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Current: 14 of 43
Thursday 29 July 2004 1.47pm
What is going on? I received today (again) a letter from Royal Mail, not addressed, telling that they are stopping second deliveries! Did they not do this already months ago? Then again, our post has still been delivered quite promptly at 8.30 (not daily though, seems to be only when our regular postie is working), so maybe it will now become more random around here as well and we shall lose the regular reliable and friendly guy?

I don't understand, how they still have the guts to bang about this "reform", when everybody knows it could hardly get much worse for many... or maybe this bulk letter had been lost for months somewhere and only got delivered today....

(edited to correct grammar)

Edited 1 times. Last edit at 29 July 2004 2.11pm by nelson.
Thursday 29 July 2004 2.00pm

I was just about to make exactly the same posting as you have just done.

Me too! (except the bit about prompt delivery).
Thursday 29 July 2004 2.20pm
When we had our first meeting with Simon Hughes, I'm pretty sure that he said they had temporarily reinstated the second delivery in parts of SE1 to deal with the complaints about service and slow delivery - sounds like they think it's all improved.

Hat, do you think we should try and pin Tony Phelan down to a meeting with SE1 residents again ? A few months have gone by and it sounds like people do still have issues which could usefully be discussed with him. I recall he was happy to meet, just difficult to get to committ to a date ?
Thursday 29 July 2004 4.08pm
We currently do have 2 deliveries a day, because they tried to swap to one and it was such a mess they had to swap back to 2 (asroughly paraphrased from Tony P). He did say he would sort out a meeting with us, once they had a date for implementing the single delivery, and as you all have these letters now - this smust be a good time for the meeting. I shall email him again, and see what he says...
Thursday 29 July 2004 10.35pm

When my regular postman is off, I get mail for 2 other addresses. When I get a 2nd delivery I don't know if it is a genuine 2nd delivery or if it is one of the other addressees putting it through my letterbox - which I do when I get their post.
Friday 30 July 2004 10.42am
I've stopped getting things from the postel survey as well. I'd thought it was jsut because they were useless, but reading Eileens' post above makes me think there's maybe more to it than that.

What I got really miffed about though is that I now get weekly junk mail from two sources that's addressed to my postal survey "alias" (sic- because they use a slightly adapted version of your real name in order that you can spot the survey mail). Given that this "alias" was created solely by and for the post survey, i can only assume that the survey people have been selling my details on to a mailing list compiler.

Carrier pigeons, anyone?

...if you press it, they will come.
Friday 30 July 2004 10.59am
I recently moved and paid to get my mail redirected for a couple of months. We received a package yesterday where the mail had been redirected to the wrong address. Luckily the person at that address had sent it back so it eventually arrived.... (it included various bank statements despite the fact that I had changed my address with them as well - why is everybody incompetant?!)
Friday 30 July 2004 11.10am
Val Shawcross (GLA Member for Lambeth and Southwark) has been taking matters up with the Royal Mail. Here's the latest response we have received from them. Have people seen the article in this week's Southwark News? There is an interesting insight into the problems from an anonymous postman.


Fiona Colley
Research and Support Officer to Val Shawcross AM

Dear Val

The background for many of the problems our customers in a few areas have unfortunately experienced in recent months is the introduction of major change in Royal Mal - essentially the modernisation of the entire company. This is essential for the survival of the company - for reaching both our financial and service targets but in the short term in some areas there have been issues and the service has been bad. We're working on this as hard and fast as we can.

The main changes Royal Mail is making are a single daily delivery, a new transport network and streamlining operations in the big mail centres. The size and scale of change has inevitably hit quality of service in some areas initially.

Single daily delivery is the biggest change Royal Mail has made to its delivery service in many years. The second delivery represented 20 per cent of Royal Mail's costs for just four per cent of mail - the low volumes going out on second delivery is why many areas have not effectively had a second delivery for some time. But Royal Mail's delivery service was structured to provide two deliveries a day and this made no commercial sense.
Royal Mail is therefore introducing one single, daily delivery to all addresses, with residential addresses receiving their mail between around 9am and lunchtime. This means postmen and women have to learn new rounds and their rounds are longer than previously. Royal Mail has now introduced the new system at around two thirds of its 1500 delivery offices and the change has gone smoothly at most of them. However the system does take around 6 to 8 weeks to bed in effectively. After this customers can expect their mail at a consistent time each day as this is something that customers have stressed to Royal Mail, in research, is important to them.
Postmen and women move to five day weeks (while Royal Mail continues a six day a week delivery service) as part of the change and receive higher wages when specific targets are reached.
The improved pay package and five day working weeks will help Royal Mail attract and retain good people. Royal Mail is committed to having a force of full-time postmen and women who become familiar with their rounds as this is clearly the best way to providing customers with good service.

In some of our offices we have had to use temporary workers in the short term, when the changes are first introduced, to help us - as of course the service must continue with one delivery to every address while our people are learning the new ways of working. We know that temporary workers are, generally, no subsitute for full-time postmen and women who become familiar with their rounds and their customers. Although we have some very good people hired temporarily it is of course more difficult for them generally to be as effective as a postman or woman who really knows the round. Our aim once the changes are fully introduced is to ensure that we only use temporary people at peak periods such as Christmas and we are putting in place a system to have a more effective "pool" of temporary workers so that many will be already experienced with Royal Mail when they come and work for us at certain times of year. In addition we have recently agreed with the Home Office that we will be allowed to vet new recruits for past criminal records (somethng we were not previously allowed to do other than for a very few people involved directly in cash handling). This is a major step forward as, although the amount of mail that is stolen internally is much less than that stolen by, for example, attacks on our postmen and women, we know that security of the mail is paramount for our customers and our reputation. The amount of mail that is lost or stolen is very small as a percentage of our total volumes and we have almost halved it during the past year or so - but of course we want to do better. Most "lost" mail is actually caused by misdelivery rather than theft and this is something we're working very hard on. Mail can be lost because the postman or woman puts it through the wrong letterbox and it does not get put back into our system. Through the new pay and conditions deal (and improvements in both vetting and training) Royal Mail will attract and retain good people - and the service ultimately of course depends on our people.

At the moment in London we do have some staff shortages and has been difficult to attract and retain people in some parts (as we are competing against myriad other employers). The improved pay and conditions package we offer is helping us and we are making real headway in recruitment. Some new recruits are being trained across the capital - and we're getting more - so again this will start making a difference to the service.

I hope that gives some context - I am certainly not trying to offer excuses. I know that this is little consolation for Mr . Royal Mail's compensation scheme is one of the best in the world and the industry (one of the few to offer compensation for delay as well as loss or damage) but I fully understand that it is not the solution for Mr for whom the only answer is a better service.

I will come back to you within the next few days with further details about the SE1 delivery office (and Mr delivery round in particular).

Melanie Corfield
Head of External Relations
Royal Mail Group
Friday 30 July 2004 11.32am

Can I strongly suggest that Val responds - to the Chairman of the post office, rather than his "external relations" supremo - to say that this provides little assurance to her constituents. The problems in SE1 have little to do with the move in recent months to single delivery.

They involve apparently incompetent area management over an extended period, and strong suggestions of persistent mail theft, which may be associated with organised identity fraud.

Friday 30 July 2004 11.36am
>>persistent mail theft, which may be associated with organised identity fraud.

And, Fiona, persistent cheque book theft. I have had 3 stolen from the post in the last 6 months, and huge cheques have been written in two of these. I have expressed regular astonishment to the banks that they have shown no interest in tracking down the perpatrators of these attempted thefts.
Current: 14 of 43

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