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Blog entered 4 October 2013


My recent gripe concerns the Royal Mail Recorded Delivery service.

On 14 September 2013 I sent out 3 x 1st Class Recorded Delivery letters. Each letter
contained a Data Protection Act - Subject Access Request (DPA - SAR) and a £10.00
cheque. Because the recipients each had only 40 days by law to provide the requested
information, I needed to know on what day each letter was signed for.

According to Royal Mail's online Tracking Service today, some 20 days later, 2 of the 3
letters are still "being progressed through our network for delivery".

During this time I have been in touch with various Royal Mail departments and have lost
both time and money attempting to find out what had happened to my letters. In reply
Customer Services confirmed something had gone wrong, did not know why and that it
could do no more really. That Royal Mail would send me a book of six First Class stamps.

Of the 2 undelivered letters one had actually been delivered which the recipient confirmed
when I was sent an SAR Form to fill in, which I informed Royal Mail of. The other one had
also been delivered as the cheque had been cashed, which I also informed Royal Mail of.
Because they both remain undelivered and unsigned for according to Royal Mail's website,
I still have no idea when they were actually delivered.

I have since received the book of 6 x stamps and assume Royal Mail sent them in the hope
I wouldn't use it's unreliable Recorded Delivery Service again in the near future. Given the
extra I paid for a signed for service, that which I did not get, I believe I have been refunded
partly with my own money in the form of stamps.

The thing to remember about Customer Services is that they are employed to protect the
employer before the customer. They are paid to waste enormous amounts of your time if
need be and will cut and paste standard replies with just a few lines of originality to make
you feel it has all been written especially for you - the special one, the "Customer". If you
feel you are not being listened to and you persevere with your complaint they will pass
you on to the next representative who will make you explain the problem again and from
the beginning. This serves to frustrate you enough never to want to complain again for fear
of losing your sanity. Finally, if the latter still does not deter you they will advise you the
complaint has been resolved by virtue of the fact they responded to it.

Not that I'm particularly happy with Royal Mail anyway because of it's excessive price hikes
last year and this year to fatten Royal Mail up for sale. As an internet seller I do not ever
recall losing so much business once a potential buyer is advised what a given item will now
cost to send within the UK or abroard.

In some cases postage was double that prior to April 2013 and it was actually cheaper to
send abroad than it was to send within Cornwall. The biggest hurdle for me was the
introduction of a restrictive box/package size within the UK only, together with reduced
compensation cover from £46 to £20.00. If the item was slightly too big for a 'small
packet' rate the price to send was almost doubled and in excess of £5.00. If a 'small
packet' size was okay but the item was worth more than £20.00 extra compensation cover
has to be purchased to avoid sending the item under-valued.

These new measures had nothing to do with creating a better service for customers and
everything to do with showing a healthy profit before privitisation.

So how many packets and parcels are now being sent under-valued because customers
are having to remain competitive in difficult times ? How much revenue is Royal Mail saving
by not having to meet the full cost of claims for lost or missing mail because customers
sent their items under-valued ?

Although I have supported Royal Mail in the past I now believe it should be stripped of it's
Royal patronage for it's dis-service to the Queens subjects, and for blackmailing customers
with excessive charges by way of fattening Royal Mail up for the slaughter and presenting it
to a no less greedy private concern.

Even if Royal Mail remained in public ownership I believe the damage has been done. I for
one no longer respect the Royal Mail brand and no longer look upon it as being affordable or
reliable to use. Services have been removed and reduced while costs have continued to rise
to the point where increases in 2012 - 2013 were grossly excessive, grossly unfair and did
very little to help customers in difficult times.

The old adage "When you have them by the balls their hearts and minds will follow" seems
to be more an act of an abdication of responsibility by government than protecting the
public from corporate greed. One need only consider the Electricity & Gas cartels, Water
Boards and the Railways for costly proof of that.

TWEET : Somebody compared the Royal Mail sell off to a Car Boot. As much as I like

              Car Boots I have never bought something I already partly owned.

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Product Code: RMGOI-2