Letter: Post offices and the public stamp of approval

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The Independent Online
Sir: Despite Beatrix Campbell's view of the development of the Post Office Counters network ('Redirected to the nearest supermarket', 23 February), your readers can be reassured that survey after survey has shown that our customers like our new-style offices.

Since 1989 we have been providing a more cost-effective service to customers through partnerships with local retailers, former employees and some of the biggest names in the high street. This means we have been able to move post offices to more convenient locations and often provide many additional benefits as well, such as longer opening hours, free car parking and access for the disabled. Customers welcome the changes - our surveys show that nearly nine out of 10 customers think the new generation of post offices offers a service that is better or at least as good as before.

Some of our new offices are in supermarkets and they are among the busiest and most successful in our 20,000-strong, nationwide network. Many more of the new-look offices are being run by agents or former employees of Post Office Counters. In fact, 95 per cent of all post offices are privately run, an arrangement that our customers like.

Consultation with our customers is always an essential part of our development programme. We would not be undertaking changes unless they were in the interests of our customers. It is also absolute nonsense to suggest we are closing post offices. The Post Office Counters business is growing consistently by around 1.5 per cent a year, and the growth rate in the post offices we have converted is twice as fast across the full range of some 160 services we provide.

The independent retailers who are our partners in the post office conversion programme have played a vital role in the popularity of our business with customers. We remain totally committed to maintaining a nationwide network of post offices. As the UK's biggest retailer by far, our customer-first strategy is aimed at ensuring we remain at the heart of communities large and small, across the country.

Yours sincerely,

MIKE FLANAGAN

Network Director

Post Office Counters Ltd

London, SE1

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