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Citizens Advice reacts to Ofcom calls on future of postal service

24 January 2024
Citizens Advice has responded to Ofcom's latest report into the future of the UK's postal service.

Morgan Wild, Interim Director of Policy at Citizens Advice, said: 

“Given Royal Mail has failed to meet its targets for nearly half a decade, it’s clear the current Universal Service Obligation (USO) is falling short of its fundamental purpose: safeguarding consumers. Any changes must prioritise their needs, not Royal Mail’s bottom line. 

“We agree that improving reliability is essential. Late post has real consequences - people miss vital medical appointments, legal documents and benefit decisions. 

“Cutting services won’t automatically make letter deliveries more reliable, so we must see proposals to tackle the cause of Royal Mail’s persistent failings. Ofcom and the government have to spell out how any revised USO will start to deliver for the millions of us who rely on it.” 

This graph demonstrates the changes in the price of a first class stamp since Q1 2019 compared to Royal Mail delivery targets. 

Data

  • 1 in 4 (25%) people were hit by letter delays in the month up to 5 January 2023, the equivalent of 12.1 million people

  • The four regions in England that were hit hardest:      

    • South East: 31% 

    • Eastern 29% 

    • London: 29% 

    • South West: 28%

  • Of the people hit by letter delays, the majority (66%) said they received no letters for at least one week

Notes to editors

  1. Yonder Data Solutions surveyed 2,074 18+ UK adults between 5 and 7 January 2024 to ask them about their experiences of letter delays.
  2. Citizens Advice is made up of the national charity Citizens Advice; the network of independent local Citizens Advice charities across England and Wales; the Citizens Advice consumer service; and the Witness Service.
  3. Our network of charities offers impartial advice online, over the phone, and in person, for free.
  4. Citizens Advice helped 2.66 million people face to face, over the phone, by email and webchat in 2022-23. And we had 60.6 million visits to our website. For full service statistics see our monthly publication Advice trends.
  5. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 16,000 trained volunteers, working at over 1,600 service outlets across England and Wales.
  6. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133 or 0808 223 1144 for Welsh language speakers.