How To Do Recorded or Special Delivery On a Franking Machine

By Dan Barraclough | Updated: 24 August 2021

How to do recorded delivery on a franking machine

As you're putting your mail through the franking machine, you simply need to select the ‘recorded' or ‘special delivery' option which comes with most machines. The machine will then frank the mail as normal, automatically surcharging your business account. If your machine doesn't have these pre-set options, you'll need to calculate the surcharge yourself manually by checking the current prices online and take it to the Post Office.

Franked mail can be prepared at your own convenience and in your own business time. This can often be far preferable to queuing for hours at your local Post Office. Recorded and Special Delivery mail is slightly different though. These items need to be checked by a Post Office cashier before postage is possible.

The cost of sending mail Recorded Delivery is 1st or 2nd class postal prices plus an additional 95p. This can be prepared with your franking machine by placing your item on the scales, calculating the postage adding on the recorded delivery charge, then printing off label before taking it to a local Post Office for checking.

Read: What is a Royal Mail Franking License and why do I need one?

Stack of mail
Most machines come with special or recorded delivery pre-sets

How to do special delivery on a franking machine

Doing a special delivery on a franking machine is a fairly straightforward process. The mail is put through the machine in the same way as 1st and 2nd class post, but the special delivery button must first be selected so the surcharge is automatically added on.

When the mail is collected, the special delivery items should not be put in bags or trays. Instead, they should be given directly to the collection driver to ensure that they get the priority treatment that has been paid for. This segregation also applies if the mail is being dropped off at a Post Office by a company representative.

What is the difference between recorded and special delivery?

The key difference is the guarantee of delivery within a specified time frame. In other words, by using special delivery, the item is guaranteed to be delivered between 9am and 1pm the next day, and includes tracking features, while recorded delivery does not offer any timeslot guarantees. Unlike recorded delivery, special delivery also ensures the mailer receives a receipt once the item’s been delivered.

What is the difference between recorded delivery and normal post?

The difference comes down to levels of security. That is, recorded delivery is more secure than normal post. With recorded delivery, the recipient is required to sign, or provide proof of delivery to the sender. The item is also covered on insurance for up to £50, giving you that extra bit of security if you're sending high volumes of mail and are at risk of losing some items en-route to the recipient. In contrast, normal post is less secure and doesn’t require any proof of receivership, so there’s no way of knowing whether your item has been delivered successfully, making it a cheaper yet higher risk way to send your mail.

Should I consider recorded delivery for my business?

Yes, it's essential. We strongly recommend that ecommerce businesses use at least recorded delivery, especially when sending high-value items. Not only will you be able to rack your item, this type of secure delivery protects your business for when a customer falsely claims they haven’t received the item, because the recipient must sign or provide proof of receivership. If the item’s been lost, you should be able to get a refund from the postal company or claim the item on insurance.

Dan Barraclough

Dan’s a Senior Writer at Expert Market, specialising in digital marketing, web design, and photocopiers, amongst other topics.

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