Policy & Research
At the core of the consumer experience of postal services has been a universal postal obligation and the convenience of a local post office. These essential services find themselves under considerable pressure. Major changes to Royal Mail and the post office network have raised big questions about the level of service and value that consumers can expect.
Consumer Focus is the postal services consumer watchdog. Our work in this area has never been more important.
What Consumer Focus is doing
The scale of potential change in the postal market is huge. These include changes to the structure of Royal Mail, changes to the regulatory environment and potential changes to the six day a week, uniform price service that consumers have been used to. We represent the consumer in these debates and it is our job to make sure your voice is heard and that there is a sustainable postal service for all.
In recent years the Post Office network has shrunk by over 2,500 local offices. The future for many of those that remain is not certain. On your behalf we monitor all the changes and closures across the network. Not just whether a local community keeps its post office, but what services it provides and how well it provides them.
1 March 2013
Responding to Royal Mail’s price announcement, Robert Hammond, Director of Postal Policy and Regulation at Consumer Focus said: ‘Posting letters and parcels is an essential service and consumers are looking much harder at value for money and quality of service, even on the price of a stamp. ‘This year’s freeze on stamp prices for letters, [...]
7 December 2012
Responding to the consultation put out by Royal Mail today, Robert Hammond, Director of Postal Policy at Consumer Focus, said: ‘Our research shows widespread confusion over the services Royal Mail offers, even with fundamental products such as First and Second class postage. This confusion means people could be paying more for a premium product they [...]
30 November 2012
Commenting on Royal Mail’s latest Quality of Service figures, Robert Hammond, Director of Postal Policy at Consumer Focus said: ‘We welcome these figures. Overall Royal Mail performed well against it targets only missing First Class deliveries by a fraction of one per cent. Given the considerable challenges posed by flooding in some areas caused by [...]
30 November 2012
Consumer Focus is urging people to avoid possible disappointment this Christmas by posting cards and presents and ordering online shopping early. If consumers plan ahead they may be able to save money by sending all of their Christmas items Second Class. According to Royal Mail, hundreds of million cards are posted to family and friends [...]
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28 November 2012
As part of its role as the UK’s universal postal service provider, Royal Mail offers consumers a range of postal products designed to meet different needs for delivery speed, security and compensation in the event of loss or damage. These include: First Class Second Class Recorded Signed For Special Delivery Certificates of Posting These products [...]
28 November 2012
Post Office branches found on the UK’s busy high streets are the cornerstone of the Post Office network. These High Street branches generate a significant proportion of the Network’s revenue. Consumers make just fewer than 20 million visits a week to post offices, and around one in five of those visits are to one of the 373 directly managed Crown office branches.
Dealing with dissatisfaction – Complaint handling in energy, water, telecoms, financial and legal services and Royal Mail
19 October 2012
This report looks at customers’ experiences of the complaints procedures in Royal Mail and five different markets: legal services, financial services, telecommunications, water and energy. It also looks at experiences of the ombudsmen services in the same markets.
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