Royal Mail - costs more, gives you less
There seems to be a worrying trend in public service organisations at the moment. Charge more for less! Make people pay through the nose for a lower level of service-that’s the way to make money. London Midland, for example, are still raking in the exact same amount of £millions in Government stipend despite cancelling over 950 trains since mid-October. Now, Royal Mail are getting in on the shafting-the-public act.
Earlier this year, the business came under severe criticism for increasing the price of stamps way beyond the rate of inflation. First class stamps went up from 46 pence to 60 pence and the price of second class stamps from 36 pence to 50 pence. At the same time, no-one reported an increase in service levels, with many people not receiving their mail until late afternoon, or at all if it happened to be raining.
Now, Royal Mail have decided to cut the compensation offered for lost letters. Damaged or lost letters that are untracked (i.e not recorded or Special Delivery) can currently get up to £46 in compensation, but the firm are now ‘consulting’ to more than halve this to £20. The rationale for this has absolutely nothing to do with trying to make the business attractive to private investors in a future flotation, instead Royal Mail said sniffily that they were just trying to be the same as other countries, claiming that many countries including Germany, the Netherlands and the US, do not offer any compensation at all for untracked mail. But quite possibly these countries get their mail a bit quicker. And cheaper- US stamps, for example, currently start at 46 cents.
The announcement was one of a whole host of changes outlined by the taxpayer-owned service company regarding its pricing and services. They are also considering increasing the compensation on recorded items from £46 to £50. ‘Recorded- Signed for’ service costs at least 95p more than standard posting, but even so cannot guarantee the item, posted first class, will arrive the following day. For that you need to pay a minimum of £5.90, almost ten times the cost of a stamp that should do the job.
Royal Mail have already had a few votes in our Worst Company of the Year Award, perhaps they are canvassing for a few more…