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PCA and Royal Mail fail me again

  johndrew 12:15 07 Aug 2011

My October issue of PCA arrived yesterday whilst I was out. The magazine and plastic packaging were separate - the plastic envelope had been slit open (or not sealed in the first place) at both ends - hence no DVD or anything else that should have been there and a damaged magazine.

I know PCA give a discount to subscribers and (should) post the magazine earlier than the 'on the shelf' date, however I also feel the packaging and transport method need sorting out. Of late I have had magazines not arrive at all, arrive damaged to the point of being waste paper and now incomplete - as well as being apparently well thumbed!!

Come on PCA. You are part of a large group and should be capable of ensuring decent quality packaging and ensuring your carrier does the job it is paid for properly.

  Aitchbee 13:46 07 Aug 2011

I echo your criticism of the Royal Mail. I used to be able to post a letter knowing it would get to destination point. But posting a letter is now a no-no if I can deliver it personally..locally. Christmas cards included. HB

  Blackhat 13:54 07 Aug 2011

My intelligent postman decided that an A4 photo with a cardboard support and a do not bend label would fit through my letterbox with a bit of persuasion, hence a very creased photo which I have since had emailed to me to replace damaged item.

If he can read the address why not the do not bend label on the front?

  johndrew 14:44 07 Aug 2011

It gives me some comfort - though no pleasure - to hear that others are sharing my experiences with PCA/Royal Mail.

The plastic bag problem appears endemic. What saddens me is that newspaper 'add-ons' are wrapped in plastic that is very secure and is unlikely to get torn yet a more expensive magazine appears to pay more for the self-advertising of IDG/PCA printed on the plastic than the plastic itself. I seem to remember a time when similar, good quality plastic wrapping was used for copies of PCA - is this yet more progress I wonder. Perhaps the excuse will be it is for 'green' reasons that such flimsy material is used, however I see little to promote the 'green' element when replacement DVDs/magazines are required.

  wee eddie 15:29 07 Aug 2011

To some of you, but not by any means all.

Has it occurred to you that the way your letter box is built may be, in some way, to blame for the damage done to any Post that is put through it.

Many are too small, their measurements should be sufficient

  1. that envelope size C4 (229 mm × 324 mm) must be deliverable without bending or damage;
  2. that the internal volume must able to hold at least a 40 mm high bundle of C4 envelopes;
  3. an aperture width of either 230–280 mm (> C4 width) or 325–400 mm (> C4 height);
  4. an aperture height of 30–35 mm;

And, of course, sometimes the draft extruder is so stiff as to make it almost impossible for anything other than a metal plate to go through the slot.

  johndrew 16:49 07 Aug 2011

wee eddie

All other mail that comes through my letter box is fine - including holiday brochures which are also wrapped in plastic.

Other than, perhaps, the odd Victorian letter box in older properties, I would suggest all homes have a standard size of aperture and are fitted with a regular size flap.

Whilst I agree a draught excluder may inhibit lighter, thinner letters to some extent, I have yet to see a correctly covered magazine damaged by them. They are, after all, only fairly light bristle designed to reduced airflow rather than a solid material. If you are aware of an excluder capable of stripping away a plastic covering, I would suggest it is far from standard and would be likely to act as a shredder on paper.

  simonjary 16:55 07 Aug 2011

Hi, guys.

Our subscriptions department will be in touch. The vast majority of magazines are delivered to subscribers on time and before the magazine hits the newsstand.

Unfortunately the postal service does mash a few packages every now and again, and we will of course send out replacements as soon as we're notified.

We will also look into the postal packaging following your comments.


Simon Publisher, PC Advisor

  johndrew 09:53 08 Aug 2011

Thanks for your interest, Simon. Whether I am going through a bad phase of delivery with the magazine I have no idea, but it is very annoying.

Any information with regard to your findings on the postal packaging would be worth a quick note.

  johndrew 14:24 08 Aug 2011


Many thanks. e-mail sent.

  simonjary 13:19 11 Aug 2011


We're sorry that you didn't receive your free copy of PC Advisor. We haven't had any other such complaints from people responding to the offer, so it appears that something went wrong with the delivery of your free magazine.

Occasionally something doesn't make it through the post. We've all suffered that before, I'm sure.

If you would still like a copy, please email Emma (address mentioned above).


Simon Publisher

  johndrew 16:37 30 Aug 2011

Well, I have just returned from holiday and still no DVD in the pile of mail on the door mat.

I sent an e-mail to Emma ([email protected]) as she requested with all the details of the DVD and completed the missing DVD form on the site - I did tell Emma I had done this - but apparently to no avail.

Could it be that PCA makes unfulfilled promises in the hope that some of its subscribers will cancel and look for another (more reliable?) magazine in which to place their trust? I am rapidly beginning to think this way!!!

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