Royal Mail - that iconic British institution

  Forum Editor 00:01 20 Jun 2007

appears to be imploding.

click here

I blame the parents, the government, and the European immigrants - because it couldn't possibly be down to the management and the workers, could it?

  WhiteTruckMan 00:11 20 Jun 2007

if royal mail ever went to the wall whether the government would bail them out?


  WhiteTruckMan 00:11 20 Jun 2007

mixing his metaphors :)


  Forum Editor 00:18 20 Jun 2007

An interesting question, to which the answer, I think is yes, but with qualifications.

He said, emulating a politician.

  georgemac © 07:08 20 Jun 2007

sent an expensive item via special delivery last week, and for 5 days tried to find out if it had reached its destination safely via the track and trace system and the telephone system with no joy at all - not good service at all - would hate to have to make a claim on this

eventually called the firm in Manchester who confirmed to me they had received it, and it was waiting to be processed

which did not fill me with joy as it is a quite expensive watch that has failed and is returned for repair under warranty - seems like they get a lot of failures if it takes a week to process deliveries and log them on to their system!

  georgemac © 07:09 20 Jun 2007

back to the original question, yes I think they government would have to bail them out, but I could be wrong.

I live in a rural area and if the mail service was privatised it would be very bad for those not living in cities - I am sure the cost of rural deliveries would go through the roof.

  Guardianangel 07:34 20 Jun 2007

I blame electronic mail and the fact that many businesses, like banks, don't send out paper statements anymore.

A lot of business is conducted online now and you print out your own documents.

Parcels must now be the most important part of Royal Mail's network and the competition is stiff.

  Bingalau 08:20 20 Jun 2007

One of my sons is a postman and from what I can gather talking to him. Most of the damage is being caused by the staff being promised things which are then reneged upon. Especially wage settlements etc. Whether this is true I can't say, but maybe postie24 can comment when he gets home from his morning's work. As for electronic mail being part of the blame I suppose it is, (incidentally I make sure I get paper statements from my bank, because if you ever get in a spat with the tax man you will need them). The postman seems to deliver an awful lot of junk mail in our area too, probably the only thing that is keeping the Royal Mail solvent.

  johndrew 09:43 20 Jun 2007

The reliability of Royal Mail has diminished substantially in recent times. No longer is 1st. class a `good` service and 2nd. is very slow. Add to that the volume of mail `lost`, (click here) and I can vouch that it is a lot by what I know of mine that has gone missing, it is hardly surprising that businesses are looking for better, cheaper services.

Perhaps if the Post Office (including Royal Mail) were put back firmly into public ownership things would improve. On the other hand perhaps it has all gone a bit too far now. Sad really.

  wee eddie 09:50 20 Jun 2007

have been caused by the Government restricting the price they could charge for deliveries.

Had they been able to double the cost of 1st Class Mail in the late 70's when they tried. the whole shebang would probably still be making profits.

  anskyber 10:06 20 Jun 2007

I suppose the answer to the question relies upon the answer to the question, "does it matter?"

It matters I think if (stating the obvious) what follows fails to meet the commercial and social targets for the delivery of mail. Royal Mail have to a degree been hamstrung by the hangover of the public service targets it has inherited. The tension between our desire for full postal facilities in every hamlet (a parody) and a functioning commercial enterprise has increased.

My own view is it does not matter enough to save the Royal Mail just for the sake of it. If another provider can meet the public service targets using the same or less level of public subsidy then, why not.

The answer to "why not?" has nonetheless some interesting examples of failure to draw upon.

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