Postcodes check charge rise 'an own goal for Royal Mail'

The postal watchdog today attacked plans to increase the cost of checking postcodes as an “own goal” which could create more work for the Royal Mail.

Customers calling the inquiry line will be charged 50p a minute during the day from next Monday instead of the current local call rate.

Peter Carr, chairman of Postwatch, said the increased charge would “substantially reduce” access to postcode information, adding: “It is an own goal for an organisation which has for years been championing the motto, always use the postcode, to now charge customers 50p a minute for this information.

“Some people may be deterred from bothering with a postcode, creating more work for Royal Mail and potentially affecting its delivery performance.”

Royal Mail said the change was being made to ensure that customers who used the service most contributed to its operating costs.

“The change means postcodes remain easily accessible for everyone, but the charge during office hours will help cover some of the cost of the service,” Royal Mail said in a statement.

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