Royal Mail normal Saturday delivery suspended

By Chris Dawson April 28, 2020 - 5:09 pm

Royal Mail will no longer offer a normal Saturday Post delivery as a temporary measure due to staffing pressures and the Coronavirus pandemic. They will still delivery parcels and Special Delivery items 6 days a week.

“Our postmen and postwomen are working very hard across the UK in challenging conditions. As we said at the start of the coronavirus crisis, there will be some disruption to services. Relevant factors include high levels of coronavirus-related absences and necessary social distancing measures.
We understand the importance of the postal service in keeping the UK connected at this time. We have also listened to our hard-working colleagues who have asked us to ease the additional burden on them if possible. As a result, we are making some temporary changes to postal services.
From 2 May we will temporarily no longer deliver letters on a Saturday. We will continue to provide a letter delivery service from Monday to Friday as normal.”

– Royal Mail

Which items will still be delivered and collected on Saturdays?

Royal Mail emphasised that certain items will still be delivered while the normal Saturday delivery is suspended. Customers should continue to post both letters and parcels as usual on Saturday and Royal Mail will continue their Saturday collections from businesses, post offices and post boxes as normal.

Services that will be delivered and unaffected by the normal Saturday delivery suspension include:

  • 1st Class Parcels & Signed For Parcels, Large Letters and Letters
  • 2nd Class Parcels & Signed For Parcels, Large Letters and Letters
  • Royal Mail 24 Parcels and Large Letters
  • Royal Mail Tracked 24 & 48 Parcels and Tracked Letterboxable formats
  • Royal Mail Tracked Returns
  • Special Delivery Guaranteed
  • International import tracked services

How will this impact marketplace sellers?

If you use letter post or large letters to deliver marketplace sales, you’ll want to ensure your handling time and messaging takes into account that Saturday will no longer be a delivery day until the coronavirus disruption is over.

Hopefully marketplaces will adjust their expected delivery dates although as this news has only just been announced that might take time. Remember that most marketplaces have already put steps in place to protect seller metrics so the normal Saturday delivery suspension shouldn’t impact you detrimentally, even if it does increase ‘Where’s my parcel’ questions from customers.

  • Postal Pat
    1 month ago

    Will it make much difference, postie’s will still have to deliver parcels? Can’t see it making things worse than they already are. I need to contact Guinness book of records for a parcel I sent to Sheffield on the 30th March, finally arrived 23rd April. 3.5 weeks for a 2nd class parcel. Luckily the buyer was extremely patient. Other buyers complain after 4 days like the lockdown doesn’t exist.

  • 1 month ago

    Yes it will… because what used to be two guys sharing a van is now one in a van and one on foot. Without letters it’ll be one in a van.

    • RatsoRestoratiosn
      1 month ago

      Hi Chris,

      You might want to look at the wording in the original post as it`s seems to contradict itself. Ie – no letter deliveries on Saturday followed by —->

      “1st Class Parcels & Signed For Parcels, Large Letters and Letters
      2nd Class Parcels & Signed For Parcels, Large Letters and Letters”

      Am I missing something?

    • Stuart
      1 month ago

      I think this is more reason now for ebay to extend ‘estimated’ delivery times on the site. We are flat out busy which is great, but going around in circles with customers saying their orders have’t been delivered on time. Large letters and letter sized post is the worst with orders taking two weeks to arrive!!

    • Jeff
      1 month ago

      Seriously! what they’re looking to do is cut back on Saturday workforce which will inevitably save money those who do work will be expected to deliver 2_3_possibly 4rounds worth of packets not only that people who can’t drive but still want to wok their sa Saturday will probably be expected to push a hct around 2 duties also what we’ve needed since this started and the fact it is one man one van and a lot of offices have a great amount of van share rounds is more vehicles give us the tools to do the job in the first place it’s discusting Rico and his henchmen are using covid19 to implement their plans after all he only wants the
      parcel side of the business anyway get in the real posties world chrisπŸ‘

    • 1 month ago

      Letters won’t be delivered on a Saturday…. UNLESS they are signed for or Special Delivery….

    • Jeff
      1 month ago

      Still waiting for your reply Chris on my opinion of delivery strategy proposed by rm group regarding Saturday delivery proposals let’s have a proper debate your opinion and a proper postman’s opinion 20 years plus by the way?

    • 1 month ago

      Give it a break Jeff, the CWU (the largest Union representing Postal Workers) called for Royal Mail to cut back by THREE days as a temporary measure.

      “As a strictly one-off resolution to the current crisis, Daily deliveries should be reduced to three times a week with only parcels/packets and first class mail being delivered on alternate days.”

      Now you are complaining that as a temporary measure they’ve partially cut back ONE day. Maybe you should take it up with the CWU and ask them to revise their request to Royal Mail to not cutting any days?

    • Jeff
      1 month ago

      Yes Chris agreed that was their proposal to royal mail which royal mail refused nobody has spoken to any of us about this situation its all been done through royal mail bosses and union bosses all we ask is both sides royal mail and union is ask us the people on the front line what our opinion of delivery strategy is after all we’re working on not in a penthouse overlooking Lake Geneva or staying at home dealing with union issues just an opinion πŸ‘

    • 1 month ago

      Hi Jeff, I would suggest if you not happy you ask your local Union Rep for a socially distanced gate meeting and get them to feed back to the General Secretary

    • 1 month ago

      By the way Jeff… Thank you #PostalWorkersDay

    • Jeff
      1 month ago

      Thank you Chris as it happens have just recieved a WhatsApp message from our union rep im hoping this will be resolved through local agreements rather than national i know in our office we wish to deliver the best service we can provide ie six days per week and we will all we can to maintain the sa payment for all of us who are signed up for it

  • Mark
    1 month ago

    I don’t get why the Royal Mail don’t do what the supermarkets have done…take on extra temporary staff. I have heard direct from a postie that the volume of mail is four times what they receive at Christmas.

    • NorthCrystal
      1 month ago

      That would be logical but extra staff is extra expense and less money for corporate dividends.

    • Mr Grumpy
      1 month ago

      They also have to incorporate “Social Distancing” within the sorting offices and this is what is causing all the delays.

      Jo Bloggs just hasn’t got a clue and expects deliveries as normal.

      Amazon customers are the worst ATM, as Amazon have barely adjusted delivery estimates and are hanging SME’s out to dry IMO.

      Ebay are better but need to extend the delivery estimates, not just for customers, but sellers like me, for my stress levels I am beginning to wonder if it was worth opening due to the stress caused.

  • jim
    1 month ago

    before this is done and dusted royal mail will be as important as electricity or running water
    give the posties a massive wage rise
    we would happily pay more if it goes to the troops

  • 1 month ago

    Wouldn’t it be nice if eb*y actually took this into account on the delivery date estimates.. just like they didnt for at least 2 weeks when RM removed all the SLA’s on 30th March… and save us all a tonne if work responding to claims for them to be closed by buyer a couple of days later when the item arrives…

    @Postal Pat We too have had the really patient customers who have been amazing and polite and too many of the other sort that think a global pandemic doesnt apply to them.. probably the same idiots that don’t understand what “stay at home ” means, or what 2m is, or the one way markings in the supermarket they “didnt” have to queu up outside to get in to..

    The latest “feedback” we had was that the tracking automatically uploaded from RM to ebay was “fake” because her item hadn’t turned up after 4 days… deluded!!

  • Toby
    1 month ago

    I have to agree. Royal mail are seriously hard hit at the moment. We have now stopped posting on Mondays as everything was taking 2 weeks to arrive. Yes we followed ebays advice and extended dispatch times… but the buyers don’t get it. They either just don’t look at the delivery estimate or then don’t understand it.. ‘ but it says RM48 which is 2 days delivery..’ has been a common message. Or ‘well all my other mail has arrived on time’ , despite me just explaining that it is patchy and varies from depot ot depot day to day and so as things go through more than one depot it may go straight through or be hit by double delay. It has all been a sorry story.
    Amazingly Royal mail have done a fantastic job of completely denying any knowledge of delays so far… as such ebay has simply relayed the message that they have not been made aware of any by RM. Amazing considering im getting between 30 and 50 messages a day asking where items are, it has been like this for last 2 to 3 weeks. Surely ebay can see that i have gone from one late item from jan to late march…to masses since then?
    In the end i changed all my items to 3 to 5 days courier with 3 day dispatch…. now im getting accused of being a fake chinese seller dispatching from china by some customers.
    Looking at this though through a business point of view, even if only a poor one… From ebays point of view, sellers will increase dispatch time, thus loosing their discounts. Then they will increase prices to cover this and the increasing queue of people wanting refunds ( and im sure a few have worked out that stuff is late and so getting a quick refund could be anew scam for the summer!) Not only that…. sellers will take the blame. Ebay will get away scott free and of course rake in lots of extra FVFs….
    Royal mail will sit back and think that nobody has noticed the issues and so they are sitting pretty at the top while over worked posties get the abuse on the door step and sellers get it too…

    Big business mentality that will come back and bite them on the ass. Ebay will make a few short term wins, before people decide that ebay is too slow and go else where. Even more sellers will leave ebay as they have been anyway. Royal mail will suddenly see that their business customers have started to leave to use other couriers….
    Going to be interesting times later in the year and beyond.

    • Alan Paterson
      1 month ago

      @ Toby, the very idea that ebay would make more money by leaning on sellers to increase delivery/dispatch times makes no sense.

      Every time a seller needs to increase their dispatch time – the convertion rate drops. Not necessarily because the buyer has went to another seller but because they have went off site to buy the product elsewhere.

      ebay loose money same as seller. your logic is flawed.

  • 1 month ago

    Hey people, hope you are fine snd safe. I have a question. I want to use PPI for my e..y business but seeing one problem. If I download from sales manager the packing slip/address label – the last bit of the address line is always country. And as advised by RM – last line of the address should be POSTCODE. Can anyone of you with experience clarify, please? Am I able to use the ebay sales record/packing slip doc to print and peel the addressee label and stick it on the envelope (on the top right corner will be my preprinted PPI barcode (UNA/UNG). Thanks in advance

  • 1 month ago

    I read that this was on the cards before all the virus hit. Royal mail were trying to cut hours to get rid of thousands of staff. The staff voted against it but the day after their ballot the virus kicked in and now royal mail are trying to get it in via the back door using the virus as an excuse

  • Alan Paterson
    1 month ago

    Its not just Saturdays that are suspended – the normal collections from post boxes and post offices have (mostly) been cut back till 1 collection a day – and that collection is often early in the morning.

    Items posted at our local post box at midday on Friday are sitting till Monday morning before collection – even though the collection times are displayed as 5:30pm every day.

    The easter weekend compounded this problem causing many 2nd class letters , large letters and parcels taking AT LEAST a week to arrive.

    I realise that post office is busy but if sellers knew of these changes we could adjust the delivery time on our accounts. I would bet that there are a huge concentration of late delivery and INR defects on sellers account concentrated a week before the Easter weekend.

    On a plus note ebay have already removed late delivery defects from April from some of my clients accounts – so they are on it. Surprisingly defects were removed that didn’t even have tracking numbers or acceptance scans. Evidence that ebay are working through it and they are protecting from “downgrades” anyway.

    • Jeff
      1 month ago

      Not In our office Alan we’re still doing normal collections and our office is clear of all parcels and 95 per cent of all letters we can only deliver what comes from the hubs and its down to our manager Steve who values his workforce and has come up with a strategy thats working if we had more vans one man one vehicle we’d be clear πŸ’ͺπŸ’ͺπŸ’ͺπŸ’ͺ

    • Alan Paterson
      1 month ago

      Jeff, when you say “not in our office” I assume you mean Royal Mail Sorting office?

      Thats why I added the word “mostly” as I was aware that there were claims that some areas were still collecting as normal. But thats not the norm at the moment and thats my point.

      Sellers need to know this and although I commend what you and Steve are accomplishing in your delivery office – this is not the norm for the rest of the country. This is a contributory cause of sellers defects on their account.

      It would be great if what your area was accomplishing was happening elsewhere but its not – and its not mean to be – this is apparently a decision made by PO or Royal Mail. Only your delivery office has a Steve.

  • Jeff
    1 month ago

    agreed Alan the trouble is the upper management of royal mail who have absolutely no idea whatsoever of delivery or collection strategies they are normally from departments within Royal mail who think they can look at a computer screen put some figures in and come up with a completely random useless idea they think will save man hours ie money and still provide a proper delivery service appreciate your reply though what they’re trying to do is use covid to push through ricos plan discusting nobody from royal mail upper managers have spoken to us asking if we’re OK or about the extra work we’re putting in they do not listen to the people on the front line ie me my colleagues or an excellent manager like Steve πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

  • Carolyn Burns
    1 month ago

    @Alan. That makes sense. Almost half my defects are from the time you suggested , between the 6th and the 11th April. Have you any suggestions on reducing this? I send out second class large letters and about 20 a day.

    • Alan Paterson
      1 month ago

      @ Carolyn, yes i have some advice for you but it might sound a bit “odd”.

      Please believe me though when i say i would never, never give advice unless i had good evidence to support it. The only time I have ever been wrong was when I predicted the end of the world back in 2012 (i thought the Myans had valid data) which didn’t transpire.

      Now we have established my credibility here goes ………..

      If you are posting only 20 per day and they are being sent by large letter I would make sure you are doing the following:

      a. If you are using printed labels. STOP. Write the envelope by hand (i know this sounds strange). Envelopes written by hand are far more likely to arrive on time and not be delayed. I cannot explain why but it seems to apply when the lock down started. My clients who are hand writing their envelopes have a SIGNIFICANTLY lower defect rate for late deliveries and INR. The disadvantage is off course if you are hand writing then you are not using DMO or any other dispatch platform that would supply you with a 2d barcode. My advice with this is that 2d barcodes at the moment are almost useless anyway – there is no acceptance scan and if anything the 2d barcode will only prove the item has arrived late. Obviously this strategy is not practical with larger businesses. Hand write envelope for your low volumes – switch back after the lock down has lifted.

      B. Use a stamp rather than a printed label during the crisis. Much like my advice above a STAMP is causing far less defects than a printed label. Again it is difficult to know why. But this is the case. If using stamps make sure you know when the collection time is from your local post box or post offices. Most post offices and post boxes are receiving only 1 collection per day. You need to find out when this collection is and post BEFORE the collection time. Dont believe the times listed on the Post Box – they are likly to be wrong at the moment. If you have a RM collection – stamps may be an issue though. I presume you dont have a collection with only 20 being sent a day.

      If you are using or switching to a post box make sure not to “cram” the post box. It will depend how much mail is already in the post box but sometimes 20 large letters will not fit. Dont cram it as this will only aggravate the postman, make his job more difficult and possibly damage your envelopes. Use 2 postboxes if necessary to avoid “craming” or drop off at a post office – again paying attention to the last collection times.

      It seems strange that hand written envelopes with actual stamps should be treated any different. Off course there is absolutely no tracking but what good is tracking that shows the item arriving late? I wouldn’t recommend this at any other time. But i have crunched the numbers. I noticed some clients had significantly larger differentials in the peer to peer metrics although they are offering the same service to the customer. When i studied it this is the difference. By hand and stamps are working significantly better.

      Please bear in mind though that ebay are protecting you anyway. You will not loose TRS (if you are top rated) and defects will be removed – from my experience whether you have tracking numbers or not (when using stamps you wont).

      Whats meant to happen and what does happen are often 2 very different things.

      It sounds like crazy advice but there is a very clear and distinct pattern.

  • Jonah
    1 month ago

    All this just highlights how utterly flawed and absurd eBay DSR metrics really are. How sellers can possibly have control over any of this is laughable, what next service metrics evaluating the DSR metrics ?

    • Alan Paterson
      1 month ago

      @ Jonah, you know i am usually an advocate for ebay.

      But not with service metrics. I agree with you. i have despised them from the start. One of the reasons I did not continue with my business (i had health issues too) was due to a buyer giving me about 50 (or so) service metric defects in 1 week! This buyer that had tried to cancel the orders he had placed with us PLUS he ended up getting a lot of the orders free. Its a long story.

      But yes the service metrics are a farse. Every item in my business was dispatched on time yet I was sitting in the “high” category for service metric defects (item not received). I was also plagued with late delivery defects as my local depot were often bypassing acceptance scans of the parcels. i could go on.

      However, ebay are in a difficult position. there are a lot of bad sellers out there as well as bad buyers. Bad sellers are often overlooked on Tamebay. ebay need some system to police them. Do i like what they have came up with? Absolutely not. Could i come up with something better? Absolutely. Are ebay doing their best? yes – they dont seem to have any geniuses like me on their payroll.

      however, often the carriers are not doing what they say they are doing. ebays system is based on what they have been told by the carriers.

      ebay must recognise this is particularly relevant now – and this is why they are protecting us during the pandemic. I have to say they have exceeded my expectations during this crisis. Their metric system may suck but their heart is in the right place.

  • Jim
    1 month ago

    Service metrics is just a tool to manipulate
    Ebay lemmings
    We dont even look at ours
    We list and sell with honesty and integrity
    To the best of our ability
    If that fails to suit ebay thats their loss

    • Jim
      1 month ago

      Yes alan we really are awesome
      Ebay can shove their dsrs up their backside
      Were not afraid of divine retribution or being

    • Jonah
      1 month ago

      Absolutely Jim, after all we really cannot control ,,,,,,, what we cannot control.
      It would be very interesting indeed if we sellers were allowed to rate EBay on their performance standards. Never in the history of online selling would I suggest that a platform is despised so much by its core users. As you have said many times Jim, we are only there for the money, and to offer good old fashioned service to our customers for that money. If that’s not good enough for eBay then stuff it.

    • Rob
      1 month ago

      @Jonah, no matter what marketplace you sell on, aren’t you there to provide service to customers?
      If ebay are really that bad, why do you keep selling on there and no go it alone with your own website?
      Yes ebay has many problems but at the minute I find they have been excellent.
      They have provided between them and Packlink cheaper collection than drop off.
      My sales on ebay have never been so good as just had the best month ever of sales on the site
      100 listings with Β£1 final value fee
      Media campaign promoting small business on TV and radio
      I can send items around the world and only have to worry about getting them to the GPS facility.
      Compare this to Amazon who have done nothing for me as a small business. The last couple of weeks I am constantly getting phone calls requesting I sign up for fulfilled by Amazon, why would anyone do that currently when they stop accepting incoming inventory.

    • jim
      1 month ago

      make hay while the sun shines
      the ebay piper will want paid in the future

    • Alan Paterson
      1 month ago

      @ Awesome Jim – i KNOW you are awesome. No need to remind me. Your name is AWESOME JIM. Speaks for itself. you come up with such awesome ideas and philosophies that are nothing short of awesome. You used some big words that i dont get but I have no doubt that your point is simply awesome.

      keep up the awesome work. If you want any help ignoring the DSRs (what an awesome idea) or if you want me to help you “shove them up a backside” then let me know – i have plenty of medical gloves here and KY (another story).

    • jim
      1 month ago

      @anal alan
      We appreciate your kind offer
      with your supplies of surgical gloves and lubricating gel
      your obviously are an anal expert

    • Alan Paterson
      1 month ago

      yes, years of experience Awesome Jim. However with the current situation my partner pointed out that i will need to postpone my offer at this time and practice social distancing.

      Lets revisit when its all over……..

      Lots of sellers on here are full of shit. happy to help eradicate it.

  • Katie A
    1 month ago

    Thanks for your suggestion Alan. I was posting from post boxes but was not aware of the changed collection times. I have shaved 1 day off my delivery times.

    I heard you had COVID-19. Everything OK with you?

    I also heard you had a falling out with someone at ebay and that is why you stopped selling. No Concierge?

  • Alan Paterson
    1 month ago

    @ Katie, glad my advice worked.

    Im fine. I contacted the COVID-19 and given that i have bad pre-existing medical conditions it was a bit worrying. i was ill but not at “deaths door”. I am recovered.

    No, i stopped selling on ebay for several reasons. Firstly i had a buyer purchase about 70 items from me then try and then cancel the orders. We had already shipped some of them but – long story short – he was accidentally refunded so he got many of the items free! The annoying thing was he then open about 50 INR cases for the remaining items he had not received (even though he had canceled the orders).

    I have the utmost respect for concierge and they have given a superb service since they started. I only fell out with 1 agent. when i contacted Concierge to try and clear the mess up of 50 defects in 48 hours – I spoke to the wrong agent. Or maybe we just got off on the wrong foot. i felt he gave me bad advice – refused to protect me and actually challenged me to remove my inventory and quit. My health was bad, my profits were down but this was the catalyst. Later that week I actually collapsed in my unit and woke up face down on the floor.

    Not worth it. I could not continue with my ebay business and had to take time off.

    Not ebays fault. i felt i had been selling the wrong product for a while and too many buyers were abusing returns etc . I will never forget that call though with the agent. i got the impression he simply didnt like me (imagine that!). I was also advised that i should not be helping sellers like you – and to concentrate on my own account. I felt “unloved” lol.

    Not what concierge is meant to be about but you cant get on with everyone lol. Concierge are 99.9% and i almost always got excellent support.

  • 4 weeks ago

    Thought there were no delivery on a saturaday ee have just had a delivery 9th may ?

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