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The Company notes that the full year outcome was impacted by events outside its control. For example, Christmas activity by consumers and companies now includes Cyber Week; it has become a significant part of the festive retail calendar. Christmas itself has always been exempt from Quality of Service regulation because of the exceptionally high mail volumes. Cyber Week, by contrast, can fall within, or outside the exemption period. In 2015-16, all of Cyber Week - from Friday 27 November to Friday 4 December 2015 – fell outside the exemption period. In addition, significant disruption in parts of the country due to poor weather and road closures impacted delivery performance during the period.
The Company believes that if the 2015-16 performance was adjusted for these two factors, an additional 0.31 per cent would be added to the 92.5 per cent reported performance. Allowing for statistical variance the figure would be adjusted by a further +/-0.1 per cent. As announced in February 2016, Royal Mail will ask Ofcom to take these issues into consideration. It will also be asking Ofcom to include Cyber Week in the exemption period, regardless of when it falls. This will be a matter for Ofcom.
Royal Mail is committed to delivering a high quality of service while seeking to become ever more efficient. In doing so, the Company actively reviews the absorbable rate of change and the appropriate balance between quality and efficiency. In the second half of the year, we increased the already very considerable resources deployed to improve our delivery performance.
For 2015-16, at an individual postcode level, 104 of 118 postcode areas met or exceeded their targets over the year. Royal Mail will ask Ofcom to take the impact of Cyber Week and disruption in parts of the country due to poor weather and road closures into account for impacted postcode areas. Allowing for statistical variance, each postcode area performance would be adjusted by a further +/-0.5 per cent. The Company believes that if the 2015-16 performance was adjusted for these three factors, an additional 13 post codes would meet or exceed their targets.
Sue Whalley, Chief Operations Officer, Royal Mail said: “Our postmen and women work extremely hard to deliver demanding targets. Royal Mail has one of the highest Quality of Service specifications of any major European country. We are disappointed that we narrowly missed our First Class target for 2015-16. We are undergoing a major transformation of our business and the market in which we operate is changing rapidly, with more parcels and fewer letters in our network. As we continue to work to increase efficiency, we also remain committed to improving and maintaining our high standards of service to all our customers across the UK.”
Royal Mail’s Quality of Service is measured by TNS Global, an independent market research company3. The latest independent report on performance was published today on Royal Mail’s website at: http://www.royalmailgroup.com/customers/quality-service/quality-service-reports
Beth Longcroft on 07435 768 549
Royal Mail Press Office: 0203 338 1007 (24 hours)
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Royal Mail has the highest quality of service specification of any major European country, compared to Germany, France, Spain and Italy.
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