Royal Mail extra long Christmas shut down

Royal Mail StrikeRoyal Mail have won permission from Ofcom to have a four day shut down at Christmas this year. The last Royal Mail post and parcel deliveries will take place on Thursday the 24th December and they won’t start work again until Tuesday 29th.

Whilst this sounds pretty drastic but in reality, due to the Christmas Bank Holidays, the only day Royal Mail would have collected and delivered post would have been the Saturday. Ofcom have decided to make an exception to the Universal Service in relation to deliveries and collections when the 26th December falls on a Saturday starting this year.

David Jinks, Head of Public Relations at ParcelHero didn’t appear that impressed saying “It’s perhaps a little surprising that the newly privatised Royal Mail has asked for a four-day Christmas break. It was privatised by the Government last year and might have been expected to adopt a more consumer-focussed approach. People sending presents and businesses mailing important documents by Royal Mail will need to ensure they send items in good time to avoid a delay of four days, or seek alternatives“.

David’s right of course, if you’ve got customers purchasing on Christmas Eve (or for the next four days) there’s no chance of it moving anywhere for almost a week. Certainly it means that sites such as eBay will need to revise customer’s delivery speed expectations to take the mega-break into account.

Realistically from Royal Mail’s point of view it’s unlikely that they’d get much work done on a Saturday. They’ll be pulling out all the stops to ensure post is delivered by Christmas wherever possible.

Perhaps the biggest impact won’t be last of a delivery on the Saturday, but more likely a ton of annoyed consumers unable to collect missed delivery Christmas Presents from delivery offices which will remain stubbornly closed until everyone goes back to work.