Jersey Post and Guernsey Post are being set targets to deliver 95% of all local mail within one working day, under new joint service standards proposed by regulators.
The two Channel Island postal operators are also expected to deliver 99% of local mail within three working days.
For mail going between Jersey and Guernsey, and from the Channel Islands to the UK or Isle of Man, 82% of mail must be delivered next-day, and 97% within three working days.
And, the new standards will require 82% of mail delivered by the Posts to and from the UK mainland to be delivered next working day, and 97% within three working days.
Normally, all first class mail, including bulk mail, intended for delivery within the Channel Islands would should be delivered on the day it is received in Jersey Post or Guernsey Post’s sorting offices, if it is received early in the morning.
The Channel Islands Competition and Regulatory Authorities (CICRA) decided back in June to regulate postal services in the islands of Jersey and Guernsey according to the same standards.
But the regulator said most customers have no alternative to the services of Guernsey Post or Jersey Post, and argued that without service quality targets, the Posts could cut services to maximise profits.
Andrew Riseley, the CICRA chief executive, said customers should be made aware of the value of the postal services they are buying in the Channel Islands.
“We are aware that, in the Channel Islands, service quality can depend on matters outside postal operators’ control, such as weather and technical problems with transport to and from the islands,” he said.
“However, we believe that measurements of service quality should be taken on all days, come what may, and postal operators should take steps to mitigate the impact of adverse conditions for customers.”
CICRA quietly dropped plans to set a 100% requirement for all Special Delivery items to be delivered within a day, with Jersey Post calling the idea “unrealistic”.
But, the regulator said Jersey Post and Guernsey Post would have to carefully monitor such services, even where they depend on Royal Mail tracking services.
It said a more “proportionate” approach to regulation would allow customers to make their own judgement about value for money if they are given the right information on the quality of service being provided.
“If our postal operators act as agents of Royal Mail, they must have means of knowing whether the services they sell really provide customers with value for money,” said Riseley.
CICRA is not proposing to monitor the quality of service for bulk mail, as businesses customers can stipulate targets in their contracts, and do have some choice on postal providers.
The regulator’s draft decision on service standards is now open to consultation until 19th December, 2012.
The new targets are expected to come into force on 1st April, 2013.