Royal Mailâ€™s Online Postage used be a great service. In a nutshell, it allowed you to pay for posting something online. Once you had paid, you could then print out an envelope or label and pop it in the post without having to get a book of stamps or visit the Post Office. No mess, no fuss.
For Mac users, that was the happy situation up until fairly recently, when Royal Mail “upgraded” their offering and completely broke it.
You see, when you download your label, it comes as a PDF with â€œSAMPLEâ€ in large, unfriendly letters across the front of it and a small box explaining that this wouldnâ€™t print out on the final label. Which was true, whether you were using Adobe’s official PDF viewer, Adobe Reader or Apple’s Preview, which ships with Mac OS X and doesn’t come with a load of crapware attached (Adobe Air? Acrobat.com? Fuck off Adobe). However since Royal Mail “upgraded” the service, if you print the label in Preview it also prints the unfriendly “SAMPLE” and the notice that it won’t print the word “SAMPLE”.
So you have to use Adobe Reader instead. However this doesnâ€™t work either, as I found out. Not only does it force you to install other services that I didn’t want (Still here Adobe? FUCK OFF), but when I first launched it, it halted to install updates. That’s right, updates on software I just downloaded and installed. Then, say for example you told Royal Mail you wanted to print out a DL envelope. Well Adobe Reader can’t manage to print that out for you. Instead, it assumes that the envelope itself is A4 and scales it down to fit on the envelope. Which it then fails to print on, only managing to fit the top 25% of the label on the bottom of the envelope, rendering it useless.
So congratulations Royal Mail. You’ve taken a useful, if little known, service and rendered it useless for me. I guess I should be thankful you haven’t closed the Post Office at the end of my street.