For the second time this month, I have had to go to the Royal Mail delivery office on the Harmire Enterprise Park in Barney and pay £5 to retrieve a letter with a supposed “counterfeit” stamp.

I say supposed, as several friends of mine have suffered the same nuisance and cost, as have apparently “hundreds” of people in the area according to a friendly postperson. That must equate to tens of thousands around the country.

Could this just be a minor version of the Post Office Horizon scandal that saw over 900 sub-postmasters wrongly convicted of fraud and false accounting? Might it just be that there is a “glitch” in the Royal Mail scanning system that wrongly identifies genuine stamps as fake?

Will Royal Mail check it out? Don’t bank on it. The inbuilt, default instinct of so many large corporations is to “deny, deny, deny” and I very much doubt that the Royal Mail is any different. In any case, the glitch is making millions for them.

We are going back to the days before Victorian entrepreneur Sir Rowland Hill and his “Universal Penny Post” when you had to pay the carter a shilling!

Chris Foote-Wood, Barnard Castle