Leaked Ofcom Report – Letters delivered every other day

Category: Operations
Leaked Ofcom Report - Letters delivered every other day

It’s a Monday morning and I’ve just received three letters and six pieces of unaddressed junk mail. Nothing out of the ordinary about that you might think, but I probably now won’t receive any mail until Friday as lately I only appear to get letters twice a week. It’s become my ‘new normal’ for letter post and so it’s no surprise to hear that in a leaked Ofcom report it’s no surprise to see OFCOM potentially recommending letter deliveries every other day.

Letters delivered every other day or scrapping the Saturday letter service wouldn’t have much impact on the current service level I appear to get from Royal Mail, but plenty are up in arms about the potential change, not least of which are the CWU who are spitting feathers at the thought of the dumping of much of the Universal Service Obligation.

The reality is that most of the country probably don’t care that much about letters as so many of their critical communications are carried out via apps and email. Very few will have paper utility and phone bills arriving – it’s just the odd thing like a passport renewal or parking fine that you really want (or don’t want!) to receive.

Last week in their trading statement, Martin Seidenberg, Chief Executive Officer of IDS pointed out that letter volumes are now down to 7 billion letters, whereas parcel volumes continue to rise at 21%.

With Ofcom due to publish options for the future of the Universal Service imminently, now is the time
for urgent action. We are doing all we can to transform, but it is simply not sustainable to maintain a
delivery network built for 20 billion letters when we are now only delivering seven billion.

– Martin Seidenberg, Chief Executive Officer of IDS plc

However their is one critical aspect to reducing letter delivery frequency on ecommerce and that’s the millions of items that are shipping in letter or large letter format. The expectation is that if you chuck anything from collectible stamps, screwdriver bits, a DVD, or some batteries into a large letter with a first class stamp that it should arrive with the recipient the following day. If letters are officially only to be delivered every other day then the whole of ecommerce will have to adapt and consumers will have to accept the reality that, unless they’re willing to pay significantly more, purchases will arrive slower.

3 Responses

  1. “Most of the country probably don’t care” – well Chris you are totally wrong there. Lots of people do rely on letters. And just because people have the technology, they don’t necessarily want to use it for all their business. A lot of “apps” are data harvesting operations at best, and at worst, a dysfunctional mess.

    Official communications should all be done by letter. If it’s a requirement to have a TV or a phone or internet then the government should provide it for free. You shouldn’t be required to pay for a service to receive official communications. Same way as i’ll never sign up for Whatsapp – you shouldn’t need to download a third party app.

    So do not make any excuses for them. RM needs to be renationalised as a priority.

  2. I care I sell a lot of videogames. They charge enough for a large letter also it is practically not short of a parcel price for a 250g.
    They were awful again at Christmas ( not as bad as strike time). They must surely make money on LL ( and they are easy to deliver) they are not knocking on doors at midday when people are at work with the parcel merry-go-round. I see one of the big players in games now send everything 24 tracked that must munch into the margins big time or the get a super deal. I just can’t compete with that. I am however offering eBay postable options on the games for a small premium on top of large letter and a few customers are selecting this because RMG are so poor. I actually don’t mind if they loose the Saturday delivery but they cannot be allowed to charge for a service they no longer deliver.

  3. Someone like evri will be gloating in the shadows waiting to deliver letters at the same time as parcels delivered 6 days a week ,sometimes twice a day


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