Royal Mail, the UK’s monopoly supplier of postal deliveries is an anachronistic, inefficient, dysfunctional business that should be sold immediately. It is run by management who have at least one hand tied behind their backs and lack any imagination, opposed by unions based in the industrial relations culture of the 1970’s.
For me neither have a right to exist. Postal services are not some inalienable birth-right. The ‘Universal Post’ isn’t an Englishman’s right- it is a service. There are a host of other things we use that are essential like petrol, electricity and broadband but we don’t expect these to be subsidised and only delivered by a single state owned service.
It is insane that a pint of beer costs over £2.50 (in London) and is at least 40% tax and we continue to pay for that service happily. In fact the more we consume, the more we love the product. Until we pass out. Why should we expect that if we post a letter at 4pm in London it should get to Scotland the next day for less than a quarter pint of beer. It’s mad. We must accept that postage costs are going to increase massively over the next few years. If it costs 70p or £1.50 to post a letter then that is what we will have to pay. I am not in favour of differential pricing but let’s set a fair economic rate that means that the post is delivered profitably, everywhere.
So my grumpy old man scenario goes like this. First sell the entire business, cheaply, to whoever wants it. In my dream world that would be Amazon. Then fire every member of staff and only re-employ those who understand the new realities of customer service. Then increase the price of postage to whatever rate makes sense and then deliver the post efficiently. And STOP SCREWING THE USERS AROUND ONCE AND FOREVER
We don’t expect petrol to be flat-rate priced based on some spurious social pricing model. We whine but we pay a market rate. So let’s massively increase the cost of postage….and in return let’s get a damned-good service. Then the obscenity of a proposed charge of over £3,000 a year for businesses to guarantee a pre-lunch delivery will vanish.
So sod-off Postman Pat and your Shop Steward- you’re history.
My wife just spent an hour queueing to submit a tube pass form in a post office. The ‘Customer Services Executive’ spoke English as a third language, couldn’t read and wouldn’t speak. And there was a fist fight in the branch. This is the Post Office circa 1959. Unfortunately it happened today. This is game over PO. Epic Fail.