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Author: Subject: [UK] Universal Mail service
JiangFanChristian
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[*] posted on 5-3-2017 at 03:15 PM
[UK] Universal Mail service


I sent five cards using the Universal Mail stamps (not Royal Mail). These stamps don't bear the Queen's head.
After two weeks, they still haven't reached their destinations (e.g. Germany; normally cards to Germany arrive after three or four days).
Have you had experiences with the Universal Mail service? I would like to know more (delivery times etc.).
Thank you!
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ana
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[*] posted on 6-9-2017 at 04:53 PM


We're looking for UK postcrossers that use Universal Mail stamps and had their mail misrouted through mysterious locations, who would be willing to talk about this issue for a report on BBC Radio 4.

Leave a comment and let me know! :)
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[*] posted on 8-9-2017 at 09:03 AM


Quote: Originally posted by semiramisblog  
Hi Ana,

I would be willing to help. :)
I had 6 postcards that took nearly three months to get to their right owners.

Regina


Thank you so much Regina! I'll add you in CC to an email I'm writing to the journalist — I trust he'll be in touch soon.
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[*] posted on 12-2-2018 at 12:39 PM


Just wondering if anyone has had more recent experiences with UMS. I made the mistake of posting some cards with their stamps and currently have the following travelling:

Czech Republic - 22 days
China - 17 days
Netherlands - 9 days
Kazakhstan - 6 days

So not long at all by their standards but still very frustrating knowing I could be waiting another 100 days or so! - wish I had read this thread before buying the stamps. Having looked at some of the profiles on this thread, they do seem to arrive eventually though so fingers crossed.
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[*] posted on 14-2-2018 at 09:54 AM


In case anyone else is still having problems with these stamps - I complained to Universal Mail about the slow delivery times and asked for a refund for my unused stamps as I don't plan to use them. I didn't expect to hear back but to my surprise I got a prompt reply and they have offered me a refund for all the stamps purchased and the postcard costs as well! Very impressed!
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JiangFanChristian
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[*] posted on 28-2-2018 at 08:33 PM


Thank you for your feedbacks...
This postal service is painfully slow. I tried to do an experiment—I sent myself a card with the UniversalMail stamp to see how long it would take.
I sent it on 13th December, and got it on 3rd February. So it took... 52 days, from the U.K. to Italy!
Also, let’s talk about postmarks! I expected one from the Philippines, or at least a UniversalMail cancellation, but I was rather disappointed when I got the typical British cancellation (the machine printed one).
Here’s the picture (I hope it is ok to post the back of the postcard in this case, since I was the one sending and receiving it).
If you got different types of postmark, please let me know!
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[*] posted on 1-3-2018 at 11:52 AM


Thanks for the update Christian.

There's still hope then that my cards might arrive before they expire - the longest travelling one (to Czech Republic) has now been going 39 days! I emailed UMS again yesterday about my refund and they replied straight away agreeing to refund me the grand sum of £18 for my stamps and postcards :D. I am going to post my unused stamps back to them.
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[*] posted on 1-3-2018 at 04:46 PM


Quote: Originally posted by vjr123  
Thanks for the update Christian.

There's still hope then that my cards might arrive before they expire - the longest travelling one (to Czech Republic) has now been going 39 days! I emailed UMS again yesterday about my refund and they replied straight away agreeing to refund me the grand sum of £18 for my stamps and postcards :D. I am going to post my unused stamps back to them.


Well, I must say that they were very kind in this case!
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[*] posted on 17-3-2018 at 08:42 PM


Very interesting. I used these stamps once not realising that they were not Royal Mail stamps. I can't say if any of the cards I used them on took an exceptionally long time to be delivered. I remember buying them in a shop together with a large number of Teddy Bear postcards and other goodies. Later when I looked at my purchases I found that instead of charging me for all the stamps, the shop assistant only charged me the cost of one stamp for each full book (I bought five books). By the time I noticed that I was hundreds of miles away from where I got them so I couldn't go back to pay the difference.
Oh,well - a little bit of compensation for late delivery :D
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[*] posted on 20-3-2018 at 08:46 PM


;) :)
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[*] posted on 22-3-2018 at 12:54 PM


Just to update you - my refund from Universal Mail came through :)

I'm so impressed that they agreed to refund me and actually feel a bit guilty now as the postcards are finally starting to arrive. A card to Czech Republic took 48 days and a card to China 50 days. I still have two travelling - one to Netherlands currently on 47 days and Kazakhstan on 44 days.
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[*] posted on 28-3-2018 at 10:11 AM


My card to the Netherlands finally got there after 53 days. Only Kazakhstan left now, currently on 50 days - come on, you can do it! :D
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[*] posted on 9-4-2018 at 09:19 AM


My last card with these stamps finally arrived - Kazakhstan 62 days! :)
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[*] posted on 28-5-2018 at 02:12 PM


Hi all,
Today, I received an official card from U.K. with Universal Mail stamp. Only 22 days of travel (after postmark). I didn't know that UM use Royal Mail system. Is it correct ? It's written Royal Mail 06-05-2018
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[*] posted on 6-6-2018 at 03:01 PM


Quote: Originally posted by thubcabe  
Hi all,
Today, I received an official card from U.K. with Universal Mail stamp. Only 22 days of travel (after postmark). I didn't know that UM use Royal Mail system. Is it correct ? It's written Royal Mail 06-05-2018


I don't know anything about UM but as a mailing service provider they probably get bulk discounts with Royal Mail.
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[*] posted on 7-6-2018 at 09:29 PM


Quote: Originally posted by klaus3428  
Quote: Originally posted by thubcabe  
Hi all,
Today, I received an official card from U.K. with Universal Mail stamp. Only 22 days of travel (after postmark). I didn't know that UM use Royal Mail system. Is it correct ? It's written Royal Mail 06-05-2018


I don't know anything about UM but as a mailing service provider they probably get bulk discounts with Royal Mail.


That might be so.
And they have an agreement with Royal Mail, so that users of UMS can use their red post boxes.
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[*] posted on 14-6-2018 at 07:49 AM


Thanks for everyone's sharing, I finally recognized what happened to my mails from UK.
In the previous years when I travelled in different famous cities in UK, eg. Oxford, Cambridge, Windsor, I always bought stamps from the tourist centres or souvenir shops.
Those stamps were from Universal Mail, with big and pretty pictures and I and my friends never knew that they were different from Royal Mail.

Later on, we found that the mails came after a very long time, by the time when we thought they were already lost.
One time we got our cards' stamps covered with a label and it said the mails were processed in Vienna, Austria.
Also, there's sth printed on our card and said 'Royal Mail, remember to write the postcode'.

According to the staff in Royal Mail post office, I used to write 'Hong Kong' and it's totally correct. There's no such thing like postcode, neither for Hong Kong nor districts of Hong Kong.

I think I will never use Universal Mail in UK anymore, just like the GPS and Friends Post in Italy. They neither provide efficient and reliable mail service, nor datestamps at all.
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[*] posted on 23-6-2018 at 01:19 PM


ugh why didnt i look this up before i was in London and of course i also bought them at the tourist shop -.-
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[*] posted on 27-9-2018 at 03:14 PM


Question regarding Universal mail stamps, my cousin went to Edinburgh 2 months ago, and he used universal mail stamps. He didn't know the difference between Universal Mail and Royal Mail. And he forgot that as I lived in England, he should have used a 1st class or 2nd class. So everyone in France received their cards (with long delay of course :D), but I didn't receive mine. Do you know what Universal Mail does with national postcard sent with their international stamps?
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[*] posted on 28-9-2018 at 09:55 AM


Visitors to the UK should note that many shops and supermarkets sell books of First and Second Class Stamps and Post Office prices. Two of either will cover any destination though you will slightly overpay but you have the convenience. Shop staff however will not be able to advise on specific postal rates. Personally I would only buy official mail stamps.
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[*] posted on 2-10-2018 at 07:52 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Ellandan  
Do you know what Universal Mail does with national postcard sent with their international stamps?


I only used them once and never made the same mistake again :P but from that time I do think they had a notice that it would only be used on postcards and on international mail.

EDIT: yes, confirmed it's only for postcard which are being sent internationally: http://www.universalmail.co.uk/usage-guidelines/
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[*] posted on 3-10-2018 at 05:57 PM


Unfortunately I didn't record how long this took to get to me. But it did not receive any postal markings:
http://stampraider.blogspot.com/2013/12/thank-you-inez-postcard-wit...
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[*] posted on 14-10-2018 at 11:27 AM


Once a German penfriend sent me a postcard from a UK tourist site using a UM stamp. I got a notification from Royal Mail and had to pay a surcharge at the depot to get the postcard. I didn't tell my friend because I didn't want to embarrass her, but maybe I should have. Also, she could have used a much cheaper RM 2nd class stamp for posting within the UK. I guess whover sold her the stamp assumed all tourists would be sending postcards back to their native countries.
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