An apology has been issued to over 150 Lincoln residents after a postage error saw them charged for the collection of unfranked City of Lincoln Council letters.
The batch of council letters were collected by Royal Mail from City Hall in error, with recipients then asked to pay to collect their mail.
While the city council has received one complaint, a number of people may have already collected and paid for the letter.
Refunds are being offered for the expense and those not collected will be sent back to the city council.
Simon Walters, Assistant Director for Strategic Development at City of Lincoln Council said: “Around 150 unfranked letters were recently collected from City Hall in error. We contacted Royal Mail to make them aware of the issue but unfortunately these items had already been sent out for delivery.
“As the letters are unfranked, residents have been asked to collect the items from their sorting office. We have spoken to Royal Mail and have agreed that people will not have to pay to collect their mail sent from us.
“We are aware that some people have already collected and paid for their letter.
“If these residents email: email@example.com citing their home address and the name of the member of staff who sent them the letter we will investigate and provide a refund where applicable.
“If letters currently at the sorting office are not collected within the next ten days they will be returned to us and reposted.”
A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “Royal Mail received a small number of items into its postal system in Lincoln with no postage paid. This is why a surcharge was applied.
“Customers collecting these items of mail can do so at Lincoln City Delivery Office. They will not need to pay any fee as City of Lincoln Council, the sender of these items, is covering the cost of the surcharge. Customers who have already paid a surcharge should contact the council directly to arrange a refund.
“Surcharging customers is the last thing Royal Mail wants to do and we apologise for any inconvenience caused. The surcharge helps to cover the extra cost of handling items which have been underpaid.
“If any customers are in any doubt whatsoever about the correct price for an item of mail they should ask at their local Post Office, check online at www.royalmail.com where there is also a dedicated business help centre or call our business helpline on 08457 950950 or the customer helpline on 03457 740 740.”