Royal Mail: "We don't want your money, use another carrier"

Although I hate to admit it, I have too many board games. So some are for sale on BGG or Amazon.

Someone's just bought one, and when I packed it up, I weighed it and discovered it was less than a kilo. That makes Royal Mail an economic option (above that, MyHermes is better). But would it be too big to qualify as a 'small parcel'? (If it's not, again, it's off to MyHermes, because even medium parcels are twice the price under a kilo.)

So I look at the Royal Mail website which says a small parcel is…

Size (up to) Length: 45cm, Width: 35cm, Depth: 8cm

Argh. Without measuring it, I am not sure how deep it is, but it's definitely more than 8cm. Oh wait, there are some exceptions!

Parcels that measure up to and including:
Length: 16cm and Width: 16cm and Depth: 16cm
Roll or cylinder shaped parcels that measure up to and including:
Length: 45cm and Diameter: 8cm

So a 16cm cube would be fine, or a… hang on, those cylinders easily fit in the main size! Anyway, the parcel is longer and wider than 16cm.

OK, off to the MyHermes website where I pay for the postage and get it ready to walk to a drop-off point. I do have to go via the local Sub-Post Office first, to get a stamp and proof of posting for a letter. While I am paying, I see an A3 poster about small parcels getting bigger. The details are in really small print, but the lovely staff give me a leaflet…

… and the new alternative size limit is 35cm x 25cm x 16cm – which is larger than the parcel I have in my hands! Had I not just paid MyHermes £3.90, I could and would have paid £2.60 to send it second class. The extra £1.30 has got me a good tracking system and a £50 compensation limit rather than the relatively reduced £20 with Royal Mail, but the leaflet is dated October 2013.

They've had three months to update their website with this. Does the Royal Mail really not want my money?

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