I’m finally turning away from Royal Mail for most of my business carriage. I’ve tried to remain loyal, after all it’s one of those Great British Institutions, isn’t it? But when it’s this painful, you’ve got to wonder… are Royal Mail management really trying to commit commercial suicide? It certainly looks that way from here.

We have been using Royal Mail Smartstamp to prepay and locally print postage labels. It’s an imperfect solution, particularly for tracked services like “signed for” (or recorded delivery as it used to be known) and “special delivery”. Those services have to be completed at a post office where most of the staff either don’t know how to handle them or really can’t be bothered. That’s if you can find a post office that’s open when you need to post something. Many were closed in major cuts during 2008. I went to four of them one Wednesday afternoon & found all closed. All are in roads with parking problems and not at all easy to use. On my fifth attempt on the following day I was told my package was too big for their window & should be taken to a main post office. So not wanting to give up before the sixth attempt I went to the nearest main post office only to be told that my item was 11cm too big to be sent as a signed-for item. And still my customer is waiting.

Part of the problem seems to stem from the split of the Post Office from Royal Mail years ago. It created a complete disconnection between the two halves of the process. Neither really knows what the other half is doing, or cares about the customers caught between the two halves.

So it’s off to a courier company for me, and RIP Royal Mail, once it finally breathes its last and dies.