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Royal Mail is failing everyone but shareholders

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How very pleasant for Simon Thompson, Royal Mail’s chief executive, to tell us that the company has “improved its efficiency” and that it did not want to “invest in services that perhaps customers no longer need” (Boost for shareholders as parcels help Royal Mail to £311m profit, 18 November).

Here in Oxford in recent times postal deliveries have been sparse, often taking up to two weeks for delivery. Is this part of Mr Thompson’s efficiency drive? I am currently being treated for incurable bladder cancer, and information on appointments, including scans, usually come in the post. Time is of the essence, and late delivery could mean I miss an appointment – bad for me and wasteful of the precious time of the admirable beings who are treating me.

As to whether Saturday deliveries should be disbanded by what is no longer a “state-run operation”, the answer is no, yet almost certainly this will happen as a matter of “good business practice” – and forget about something once-upon-a-time called a universal service. Well done, chaps at Royal Mail, keep drawing your enormous salaries and keep using the post.
Bruce Ross-Smith

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It is all very well for Royal Mail to be paying out £400m to shareholders as it capitalises on parcels from an increase in online shopping, but here in Oxford it seems unable to deliver anything much at all. Over the last couple of months deliveries have been regularly delayed for anything up to a fortnight, with little or no explanation. We have had no deliveries all week, and I’m seriously missing my Private Eye fix – the 12 November issue has yet to arrive. Perhaps the now well-remunerated shareholders could spare a little of their largesse to fund a proper delivery service that keeps to the delivery remit for so-called first- and second-class post.
Anthony Cheke

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It has just taken 17 days for a letter I posted second class from Holmfirth to arrive in nearby Wakefield, a distance of 18 miles. The advice to “post early for Christmas” has never been more important – Christmas 2022, that is.
David Hinchliffe
Holmfirth, West Yorkshire

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