I missed a Royal Mail parcel last week. This happens millions of times a month probably all over the country. It was an Amazon delivery and I just wasn’t in.
But I was surprised to note, when I considered the card, that on only one day a week is it possible for anyone down my way (the sorting office in question is Hove) to collect their parcel after 2pm. So it’s good news if you’re about up until 8 on a Wednesday. But not so much if you’re busy until 2pm on a Saturday. And heaven forbid you might want to collect on a Sunday.
These timings, I reflected, are a hangover of days gone by. The hours aren’t suited to busy shoppers but to the traditional timings of postal workers of yesteryear.
I opted to have my package redelivered to my local post office (just up the road) and all was tickety-boo. After I paid my 75p.
But it must be said that Royal Mail does seem to be lagging here in the 24/7 delivery and collection culture that is now considered the norm for ecommerce customers. Where is the flexibility? Where are the lockers and the extended times we were promised? Isn’t it time this particular and potentially very attractive aspect of Royal Mail’s infrastructure was put to good use? It could be an amazing commercial advantage.
It seems that Royal Mail has been granted the commercial flexibility they asked for with privatisation but remains sluggish to adapt and make use of its unique market position.