Independent shop sales stamped out by Royal Mail
A SHOPKEEPER and his wife have been left disappointed after Royal Mail stopped them from selling international stamps to visiting tourists.
Andrew and Sharon Carne have owned and run The Old Boathouse shop in Sennen Cove for ten years and supply postcards and stamps to countless tourists every summer.
However, when Mr Carne last put in an order for more 88p overseas stamps he was told the products are now only to be sold at Post Offices.
"We had absolutely no notice about it at all," he said. "We have a large number of foreign visitors who come to the cove – we have postcards and stamps to go with them."
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Mail bosses told the couple that it would stop providing stamps to prevent "prohibited" items being posted.
The company stated: "We take our obligations to comply with transport regulations seriously and we have controls in place to stop items entering our network which are potentially dangerous or prohibited.
"The best time to do this is at the point of posting.
"Therefore, should any customer wish to purchase stamps for international use, these will need to be purchased from the Post Office."
However, Mr Carne argues he is more than able to check postage and feels the directive is a "dirty trick" of anti- competition and monopoly.
He also suggested it may be to limit negative press following possible privatisation of the company.
"I think because it is likely to go private my view is that they are making changes now," he said.
He also asked why an alternative solution could not be found, such as a document telling shop owner's how to check customers' intentions.
Mr Carne added: "Post Office staff can't stop people from sending these items anyway.
"The argument doesn't stand up. We can still stock UK stamps, people might send prohibited items nationally – you can't control letters once people leave the premises."
Mr Carne explained the likelihood is postcard sales will suffer as a result.
"I think we will be losing money," he said.
A Royal Mail spokesman was unable to comment on the situation but said the retail team "is reviewing the decision" after seeing issues raised by the public.