/03/2024

- 15:53

Updated: 29/03/2024

- 15:57

Post Office has offered a “goodwill gesture” after GB News reported Royal Mail had withheld 77 stamps which a man had bought at his local Post Office

Post Office is “making enquiries” and “liaising with Royal Mail” after a man was told 77 stamps he bought from his local Post Office were “invalid”.

The postal giant has also offered a voucher to the value of the stamps, compensating him for the loss, after Royal Mail refused to return the stamps.

Amid Royal Mail rolling out barcoded stamps last year, John Peters* sent 155 non-barcoded stamps to Royal Mail’s Swap Out scheme, but was subsequently told 77 of them were “invalid”.

The businessman, from Swindon, bought the stamps from his main Post Office in December 2020 and stored them safely in his office, so he could use them as and when he needed.

He is confident the postmaster who sold him the stamps would not try to sell him counterfeit or used stamps.

Royal Mail refused to return the stamps, which cost him £58.52 when he bought them in 2020, insisting they were “used or not genuine”.

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Royal Mail and Post Office logo and receipt

Post Office has offered a "gesture of goodwill"


Mr Peters subsequently found some other stamps, which he had bought at the same time, and sent them off to Royal Mail’s Swap Out department.

This time, he used a different name and address.

Royal Mail exchanged all 104 of these non-barcoded stamps, which had cost him £109, for barcoded versions.

After GB News reported his story yesterday, Post Office contacted Mr Peters, offering him the value of 77 new first-class stamps as a gesture of goodwill.

The firm said as the cost of a first-class stamp will rise to £1.35 from April 2, they offered him a cash voucher worth £103.95.

A Post Office spokesperson told GB News: “We are pleased to be able to offer this goodwill gesture payment to the customer, who is a regular user of this branch.

“We are making enquiries to try to establish what may have happened as well as liaising with Royal Mail who are responsible for stamps.”

They also said: “Stamps are available to buy from a number of different sources. Post Office Ltd receives its stamps direct from Royal Mail’s secure printers.

“Customers who buy stamps at Post Offices are given an itemised receipt, and this is required by Post Office to investigate any allegations of fake stamps.

“In this instance the receipt is for stamps purchased in 2020, which will make it very difficult to establish what could have happened nearly four years ago.”


Royal Mail logo on books of stamps

Royal Mail has introduced barcoded stamps and non-barcoded stamps are no longer valid


A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “It is vital we can investigate any instance where a customer believes their stamps have been incorrectly identified as counterfeit or pre-used.

“We have a robust, multistage process in place when assessing whether stamps submitted for swap out are genuine. This includes a thorough examination using specialist equipment, then a follow-up inspection by a skilled member of the team before any stamp is marked as counterfeit or pre-used.

“The stamps submitted for swap out by Mr Peters were checked by our internal experts and 77 of them were found to be counterfeit.

"These stamps then went through our appeals process and were assessed by the independent Postal Review Panel and were again found to be counterfeit.”

*Name has been changed.

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