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Why Are British Cancellations So Poor?

 
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Author Previous TopicReplies: 10 / Views: 647Next Topic  
Pillar Of The Community

United Kingdom
828 Posts
Posted 10/09/2021   08:06 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Ringo to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
(I was minded of this issue by the thread, 'Looks like a stamp but...')

This is 2021, and the British post office is still cancelling stamps like this - looks worse than a dot-matrix printer from the 1980s.



What's the deal? Surely nowadays this kind of printing should be obsolete. I get that they don't much care what the cancellation is going to look like aesthetically, but still - some of these are almost unreadable.
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Edited by Ringo - 10/09/2021 08:07 am

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United States
10711 Posts
Posted 10/09/2021   08:25 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Speed. I assume that the machine operators run the machines at their maximum rating, as the consumables (ink, rollers, etc.) and machine age, quality begins to be impacted. I also assume that postal services are more interested in moving mail than the quality of a cancel. Their priority is to protect revenue by preventing a stamp from being reused.
Don
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Bedrock Of The Community
Australia
36175 Posts
Posted 10/09/2021   08:47 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Opinion.
Great Britain / England, went from one of the best in the world,
to one of the worst.
Since the late 1960's, British Postmarks are horrible. ((along with Australia)
That's just an observation.
Certainly speed has something to do with it, however Germany, Switzerland, Austria, manage to give excellent and consistent strikes.

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Pillar Of The Community
United States
7239 Posts
Posted 10/09/2021   11:59 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add bookbndrbob to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
From what I have seen, the current British cancels are the worst. Surprisingly, the US cancels have improved in quality over the last 10 years.
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France
2285 Posts
Posted 10/09/2021   12:15 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add vayolene to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
LetsTalkLoneliness
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United States
10711 Posts
Posted 10/09/2021   12:25 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The USPS has been updating their spray cancel printing since late last year...see here http://goscf.com/t/74619
Don

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Pillar Of The Community
1096 Posts
Posted 10/09/2021   3:24 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DrewM to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Looks like the ink cartridge is running low on ink!

I'm going to guess that postmasters don't prioritize how postmarks look nearly as much as whether or not they're applied in the first place. But the British postal service could tell them that they're expected to use fresh ink and produce legible postmarks -- or why have them in the first place rather than just using wordless black lines or blobs of ink? But they're not doing that. Someone once said "A fish rots from the head." It's undoubtedly people at the top that simply don't prioritize this in any way. In the race to deliver the mail, I certainly understand that, but it's such a simple thing to fix (change the ink!) I can't believe it's not an issue with someone in upper level management somewhere. Maybe write a letter to someone asking why cancellations have become completely illegible? Maybe they don't even know?
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Edited by DrewM - 10/09/2021 3:25 pm
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Posted 10/09/2021   3:44 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Postal employees receive PFP (Pay For Performance) bonuses based upon volume processed. Stopping or slowing the process because a cancel is not clear is at the bottom of the to-do list.
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United Kingdom
828 Posts
Posted 10/09/2021   3:57 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Ringo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Can't believe that better printing equipment is going to make it slower. That US example from Don, before and after, shows where the British system should be heading. The lower example is perfectly clear and legible. Maybe they just don't want to replace their old equipment.
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Pillar Of The Community
Australia
2120 Posts
Posted 10/09/2021   5:26 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bobby De La Rue to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Since the late 1960's, British Postmarks are horrible. ((along with Australia)


Some of the NSW numeral cancellations from the 1860s leave a great deal to be desired!

There's a couple of people I buy material from via eBay who always use nice stamps and are carefully cancelled.
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Valued Member
United Kingdom
131 Posts
Posted 10/10/2021   3:55 pm  Show Profile Check Triangle's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Triangle to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
A lot of my stamped mail is never franked. I sent 6 items to a collector from postboxes to Australia, none was franked.

I think the local offices all want more labels and less stamps as printed labels are quick, single use and don't need franking!
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