Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Royal Mail Rent-Seekers

From the BBC

Royal Mail boss Moya Greene told the BBC that increased competition was threatening the company's ability to deliver letters to all parts of the UK - a service mandated by law.

She added that the "cherry-picking" of urban mail routes by competitors "undermines the economics" of its nationwide delivery service.

Royal Mail has long called for the regulator, Ofcom, to consider expanding the Universal Service mandate - which ensures mail is delivered across the UK, six days a week, at one fixed price - so that it includes rivals such as Whistl.
In response, a spokesman for Ofcom said the regulator's own evidence "clearly shows that the service is not currently under threat".

"We would assess any emerging threat to the service quickly, in the interests of postal users," he added.

The "economics" of their service is that they had this requirement as part of floatation and are still doing it. That's all we care about, not feathering the nests of Royal Mail shareholders. Good to see Ofcom are of the same mind.

BTW If I was a single bloke, I wouldn't bother with home delivery of parcels. I'd send everything to a pick-up point where I can pop in on the way home from work. I suspect it's the future of parcels.


Graeme said...

however...I would like them to ring my doorbell when there was a parcel to deliver.....doorbell recognition seems to be missing in most postmen

Rich Tee said...

I use Amazon a lot because there is an electronic locker in the local shopping centre where their courier will put the parcels for me to collect later.

If only Royal Mail did this. Instead I have to traipse to the sorting office and queue up at opening time 7.30am (used to be 6am).

Mark Wadsworth said...

Good point, they were privatised on those terms, fuck 'em, they've got to stick to it now.

re actually taking delivery of/picking up parcels, that is the sticking point.

What would be ideal is a business which has plenty of outlets scattered around the country, and they could keep your parcel at whichever premises are closest to you so that you can pick them up at your convenience in the evening or the next morning.

So if your are not at home, the postie can just drop off your parcel at the nearest outlet.

The post office would meet the criteria, but they still decided to avoid this simple and obvious solution and make you drive ten miles to some fucking parcel depot ten miles away which is only open at their convenience for half a fucking hour in morning.


Mark In Mayenne said...

It's common here in France for mail order catalogues to have the option of delivering parcels to a convenient drop - off point which as a local shop or bar. It's usually cheaper too than a home delivery.

Lola said...

It's already happening here. My No 4 daughter had a camera bought on-line delivered to a drop-off point in town convenient for her to collect at lunch time.

Tell you what, drop-off points would be an excellent way of dealing with junk mail.

Also it screws up the legal bit in contracts which goes something like 'assumed to be delivered to your 'address' the next day by 1st class post'.

buildingstoat said...

My postman already drops off undelivered parcels at the local sub-postoffice nearby. Really convenient for both of us. Last time was 2 days ago.

DBC Reed said...

The usual right-wing bollox. Laissez faire competition isn't the answer to everything as Chamberlain discovered in 1870:though the UK Establishment fights on like Japanese soldiers. Given commercial freedom in any distributive business, private firms are going to concentrate on towns and fuck everybody else. Cherry picking in other words. The same will apply to privatised medicine with the added expense of commercial insurance and bill chasing and also schooling where private schools will abandon the obnoxious poor kids. As for the competitive house building industry: all that demand and no productive response. When are you going to realise that Thatcher was an ill-educated autist who was on her way out until she got lucky with the Falklands? The previous post war Mixed Economy with its full employment, New Town building and dynamism has been ruined by laissez faire obsessives and hobbyists. Is there anything else for them to fuck up?Never mind as long as house prices keep going up the numpties (Stacy Herbert's word) remain happy.

Lola said...

DBCR. OK. Let's assume that all the existing postal companies 'concentrate on towns' and leave everybody else in the wilderness. That instantly strikes me as an excellent business opportunity. So, I tell you what. You put up some money and I'll put up some money and we will set ourselves up to deliver to non-town areas - and make a profit doing so - that is 'create wealth'.
Over to you.

Dinero said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dinero said...

It amazed me that the Royal mails response to email was to make it MORE difficult to send a letter, by introducing a strict size format. That is now further complicated by ten different tariffs for sending letters.

Edward Spalton said...

Nobody has yet mentioned the root cause - the EU Third Postal,Directive . Taken together, the EU directives insist that postal deliveries must be treated as a European market. So the national monopoly on which the British model of the Post Office was based ended.

Whilst Europhile Labour MPs were shedding crocodile tears over the privatisation of Royal Mail, independent Norway simply refused to accept the Directive and kept its postal deliveries as a public service. Britain had no choice but to comply, as an EU member - supposedly at the "top table"

DBC Reed said...

Quite! Why Conservative Free Enterprisers are so anti the EU is totally unfathomable:its the biggest anti public sector racket going.Bob Crowe was the last of the anti EU resistance which started with the Labour Party under Harold Wilson.Perhaps its a false flag operation.
@L Lets also provide cheap houses for all those millions of people priced out by the big cartels .Nothing simpler!

Bayard said...

"The post office would meet the criteria, but they still decided to avoid this simple and obvious solution"

Presumably because "The Post Office" and "Royal Mail" are now two seperate and distinct businesses that were once the same organisation and, like many divorced couples, they don't really talk to each other.

Perhaps we all ought to rent PO boxes for parcels delivery and force the f*ckers to leave them at the Post Office.