I think some one should invite Noel to participate on this board!
If anyone gets similar things in their post, mail it to Philatelic with a note they will mail you a lot more than $5 in recent FU decimals - please mention me by name as Noel knows I hate to see such things!
Hi Peter, great to meet with you the other day. That now makes three new friends met through this stamp board.
Now, re-Noel Leahy, here is his reply to my contact with him last July regarding pen obliterations etc.
Following, with permission, is the reply I received to my letter addressed to [Noel Leahy - Group Manager Philatelic -Australia Post] as reported in last month's newsletter following complaints of mutilation of stamps and other poor philatelic experiences with Australia Post.
"Firstly I would like to thank you for the opportunity to respond to your article which appeared on page two of the Campbelltown Philatelic News alongside your concerns raised in your letter of 4th July. You spoke in the Campbelltown Philatelic news article of Australia Post 'mutilating' stamps sent through the mailstream.
Australia post understands your point of view. However, we would ask you to understand australia post must concentrate its energies on its primary and fundamental task - to deliver letters as efficiently and as economically as possible.
As you may be aware, through the introduction of operational efficiencies, Australia Post has been able to maintain a low price of a standard letter at 45Â¢ through most of the 90's and more recently at 50Â¢.
Through this time we have also improved delivery performance. As you would appreciate there is a requirement for all stamps to be cancelled, so that they may not be reused. It has been Australia Post's policy for Many years to allow cancellation by pen, as an alternative to cancellation with a postmarker.
Pen is to be used when postmark cancellation had not been applied effectively, or when it would be quicker than cancellation with a postmarker. Cancellation by pen is a valid cancellation and most often is applied at delivery time when it is noticed that the stamps have not been cancelled.
The vast majority of mail users are primarily concerned with the cost and service of the postal system, and are not concerned with postmarking formats. Stamp collectors are, of course, vitally interested, and whilst the vast majority of stamp cancellation is via postmarks (hand and machine applied), unfortunately it is not practical to identify whether a letter has been sent by or intended for a stamp collector and to subsequently give it special treatment.
As a consequence some will have pen cancellations. Regarding the query raised in your letter, I can confirm that we did include a special product in the Annual Collection 2005. I take on board that this would not be able to be purchased outside of the collection, but can say the stamps used in this sheet were available outside of the collection, just not in the same sheetlet configuration.
We certainly felt that this product added value to the Annual Collection and gave our loyal customers an additional benefit when purchasing the collection. I have also noted that you are looking for some material to promote philately to juniors attending the Fisher's Ghost Stamp Fair in November 2006. We would be happy to provide you with some product for sample bags and will contact you shortly to arrange.
Mr Roberts, I hope that I have addressed your concerns but invite you to contact me if you would like further clarification on any of the above issues."
My response via our newsletter.
While I appreciate Mr Leahy's overall statement I still believe that he is not in tune with us stamp collectors viz "!!!
"but can say the stamps used in this sheet were available outside of the collection, just not in the same sheetlet configuration"!!!!
Best of luck Mike et all - I couldn't get a sympathetic response from Mr Leahy yet AP still chooses to milk the philatelic cow!!