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Royal Mail Late Deliveries and the price we have to pay


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I've just had another email telling me that services are being disrupted, which means I've had more emails in the last three weeks than I've had deliveries. They don't say why, of course, but that presumably means it's mismanagement.

I've been wondering what to do about all this, given that our councillors and MPs haven't made a dent in Royal Mail's nonchalance, and nor has Ofcom or the government, even though the Royal Mail's CEO seems to have lied to them all and, by extension, to me.

I take that very personally, and so cheerfully agreed with the Commons' BEIS committee's inquiry report, which came out in March, when it stated what all of us will already know:

"We believe that Royal Mail has systemically failed to deliver against parts of its Universal Service Obligation. We recognise the challenges of both the pandemic and ongoing industrial action, but the evidence we have suggests this systemic failing has been taking place before, between and during these events".

They also noted that Royal Mail's board had excluded regulatory requirements from consideration when it came to remunerating managers. Which makes sense from their point of view, as that would reward the wrong sort of activity. There's plenty of money to be had from selling postage, but delivering post is purely a cost and if it's possible to do the one without the other (which it very clearly is), there are bonuses to be made.

Still, Parliament isn't in the business of doing things, so it handed its warm words to Ofcom, with a recommendation that they think seriously about considering setting up some sort of inquiry, to see if there was any good reason why an obligation shouldn't be an obligation, and whether Ofcom should be the people not to do anything about it. Their published report also found its way to Government, which responded with a couple of letters along the lines of "if this happened, we might be shocked".

Ofcom, which is sort-of part of government and likes to keep cosy, added its ha'pennyworth to the response, announcing two months later that Royal Mail had confessed to failing to meet its obligations and that, as a result, Ofcom had started an immediate investigation into
"whether there are reasonable grounds for believing that Royal Mail has failed to comply with its obligations". They think that might take them till Christmas.

So that's where we are. The regulator's doing nothing and there's no prospect of Parliament doing anything either. While the Royal Mail board, though it's allowed its chief exec to step down at a time that's yet to be specified, hasn't done anything, too.

So my advice would be this:

Nail shut your letterbox, let out the dogs, learn to use e-mail, walk to the shops, don't buy stamps, give up your birthday, go buddhist for Christmas and never take in anything for the neighbours. Don't fall for the "Postman Pat" propaganda, but give the scuttling minions of a rapacious bunch of asset-stripping chisellers all the respect they deserve, and never forget that even if they haven't personally taken our money, vanished our property, cost us fines and risked our health, they happily take their orders from those who have.

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I am still waiting for my theatre tickets worth £XXX for a show played last Saturday. I know the tickets were posted on Tuesday last week as per confirmation. I went to the collection office 2x, the first time I was too late as their hours are only from 8am to 10am Mon-Fri (my bad) so I had another go on Saturday (the day of the show) their opening hours; 8am to 12noon.

They had no clue just saying there is a backlog. Went I asked how can I complain I was given the following phone number 034 57 740 740. The post office employee said please do call.  It seems they are not heard that they are short staffed. I did dial the number, but the waiting time was over 40min so I had to hang up as I run out of time. Luckily, my confirmation email with the order number was enough for the theatre to let us in.

I know with everything else going on, this is not the end of the world, but the service is truly terrible. 

Edited by kp4
typo mistake
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I received a delivery yesterday afternoon.  Yep, Sunday!

I'm not critisising the delivery staff, but I bet they got paid "double/triple overtime" or somesuch for doing that.  I'm guessing that this was a "strategic" delivery to show that deliveries are being made within a certain timeframe so RM can avoid penalties for service failures.  The letters I received were recently sent.  Meanwhile, I suspect that my overdue items likely still languish in a huge unsorted pile somewhere in the depths of Highshore Road.

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We had a Sunday afternoon delivery as well which was as shocking  as it was unexpected!

To be fair it was obviously restoring the ying/yang balance as a couple of weeks ago we had also had a birth certificate back from the passport office that was in an envelope with Do Not Bend on it and the postie seemed to have performed origami on it to get it through the post box - which wasn't ideal!

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I can't believe I am writing this, but on the whole my post has improved lately.

I had some stuff delivered which was 24 hour tracked and posted weeks previously, however since then I have been getting things within a week, including financial and medical things, and Private Eye delivered on time.

I have however also had things marked "Do Not Bend" shoved through my letterbox (bent on arrival the other side) and I had to rescue a load of magazines (for resale) in a package which the postie was trying very hard to fit through my letterbox without success. Luckily I saw him (but not in time to salvage the bent mags within the package).

2 hours ago, singalto said:

My postie has been transferred to another walk but has not been replaced. Our streets get the odd bit of post every 10 to 15 days if someone has time before the end of their shift.

😭😭😭

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That’s good to know J, I’m expecting one for driving through one of the local school ‘gates’ at 15.50, only noticed a sign on exit. Love the term ‘deemed served’ in their letter, presumably that was drawn up when first class post actually got delivered the next day rather than, as now, weeks later

we too had a surprise delivery on Sunday, after none during the previous week

last month our postie went on holiday for 2 weeks and yes, you guessed it , we had no post for 2 weeks

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1 hour ago, jim_the_chin said:

I did successfully appeal a late PCN earlier in the year - January - so have they changed their tune? 
I was pretty furious that they refused to take responsibility for sending something by post when the problems with delivery are well known. 
 

3328A6E6-F3F7-4095-9B8C-4A209A624981.jpeg

Good on them for giving you the £65 option but yes the irony given they are the ones most vocally shouting about the problems with Royal Mail in the area yet are continuing to use them for this...I presume they emailed that response to you? 😉 I wonder if there are many others who have got the notification late but did not challenge and just paid the full £130 amount?

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On 10/10/2023 at 16:38, Rockets said:

Good on them for giving you the £65 option but yes the irony given they are the ones most vocally shouting about the problems with Royal Mail in the area yet are continuing to use them for this...I presume they emailed that response to you? 😉 I wonder if there are many others who have got the notification late but did not challenge and just paid the full £130 amount?

Ha, yes an email, I didn’t spot the irony in that.  Should dvla not have email addresses linked to V5s? 

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We had a similar experience recently but didn’t appeal. In fact we never received the first letter and by the time the other one came we had then missed the chance to pay £130. Ended up costing £195! Assumed we wouldn’t be believed despite the fact that everyone knows we have a delivery problem. 

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I recently had two PCNs re a ULEZ type scheme in central Bristol through which I was sadly directed by satnav.

I appealed in both cases (not just blaming the satnav, but for various reasons I was totally oblivious to the fact I was supposed to be paying a charge, plus there were other factors).

The appeals were both turned down, but the fines were both waived "as a goodwill gesture." Hooray!

However I had to pay the two £9 charges within seven days (I think it was) of the date of service of the letters I got, both of which were sent on different days but arrived in the same post.

I very narrowly avoided having to pay the fines - just scraped within the time limit of the first one and paid it on the last possible day.

They had allowed two days for the letters to reach me. Hollow laugh.

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A tracked 48 parcel dispatched on 22/9 (!) turned up yesterday. So much for the 2-3 working days! Do we have to constantly write to the MP? I mean, what can really be done about it - it seems like our voice isn't heard or they simply don't care? Plus the working conditions in the sorting office must be insane from an organisational and motivational point of view... 

Edited by niozza
Typo
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On 10/10/2023 at 16:17, ontheRye said:

That’s good to know J, I’m expecting one for driving through one of the local school ‘gates’ at 15.50, only noticed a sign on exit. Love the term ‘deemed served’ in their letter, presumably that was drawn up when first class post actually got delivered the next day rather than, as now, weeks later

 

so PCN delivered today 16th Oct, issued 4th Oct, contravention date 27 Sept snapped at 15.44

PCN blurb says, 'charge reduced by 50% if paid within 14 days of date of notice" ie full charge £130 reduced to £65 if paid by 18th

went online to pay and it then said "PCN will increase to £130 on Sunday 29 Oct"

so, are Southwark giving errant drivers a further 10 days to pay the reduced rate in recognition of postal delays? who knows, I paid it today anyway just in case

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