Following on from our earlier post today regarding Royal Mail forcing NetDespatch clients to move to alternative Royal Mail services, we have been forwarded an email from a reader titled a NetDespatch Service Announcement.
The email makes it pretty clear that this was a unilateral decision forced on NetDespatch by Royal Mail and is amazingly bizarre considering that Royal Mail acquired the company and NetDespatch make it effortless to buy postage. It might have made sense for Royal Mail to insist that after acquisition NetDespatch cease working with other carriers, but what’s happened is having bought the business Royal Mail are insisting that NetDespatch cease working with Royal Mail the parent company but leaving them free to carry on working with the competitors.
It’s worth noting that at the time of acquisition in 2015, Royal Mail said that NetDespatch would be operated at arms-length, as a standalone external-facing subsidiary, enabling it to continue to securely provide services to all of its existing customers. From the end of May that is no longer true and NetDespatch will no longer be able to provide services to existing (or new) customers insofar as the printing of Royal Mail labels goes.
Are you using Royal Mail API Shipping?
One of the most interesting phrases in the NetDespatch Service Announcement is that merchants will be forced to integrate with an “unproven platform”. Here at Tamebay we are very interested to hear from either merchants or service providers who have successfully integrated with Royal Mail’s new API offering. The options are Click & Drop, Pro Shipping or API Shipping but as far as we are aware no retailer or service provider have got Royal Mail’s API Shipping working at scale – if you have we’d love to hear from you.
NetDespatch Service Announcement email
We have been made aware that some NetDespatch shippers have received notice from Royal Mail that support for the NetDespatch platform for all Domestic, International and Relay services will shortly be discontinued.
We realise this has happened suddenly and appreciate the concern and potential impact this will cause. In addition there appears to be a great deal of uncertainty and confusion so we wanted to give you a clear picture of the current state of affairs.
- Royal Mail unilaterally terminated their contract with NetDespatch on 28th March 2019 giving the minimum notice of three months
- Royal Mail have informed you that you must move to a Royal Mail managed shipping solution by 31st May 2019
As a result of these actions it is with regret that NetDespatch will no longer be able to provide Royal Mail services after 31st May 2019 and must therefore terminate our agreement with you, with service ceasing on the same date – 31st May 2019.
We recognise that integrating with an unproven platform may represent a significant challenge given the tight time frame imposed by Royal Mail. Should you wish to continue using NetDespatch services with alternative carriers please contact us by replying to this notice so that we can discuss your options.
NetDespatch Service Team”