The Royal Mail has been the nation’s favourite method of delivering the post for generations. Many people won’t even consider an alternative way of sending a letter. As an organisation, it has survived and grown through successive generations and is seen as part of the fabric of British society, as represented by those iconic red pillar boxes.
Yet we continually will hear horror stories when it comes to sending something in the post. Things can seem to take forever when we want them somewhere in a hurry. Worse, sometimes articles or letters don’t reach their destination at all.
Every so often, you’ll hear how someone had a mangled letter delivered in a plastic bag, together with an apology from the Post Office. If you’ve ever seen the evidence (you may have even had one of these delivered to your own home), you might have seen the edge of the envelope torn off, raising suspicions about deliberate tampering by someone within the postal service. Often, the poor postman will get the blame – even though the damage will sometimes be down to accidental collision in transit or a mechanical fault at the sorting office.
The trouble is that it’s become very expensive to send mail. There were big rises in the cost of postage in 2012 (about a 30% increase in the price of postage stamps), but this hasn’t necessarily equated a better service. A recent BBC Watchdog report highlighted many shortcomings of the service. In its defence the Royal Mail patiently addressed the issues raised by the investigation, but the report still highlighted the frustrations of those individuals who had been at the sharp end of a poor experience.
As the Royal Mail were quick to point out, the overwhelming majority of items do get delivered on time; for every 13,000 items of mail, they claim to receive only one complaint. When problems do happen, the Royal Mail claim they try to resolve individual cases as soon as possible.
Really, it’s no surprise that when you’ve got an organisation as large as Royal Mail, things are sometimes going to go wrong. As consumers, we just have to decide whether we want to trust Royal Mail to do the job adequately for us.
If you’re one of those people who has become frustrated with the way the post is handled, have you considered the other ways to get your mail sent out to where it needs to be? Many people have never made use of a courier service, assuming perhaps it’s something only businesses use, or maybe that it’s too pricey an alternative.
The truth is, many courier services are very competitively priced. They will deliver pretty much anything – whatever you’d want carried by Royal Mail, you can get dispatched via a courier service – representing a very viable alternative to many for the traditional post.
You can find courier services that are local to you by using London Directory Lists – a free business directory service that will help you find the firms you need. Once you’ve located a courier service, give them a call and ask about prices. If you find the quote reasonable, keep that business in mind for the next time you need to put something in the post.
courier service, letters, postal service, postman, royal mail