Royal Mail extra long Christmas shut down

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Royal Mail StrikeRoyal Mail have won permission from Ofcom to have a four day shut down at Christmas this year. The last Royal Mail post and parcel deliveries will take place on Thursday the 24th December and they won’t start work again until Tuesday 29th.

Whilst this sounds pretty drastic but in reality, due to the Christmas Bank Holidays, the only day Royal Mail would have collected and delivered post would have been the Saturday. Ofcom have decided to make an exception to the Universal Service in relation to deliveries and collections when the 26th December falls on a Saturday starting this year.

David Jinks, Head of Public Relations at ParcelHero didn’t appear that impressed saying “It’s perhaps a little surprising that the newly privatised Royal Mail has asked for a four-day Christmas break. It was privatised by the Government last year and might have been expected to adopt a more consumer-focussed approach. People sending presents and businesses mailing important documents by Royal Mail will need to ensure they send items in good time to avoid a delay of four days, or seek alternatives“.

David’s right of course, if you’ve got customers purchasing on Christmas Eve (or for the next four days) there’s no chance of it moving anywhere for almost a week. Certainly it means that sites such as eBay will need to revise customer’s delivery speed expectations to take the mega-break into account.

Realistically from Royal Mail’s point of view it’s unlikely that they’d get much work done on a Saturday. They’ll be pulling out all the stops to ensure post is delivered by Christmas wherever possible.

Perhaps the biggest impact won’t be last of a delivery on the Saturday, but more likely a ton of annoyed consumers unable to collect missed delivery Christmas Presents from delivery offices which will remain stubbornly closed until everyone goes back to work.

33 Responses

  1. Seeing as 50 to 75% of page 1 ebay search terms the product originates off shore . The 4 days is just time the item will be travelling to the UK.

    Anything in eBay search not dominated by off shore sales will be via courier anyway.

    I’ve also ordered 2 items of Amazon recently which arrived from offshore, but much harder to see dispatch location on amazon. Seeing as most items I buy delivered by royal mail are from outside the UK. I can’t see this affecting me.

    Not to mention now I use aliexpress a lot more, no point using ebay to buy from off shore sellers when can access the market via aliexpress as it is. Rather than ‘item location’ london.

  2. Hoorah wonderful news , 4 days without a postie , sanity and relaxation good luck to them, if their not careful people will complain if they sleep at night

  3. I do not see Royal Mail’s holiday as a major issue, most of us smaller companies would not have a Saturday collection. The problem is usually how the year’s dates fall, customers ordering Christmas day etc all forget that many businesses are on holiday too, and they expect next day delivery even at Christmas.

    The way the year falls will most likely mean more customer service “where’s my item” queries, and if Royal Mail struggle to clear the backlog from Christmas day then it will only compound things and make it worse, so i am prepared for plenty of complaints this year that are out of our control, not that much different from any other year, there is always one expecting their item to arrive Christmas day etc haha.

    I only hope places like eBay correctly calculate the estimated delivery dates as they are already overly optimistic year round.

    I could have gotten myself a 9-5 job so i only have myself to blame haha, this is all part of the fun of ecommerce!

  4. So people think it’s right that a postman can’t have a drink with his family on Christmas day because Joe public was out celebrating and was too hung over to answer the door and accept the parcel? Last posting dates are well publicised and if you are not going to be in why not have your Parcels sent to you at work?

  5. I use the Post Office exclusively. What I intend to do is to add a note to my listings reminding customers of the Post Office 4 day Break. After all surely if it is in my listings then the customers can have been expected to have read it.

    Also 2015 Christmas the old saying of ‘Post Early for Christmas’ is as true as it ever was.

  6. Oh dear posties get to spend more time with their families lets complain, dont leave your ebay shopping until last minute and you will be fine. Dont use sorting offices as storage for christmas presents. We should ban all holidays and haw schools go back on boxing day aswell.

  7. This is a non-issue. I feel sorry for those who care about this.

    It is also incorrect to say they would normally work on the Saturday. Saturday is Boxing Day, it is a bank holiday, so they wouldn’t be working anyway. The day that is different is the Monday.

  8. Good news for posties, they get 4 days off to play with all of the toys/presents that they steal from people in the run up to Christmas. I was worried that they would have to put them straight on eBay without having time to enjoy them themselves.

  9. Opening the delivery offices (especially on the Monday) would have seemed a good idea and would not need that many staff .

  10. Excellent news, about time this madness of ridiculous delivery expectations over Christmas stopped. I shall be taking a well deserved 2 week break and shutting up this Christmas / New Year….. why? because I can, it’s my business and I’ll run it my way. 🙂

  11. this is nothing new !! its just that royal mail have had to apply to ofcom for a none service day…when the dates have fallen like this in the past the postmen and ladies have always had the saturday off to enjoy time with there families…what a non story this is..shocking closed down for a whole 4 days…after there busies time of year, how dare they take the whole 4 days….tut..tut…tut

  12. As a postman for 5 years, with the royal mail having 150000 staff country wide and nearly 200 in my local office I have never ever seen first hand cases of theft, I have read about them as no doubt everyone has, but, you seem to think postal workers come from the planet post and are shipped here like convicts, we are all members of the public just like anyone else and out of 150000 staff royal mail will no doubt employ the occasional low life and desperate individual who keeps items of post or parcels. This should not be a reflection on the over worked members of staff who do their best at near breaking point during the Christmas period, they are honest and hard working just as any other proffesion and, I’m sure, after walking about for up to 12 hours in the rain delivering this year to get everyone’s Christmas presents out, I’m sure they will love nothing more than being accused of being a thief when they are just working hard and trying to put bread on the table.

  13. As a postie myself, we work our butts off throughout December and to have the Saturday off on the 26th is what we deserve! Yeah there will be people who will moan, people will moan regardless of what we do. Some people have a hatred of royal mail for some strange reason and just want to see others suffer because they are too narrow minded to see the big picture. Dont persecute posties for the job they do, if you are one of those who insist on moaning all the time about our service stop using us! Go to yodel, tnt, or other couriers. You will soon be moaning about them aswell! You have plenty of notice to send stuff early and as Christmas is a very busy time that is essential regardless of how many days we have off. If you order or send stuff on the 23rd of December you are unorganised end of! That and you are most likely a tosser who is looking for a chance to complain, about a problem you caused yourself! I know a lot of people bury their heads in the sand and ignore advice and it’s clear that those who intend on acting like tossers will act like tossers. To those people get a fucking life! I’m personally grateful I have plenty of customers on my delivery that appreciate the service they get and they outweigh the tossers big time. And most likely moaners are the tossers that are off on two week holidays over Christmas, who wouldn’t want others calling them lazy and undeserving of a break wouldn’t they? Fuck off and get a life. Appreciate your postie as one day there might not be a universal service, and that’s the day you moaners will be complaining in your droves about why it can’t be like it used to be! After moaning about the way it was!

  14. Trust me, you cannot deny the fact that like with any large firm with historical union bloodlines there is a large % of the workers with a totally different mindset than that of the SMB owner.

    “can’t lift that, against health and safety”
    “can’t move my van 2ft as not in policy”
    “can’t hold the door open as not in my job description”

    Interesting how they can’t do a lot of things which the SMB owner would do without hesitation yet they are the first to demand their entitlements and they know all their rights.

    Now we must all give sympathy for them all doing their job during Q4.

    Wake up. This is your job, this is the service that your company provides.

  15. I’m sorry but your falling into 20+ year old royal mail propaganda area where whenever there has been a dispute or a problem with service the postal workers and their union have been blasted as lazy militants. The fact is its 2015, the majority of offices are no more militant than your average tesco and the workers are treated no better, the idea that posties work like the stereotypical “brothers” of years ago is pretty much fantasy, if they ever did. Most of them start upto an hour before their start time, in some cases to finish early but in most cases to try to finish on time, due the the huge work loads put on them now, a lot of them who have been in the job for 10 or 20 years, old and young, are walking none stop dragging mail and parcels from street to street in the rain, in the dark, on their own, day after day, following the growing list of health and safety and changes of delivery delivery procedures put in place by THE ROYAL MAIL, not by us. We can longer deliver on bikes, we can no longer deliver using pouches, we can no longer deliver to a house who’s door is open who might have a dog that might bite us, we cannot push mail through letter boxes with our fingers of they may have a dog who may just bite the end of our fingers off. Not exactly health and safety gone mad. I don’t know where you get your information from but you may wish to read more up to date happenings with royal mail, or perhaps stop reading the Sun.

  16. As a postie of 20 years I have finally managed to get time off to visit family abroad this year by taking special unpaid leave. I don’t suppose all the people who spend most of December partying and then get two weeks to recover realise that posties are not allowed any annual leave for the for the weeks in December before Xmas and it also very difficult in between xmas and new year.
    Xmas comes every year so if you want something delivered on time then order it or send it early and stop whining about 1 day

  17. As a postie & union rep, I can’t believe how small minded & petty some people are. We will, same as always, move heaven & earth to deliver everything by Xmas eve. We will then, same as always when the calendar falls this way, have a whole 4 days off, while most of the country has at least 8.
    Most people commenting on this & other forums are ok with this but there are always habitual complainers, perhaps they should be happy, they’ve got something else to moan about!
    Royal Mail have probably the most experienced & diligent workforce in the country, the fact the company chooses to go with the projections of some knobend fresh from university, rather than listen to posties with decades of experience is a symptom of the society we live in now, they do it because they can & anyone who points out the idiocy of their plans is labelled a ‘militant’. Lets not forget who it is facing an increasingly pissed off public day in day out.
    Something like this is news because of the increasingly poor service our decreasing workforce is expected to provide.
    My office has a workforce of nearly 300, there are 20 vacancies & RM has not recruited anyone in a year! There is surely no question who is to blame for the service we are now providing.

  18. 4 days without the hounds barking at the front door then eating the mail sounds like heaven. Enjoy your break posties.

  19. What a load of BS.

    Retail shops have policy: no holiday allowed to be taken Nov and Dec. (why? too busy serving customers).

    So many posties have it hard, what a shame. I wonder what other jobs there are where workers do not have it hard.

    Busy busy posties doing their jobs after 10-20 years. I feel very sorry for them. They still have a job.

    If you do not like it then get another job.

    Busy busy Postman Pat, if you so busy then why you on TameBay all the time posting comments, you should be posting parcels and letters Pat.

    News Flash – life is tough for everyone, everybody has their own resonsibilites and issues. Wake up, do your job and embrace the reality.

  20. I see the true meaning of Christmas is thriving in these parts!

    I think you guys do a great job – over 99% of my sales delivered with no complaints.

    Thank you from me 🙂


  21. The full factual story has now been released, only letters will not be delivered during the close due to there not being much mail distributed on those days. Parcels will still be being processed. If it’s true and royal mail does have that many staff running round the land, parcelhero would do well do shut it’s mouth as all the fat careless low achievers it pays minimum wage to to deliver parcels to wrong addresses wouldn’t want to piiis the royal mail workers off too much as the majority of the time they are pulling up along side us desperate for directions as they havent got a clue where they are! Also what a lot of the public AND business don’t realise is when you send a parces AND letters through these companies, dpd, Amazon, yodel, DHL, parcel hero, and any downstream mail company like uk mail and tnt etc. Guess who delivers these items??? Yes, the royal mail. These companies fail constantly to deliver due to cost cutting, low wages and low capacity to complete the job and have no other option than to pass the work onto us. Why di you think tnt/whistle have just had to pull out of their delivery service?? So when you get your package through the door with the big DHL,fedx, dpd,hermes, tnt etc logo stamped across the front, just check who it is walking back down your path, more often than not it will be a royal mail postie, doing the work of these companies as despite all the advertising and slagging off, other than the royal mail, no other company in the UK can cope with the job, they just sell our service to you as their own.if we didn’t take their work, they wouldn’t exist!

  22. im shocked by the small minded posts about theft.

    i have never had anything go missing on me, that was sent to me..

    and only ONE claim for item not delivered correctly SENT by me, and i suspect that being a devious buyer.

    i have had 3-4 items come damaged and they have always been bagged and accompanied by a letter, with info on how to claim, and all shreds of the item in the bag.

    my postie was known to me, and trust me he was always at my door, patiently waiting for me to answer door (as i have mobility issues so take a while!), as i had a lot of collectables items delivered.
    now i hear he is gone from the rounds and manager i think.

    my other posties have also got to know me and adjusted their service to my door accordingly.

    so let them enjoy a day or 4 off. and stop moaning.
    maybe try a day work experience at your local office and im sure you would understand.


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