Royal Mail is the leading provider of postal and parcel delivery services in the UK. We deliver to over 230 countries and territories worldwide.
Royal Mail Quality of service Q4 2019 2020 impacted by Coronavirus
It’s hard not to feel a bit sorry today for Royal Mail, as the Royal Mail Quality of service Q4 2019 2020 was published just before the weekend. The coronavirus hit them hard and whereas they traditionally spend all year planning for Christmas (and indeed Ofcom does not include the Christmas period in Royal Mail’s annual Quality of Service measurement), the pandemic increased mail volumes way above peak levels with no time to prepare.
Anecdotally, at the start of the pandemic I had one parcel which took 15 days to arrive, but in general Royal Mail appear, at least in my area, to have recovered and now letters and parcels appear to be arriving like clockwork in time scales you’d expect at more normal times or with delays no more than a day or two.
The result of unprecedented demand is that during the fourth quarter of the year, Royal Mail’s First Class performance was 93.2% (excluding coronavirus). However, including the impact of coronavirus Royal Mail’s First Class performance for the same period was 91.6%.
It’s worth digging a little deeper into this, the past four year’s fourth quarter performance from 2017 to 2020 has been 93.10%, 88.80%, 92.00%, and now 91.60% which average out at 91.375%. Even with the impact of coronavirus Royal Mail’s performance is above average for the past four years this last quarter. It’s also worth noting that Royal Mail missed their First Class performance target for seven quarters in a row, before they exceeded it for two quarters and then dipped below again in the past two quarters. Despite the pandemic which has had an obvious impact, this year has seen Royal Mail increase it’s performance compared to recent years.
The Royal Mail Quality of service Q4 2019 2020 reports that the business exceeded their Second Class target of 98.% of mail delivered on time achieving 98.7%.
Royal Mail Quality of service Q4 2019 2020 full year results
Royal Mail missed its annual regulatory target for First Class mail, delivering 92.6 per cent the next working day, against a target of 93.0 per cent. The Company notes that the full year outcome for First Class mail was significantly impacted by the coronavirus crisis. This led to high levels of coronavirus-related absences during the tail end of the 2019-20 financial year. Up until the 15th of March, Royal Mail was meeting its First Class target for the full year with a performance of 93.0%.
Royal Mail believes that, if the 2019-20 performance was adjusted to take into account the impact of coronavirus, the Royal Mail Quality of service Q4 2019 2020 full year results would have hit their First Class target. Royal Mail is asking Ofcom to take these issues into consideration. It will be for Ofcom to decide.
Royal Mail has exceeded its annual regulatory target of 98.5 per cent for Second Class mail, delivering 98.7 per cent of mail within three working days.
I just wish they would actually SCAN the stuff is it to much to ask.
Have they done any upscaling to speak of to deal with the extra demand. I know we went from 9 drivers to now 35 and god knows how much support staff in my driving job.
Plus these targets are fudged and I not believe them there is no way they hit close to these targets by the looks of when our orders have arrived.
Firstly i appreciate all the hard work done by our posties… However those figures don’t represent what we have seen at all!
From mid april to recently we have seen dire delivery times. Yes some have been spot on, but those which were late seemed to be 2 to 3 weeks late. My postie here informed me that they were running at a third of the staff at one point, so fair point… however what isn’t fair is that RM went for so long denying there werre any real issues. Well when you are getting 30 to 50 enquires a day as to where items are after several days then yes there is a problem… When you are still getting people coming back to you after 3 weeks, there is a big issue! When you spend over 2 to 3 hours a day looking into missing items and delays, while delaying with unprecidented order levels yourself…. There is a problem.
According to my postie what the issue was, apart from the obvious, is that any mail that couldn’t be dealt with on the day it came in on, was simply piled up in the warehouse or anywhere there was space and filtered in to the following days mail as and when space permitted. So a parcel delayed on a monday might not actually enter the system until friday or later! There was a picture on FB of our depot which had the entire carpark full of york trollies stacked with mail! Apparantly in some places the mail was loaded onto lorries and just driven to another site and back to deal with it as no where to store it.
So yes we appreciate the nightmare it was for rm … But the silence and then denial was a complete kick in the teeth… esp as soon as the scammers on ebay realised it was a great new scam as ebay would always refund them and they got their item… after all ebay didn’t admit there were delays as rM were telling them there weren’t!
The whole episode has abeena disgusting shambles on behalf of RM management, with the poor floor staff left to take the flak.
… As for those that will pipe up and say ‘none of my mail was delayed’…. well you were lucky, we weren’t.
Out of all the couriers that we deal with from Hermes, DPD Red & Blue, Fed Ex, Yodel, APC and the rest, all delivered on time apart from the odd 1 day late. Yet Royal Mail have been delaying, losing and being very ignorant of the situation. We have had a customer today admit that the delayed item that we refunded back to them has in fact turned up almost 4 weeks late. It’s no surprise that Royal Mail are in trouble. We only use them for Large Letters as we moved our parcels 4 years ago. If we could find a company that did Large Letters for the same price then they would lose that as well.
I can remember a logo that Royal Mail had a few years ago and I don’t think they use it now which said, “With Us It’s Personal”
None of those couriers have to deliver mail as well though, and I’ve had packages from these couriers that have been massively delayed so it’s a problem for all couriers it would seem. On my round I’ve had people moaning about them all so I think you’re being a bit harsh there as all couriers are working hard but not all of them have to take hundreds of parcels and 2 or 3 days worth of mail all at the same time.
Generally, (not just during the current Covid crisis), in order for Royal Mail to try to achieve the Ofcom targets, as soon as a parcel has missed the target timescale, it seems to be put to the side to be dealt with later – often much later!
It’s understandable that if you have this type of target, that’s all that matters.
Regarding late mail, it’s not important to them whether it’s a day late or 3 weeks, so no urgency is placed on catching up.
Perhaps the target should be changed to an “average” delivery timescale so that degrees of lateness are measured properly and it becomes an important factor..
No one in my area has received the Boris letter from two months ago yet. Therefore no idea what this lockdown stuff is. Off for a trip to a castle to test my eyesight tomorrow so if you do wave at my erratic driving on the motorway, I may not be able to see you for which I refuse to apologise.
Looking forward to the cummings of Q1 2020/2021 report.
It will include the whole April (start of lockdown + easter) and May (still lockdown + 2 bank holidays).
Judging from our RM tracking records it will be rather disaster… unless RM will make “correction” of accuracy for its service performance.
Jesus! You people in your ivory towers. You haven’t got a ******* clue how difficult it’s been for the last two months. Please keep complaining though.
@Ian, luckily I don’t use RM much, only for the odd low value item or odd signed for item. The low value items I have had item not received cases. Either they know the system to get a freebie or it has been delayed weeks but no clue to know if or where it is or if it has been delivered as not been scanned.
Least when I send parcels with Hermes tracking is accurate, I can tell if it is lost or delayed so know if to refund or send another item out.
If a postman does not bother to scan a barcode they still get paid the same. If a customer claims it has not been delivered the seller loses out.
@ Ian, I always have a chuckle at postman who think they have it so much better than us self employed ebay sellers (especially the postman in favour of striking).
Have you ever worked for yourself? 12 hour consecutive shifts with no income.
And then postmen come along and because they don’t like THEIR conditions they threaten my business.
I have literally had an entire weeks income / profit written off because the delivering driver did not scan the item properly. I am sure you would be running to your union if you weren’t paid?
Im not complaining – I chose self employment but it irks me when postman point at us in our “ivory towers”. You don’t get it buddy.
To some sellers its you guys in your ivory towers.
To be fair to you, I think Royal Mail did a good job during the pandemic.
I have been a postman for 5 years now, and I can see that Royal Mail just can’t operate as the other courier companies do because of the letters. The letters take up so much time to prep and deliver and we walk it all.
I started when the service was by and large similar to how it had been before privatisation and there have been many changes over my time here. One of the main things I find frustrating is the staff and overtime cuts. In the morning I am now prepping a workload that was done by two people but because they are clawing back hours and minutes my partner won’t be in until delivery only. Its quite a stressful system- rushing does lead to mistakes. The rounds only ever get bigger, houses are generally being built not pulled down but we are supposed to absorb this in the same working hours.
During this pandemic, we have obviously has staff sickness and this has led to managment only sending out half rounds, or prioritising parcels only whilst the letters are left in the frame to be do next day.
There is this constant budgeting of staff hours. In the current crisis, we have postpeople, many part time looking to come in early and help with prep but are being turned away (it’s a standard same as usual hours rate many will recieve as well) and many full time who would do a extra for overtime are now being told no. Parcels have quadrupled, but aside the sicknesses there are more man hour cuts than usual!
I feel sorry for customers and posties like myself because the service though we have many technological advances, is feeling more and more second rate.
The barcodes, I always scan mine, but sometimes the 2D ones just don’t work, because of a printing error or a crease when it’s been stuck down. I’d say I get one or two a day generally that won’t scan- which is a lot when you apply that to every post person.
This is exactly as I thought they are simply not prepared to upscale to meet demand. This is not right. I know exactly the stress of a delivery role but at least our lot are upscaling to meet demand.
This is poor senior management running right through Royal Mail.
The targets are a complete sham and a lie. Not upscaling is also bad business. As well as a biz customer I have a lot shares in RMG and would rather have my orders delivered and scanned than any divi right now.
Not one thing we sent 24 on Tuesday has arrived yet.
We moved our business away from RM years ago. We send a lot of items abroad- why queue in a Post Office when I can have an item collected by a courier? We remember some tracked delivery times to France via RM being 5 to 7 weeks, for a couple of pounds more the item is there in 1 to 2 days with a courier. Less hassle, happy customers and more repeat custom. It’s a no brainer.
Yes, Jonah. I totally agree. That is exactly my experience. And I should have made the decision before, but the Crisis forced me to change.
As a former postman, I loyally (and in hindsight, foolishly) trudged up to the Post Office, to queue and be made to feel that my significant repeat business was not valued. That was valuable time when I could be doing other, more productive, things. Then, when social distancing hit, I signed up for Drop and Go – to be told that they would not operate it. The local Delivery Office also cut its hours to just six hours a week, and infection control became too much of a risk, so Click and Drop was eliminated too. So I dropped the Post Office and Royal Mail, and now use UPS for almost everything and only using Royal Mail or Hermes as a last resort.
P.S. The last one high value delivery that I sent through Royal Mail took many weeks to get to France. When Royal Mail is upsetting me, I can get over it. When Royal Mail is upsetting my hard-won customers and therefore my reputation, that was the last straw.
First of all Ofcom really need to take social distancing and PPE into consideration. RM have gone from sending two delivery people out on delivery per van, to just one. Even if a delivery person does have a van, on some days the volume of packets is so high, the van’s are not large and do not have enough space. We also have to prioritise some items due to high volumes.
Secondly, any customer that puts a 2D barcode on delivery items and think that they have preferential treatment, needs to get there head out of the clouds. Stop trying to make out that the item is not being delivered or it has been delayed by 2 to 3 weeks, (talk about making a mountain out of a mole hill). If you don’t receive a scanned confirmation, try posting your item as an official Tracked item if you want delivery confirmation, this is a proven system and is enforced within RM.
Please stop comparing other delivery companies to RM. Especially when Ofcom give them a wider birth.
And that is one of the reason I don’t use RM much, as with the attitude of why should I bother scanning an item if you have not bothered to send it tracked. How are sellers meant to know if an item has been delivered or not when the buyer is claiming they have not received it. It’s ok you don’t have to worry about refunds when something is not delivered.
It’s always the same when somebody who works for RM comes on here, excuses, excuses, excuses. Everybody is going through the same and everybody has to work differently and some of us are working a lot longer as well. All we are asking is to do the job you are paid to do and stop winging about the slightest thing.
as usual – as with most postmen – you are really not understanding things – at all.
None of the sellers are looking for “preferential treatment” as you put it. You really are being quite rude with that conclusion. All we are looking for is for the service we are paying for – within reason during the pandemic. Items WERE taking 2 weeks to arrive and that is beyond reason. You say “stop trying to make out items were taking 2 – 3 weeks to arrive”. I have many many examples that were taking at least 2 weeks.
Even BEFORE the pandemic I was seeing 2d barcodes unscanned every day. You say to upgrade the service? Well tracked 24 and tracked 48 was not working too well either. During the pandemic all I was seeing for special delivery was a code – no signature (which I know was announced). So upgrading wouldn’t make much difference now , would it? And at nearly ten times the cost!
Some of my clients were getting negative feedback and cases open for item that had not been delivered 2 weeks after posting! Am I a liar?
And you obviously have no clue the pressure sellers are under for the ebay metrics. Your post kinda made my blood boil.
To put it in “postman” terms imagine having a huge amount of your salary deducted if you didn’t achieve certain “standards” every month. Us sellers don’t have a union to go crying to and there is very little employment rights when you are self employed.
ebay allow only a small amount of “defects” ie. parcels not to arrive on time before they start charging extra fees (no small amount either) and downgrading our listings which severely effects sales and therefore income. A lot of the time its not that the parcel hasn’t arrived on time – its the postman not scanning the bloody parcel.
Its aggravating to see posts like yours who have absolutely no comprehension about ebay performance metrics and defect system and how it can cripple a business if postmen don’t do their job. If yours is typical of a postman attitude I can see why the job is not being done correctly.
One of my clients sells coat buttons. You say she should upgrade to tracked to get the service that normal post should provide? thats not a solution! The postage would be costing more than the product. Typical attitude on someone on a salary or hourly rate with no ides about profit / loss.
ebay themselves looked at the performance of normal first and second class post during the pandemic and offered to intervene and allow up to 10 days for an item to be delivered by Royal Mail. But some items were taking 2 weeks! You dismissed this in your post as what …….. exaggeration?
“Making a mountain out of a molehill” you say. let me tell you that when I was trading at my normal level that the penalty to not achieve the metic ebay had set would cost me more than I was earning in a month! Hardy a “mountain out of a molehill”.
Your post Frontliner must be the most ignorant clueless post that I have ever read on Tamebay. You are someone who definitely “doesn’t get it”. Go read up on service and performance metrics before you come on here and tell ebay sellers that its not important.
Tracked? And delivery (confirmation)?!
2nd class LL with delivery confirmation costs my business less than £1. The same LL with Tracked48 costs more than £3.6 (!) yet it’s not guaranteed to receive “delivery confirmation”. Sorry I cannot obtain exact figures, the RM invoice is at my accountant’s office, yet the RM billing IT system does not work on mobile internet (2020!!!).
2500 LLs sent from us in April and RM so far has managed to lose 1 delivery Tracked48, and 1 delivery of RM48.
Thanks for the advice, but I prefer to stay with non-tracked options, I guess my customers also prefer lower prices for same product(s).
@ Rob and Tony
Are you dealing in legitimate goods or are you just trying to belittle RM.
A 2D barcode is for the purpose of damaged, poorly packaged and trying to trace items for cheap poor penny pinchers.
As I have said, Tracked deliveries is a cheaper and more effective way than Special Deliveries, and is becoming more successful every day.
Like I said I don’t send much with RM due to attitudes like yours. Can’t be bothered scanning a barcode as it is a cheap item. Maybe you should invest in a little technology that allows all items to be scanned in a sorting office instead of relying on someone standing there manually having to scan every barcode that goes through a sorting office. Guess the unions would soon say no to that.
It’s not called penny pinching, it’s call looked after the pennies and the pounds look after themselves. Better to send items with Hermes and can see it is tracked along the way or if it gets lost easy to see.
I’ve sent over 1000 items in the last couple of months with Hermes and UPS and so far only 1 has been reported lost, couple of damages and few been delayed by a few days.
Sent 4 or 5 items with RM and one large letter is either 11th May and either very late, lost or not scanned as the service should do.
I am sure you can work out why I don’t come rushing to RM with my business
As Alan says, you don’t have to worry about refunds and working for nothing. RM still get paid for the letter, buy gets a full refund and possibly the item. I get nothing. It’s called principles which you bang on about so much when you threaten to strike all the time. Management have promised this or promised that. RM service for 2d barcodes should be scanned but you don’t. Can’t have it both ways
Sorry if I offended anyone else with my cheap poor penny pinching comment,
The 2D posting system is just as good as any other tracking system when used correctly.
My apologies again.
@ Frontliner. yes, you offended me (as you can see from my post above if it passes moderation).
And I do not know how you can sayTracked deliveries is superior to Special Delivery.
“A 2D barcode is for the purpose of damaged, poorly packaged and trying to trace items for cheap poor penny pinchers.”
Although you then apologised for your comment (probably in fear of possible repercussions in your Job) I think its a disgrace that a postman should write such a thing. this attitude is ripe throughout Royal Mail and is why we – as sellers – are not getting our items scanned. You guys don’t think it is important. Speaks volumes.
Volume. Our office scans and sorts, on average 3,500-4,000 tracked items each night for delivery. We have 2 people doing this constantly all night.
We handle on average around 6,000-8,000 parcels with a 2D barcode, these need to be prepared for delivery.
We handle on average around 10,000-13,000 franked and stamped parcels, not including leaflets and letters.
This is all prepared and delivered by 105 staff at full capacity (before coid-19), in 8 hours.
At current levels we are achieving 97% scanned items that are Tracked per day. over a 2 day split delivery system 87% per day, the remaining 13 % of items are filtered in the following day, unfortunately we do not have the resources to be able to deliver all items every day.
I am not trying to prove a point, this is just what we have to distribute to over 60,000 customers.
Do the maths yourself.
Tell me witch of yours and everyone elses items are delayed and have gone missing, I will personally sort this out for you.
thats a rather myopic point of view. I have had this conversation with many many postman over the decades I have been doing mail order.
The moment you said “at my office” I rolled my eyes. Not this again……
YOUR office doesn’t handle the mail for the whole country – only your area. What I am observing is the ENTIRE country – not just your ONE delivery office. If your office is keeping up – thats fantastic but ebay don’t base their metrics on your office – its based on UK with international being a separate metric.
So I lost interest in your post there – sorry. The metrics for your particular office are not a reflection of the entire country and therefore have a microscopic effect on service metrics. The naivety that you show is quite incredible.
The very idea that you would come on here and question sellers when they tell you mail is taking 2/ 3 weeks is very frustrating. the very idea you would point and say the delivery times are untrue based on your own little delivery office beggars belief. Do you walk round with blinkers on?
When I last checked there were nearly 1500 operational delivery offices in the country so statistically (assuming equal spread of mail which I know is not always the case) your delivery office is dealing with less than 0.1% of the mail. how much do you think your particular delivery office has an effect on ebay service metrics?
I could name the “hot spots” of delivery offices consistently failing to deliver within 2 weeks but that would be unfair and is not my point.
Again, I cannot believe how much you do not understand the issue by starting to quote all the stats from an office that handles a minute fraction of the countries mail. Your response illustrates your ignorance of the national issue and your attitude speaks volumes of why our mail is not being scanned.
Not being scanned can potentially cause a DEFECT and some of my clients can take as few as 10 of these defects over a 3 month period before penalties are applied by ebay. That means (in theory) it only takes 1 lazy postman every 9 days to potentially effect a sellers business. And Amazon can be even worse – often withholding our money if the defects rise over 1%.
Thats before I even explore the issue of dishonest customers and don’t even start me on acceptance scans…………
Go do some homework first before coming on here accusing sellers of being penniless penny pinchers and questioning whether their goods are legitimate. I mean, how dare you! And we are definitely, definitely not “making a mountain out a molehill”. I have seen many sellers close their business over defects as it has made their business financially unviable. The 4% penalty that is applied by ebay isn’t based on the sellers fees – its based on their TURNOVER and some sellers are making less than 4% NET. DO THE MATH. (that means no income).
We need Royal Mail to do what they say they were going to do with mail. Why? Because thats what they have told ebay to expect!
“Mountain out a molehill” indeed!
I AM SORRY ABOUT THIS RANT BUT YOUR POST REALLY ANNOYED ME. AND SO I CONTINUE……………..
You were banging on about Royal Mail Tracked service. Are you aware that most sellers do not have access to this service? You cannot buy the tracked 24 or Tracked 48 service ( I am talking about the named service) from a post office. If you want to send an item fully tracked from a post office (which is still the majority of small sellers) you will be pointed at special delivery and signed for is something different (classed as non-trackable but thats for another post). sounds like you don’t even know your services.
You finish by saying:
“Tell me witch of yours and everyone elses items are delayed and have gone missing, I will personally sort this out for you.”
I am not very good with sarcasm. Are you taking the Mickey? or are you really that naive? You are either a funny guy ending on a high note or a naive fool. I cant decide which………..
One thing is for sure …….. you don’t “get it”.
The attitude of the Frontliner claiming to be a postman above is appalling. To be fair, postmen and postwomen have been mistreated by the Royal Mail for a long time. How do I know this?
Because I know that having worked as a postman many years ago, and been a union rep elsewhere (not in the CWU), the Royal Mail was infected with a disease – its poisonous industrial relations that continue to be dominated by acrimony and ill-feeling.
The Communications Workers Union “leadership” (are they democratic?) appears to be living in the 1970s, thinking that it is OK to hold the country to ransom repeatedly like the miners did, for example their threat to disrupt the post during the 2019 General Election.
They display the same approach to democracy and representing members properly as the NUM under Arthur Scargill did. And as the RMT still does to our trains.
Unfortunately, the management of the Royal Mail is lumbered with the CWU. Even when management try to engage positively, and when aspects of the CWU do, it all gets dragged back to acrimony. It’s like a clapped out Morris Minor that keeps breaking down.
At the beginning of this Crisis, I was impressed with RM keeping things going. Then the CWU got involved, issuing a ridiculously long “set of demands”. It’s like watching Made in Dagenham, except we are 50 years in the future from Ford’s – but aspects of the CWU still behave as if they want Communist Revolution. And they behave like Citizen Smith/Jeremy Corbyn, instead of being constructive.
I have contacted my local Federation of Small Business people to make representations to get RM and CWU to talk. They assured me that their lobbyists took steps.
Hopefully this will continue, and we won’t get strikes, but I cannot trust my business to an organisation that threatens me and my customers in this way, and when postmen like Frontliner display such attitudes on here, they further dent the reputation of a once great organisation that not only helped my father get an education and employment, but led to his career in civil service.
Let’s do some stats.
4000 tracked items to be “scanned and sorted” by 2 people for the “whole night”.
I don’t know if the “4000 items a night” at your “office” is a recent figure dictated by high demand after bank holiday, or by lockdown implications. Or if the 4000 being daily average for past year….
So let’s assume 4000 is the average per shift. 2 people. That’s 2000 items per shift per person.
I take the shift is 8 hours long, and they get 30mins break time. So that’s 7.5hrs of work to “sort and scan” 2000 items.
Now, I don’t know what “scan and sort” work involves, as I’m just a small business owner spending 20-25k per year with RM for postage.
Back to stats. 2000 items / 7.5hours = 266.66 items
267 / 60 minutes = 4.44 items per minute.
Last time I was in a supermarket the cashier hasn’t taken 20seconds on average to scan 1 item.
I used to scan the RM barcodes into ebay using a handheld scanner (I would print out 2 labels – one for the actual parcel and one for my order page).
I could scan a barcode at a rate of one every 15 seconds and that included opening the ebay page for each one.
Anyway, I stopped scanning them in as it was actually damaging my account. The parcels were either not getting an acceptance scan before midnight (defect) or not receiving a delivery scan (defect). Adding tracking was actually causing MORE damage because postmen were not doing their jobs correctly.
Doesn’t take many defects to loose the TRS badge or cause a problem with service metrics. The peers are sitting at 0.62% for INR – not much to play with.
RM delivery offices also have metrics but they regularly cheat by scanning parcels delivered when they are still at the delivery office or on the van. This is why tracking often shows an item delivered and the customer claims “no”. Way too many problems and the postmen seem to have concluded amongst themselves (off course they have no respect for RM management) that it is not important and they are being asked to do too much. Who looses …… the sellers.
I really do hope that there are more postman than Frontliner reading this so the word can get out how important these scans are. I have never seen an industry where employees have to be persuaded to do their job correctly.
@ the following
When did I mention the CWU?
Are you trying to demoralise the CWU or RM?
I stand alone. Try and come back to RM now and then decide.
Try walking backwards and forwards to your cashier with each of your 4,000 items. Let’s see who quits first!
As an employee, I treat RM as it was my own business and I am only 0.000001%
of the work force. But I am also a share holder and even though you think a small majority of us don’t care, I do.
are you still talking?
You said there were two of you sharing the “big amount of work” so it’s 2000 and not 4000 per head.
Yeah, I should probably thank you for turning up to work.
If you don’t like the work then quit it. If it’s too much work for you then quit it either way. There are other industries — more automated — so walking “backwards and forwards” is not essential there as much.