I’m in Poland for Christmas staying at my parent’s house and this morning some mail came in. What looked like an ordinary letter at first, had something weird attached at the back. I looked closer and realised it was a small metal plate glued to the back of the envelope. Why would anyone attach an extra weight to a bill from the telephone company?
My parents came with an explenation. Polish law grants monopoly to the national post service on all small letters deliveries. Like with all large state organisations (Royal Mail would be no exception here I guess) polish postal service is slow, unreliable and expensive. This creates an opportunity on the market but law firmly clogs that niche so what do witty entrepreneurs do, and possibly many of whom have years of experience to work around the legislation? They add an extra weigh to the letter so the parcel no longer qualifies as ‘small letter’ and can be delivered at a lower price and more reliably. What looks like complete nonsense and waste (including the extra energy required in the process) serves its purpose albeit a doubtful one.
I’m being told the law is set to change within the next year or so, and hopefully this crazy practice will be abolished.