Today is my Dad’s 70th birthday.
I have sent him 71 postcards:
70 candles and one cake. The cake is actually posted as a heavy letter.
The 70 candles all weigh less than 20g each, so technically, they could be considered as a letter, but the maximum weight of postcards according to Deutsche Post is not a specific weight, but a weight per square measure and a maximum size: Maximum sizes are 12.5 * 23.5 cm (where the length has to be 1.4 x the width) and a maximum weight of 500g/sm .
The problem, though is that the candles are not rectangular. Technically, the Post could return the candles to me asking for an additional fee (Nachentgelt), but I didnt put a return address on them. Or they could just deliver them and ask the recipient to cough up an extra 76 or 96 cents. The exact amount of Nachentgelt charges for specific irregulatities eludes me. The fun fact is, that it the actual charging of Nachentgelt from recipients seems random. Apparently, Deutsche Post does not monitor, whether it is actually collected by mail delivery staff. My experience is that the less urban the recipient lives (e.g. the less floors the mailWOman has to walk up to actually levy the fee), the more likely it is that they will try to do so.
On a previous occasion when I sent my dad non-rectangular mail, he was charges 76 cents:
Swiss Air teaspoon as postcard
The blue “76” in the top right corner means that someone in the mail sorting facility decided that the mail delivery person might want to consider levying 76 cents fee for non-rectangular mail. The recipient, of course, could refuse to receive and therefore, pay.
I sent the 70 candles over the course of 48 hrs from about 10 different mail boxes all over Freiburg. I wonder how many will make it.
A couple of weeks ago Cornelius finally returned the ‘Paint me’ canvas I’d sent him. Instead of painting it, he plastered it with 16 stamp-vending-machine-stamps of different values, adding up to the neccessary postage of €1.45. With Cornelius taking the interpretation of “paint” quite far, I decided to do the same with the postage. Instead of using stamps, I used superglue (admittedly, a lot;-) and coins, also adding up to the required postage of 1.45:
Canvas Postcard using Coins instead of Stamps as postage.
It actually took the canvas quite a while to be delivered (I mailed it Feb 9th, JC confirmed delivery on Feb 18th. He sent me the following snapshot of the canvas delivered:
Deutsche Post has removed the postage-coins. Image courtesy of Cornelius
So, Deutsche Post actually spent quite some time removing the coins and thereby tearing the canvas, as I had hoped it would. From the purple writing I assume that somebody in the mail sorting facility decided that the mailman was supposed to charge Nachentgelt (additional fee for non-standard mail/for annoying the people in the mail sorting facility) from Cornelius as well.
…on August 9th I dropped the following canvas in one of your many mailboxes:
“Paint me” canvas sent to Maria on August 9th.
and three days later you returned it to me like this:
“Paint me” canvas returned by Deutsche Post with one Stamp missing.
Somewhere in between the mailbox and the Briefzentrum Freiburg (the sorting facility), one of the two 145 Cent stamps was lost. You added a sticker stating that my shipment was lacking postage and that I had to pay another 165 Cents.
I had been using adhesive stamps on purpose, because I know that the other stamps usually don’t stick to well. Obviously, the adhesive stamps don’t either. Weird that I have sent out over 50 of these canvases so far and no other ones have been returned to me because of the lack of postage.
So now, dear Deutsche Post, you are going to make me pay extra for the poor quality of the adhesive used on your stamps?