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Royal Mail issues six-month warning to anybody who owns stamps

Birmingham Mail 31/01/2023 James Rodger
Royal Mail issues six-month warning to anybody who owns stamps © Getty Royal Mail issues six-month warning to anybody who owns stamps

The Royal Mail has issued a six-month warning to anybody who has stamps at home, or in their purse or wallet. The Royal Mail has confirmed the old stamps - which are due to be axed - will be extended, after initially being set to become invalid from January 31 (Tuesday).

Instead, the Royal Mail has extended the stamps til July 31, 2023. The old stamps are being phased out but Royal Mail customers can use its stamp swap schemeto exchange to new ones.

New barcoded stamps were introduced in February last year as part of a move to modernise the service, and to allow enhanced security features, Royal Mail said. It also said barcodes will “enable exciting new services by connecting physical stamps to the digital world”, such as exclusive videos available by scanning the codes in an app.

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The move came as part of what the company described as its “extensive and ongoing modernisation drive”. It said at the time that the unique barcodes would “facilitate operational efficiencies”, improve security and allow innovative services for customers.

A Royal Mail spokesman said: "We’ve added barcodes to all our regular stamps. Regular stamps without a barcode will no longer be valid after July 31, 2023. This follows the introduction of a six-month grace period from the initial January 31 deadline. You can either use up your non-barcoded stamps before this new deadline or swap them for the new barcoded ones."

Customers can send back up to £200 worth of unused, non-barcoded stamps to be swapped free of charge. But Christmas stamps without barcodes are not included in the swap scheme.

This means that Royal Mail customers will be able to use non-barcoded Christmas stamps even after the deadline. Previously, Royal Mail warned: “Please do not try to exchange your stamps at your post office branch, as they will not be able to do this. You can only do this directly with Royal Mail.”

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