Citizens Advice responds to Ofcom's user needs review of the postal sector

Alistair Cromwell, Acting Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:

“Post is a vital public service and the Universal Service Obligation is the safety net that protects it for everyone. We must be cautious about making swift judgements about the long term during the pandemic. We don’t want to see the start of a slippery slope in reductions to the service.

“‘Rebalancing' can’t just be a byword for cuts, any rebalancing needs to make sure the safety net is strengthened. Right now we know that some services aren't affordable, and millions of people still struggle to get their post because they don't have a safe or secure address. There is still work to be done. 

“Any decisions to change this key public service need to be made with proper scrutiny. We’re yet to see any proposal from Royal Mail on what a genuine rebalancing could look like.”


Citizens Advice is the consumer advocate for the postal sector.

Notes to editors

  1. Citizens Advice includes the national charity; the network of independent local Citizens Advice charities across England and Wales; the Citizens Advice consumer service; and the Witness Service.

  2. Citizens Advice is the statutory consumer advocate for energy and post. We provide supplier performance information to consumers and policy analysis to decision makers.

  3. The Citizens Advice Witness Service provides free, independent support for prosecution and defence witnesses in every criminal court in England and Wales.

  4. Citizens Advice offers Pension Wise services at 500 locations in England and Wales.

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  6. To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice, visit

  7. For consumer advice, call the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133 or 0808 223 1144 to talk in Welsh.

  8. We helped 2.6 million people face to face, by phone, email and webchat in 2017-18. For service statistics see our monthly publication Advice trends.

  9. Citizens Advice staff are supported by over 23,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 locations in England and Wales.