Citizens Advice: ‘Royal Mail fails to deliver for the second Christmas running’

Citizens Advice: ‘Royal Mail fails to deliver for the second Christmas running’

Almost 15 million people – or 28% of the UK population – were left waiting for post over the Christmas period, according to Citizens Advice, and of those over half (54%) reported going at least a week without letters.

In a statement issued today (17 February), Citizens Advice said that, of those who experienced delays, 3% said they couldn’t pay a bill, 8% said they missed an important document, and 7% said they missed a health appointment.

People across London (35%), the South East (32%) and the North West (31%) were most likely to experience a letter delay.

Additional analysis conducted by the charity found the situation failed to sufficiently improve in January with 23% of those asked reporting post disruption. Again, more than half of those (54%) reported receiving no post for over a week.

Citizens Advice’s monitoring showed disruption peaked in mid-January. On 12 and 13 January, Royal Mail warned that 77 areas across the UK were hit by disruption, affecting up to 2.4 million people in England and Wales each day.

Some of the worst affected areas, including Chelmsford, Willesden and Upminster, faced eight weeks of severe disruption.

Citizens Advice – the consumer advocate for the postal sector – said this is the second year running that it has flagged ‘severe’ Christmas disruption and it is now calling on Ofcom to investigate Royal Mail’s performance and consider enforcement action and fines.

Dame Clare Moriarty, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said: “A staggering 2.5 million of us missed important documents, health appointments, or were unable to pay a fine or bills due to post delays over Christmas.

“We understand the strain the pandemic has placed on Royal Mail. But after two years of disruption, Royal Mail cannot let poor service become the new normal. These delays can have serious consequences for those left waiting for their letters.

“Ofcom must now investigate Royal Mail’s performance and consider enforcement action and fines to ensure lessons are learnt.”

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