I thought that I had already posted a lengthy and tedious whinge about the cost of stamps which I could link to, but it looks like I didn't so I'll have to recreate it on the fly.
A while ago, I found a letter that I had sent returned to me with a little "returned for postage" sticker placed on it. "Returned for postage"? What on earth does that mean? It had a first class stamp on it, which had been franked. I shrugged, put the letter in a new envelope with a fresh stamp, and stuck it back in the mail.
Of course, exactly the same thing happened. And so I went to my local post office, and asked them to explain what this meant. The clerk helpfully explained that the price of a first class stamp had gone up from 41c to 42c. "So what?" I asked "This stamp just says "First class", so it should be good for a first class letter. Apparently not. The stamp I had, which looked like:
is apparently only worth 41c, though there's nothing on it to indicate this.
I then paid the extra 1c of postage, which apparently was enough (and got a receipt for it), and my letter was taken away to be delivered. But now I had a big roll of what I thought were first class stamps but which turned out to be merely 41c stamps in a 42c world. So I bought 100 1c stamps, and proceeded to stick them on every letter that I send (the clerk eyed me when I asked for 100 1c stamps, as if to say "are you sure?" -- well, it's only a dollar for me).
This was just a few months back, but on the news today I heard some earthshattering news... the price of a first class stamp has now gone up to 44c. Oh, great. Now I need to stick 1 41c stamp and THREE 1c stamps to get my letters delivered. Damn you, USPS! Damn you! I was fooled into believing that you had sold me some mystical "forever" stamps, but it turns out you got me good and proper. Well, the jokes on you, since these 1c stamps must cost way more than 1c each to produce and process.
Puzzled by all this confusing stamp price palava? Then maybe this website is for you.