The Post Office has been sent a warning

Share
Related Topics

The soaring number of complaints about the Royal Mail received by the postal watchdog, Postwatch, will come as no surprise to those who have followed the company's fortunes in recent years. The Royal Mail recently revealed that it met none of its performance targets for the first quarter of 2004. Last year thousands of Londoners were inconvenienced by an unofficial strike. And, on top of this, some 14.5 million letters go missing every year. The number of people who have chosen to register their dissatisfaction merely confirms what was already known: the Royal Mail is delivering a second-class service.

The soaring number of complaints about the Royal Mail received by the postal watchdog, Postwatch, will come as no surprise to those who have followed the company's fortunes in recent years. The Royal Mail recently revealed that it met none of its performance targets for the first quarter of 2004. Last year thousands of Londoners were inconvenienced by an unofficial strike. And, on top of this, some 14.5 million letters go missing every year. The number of people who have chosen to register their dissatisfaction merely confirms what was already known: the Royal Mail is delivering a second-class service.

Those who have complained will have already made their displeasure known to the Royal Mail and received no satisfaction. They constitute a hard core of angry customers. There will be many more who, although dissatisfied, have not gone as far as to make an official complaint. None of this bodes well for the Royal Mail when it loses its monopoly over the delivery of letters in less than three years' time.

However, there are some mitigating circumstances for the Royal Mail's chief executive, Adam Crozier, and its chairman, Allan Leighton. It is their responsibility to prepare for the break-up of the company's monopoly in April 2007. Some of its recent problems are a by-product of reforms to guarantee the Royal Mail's future, such as cutting back the workforce, reorganising collection routes and abolishing the second post. While the implementation of these measures has inconvenienced customers, they have also given the company a chance of competing in the future. The Royal Mail's management has also been hamstrung by the company's public service commitment to deliver letters anywhere in the British Isles for the price of a stamp - a function that does not make economic sense. The trade union militancy of sections of the Royal Mail's workforce has not helped either.

Messrs Crozier and Leighton have no choice but to push ahead with their modernisation plan. But they must also make every effort to appease their angry customers. Otherwise there is a strong risk that many will dispense with the Royal Mail's services as soon as they are given the chance.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

English Teacher

£120 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Secondary English Teacher - requ...

Science Teacher

£120 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Calling all science teachers! Ra...

Technology Teacher - Food & Textiles

£120 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Food Tech/Textiles Teacher We ...

Head of Marketing (Online & Offline, Media, Digital, Strategy)

£85000 - £100000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Marketing - Slough, Berkshi...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Theresa May  

Democracy and the police: a system in crisis

Nigel Morris
 

Mary Beard has taught us all a lesson in how to deal with online bullies

Louise Scodie
Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone