Royal Mail Price Finder out of action

Price Finder website – which calculates cost of parcels – breaks down just in time for Christmas postal rush

Royal Mail's popular online Price Finder service, which allows consumers to calculate the cost of sending parcels, has broken down, angering thousands of people looking to send Christmas cards and presents.

The Price Finder page – which calculates the postal cost of packages based on their size and weight – is currently "experiencing technical difficulties". Customers have also had difficulties with the organisation's online postage and SmartStamp facilities.

Royal Mail admitted it had been having problems with its website for more than 10 days. Nick Landon of Royal Mail said: "We are sorry that there continues to be some problems with parts of our website following difficulties experienced by some customers since the beginning of last week.

"The initial problems followed technical difficulties that arose after the migration of part of our website to a new platform. We are working around the clock to fix these individual issues as they arise. I know how important it is that we restore full service for all users as quickly as possible and apologise for the inconvenience this is causing.

Landon said that until the web service is fixed people should check stamp prices on its 2011 price guide. For example, a packet of between 2,001g and 4,000g will cost £8.95 to send first class within the UK, while a 1kg parcel sent by special delivery (by either 9am or 1pm the next working day including Saturday) will cost £17.30.

Royal Mail is investing £15m in this year's Christmas operation, following last year's big freeze when it had to pump an extra £20m to ensure people's Christmas presents arrived on time. Extra planes, trains and trucks will handle the UK's festive mailbag of around two billion items.

The latest recommended posting dates are 20 December for first-class items and 17 December for second-class post.


Mark King

The GuardianTramp

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