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Citizens Advice response to Royal Mail's half year financial results

19 November 2020

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

“Today’s financial update from Royal Mail makes clear that parcel delivery is now an essential service. As more people rely on deliveries, our research shows almost half of us (47%) have had a parcel delivery problem since lockdown first began in March. We need to ensure proper protections are in place across the sector so people get their deliveries securely. 

”As the consumer advocate for the postal sector, we’re wary about any calls made to change the Universal Service Obligation. The Universal Service Obligation is a vital safety net that keeps post fair and affordable. Any rebalancing needs to reflect this, so it focuses on people's needs, not just the bottom line. 

“Even before the pandemic, six in ten people said they’d feel cut off from society if they couldn’t send or receive post. During these uncertain times, post is increasingly becoming a lifeline for many. It's allowing people not only to stay connected with loved ones, but also to receive vital financial and health-related information.

“Nothing should be taken away from Royal Mail’s current provision without careful assessment.”

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.
  5. Citizens Advice’s services are free, independent, confidential and impartial, and available to all regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  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.