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To what extent do you rely on Royal Mail? Discuss.

By Dan Wilson September 6, 2017 - 6:17 am

Is the Royal Mail an everyday service you rely on every day as an ecommerce seller and online retailer? It’s more than a blithe question. Could you live without it? What impact will Royal Mail strikes have on your business?

You may have to answer that question if the CWU and Royal Mail can’t agree because Royal Mail strikes could be on their way in the run-up to Christmas, ecommerce peak and Black Friday. Any such strike could be a huge headache for online sellers if it goes ahead.

If Royal Mail strikes really are coming in the peak period of business later this year (and we hope for a settlement that everyone can get behind), do you have options available to make sure that you can keep on trading, dispatching and running your business? There are couriers such as myHermes that will help you out and plenty of other shipping companies. Find them in the Tamebay Guide.

And that’s at the core of the issue. We’ve seen plenty of Royal Mail people commenting on Tamebay this week looking ahead to a Royal Mail strike. Many are relishing the prospect of industrial action.

One comment said: “Why do people compare postmen to other courier drivers? It’s a complete joke! The indoor sorting and amount of miles we walk carrying heavy bags is unreal and a courier driver wouldn’t last two days.” (Edited for clarity.)

Another adds: “There is easily enough posties who will be voting yes for strike action and yes pay should rise and stop withe the hermies and amozon crap you really need to get your facts right it will be a massive yes for strike action.” (sic.)

None of this article is grumbling about the tremendous work that good individual people put into making the Royal Mail what it is. Doubtless, like most, I’m on decent and friendly terms with my postie. My postie knows which of my neighbours will take a delivery for me when I’m out and make life easier for us all. More than that, my postie knows when to make a more vigorous knock because I’m upstairs and can’t quite hear the delivery visit. My postie makes light of the fact that I don’t rise early. (I take the piss too: that as a postie, everyone gets up later than they do. So he can foxtrot oscar.)

There has to be a realisation that the individuals of the Royal Mail are not being adequately taken care of under what has been previously agreed. Noone wants to see a pension cut. But the world of deliveries has changed a great deal, even in these past 5 years. So surely there can be a way to avoid strikes?

  • Neil
    2 years ago

    “There is easily enough posties who will be voting yes for strike action and yes pay should rise and stop withe the hermies and amozon crap you really need to get your facts right it will be a massive yes for strike action.”

    No wonder so many items get misdelivered if Royal Mail are employing the semi-literate.

  • 2 years ago

    Is the Royal Mail an everyday service you rely on every day as an ecommerce seller and online retailer?
    yes use them for all parcels/large letters under 2kg (approx 60 per day)

    Could you live without it?
    not without making major changes to courier integration, pricing and logistics

    What impact will Royal Mail strikes have on your business?
    negative – letting our customers down and letting us down and we pay them (and Parcelforce included) around £50k per year

  • Ratso Restorations
    2 years ago

    I have always used RM and have always found them to be a great service. We should be proud to have such a great postal service in this country and support it as best we can or we will end up running the risk of ending up with a US like postal service. Having said that, the workers of private companies need to get used to the fact that the ecomomy means that pay isn`t gonna keep rising and pensions etc will suffer too. Many online sellers have no pension scheme and certainly dont give themselves pay rises but we will be the ones that suffer and end up using other services-strike at your peril RM workers-you no longer have the tax payer to cover your backs……

  • Kevin
    2 years ago

    I really don’t like strikes at all, it’s bullying.

    If you don’t like your job or want more money that quit and get another job. All strikes do is make people use other services and some don’t come back. Then the company is in a worse postition and it spirals out of control downwards until the company goes under.

  • BFT
    2 years ago

    It is all very sad. Royal Mail used to take all my parcels. Then they went on strike, so all my parcels went to couriers and there they have stayed ever since. I still use RM for Large Letters but, if they strike again, they will go to couriers and won’t come back. They will then be left with the odd Christmas card to deliver from my business. I spend a five figure sum every year on shipping, but RM will end up with about £5 worth. How many workers will be needed to cope with those cards? Remember how many jobs were lost to strikes in the 70’s and 80’s.

  • Toby
    2 years ago

    Since the last lot of major strikes years ago, we moved all our orders onto couriers such as DPD for the UK & Germany, FedEx for USA, DHL & Deutsche Post [via DHL] for all other International Packets, whom are cheaper than Royal Mail for International Tracked items.

    The only thing we use the Royal Mail for is UK Large Letters & Out of area UK parcels

  • Vinnie
    2 years ago

    Use Royal Mail? Definitely not. They are too expensive, and their service has too many rules and regs that offer nothing but potential hazards, especially if the delivery goes wrong. For example they loose you a parcel and all you get as compensation is a book of stamps. Total rubbish.
    For the passed two and a half years I have been using Hermes. When I mention this people usually roll their eyes and laugh. Well they did have problems in the beginning, and early on I had one package go missing for two weeks but it turned up eventually. since then, (over two years now) I have never had a single problem with them. They deliver within two to three days and nothing gets broken or goes missing.
    The only time I would use Royal Mail is if I need to send something that will cost less than £2.90 to post, which is very rare. Then I wouldn’t be surprised if it didn’t get there, especially with this latest news that posties are being bribed to intercept mail and give it to criminals.

    • Alan Paterson
      2 years ago

      I agree 100% with Vinnie. We have switched all our parcels to Hermes a few years ago and have never looked back.

      You don’t see the Hermes drivers going on strike and trying to negatively effect my business to draw attention to their cause.

      I know a few posties and I have worked with enough over the years. They get substantially more money per hour than a courier driver – and from what I have seen the couriers certainly work harder for the money they get.

      Royal mail posties are now being asked to work productively for the hours they are getting paid for. They don’t like it – its laughable.

      If they don’t like their wages and changing terms and conditions they should go find another job or try self employment – i think on both situations they would be in for a shock.

      Even if Hermes are sometimes not as efficient i would still gladly give them my business rather than Royal mail – the Hermes workers don’t try and knacker my business at peak periods.

  • 2 years ago

    We send 99.99% of our mail via Large Letters and offer free postage across 22 eBay and Amazon marketplaces in order to keep a competitive edge. We have spent just over £0.25M with Royal Mail in the last 12 months. There is no alternative service out there with prices for Large Letters anywhere near as cheap as Royal Mail. They have the monopoly on smaller postage items. I wish there was an alternative to consider but there just isn’t.

  • Joe B
    2 years ago

    I had a job I hated. I got another job. Problem solved. Striking by RM is short sighted. People will look for alternatives where practical and they won’t go back.

    If people are bleating about having to walk carrying a heavy sack then they should find a job that doesn’t involve walking carrying a heavy sack.

    • Alan Paterson
      2 years ago

      Well said Joe B – couldnt have put it better.

    • PayPalUser
      2 years ago

      I was looking for a job and then I found a job and heaven knows I’m miserable now

  • Northumbrian
    2 years ago

    our businesses are no longer held to ransom by the cwu
    So strike yer daft sods who cares

Featured in this article from the Tamebay Guide – companies that can help you grow and manage your business.

Royal Mail Ltd

Royal Mail is the leading provider of postal and parcel delivery services in the UK. We deliver to over 230 countries and territories worldwide.

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Royal Mail is the UK’s national postal service tasked with delivering to every household in the country

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