Since starting this venture, I’ve rented a PO Box number at my local sorting office. The aim was to establish a real-world postal address for FrameCharge Press, without putting my home address up on the web (for obvious reasons). Well, to start off it was just about manageable, cost-wise – back in 2007 I paid around £60 for a year’s box rental, plus the same again to have the post automatically forwarded to my home.

Turns out that you really don’t get a huge volume of mail coming in to business addresses if you set your business up right. Wholesale book orders come via the Nielsen online system, with email alerts for new orders and a handy web interface for updating stuff. Invoices and receipts are also much more likely to be handled as PDF attachements by email than any other way. Even the general public prefer electronic avenues of contact over actually writing on bits of paper, it seems.

A few years ago I cancelled the autoforwarding service to try and save some money (the PO Box was proving to be a significant portion of my routine outgoings, matched only by my website hosting costs). I elected to pop in to the sorting office once every month or two to pick up the bits of junk mail that constituted my business post. Sadly, the Post Office proved unable to cancel one part of the service without getting rid of all of it, and I ended up paying for a box that didn’t actually exist for nearly three months.

Some people would have been annoyed at the lack of concern shown by Customer Services, or maybe irritated by the failure to offer any refund and/or compensation for the lost services and post items returned to sender during the outage. I was more impressed by the complete lack of problems caused by having no functioning business postal address.

It didn’t matter one bit.

So when the renewal invoice came last week, I opened it with little enthusiasm. When I saw the increased cost – £170.00 – of renting the box for another 12 months, I made a not-particularly-difficult decision.

As of March 2012, FrameCharge Press will do without an official bricks-and-mortar contact postal address. The email address remains available of course, and if someone actually HAS to send something by post I’m sure we can arrange something to suit.