Even the government think Royal Mail is too expensive

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There’s something that’s been puzzling me about Royal Mail – why doesn’t our own Government exclusively use them? Some Government departments choose to use alternative postal services. Of course what using a competitor really means is that the competitor picks up the mail from the government and passes it to Royal Mail who are obliged to deliver it from the local sorting office.

The government hopes to sell off Royal Mail and leave them for the private investors to sort out. Except of course they won’t be free – whilst Royal Mail’s competitors can continue to cherry pick the most lucrative parts of the mail service, Royal Mail will still be obliged to cover the least profitable bits that are left over.

So the government are trying to sell Royal Mail and to convince potential investors that regardless of the constraints which Royal Mail operate under (such as the Universal delivery service, and delivering their competitors mail when it’s uneconomical for their competitors to do so, and delivering mail from overseas at rock bottom prices) the Royal Mail is actually a great company to invest in.

If the Royal Mail is such a great company providing such a great service how come the government don’t exclusively use them? If you were an investor would you buy a company that the current owner thought was so uncompetitive chose an alternative?

No wonder Royal Mail is struggling, even their owners don’t choose to use them.

15 Responses

  1. even royal mail dont use their own service. you often receive attatchments forms and other communication via email. ? from a postal service that employ thousands to delivery mail ?

  2. Of course if the Competitors “Cherry Pick” the Royal Mail a very large part of what will be left will be the services in Rural Areas. Areas like where I live where there are a lot of green fields and cows but not that many people.

    We desperately need the Royal Mail. We need it to be efficient and to provide a good and affordable service. This is exactly what we are not currently receiving.

    It would be easy to say that it is the fault of this or that Government and certainly they all share some of the blame. But a lot more is the fault of successive Management, the Unions and the staff(although many of the staff are working hard under very difficult conditions to ensure that the service at least continues).

    We need the Government to put in the expertise and the resources to ensure that across the Country that the Royal Mail is efficient and provides a good service at affordable prices.

  3. If private investors take over and break up the monopoly control can that not lead to high prices than current?

  4. I think allowing core services to go to overseas investors is just incompetent. What assurances would the goverment need to give? note their backtracking on solar which was so generous it was obviously unsustainable, and now the companies that have made the investment are fighting to get thier discounts as agreed. Water is lacking investment; gas is overpriced – note the french owners are capped to inflation in france and so the uk is just fleeced for profit. Its just incompetence tantamount to gross negligence. God knows what will happen to Royal Mail, doubtless the foreign investors will decide we dont need a door to door delivery service unless we pay a premium for it.

  5. perhaps you all look at this the wrong way?

    higher prices at RM may mean that some other company decides that it can do it cheaper

    it may even lead to a better service.

    On the whole Postal charges are stupidly low.

  6. haven’t used a train since they invented that new fangled motor car thing.

    Of course its cheap, just because something went up in price doesn’t make it expensive.

    It just means it cost more than before.

  7. Privatisation is OK, IF it is done the same way as BT was & still remain so, where the main shareholders are the general public, ie the users.

    To allow any private buyer to move in & cherry pick the ‘easy’ bits is just not on.

    TNT etc, yea, they might be setting up their own full delivery service, but where to, bet it’s not the Highlands from London. They’ll just dump that on RM..

  8. Hi,I’m fed up that as I sell from the Highlands, distributors use parcel companies that charge me more than buying from England.

    This should be banned because why should I be discriminated against just because I live outside of the Central Belt.

    This make my business uneconomic and I will have to pay off staff and move my business south.

    It should be that All of the Uk inc all islands should be the same price irrespective of cost.This would make it beneficial to smaller communities and repopulate areas (esp the Highlands & Islands)which are pretty barren areas.

  9. I’m not sure if privatisation will do the trick, but I do agree that senior managers should be held accountable. Royal Mail is already split up into independent companies (technically) – yet it’s the head office alone that decides whether to honour its commercial obligations or not.

    I’ve spent a very long time trying to get compensation for an international mail forwarding service.

    I used to use this as a cheaper way to get my books delivered. I was told when I signed up for the service books and papers would be forwarded regardless of weight. Until around April 2010, this seemed to work reliably. And then it suddenly stopped.

    The book sellers tried several times to send me my orders. I asked the local sorting office to investigate and they said that the forwarding service was still intact and operating.

    Then a few months later, my landlord went to the post office to send me a packet of legal papers. It totalled 18kg and he was advised to break it up into 4kg packets in order for the papers to be forwarded abroad.

    It cost me £52. Sending it overseas directly would cost £160!

    But the packets were returned, unsent. I called customer services to find out why. They told me that items over 100g would not be forwarded (and that they had probably made a mistake by forwarding my heavier mail abroad off and on over the last 20 years, yes 20 years!)

    I was told to complain to Post Office Counters. They said they cannot refund me the postage because it was a Royal Mail policy at the redirections department.

    Eventually I complained to the so-called Review Panel. They (actually, I think it was just one person, Janet Kitching) who refused to budge, saying the policy is not to forward heavy items and that I should have known. I looked at the redirections website, and it certainly isn’t clear. I called the redirections sales number and they stated again that my mail should have been forwarded, it’s not a weight issue they said – it depends on what’s inside: goods cannot be forwarded but printed matter can.

    I asked for more details about the decision of the Review Panel, how they came to arrive at this decision to reject my claim, who was on the panel and what minutes are kept. I’ve never had a response to this request yet from anyone. So after much going around the houses, I tried to contact Donald Brydon, who consistently ignored me. I eventually sent him a personal Xmas card to get his attention, and he did then write back saying it’s been settled and he won’t investigate the matter further.

    I then managed to get a response from Barry Duncan, the CEO, who basically said that the matter has been decided and I must now go to POSTRS to have the complaint dealt with.

    As far as I’m concerned, Royal Mail is a mighty but fundamentally mismanaged project. The management has probably become so wary of customer complaints that they simply ignore us. I also tried to write to Moya Greene, the hotshot from Canada, but this obviously didn’t interest her either and she never responded.

    I suppose if it were a private company then I could go to the shareholders meeting and campaign. As it’s a nationalised company, there’s surprisingly little ordinary people can do – because it’s certainly not the priority of any of our MPs to fix it.

    I did get my 18kg packet sent by private courier. It took 3 days and cost me £75. Granted, this was cheaper than many standard courier services, costing around £120 but still a lot cheaper than Royal Mail’s price.

    Interestingly enough, I didn’t use Royal Mail to get the legal papers sent to me initially. They wanted around £50 to send it from London to Minster, but a private delivery firm did it for £7.


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