Royal Mail put price of first stamps up... everyone remembers to send emails instead

22 December 2009

Royal Mail, the company currently topping the leaderboard for our Worst Company of 2009 (vote here), are about to whack up the price of a first-class stamp. That's clever isn't it? First and second-class stamps will rise by 2p to 41p and 32p respectively on 6 April next year, the company said.

Regulator Postcomm announced a couple of months ago it had given approval for stamp price increases in 2010.  They'd given the green light for Royal Mail to up their price by 3p, but in a moment of almost useless goodwill, the price didn't go up as much as possible... although, the price increase is higher than inflation.

This price hike is to compensate for the continuing decline in mail volumes. Basically, because everyone sends emails now, the price of stamp will go up to ensure that we really stop bothering altogether with a slow mail system that doesn't always result in someone getting their letters and parcels anyway. In fact, in the past two months, I've had 4 things go AWOL thanks to those useless dolts.

"Stamp prices remain affordable and represent excellent value for money. Royal Mail continues to offer consumers a more extensive, to-the-door, six-days-a-week service than many European countries and does so at a lower price than most other operators," said Royal Mail's Alex Smith.

Yeah, but an email doesn't even demand I leave my seat. Beat that, Olden Mail.

[BBC]

26 comments

  • Graham
    Expecting a tirade of abuse after this. But I just thought I would put in my 2 pence worth (get it???) I actually have no problem with the Royal Mail at all! Yeah sure, you can send an email. But on those occasions where you want to send cards/letters/gifts/products you have to use a postal company. I personally choose Royal Mail every time and have never had an issue. And if I did have an issue, their claims procedure is very straightforward as long as you can provide a proof of posting and proof of cost price. I'm sending several christmas cards this year via 1st class mail and most of them are travelling across the country...I wonder how far 41p of petrol would get you or how long it would take you to walk/cycle the distance? Still think that 41p is a bargain for sending a physical letter 400 miles!!!
  • Clapton A.
    Yet another above inflation rise in postage stamps. Of course the increase won't affect MPs (who get free postage) and most white collar workers, who get to use their mailing facilities in their offices. It will mainly affect children, elderly people, the unemployed and workless disabled people (many of whom, don't have easy and free access to online facilities such as email too).
  • Graham
    Actually Clapton, MPs don't get free postage. Every item of mail that travels through the Royal Mail network (bar selected BFPO addresses around christmas) has to be paid for. If the individual MP doesn't have their own account then they use the central account which belongs to the House of Commons and the bill will be sent there. And regarding how it will affect children, elderly people etc. What you are talking about is simply 2 pence. Nothing more. It's not really going to have that much of an affect.
  • Pat M.
    @ Clapton Ali "Of course the increase won’t affect MPs (who get free postage) and most white collar workers, who get to use their mailing facilities in their offices." That is absolute drivel, I don't know anybody in a 'white collar job' who could abuse their company mailroom to the extent of sending all of their Christmas cards without paying, yet alone relying on this as their primary source for sending mail all year round. I really do not get all this token bashing of an institution that this country should be proud of and should want to do well, as with the NHS. Like the NHS, Post Offices play a valuable social role in many communities and deliver essential services that are part and parcel (no pun intended) of our everyday lives. Also, for the record, e-cards are w*nk.
  • SmashingNicey
    I have a lot of respect for the royal mail - not as a company necessarily but as a national institution. Considering a big chunk of the population spend approx. 5-10p per text message if they have a PAYG phone of course then you can see how postage is still value for money. My business relies on the RM and I've never had an issue with it. I have however had several issues with courier companies! There will be plenty more whingers lamenting the demise of the Royal Mail if it does go down the pan.
  • Mark C.
    You know what? Fuck Royal Mail.
  • Shooter M.
    How much did Adam Crozier pay you, Graham?
  • Rob
    I'd happily pay 50p for a stamp if it meant it actually got delivered to the right place the next day and the post arrived before the sun goes down. Fat chance of that though.
  • Graham
    Actually, I got paid nothing for what I said up there. I just genuinely don't have any issues with Royal Mail. As for Rob's comments - check the stats - your "fat" chance is just a few percent. More than 95% of 1st class mail gets delivered the next working days before 2pm. It is one of Royal Mail's obligations and they get fined hefty sums of money if they don't reach their targets.
  • Jim L.
    I'm more bothered that Cheeseburgers have gone up 5p at Burger King
  • Graham
    My apologies, just to correct my previous comment. The stats say 90.7% of 1st class mail got delivered the next working day during the second financial quarter of 2009-2010, not 95%. The target is 93%. Still - for a non guaranteed service. That's pretty good. If you want it guaranteed, use Special Delivery!
  • Andie
    simple, use 2nd class, as in truth, there is very little betweent he 2 services, do you really think they seperate the mail & stick 2nd class on a shelf for a day?? clear office policies have been in place for 15+ years that ensure everything that comes in on a morning, is gone that day. 2nd delivery is no more, and that was the only timke 1st class got priority, about 1 letter for every 250 houses came mid afternoon instead of next morning (bit like they all do now!) as an on/off ebay trader, I've used both 1st & 2nd class often, and compared the outcomes, there really is no difference in service. 1st, 2nd & recorded are bagged together, sorted together, delivered together, there's no attempt at any point in the process to segregate .
  • Nobby
    From talking to people that we have sent mail to in the last week or so, it's about only 5% of first class mail that gets delivered next day. No wonder they don't measure their stats at Christmas.
  • Kevin
    Christmas is a little different though.
  • DrTrouserPlank
    Amusingly I'd pay £1 per letter if it meant that I got a guaranteed and accountable service, and meant that when I send something it will get there next day, and won't get lost. The sooner the Government stops subsidising this aging dinosaur with taxpayers money to the tune of £2 million a week, and opens up the postal service to private companies the better. Prices will fall and the standard of service will increase. Give a company a monopoly and you have to put up with whatever crappy service they deem appropriate..
  • Billy M.
    Who the f*ck cares if its gonna cost 41p to mail a letter, im hardly going to have to get a second job...
  • Plank n.
    Do you really think a private company is going to be able to supply the same service OR better as you request for the same price. The only reason other private companies have managed to move bulk mail cheaper is because they still use the RM network to deliver to the door, all they do is move it from wharehouse to sort office. Like others have said if you want it there quick and on time the service is already there and open to competition, and its a bloody lot more than the 41p your bitching about now.
  • The B.
    For the odd card that I send I'm not really worried about the 3p, although sending the same information 3 times special delivery (£4.95 a pop) to the twats at the DVLC because the information on their website is incorrect is pushing it a bit.
  • Dave
    To all the peolple who aren't happy with royal mails service why don't you use another company as the market has been opened up to the competition even though they still use royal mail to actually deliver their mail too. And as for Andie's post yes we still seperate 1st and 2nd class mail and sort the 2nd class when all the first is done I.E. overnight and day times i guess he really doesn't know how we work but feels qualified to comment anyway. Dave (royal mail Engineer)
  • dunfyboy
    When the mail was opened up to competition, the other companies cherry picked the most profitable bits leaving RM with the drivel which they are contractually obliged to deliver. That's why I'm surprised RM is topping the WCIB poll. But then the whole thing's rigged anyway.
  • Colin
    The European directive that opened up the British mail market is the reason for RM's trouble. As usual the French ignored it and the rest fudged, bar few 'nutters' like us. Moaning about the service we receive now is just missing the point.
  • blackadder
    quote :- "The sooner the Government stops subsidising this aging dinosaur with taxpayers money to the tune of £2 million a week, and opens up the postal service to private companies the better." Royal mail does not get a subsidy of £2 million a week on the contrary it had a government loan of £1.5 billion in 2007 of which only half has been spent and of course being a loan it will be paid back. Recent figures show that Royal Mail in the 6 months from April 2009 made in excess of 180 million profit, which is about a million profit a day, every day , including Sundays. When this figure is combined with the 300 million it was required to put into the pension fund to prop it up (drop in the ocean compared to the deficit) and the 435 million it has paid out in redundancies ( although only part of that was in the same six months ) you can see that royal mail could be completely self sufficient despite the competition were it not for the pension fund defecit which was created by royal mail themselves taking a 13 year payment holiday while the staff were required to continue to contribute. Royal mails pension fund is not unique at all and many other funds are similarly billions short of what is needed but I wonder how anyone who's job it is to manage a pension fund can take a payment holiday and then after 13 years decide that it is time to check the balance 'oh shit , dropped a clanger here boys, we are 5 billion short' . it is expected that in the new year the defecit will be around 10 billion, it isn't like losing pocket change down the back of your sofa, you'd notice surely ?
  • Tim
    So...I can send a letter, to any address in the UK, to be delivered the next day(ish), and for this you want...41p? Bloody extortion I tell thee....
  • Shooter M.
    Alternatively, Tim, you could spend your 41p for a letter to be delivered considerably later than next day or not even to be delivered at all. 41p for postal roulette. A bargain.
  • Robson
    Why Obama lies about educational reforms?? You can still buy your college papers here. Low Prices, Custom written for you. Custom Writing Service
  • Stamps N.
    [...] I thought perhaps that the Royal Mail’s goal with stamps like these is to appeal to younger members of society to take up letter-writing and posting. But no, I think it’s too late for that. [...]

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