Despite the widespread use of electronic means of communication, such as telephones and computers, we still occasionally need to send paper letters, be it to our loved ones, friends or clients, using traditional postal services. Since paper mailing is a service provided by dedicated postal employees, it must be paid for. That’s why post offices require postage stamps (either traditional (coloured) ones or those printed by a franking machine) to be used as a confirmation that the service has been paid for. But what will happen if you send a letter without a postage stamp and what can you do in such a case? Let’s take a closer look at these issues!
What if I send a letter without a postage stamp?
Whether you send a letter from a post office, from a mail collection box in a public place or from your own mailbox near your home, you need to take care of putting a postage stamp on your letter before you send it. Though postage stamps can be easily found (they can be bought directly at a post office or online; in case you buy stamps online, you will need to print them out by yourself), there are cases when letters are sent without them. So, what happens if after you have sent a letter you realize that you had forgotten to place a stamp on it?
After you place the letter in the mail collection box, it is sent to a special post office department where all the letters are sorted using automated equipment. A special scanner will check the stamps on all the letters. If there is no stamp on your letter, the scanner will detect it and the letter will be attributed to a separate category of mail. After that, your letter will be sent to a special employee who will additionally check your letter for postage stamps. If this employee confirms the lack of the stamp on the envelope, your letter will either be sent back to you at the return address, or it will be delivered to its addressee, yet subject to postage fees.
Who will pay for postal services if I send a letter without a postage stamp?
The post office will charge a fee for the missing stamp (most often the fee equals the price of the stamp) either from you or from your addressee, depending on where your letter is delivered. If the recipient refuses to pay, the letter will be returned to you. In such a case, to receive the letter, you will have to pay the price of the missing stamp, plus there may also be a surcharge for insufficient postage (2 to 3 € approximately), but it depends on a particular case.
What if I didn’t indicate a return address on my unstamped letter?
In this case, your letter will be delivered to the destination address marked on the envelope. If, however, the addressee refuses to accept it or to pay for its mailing without a stamp, the letter, in the absence of a return address, will be delivered to a dead letter office – a department at the post office where unclaimed letters are collected.
I forgot to put a postage stamp on my letter. What can I do?
When you realize that you had forgotten to place a stamp on a letter that you have already sent, first of all, you can refer (depending on where you sent your letter form) either to your local postman who collected the letter from your mailbox or to a relevant employee at your local post office. You can explain the situation and ask either of them to return your letter to you before it gets processed by the post-service so that you could put an appropriate stamp on it. If you fail to do it (post-service employee says, for example, that it’s impossible or it’s too late to do it) and if this situation is sensitive for you (e.g. the addressee is your client or business partner), we advise you to inform the addressee (via phone or email, if applicable) about the situation and to ensure him/her that you will cover all the costs related to the mailing of the letter should it be delivered to him/her.
We hope that the information provided above was useful to you. We at Eurosender are specializing in transport logistics and, more precisely, in door-to-door delivery of parcels and packages of all sizes. If you have had some bad experience with sending letters or packages, or should you just want to get to know us better and discover our attractive offers, don’t hesitate to contact us, we will always be glad to assist you!
Last modified: March 18, 2020