A FEW weeks ago I posted my father an envelope with 16 A4 sheets of paper of medical information I had obtained on the internet for him.

My father is 94 years old and housebound.

The envelope was A4 size and I put a large stamp on it.

Unfortunately that was not enough postage. A further 17p was required. So instead of delivering the letter to my father, the Royal Mail delivered a postcard telling him to call at the sorting office in Malvern and pay £1.17p.

As my father had not received the envelope I had sent from Wiltshire we both realised that the envelope held at the sorting office was the one I had sent.

My father was of course unable to call at the sorting office, and in any event we both knew that the contents were not worth the payment of an additional £1.17. I was due to visit him the following week, and reprinted the articles and took them with me.

The Royal Mail hung on to the envelope for three weeks, and when it wasn’t called for, sent it all the way back to my home.

They call this “Revenue Protection”. For the sake of 17p the Royal Mail doubled the amount of work involved with this envelope.

What we need is a postage system for which everyone can work out what postage is due to ensure that we put enough stamps on in the first place.

This method of revenue collection must be costing more than it raises.

Devizes, Wiltshire