Royal Mail Stamp Price Rises Take Effect
Price rises for first class and second class stamps have taken effect after weeks of stockpiling by customers.
As the cost of a second class stamp rises to 50p, instead of 36p, and a first class stamp to 60p, up from 46p, the Royal Mail insisted the move was necessary and that they are still the cheapest postal service in Europe.
Post offices reported cases of bulk-buying of stamps after the price rise was announced a month ago.
Chief executive Moya Greene said the new prices were "incredible value for money", and argued that despite the rise, a first class stamp would still be in the bottom half of most prices in other European countries, and around half the cost of posting letters in France and Germany.
The decision followed a ruling by the communications watchdog Ofcom to allow Royal Mail to charge what it likes for stamps as part of a range of measures to safeguard the UK's universal postal service.
A Royal Mail spokesman said: "Raising prices is never easy, it is not a decision we have taken lightly but regretfully we have had no choice but to do."
"Royal Mail has made a loss in its core mail business, including packets, of almost £1bn over the last four financial years, that is not a sustainable position for any business."
However, Ofcom has said it is planning to cap what Royal Mail can charge to send large letters and small parcels second class, to help protect vulnerable consumers and small businesses from price increases.
Research by software provider Sage, showed that 51% of small and medium sized businesses send business correspondence through the post every day, with a further 26% of entrepreneurs using the service at least once a week.
It also found that businesses which send 10 invoices each day by first-class post, will be paying an additional £338 per annum compared to last year because of the price hike.
Lee Perkins, Managing Director for Sage UK Small Business Division, said: "By increasing prices at a time when small business finances are under extensive pressure the company is forcing owners to examine their back room functions and really question whether items have to be sent by post.
"The Royal Mail has shot itself in the foot by not fully considering the financial pressures both consumers and businesses are under."
Royal Mail delivers around 59 million items a day.
But deliveries have been declining by around 5% per year, even as internet shopping drives growth in packet delivery services.
Adam Scorer, director of policy and external affairs at Consumer Focus, said: "The economics of Royal Mail meant that something had to give to keep the six-day delivery universal service obligation.
"Consumers will have to pay more to put Royal Mail on a more sustainable footing, but the onus shouldn't be all on consumers."
what do you think?
Outrageous. We are not even receiving a decent service. Damn cheek if you ask me!!!
Simple.. as from today my company sends all invoices by email where possible and will pay by BACS again where possible, we expect to cut the number of items posted by 70% Thanks Royal mail for this money saving idea!
Aye, you all moan when train fares go up 10p where are the trolls now that postage has went up 9000%thank heavens for e-mail, cowboy post office
Its very apparent that those in charge of the royal mail are completely out of touch with the modern age and the modern consumer. Facts are in the past people would accept paying more for a lesser service they might grumble but they would use it however in the the present people do not and will not accept paying more for a lesser service. The will simply find cheaper and better alternate methods of sending there mail and parcels so by raising prices and assuming that people will just roll over and take it they have infact hammered the last nail in the coffin. After all as it is over 80% of bills and letters are now sent via Email , company's now often use alternate postal services , internet sellers rairly use royal mail to send there parcels. Of the last 8 items i bought of eBay from different sellers not one was delivered by royal mail.
Does not bother me, I will send more e mails and watch the Royal Mail slide into decline. Why compare with Europe, some of those countries have higher wages.
Why isn't the Government cracking down on these inflation busting rises when they are asking everyone to accept one austerity measure after another
is HOLLAND PART OF EUROPE,THOUGHT SO FIRST CLASS STAMPS HERE 44 CT EQUATES TO 36 PENCE, ARE YOU SURE ENGLAND THE CHEAPEST
I think what Royal Mail means is that we are still the cheapest for those that can afford it......
Nothing surprises me anymore
I'll still use Royal Mail - its's a great service and you can't send everything by email. It's cheaper than delivering it myself. Still costs less than many chocolate bars out there.
Well said amanda! Prob the same people moaning, that happily fork out for mackie d rubbish, fags etc......but 60p that takes your letter to the other end of the country.......SHOCK HORROR!!!!!
The Royal Mail's service is simply awful. I had one package opened and the contents scattered around the floor of the mail van - and then someone tried to cover up the crime and it took several days more before I discovered that anything was wrong. I had a card saying something was too big to deliver, but my local post office didn't have it, and the sorting office hadn't it either, so we had each blamimng the other.
Ok, DELIVER. IT. YOURSELVES! Could you?...........for 60p? How many of the moaners still buy fags? My poor daughter is the manageress of a post office, and has to listen to nearly every bloody customer moaning, not her fault........i know what shes saying under her breath! Lol!
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