Policy & Research
Consumer Focus has a statutory responsibility to work on postal issues. Part of this work is to monitor the number and location of post offices in Wales. In addition, we campaign to ensure that the quality of service provided in post offices meets the needs of consumers. We speak up for a fair deal for post office consumers through our work with the Welsh Assembly Government, the UK Government, Local Authorities, Post Office Ltd and the media.
There are always ongoing changes to the post office network: post offices may close or relocate because a sub-postmaster retires or in the event of a flood or fire. These changes are subject to public consultation.
Post Office Ltd’s responsibilities to communicate and consult with its consumers on changes to the post office network now are set out in a Code of Practice agreed between Post Office Ltd and Consumer Focus. The Code of Practice ensures consumers can know what to expect in the event of post office closures, relocations, or if franchise conversions are proposed in their area.
The way people communicate is changing. New methods of technology have given consumers different ways in which to interact with one another and to access goods and services. As a result, volumes of letters have decreased and those of parcels and packets have increased. To ensure the long term viability of mail services relevant to today and the foreseeable future, Royal Mail must adapt to meet the changing needs of consumers. At the same time it also has to tackle the challenges of greater competition from other mail operators and the implementation of a modernisation programme that is essential to the existence of Royal Mail.
Representing ‘designated consumers’ in relation to relevant postal services is part of the statutory duty instilled on Consumer Focus Wales in the Consumers and Estate Agents and Redress Act (sections 4 and 5, 2007).
30 November 2012
Consumer Focus Wales 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 [...]
27 March 2012
‘This is not great news for consumers... Unfortunately, the economics of Royal Mail meant that something had to give to maintain the Universal Service Obligation (USO).'
Post office transformation programme must deliver a reliable and sustainable local network – says Consumer Focus Wales
9 March 2012
Responding to Post Office Limited’s plans for a network transformation programme which will turn 6,000 branches into Post Office ‘Locals’ and ‘Mains’1, Rhys Evans, Deputy Senior Director at Consumer Focus Wales, said: ‘The Post Office network needs to be put on a firm footing for the future, so it can continue to serve the communities [...]
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19 June 2012
Consumer Focus Wales, Action on Hearing Loss Cymru and Royal National Institute of Blind People Cymru have come together to look at the experiences of people with sight and hearing loss when accessing post office services in Wales.
19 June 2012
This document provides practical advice for post offce owners and operators, and their staff, on how to meet the needs of customers with sensory loss. For the purposes of this document the term sensory loss is used to describe.
19 June 2012
A network of volunteers with differing degrees of sensory loss visited 150 post offices in Wales. This summary report outlines some of the main findings and what needs to be done to improve the experience for customers who experience sensory loss.
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