Which? magazine posted 60 parcels in a survey to test the delivery service. Only three people out of 22 who were out when their parcels arrived were left a note saying where it had been left - and eight of those were left in places easily accessible to thieves. In a test of Post Office staff's knowledge, 23 out of 60 offices gave inadequate advice on insuring parcels. More than one-third of the staff also gave incorrect information about how long delivery would take. The pounds 6-a-month service for redirecting mail was tested by nine people: of the letters posted first class 15 never arrived, 10 were sent to the old address, and 11 took four or more days to arrive.
Which? assistant editor, Malcolm Coles, said: "With no close competitors, the Post Office has little incentive to change." he said a regulator was needed to set and enforce standards of advice and delivery. A Post Office spokesman said it was "nonsense" to say it faced no competition; the Royal Mail competed with fax, telephones, electronic mail, and couriers; Parcelforce with 4,000 parcel companies and other mail-shot firms; and the Counter network with banks, building societies and other retailers.Reuse content