Citizens Advice: We’re seriously worried about the future of our postal service

Citizens Advice: We’re seriously worried about the future of our postal service

Royal Mail has issued its Universal Service Obligation (USO) Quality of Service report for First and Second Class mail for the financial year 2023-24.

Across the year, the business delivered an average of 92.4% of Second Class mail within three working days. 74.5% of First Class mail arrived within one day and more than 91% arrived within two days.

Between Q2 and Q4, First Class Quality of Service increased by 3.9% and Second Class Quality of Service increased by 2.3%.

This positive trajectory has continued as we move into the financial year 2024-25.

In April, First Class performance has been higher than in any period last year, according to the latest data.

Actions such as increased recruitment, new sickness and attendance policies, and a Quality Control Centre that manages disruption and focuses on improving speed and reliability in affected areas, have all contributed to encouraging results to date.

Alistair Cochrane, Chief Operating Officer, said: “Improving the reliability of our service is one of our top priorities. Throughout this year, we have implemented a series of changes to drive improvements, and this has led to some encouraging results.

“However, we acknowledge more must be done, and we will continue to work hard to deliver the standard of service our customers expect.

“In April, we submitted our proposed reforms on the Universal Service. This proposal is designed to protect what matters most to customers including maintaining the six-day service. This reform, combined with our efforts, will help create a modern, sustainable service for future generations.”

Commenting on the results, Morgan Wild, Interim Director of Policy at Citizens Advice, said: “Royal Mail has failed to meet its targets for the last four years. With questions now raised about both the future ownership of Royal Mail and its obligations to consumers, it’s more important than ever Ofcom sorts this out.

“We’re seriously worried about the future of our postal service. Despite routine investigations by Ofcom and fines for Royal Mail, these penalties are simply becoming the cost of doing business. They’re certainly not resulting in the much-needed improvement of its service.

“What’s more, in the current review of Royal Mail’s Universal Service Obligation (USO) we’ve seen very little commitment from either Royal Mail or Ofcom to tackle this properly. Instead, all proposals pave the way for a slower and more expensive postal service, which consumers will bear the cost of. Ofcom and the government must spell out how the revised USO will deliver for the millions who rely on it, not just for Royal Mail’s prospective new owners.”

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