Royal Mail Quality of Service full year 2021-22

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The Royal Mail Quality of Service report for the full year 2021-22 is out and it’s not pretty reading, although they’ve had many challenges with the pandemic to contend with and say that service is rapidly improving.

The final quarter of the year was worse than the average for the full year with Royal Mail saying “exceptional ongoing effects of the pandemic resulting in increased COVID related absence and self-isolation and social distancing in line with Government guidance, as well as a radically different traffic mix with more parcels and fewer letters, which made delivering our usual standards of service very challenging”.

  • For the full year, 81.8% of 1st Class mail (target 93%) and 95.4% of 2nd Class mail (target 98.5%) was delivered on time.
  • In the past quarter, they achieved 79.6% of 1st Class mail (target 93%) and 94.3% of 2nd Class mail on-time deliveries.
  • They went to great lengths to point out that in the last week of April, they achieved 86% of 1st Class mail (target 93%) and 97% of 2nd Class mail on-time deliveries. That’s still below their target so hopefully in the next quarter we’ll see even greater improvements.

However this isn’t the whole picture – only a small number of Royal Mail services are regulated under the USO and reported on. Parcels are outside the scope of this reporting and we know Royal Mail have been heavily investing in infrastructure with new automated parcel sorting machines up and running in Croydon, Southampton, Chester and Wolverhampton – all since March.

We have an unsubstantiated feeling that parcel services are largely being delivered on time although we have no data to back this up – let us know your experience. Parcels of course, at least for ecommerce, are very much more important than credit card bills, but for those that despatch by 1st or 2nd Class postage letter post still matters!

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a once in a generation crisis. Our people have played a crucial role keeping the country connected throughout the pandemic and our performance in this period, like many other large employers, was impacted significantly by high levels of staff absence. We’re sorry to any customers who were impacted by service levels during this time.

We know that we need to improve our performance and some of the steps we have taken to address the issues are bearing fruit. Our ongoing transformation programme is introducing new ways of working, and a new delivery model will optimise our network for parcels. As we return to more normal ways of working and deliver on our transformation programme, we are confident that we are doing the right things to enable service levels to improve going forward.

– Grant McPherson, Chief Operating Officer, Royal Mail

5 Responses

  1. December and January was absolutely appauling from Royal Mail, for us the actual figure was probably closer to 50% for 2nd class deliveries. Yes they had COVID to deal with, but so did every other courier which managed to deal with it much better than royal mail. I don’t believe royal mail delivered 95.4% of 2nd class on time for the full year, I wouldn’t be surpised if these figures are manipulated to suit royal mail. We see many parcels scanned as delivered at the sorting offices that would be delivered late if they had not done this.

    We resent 3000 packages last year due to delays/lost parcels, yet we cannot claim compensation for these but royal mail can apply a £10 surcharge when we make an error?

  2. I use Royal Mail to distribute large letters and small parcels. During the past three years It has delivered all my items, I have no complaints from my customers about the delivery time. I assume Royal Mail have occasionally took longer than usual but that my customers found it easy to accept any delays and were not troubled by them, recognising the extreme difficulties the company experienced.

  3. We have been with Royal Mail for 20+ years and I’d say have been a loyal customer, topping £1m spend with them in 2020.
    It’s always been fashionable to complain about them but on balance their prices & service levels have stood up. Their customer service, despite a few good apples, is often shocking though. We’ve been lied to and made to feel like liars ourselves on many occasions.
    The price gap has now been bridged though, and the quality of service & customer surpassed by their competition.
    Their figures quoted above are a joke.
    Time for a change.

  4. This Evening I received my post at 6 40PM this surely is not acceptable

  5. Sadly the statistics are a poor indicator of actual performance and seem to incentivise Royal Mail to act in the interests of the statistics and not in the interests of providing a good average service. Q3 2021 and Q1 2022 was a shocking example of this. It seems that if some post becomes delayed then it is deemed to have missed the target and is put to the back of the sorting office until there is some free capacity. Before Christmas I experienced post dispatched on a number of specific days was 6 weeks late! This post was obviously left to fester while fresh post which could still achieve the target was processed. Needles to say some of my customers were fuming which cost my business a lot to deal with. My Royal Mail account manager did not reply to messages or emails. The Royal Mail help line had 2+ hours delay. My failure to deliver claims were all rejected off hand, making it more costly to make a claim than the potential refund. The statistics should target the average time to deliver all mail, not just most delivered in time (and forget the rest).


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