For the last few years the Royal Mail has been run by idiots. Lions led by donkeys.
The management of the Royal Mail - I can't be bothered looking up who it is this week - have been bleating for years that their legal requirement to cover every letterbox in the UK is an unprofitable burden because letter volumes are falling. The only profitable part of their business, we are told, is the parcel business which has been boosted by the huge increases in internet shopping.
So what are they proposing to do on April 2nd?
"No increase in basic postal rates" is the PR headline.
Well, let me tell you what they are doing and what they haven't even had the courtesy to advise their hard working counter staff about yet. They are putting up their parcel rates of up to 200% and more.
That's correct, they are implementing a bizarre manoeuvre to banish the simple "standard parcel rate" and replace it with a complicated set of prices for small, medium and large parcels. Any parcel larger than 8cm thick (ie most of them apart from jiffy bags and books) is re-classified as a "medium" parcel and as such subject to the ridiculous increases.
A typical 750gm parcel costs £2.20 to send UK wide at present. From next month it will cost £5.20 (2nd) or £5.65 (1st). A 1500gm parcel costs £5.30 at the moment and will increase to £8.00 (2nd) or £8.90 (1st).
This is spectacular stupidity - to kill off the growing, profitable part of the business and carry on with the the unprofitable part. We are a small business but spend around £8,000 a year with the Royal Mail which will certainly be diverted to firms like Hermes and Connect Plus who offer fully tracked services for competitive prices. Where the 750gm parcel will be £5.20 from Royal Mail (2nd class untracked), the Hermes price is £3.30 (tracked, and including collection if you desire it). The £8.00 cost of a 1500gm parcel by Royal Mail will cost just £4.20 by Hermes, and the differentials continue for larger and heavier parcels. Royal Mail are playing directly into the hands of those who wish the entire organisation sold off to private Companies.
The new Post Office services leaflet includes an infographic purporting to show how the new system is as easy as "one two three". In fact, it disguises a hidden message from Royal Mail top management to its staff and customers - see if you can work out what it is: