365% postage price hike fuels ‘death of film’ fears

August 21, 2006

From today the cost of posting film to the lab using normal post will nearly quadruple, raising fresh fears of the ?death of film?.

The Royal Mail has confirmed that from 21 August post which exceeds 25mm in thickness will be classed as a ?packet?, thereby attracting a second class postage cost of 84p if it weighs up to 100g.

This means that, for example, posting a single roll of 35mm film (contained in canister) will cost 61p more under the new system than the 23p second class ?letter? rate that applies now.

However ? as we reported on 10 August – mass market mail-order firms, such as Bonusprint, receive films from customers in pre-paid envelopes ? meaning that the customer avoids postage costs.

After 21 August Bonusprint says it will use a pre-paid Business Response Service, which it hopes will enable it to keep the postage cost rise in check because the upper limit for a ?large letter? in this case is 50mm ? twice the limit that applies to non-business mail.

Bonusprint claims its overall postage costs will rise by less than 7% using this method, partly because the cost to the firm of posting back non-bulky items to customers – such as a couple of sets of prints – will fall under sized-based pricing. As a result, Bonusprint does not expect to have to raise d&p prices for its customers.

? A Special Report on this will be published in AP, in shops on Tuesday 22 August

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