Royal Mail comment on formal (chargeable) relationships with 3rd Party Integrators

A couple of days ago we reported that Royal Mail are to offer third party integrators new contracts if they wish to offer Royal Mail label printing to their end customers – generally you the online retailer. This means that your channel management company will either need to sign up to the contract or they won’t be able to offer you the ability to print labels in the future.

Having spoken to Royal Mail the cost to sign up could be under £1000 if you don’t support, if you do require support first year costs would be in the low thousands, not the around £10,000 we previously reported.

Royal Mail have been kind enough to provide the following comment and background information:

Royal Mail comment

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “We are working to build a more formal relationship with Third Party Integrators where we provide information and assistance that will enhance the quality of the integration services they offer to our mutual customers. This will help ensure that Royal Mail Parcel customers receive a consistent and high quality service when accessing our wide range of shipping solutions, as well as future proof their systems in readiness for any new Royal Mail products and services. Royal Mail today offers a comprehensive range of free shipping solutions for our customers, from Click & Drop for marketplace sellers, through to Despatch Manager Online (DMO) and Application Programme Interfaces (APIs) and Customer’s Own System Solutions (COSS). Our recent acquisition of Net Despatch also provides another solution to complement the range of Royal Mail shipping solutions”.

Background information

As the number of 3rd party integrators has grown, we have had to increase our team and infrastructure to deal with all the requests for integration and updates. This has resulted in a significant increase in our costs. Going forward, we propose to charge a small fee for the services that we provide to 3rd party integrators so that we can recover those reasonable costs, and this is also reflected in the terms and conditions.

We commit to providing Third Party Integrators with all the information and assistance they need to allow customers to print off labels and benefits from upgrades and improvements to our products and services. In particular, we will provide:

  • (i) initial support in order to integrate their software platform with our systems and carry out certain tests to ensure that they are able to receive the most up-to-date services;
  • (ii) the specifications of the most up-to-date labels and pre-advice that should be used; and
  • (iii) on-going support for any technical issues that may occur as part of the integration including calls with our appropriate staff.

Third Party Integrators have the choice as to whether they wish to continue to offer Royal Mail services on their platform, and so are under no obligation to sign up to our terms and conditions. But if they do wish to have Royal Mail on their platform, then we must ensure that all integrators abide by the same standard form Ts&Cs to ensure a level playing field and that ultimately our end customers are getting the great Royal Mail service they rightly expect.