“Consumers should have the utmost confidence in using postal services. We want to ensure that letters which haven’t been tracked but may still contain important contents, arrive safely,” Jonathan Oxley, Ofcom Competition Director.
The latest postal industry news from Ofcom, about the Universal Service (Royal Mail’s obligation through law to deliver mail to every address in the UK for the same cost and service) and security in untracked mail is a sign of increased optimism and demonstrates a postal industry that, although not yet as efficient as it could be has made great progress.
Ofcom, the communications regulator that oversees the postal industry and issues licences to carriers allowing them to operate in the market has released various reports over the past week.
- The universal postal service is financially sustainable, current rules and safeguards for postal users are generally working well.
- Royal Mail’s current return on sales is at the lower end of the 5-10% range which Ofcom considers to be compatible with a sustainable universal service. In recent years, the company had fallen below this range.
- Royal Mail has made notable modernisation improvements, but it could still do more to improve efficiency, in the interests of postal users.
- Consumer satisfaction with postal services, and value for money are high.
- Ofcom is not proposing to impose new price controls on Royal Mail’s wholesale or retail products.
Postal Industry News Full Report is available.
Romax Welcomes the Proposal to Protect Untracked Letters
All postal operators who deliver ‘untracked’ letters – such as medical letters, bank statements and birthday cards – must minimise the risk of loss, theft, or damage, under plans in today’s consultation.
Untracked letters are very important to protect, and valuable to the recipient – even though they rarely contain items with a high face value, which are more often sent using a tracking service.
Examples of untracked letters range from credit card bills, utility bills, hospital appointments, or exam results. Although lost mail is proportionally very low, untracked letters are more likely to go missing, during delivery. Any focus to improve untracked delivery to as close to 100% as possible would be a great thing for the industry.
Ofcom already sets rules for looking after mail – including how postal companies must recruit and train staff, ensure the security of mail and report serious incidents to the regulator.
These proposals would require postal operators to focus on ensuring letters arrive safely. Ofcom intends to introduce new rules to clarify how postal operators must look after these items – shifting the focus of regulation away from logistical and procedural requirements, towards assessing postal operators’ actual performance. Those who fail to meet the new rules would face fines.
So, in summary, this is great postal industry news for all of our communications, marketing and membership clients. The requirement for all mail carriers to deliver the highest level of delivery aims, to track, using the technology that is now available, all mail, will provide closer scrutiny. Such transparency will increase the value of postal communications and bolster the measurable return to direct mail for marketing professionals across all sectors.
Romax Marketing & Distribution, a Greenwich-London based company, provides a wide range of services in Direct Marketing for B2B and B2C, Direct Mail, Data Management, Printing, Discount Postage and Membership Communication Services and Consultancy. Contact us: email@example.com +44 (0) 20 8293 8550
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