Posted: Mon 15th May 2023

First Class Failure: Ofcom investigates Royal Mail’s missed delivery targets

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, May 15th, 2023

Ofcom, the UK’s communications regulator, has begun an investigation into Royal Mail’s after missing its delivery targets for the second year in a row.

This follows Royal Mail’s announcement on 12 May 2023 that it failed to meet several critical performance targets.

The regulations require that Royal Mail must deliver 93% of First Class mail within one working day, 98.5% of Second Class mail within three days, and complete 99.9% of delivery routes each day that delivery is required.

However, Royal Mail’s performance fell notably short. Only 73.7% of First Class mail and 90.7% of Second Class mail were delivered within the stipulated times.

Additionally, only 89.35% of daily delivery routes were completed.

The investigation will assess whether Royal Mail has failed to fulfil its obligations and whether a financial penalty should be imposed.

Grant McPherson, Chief Operating Officer of Royal Mail, stated: “Improving quality of service is our highest priority. We are committed to expediting Royal Mail’s transformation and restoring service levels to where our customers expect them to be.”

“We apologise to any customers who may have been affected by our performance during a year that has been among the most challenging in our history. With the plans we have in place to enhance service levels and reduce absence, we anticipate seeing further progress in the coming months.”

Matthew Upton, Acting Executive Director of Policy & Advocacy at Citizens Advice, underscored the significance of the investigation, stating, “Continuous service failures have serious implications. It’s simply not good enough.”

“We acknowledge the pressure Royal Mail is under, but individuals must be able to rely on their post being delivered promptly, including crucial medical letters and urgent bills.”

“Ofcom must now enforce stronger action, including potential fines. Anything less risks conveying a message that continuous customer disappointment is acceptable.”

Recent research by Citizens Advice found that 23% of people have experienced letter delays in the past month.

Over half of these individuals faced negative repercussions as a result, including missed health appointments and anxiety.

Among those who missed health appointments due to letter delays, 70% missed a hospital outpatient appointment.

These findings underscore the tangible effects of Royal Mail’s service lapses.

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