Royal Mail normal Saturday delivery suspended

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Royal Mail will no longer offer a normal Saturday Post delivery as a temporary measure due to staffing pressures and the Coronavirus pandemic. They will still delivery parcels and Special Delivery items 6 days a week.

“Our postmen and postwomen are working very hard across the UK in challenging conditions. As we said at the start of the coronavirus crisis, there will be some disruption to services. Relevant factors include high levels of coronavirus-related absences and necessary social distancing measures.
We understand the importance of the postal service in keeping the UK connected at this time. We have also listened to our hard-working colleagues who have asked us to ease the additional burden on them if possible. As a result, we are making some temporary changes to postal services.
From 2 May we will temporarily no longer deliver letters on a Saturday. We will continue to provide a letter delivery service from Monday to Friday as normal.”

– Royal Mail

Which items will still be delivered and collected on Saturdays?

Royal Mail emphasised that certain items will still be delivered while the normal Saturday delivery is suspended. Customers should continue to post both letters and parcels as usual on Saturday and Royal Mail will continue their Saturday collections from businesses, post offices and post boxes as normal.

Services that will be delivered and unaffected by the normal Saturday delivery suspension include:

  • 1st Class Parcels & Signed For Parcels, Large Letters and Letters
  • 2nd Class Parcels & Signed For Parcels, Large Letters and Letters
  • Royal Mail 24 Parcels and Large Letters
  • Royal Mail Tracked 24 & 48 Parcels and Tracked Letterboxable formats
  • Royal Mail Tracked Returns
  • Special Delivery Guaranteed
  • International import tracked services

How will this impact marketplace sellers?

If you use letter post or large letters to deliver marketplace sales, you’ll want to ensure your handling time and messaging takes into account that Saturday will no longer be a delivery day until the coronavirus disruption is over.

Hopefully marketplaces will adjust their expected delivery dates although as this news has only just been announced that might take time. Remember that most marketplaces have already put steps in place to protect seller metrics so the normal Saturday delivery suspension shouldn’t impact you detrimentally, even if it does increase ‘Where’s my parcel’ questions from customers.

40 Responses

  1. Will it make much difference, postie’s will still have to deliver parcels? Can’t see it making things worse than they already are. I need to contact Guinness book of records for a parcel I sent to Sheffield on the 30th March, finally arrived 23rd April. 3.5 weeks for a 2nd class parcel. Luckily the buyer was extremely patient. Other buyers complain after 4 days like the lockdown doesn’t exist.

  2. Yes it will… because what used to be two guys sharing a van is now one in a van and one on foot. Without letters it’ll be one in a van.

  3. I don’t get why the Royal Mail don’t do what the supermarkets have done…take on extra temporary staff. I have heard direct from a postie that the volume of mail is four times what they receive at Christmas.

  4. before this is done and dusted royal mail will be as important as electricity or running water
    give the posties a massive wage rise
    we would happily pay more if it goes to the troops

  5. Wouldn’t it be nice if eb*y actually took this into account on the delivery date estimates.. just like they didnt for at least 2 weeks when RM removed all the SLA’s on 30th March… and save us all a tonne if work responding to claims for them to be closed by buyer a couple of days later when the item arrives…

    @Postal Pat We too have had the really patient customers who have been amazing and polite and too many of the other sort that think a global pandemic doesnt apply to them.. probably the same idiots that don’t understand what “stay at home ” means, or what 2m is, or the one way markings in the supermarket they “didnt” have to queu up outside to get in to..

    The latest “feedback” we had was that the tracking automatically uploaded from RM to ebay was “fake” because her item hadn’t turned up after 4 days… deluded!!

  6. I have to agree. Royal mail are seriously hard hit at the moment. We have now stopped posting on Mondays as everything was taking 2 weeks to arrive. Yes we followed ebays advice and extended dispatch times… but the buyers don’t get it. They either just don’t look at the delivery estimate or then don’t understand it.. ‘ but it says RM48 which is 2 days delivery..’ has been a common message. Or ‘well all my other mail has arrived on time’ , despite me just explaining that it is patchy and varies from depot ot depot day to day and so as things go through more than one depot it may go straight through or be hit by double delay. It has all been a sorry story.
    Amazingly Royal mail have done a fantastic job of completely denying any knowledge of delays so far… as such ebay has simply relayed the message that they have not been made aware of any by RM. Amazing considering im getting between 30 and 50 messages a day asking where items are, it has been like this for last 2 to 3 weeks. Surely ebay can see that i have gone from one late item from jan to late march…to masses since then?
    In the end i changed all my items to 3 to 5 days courier with 3 day dispatch…. now im getting accused of being a fake chinese seller dispatching from china by some customers.
    Looking at this though through a business point of view, even if only a poor one… From ebays point of view, sellers will increase dispatch time, thus loosing their discounts. Then they will increase prices to cover this and the increasing queue of people wanting refunds ( and im sure a few have worked out that stuff is late and so getting a quick refund could be anew scam for the summer!) Not only that…. sellers will take the blame. Ebay will get away scott free and of course rake in lots of extra FVFs….
    Royal mail will sit back and think that nobody has noticed the issues and so they are sitting pretty at the top while over worked posties get the abuse on the door step and sellers get it too…

    Big business mentality that will come back and bite them on the ass. Ebay will make a few short term wins, before people decide that ebay is too slow and go else where. Even more sellers will leave ebay as they have been anyway. Royal mail will suddenly see that their business customers have started to leave to use other couriers….
    Going to be interesting times later in the year and beyond.

  7. Hey people, hope you are fine snd safe. I have a question. I want to use PPI for my e..y business but seeing one problem. If I download from sales manager the packing slip/address label – the last bit of the address line is always country. And as advised by RM – last line of the address should be POSTCODE. Can anyone of you with experience clarify, please? Am I able to use the ebay sales record/packing slip doc to print and peel the addressee label and stick it on the envelope (on the top right corner will be my preprinted PPI barcode (UNA/UNG). Thanks in advance

  8. I read that this was on the cards before all the virus hit. Royal mail were trying to cut hours to get rid of thousands of staff. The staff voted against it but the day after their ballot the virus kicked in and now royal mail are trying to get it in via the back door using the virus as an excuse

  9. Its not just Saturdays that are suspended – the normal collections from post boxes and post offices have (mostly) been cut back till 1 collection a day – and that collection is often early in the morning.

    Items posted at our local post box at midday on Friday are sitting till Monday morning before collection – even though the collection times are displayed as 5:30pm every day.

    The easter weekend compounded this problem causing many 2nd class letters , large letters and parcels taking AT LEAST a week to arrive.

    I realise that post office is busy but if sellers knew of these changes we could adjust the delivery time on our accounts. I would bet that there are a huge concentration of late delivery and INR defects on sellers account concentrated a week before the Easter weekend.

    On a plus note ebay have already removed late delivery defects from April from some of my clients accounts – so they are on it. Surprisingly defects were removed that didn’t even have tracking numbers or acceptance scans. Evidence that ebay are working through it and they are protecting from “downgrades” anyway.

  10. agreed Alan the trouble is the upper management of royal mail who have absolutely no idea whatsoever of delivery or collection strategies they are normally from departments within Royal mail who think they can look at a computer screen put some figures in and come up with a completely random useless idea they think will save man hours ie money and still provide a proper delivery service appreciate your reply though what they’re trying to do is use covid to push through ricos plan discusting nobody from royal mail upper managers have spoken to us asking if we’re OK or about the extra work we’re putting in they do not listen to the people on the front line ie me my colleagues or an excellent manager like Steve ???

  11. @Alan. That makes sense. Almost half my defects are from the time you suggested , between the 6th and the 11th April. Have you any suggestions on reducing this? I send out second class large letters and about 20 a day.

  12. All this just highlights how utterly flawed and absurd eBay DSR metrics really are. How sellers can possibly have control over any of this is laughable, what next service metrics evaluating the DSR metrics ?

  13. Service metrics is just a tool to manipulate
    Ebay lemmings
    We dont even look at ours
    We list and sell with honesty and integrity
    To the best of our ability
    If that fails to suit ebay thats their loss

  14. Thanks for your suggestion Alan. I was posting from post boxes but was not aware of the changed collection times. I have shaved 1 day off my delivery times.

    I heard you had COVID-19. Everything OK with you?

    I also heard you had a falling out with someone at ebay and that is why you stopped selling. No Concierge?

  15. @ Katie, glad my advice worked.

    Im fine. I contacted the COVID-19 and given that i have bad pre-existing medical conditions it was a bit worrying. i was ill but not at “deaths door”. I am recovered.

    No, i stopped selling on ebay for several reasons. Firstly i had a buyer purchase about 70 items from me then try and then cancel the orders. We had already shipped some of them but – long story short – he was accidentally refunded so he got many of the items free! The annoying thing was he then open about 50 INR cases for the remaining items he had not received (even though he had canceled the orders).

    I have the utmost respect for concierge and they have given a superb service since they started. I only fell out with 1 agent. when i contacted Concierge to try and clear the mess up of 50 defects in 48 hours – I spoke to the wrong agent. Or maybe we just got off on the wrong foot. i felt he gave me bad advice – refused to protect me and actually challenged me to remove my inventory and quit. My health was bad, my profits were down but this was the catalyst. Later that week I actually collapsed in my unit and woke up face down on the floor.

    Not worth it. I could not continue with my ebay business and had to take time off.

    Not ebays fault. i felt i had been selling the wrong product for a while and too many buyers were abusing returns etc . I will never forget that call though with the agent. i got the impression he simply didnt like me (imagine that!). I was also advised that i should not be helping sellers like you – and to concentrate on my own account. I felt “unloved” lol.

    Not what concierge is meant to be about but you cant get on with everyone lol. Concierge are 99.9% and i almost always got excellent support.


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