Royal Mail has been found to deliver mail less than once a week in some towns and cities in Britain.
Hospital appointment letters, birthday cards, packages and important bills have been lost due to delays caused by a staffing crisis.
In one city, households say they receive mail as little as once a fortnight.
Postal workers say delivery rounds have been eliminated and letters are piling up in sorting offices as they are told to prioritize the most lucrative, tracked and signed deliveries.
They have called the situation “diabolical” and say they are facing an “angry reaction” at the door.
Missed Deliveries: Hospital appointment letters, birthday cards, packages, and important bills have gone missing due to delays caused by a staffing crisis.
One Brighton resident said: “It’s absolutely appalling.” I get my post every 10 days or so and ended up missing a hospital appointment. The postal service in this city is not fit for purpose.
Another said that after the mail didn’t arrive, they went to the sorting office and discovered they had seven letters and a package waiting for them.
Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton, said: “My constituents are experiencing very real problems with mail deliveries, causing them to miss hospital appointments because letters do not arrive on time, as well as delays which compound the pain and distress.
‘This was the case of the mother who received beautiful letters intended for her adult son. She never got to see them because they arrived after her death.
Tim Loughton, Conservative MP for Worthing, said his constituents are seeing big problems with delivery.
Deborah Bennett, from West Sussex, said a hospital appointment letter sent first class by her local hospital arrived 12 days after it was posted by the hospital.
She tweeted: ‘We haven’t received our mail, once every two weeks if we’re lucky. Where is our mail? I complained three times to Royal Mail months ago.
Ofcom has launched an investigation into delivery failures and has the power to impose a financial penalty on Royal Mail.
The delivery delays come after Royal Mail recently caused outrage when it increased the price of a first-class stamp by 14 per cent, from £1.10 to £1.25.
The crisis is being replicated in towns and cities across the UK, where residents and businesses are complaining that the service has “collapsed”.
In Bath, a customer said: ‘My wife celebrated her birthday without several cards and gifts which arrived a fortnight later despite being sent a week before her birthday.
The system is broken.’
A resident of Widnes, Lancs, said there were two-hour queues outside the sorting office just to receive mail, which should have been delivered.
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Low priority: Postal workers say rounds have been eliminated and letters are piling up in sorting offices as they are told to prioritize the most lucrative, tracked and signed deliveries.
Social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, has been inundated with complaints about the frequency of deliveries over the past fortnight.
David Marsh in Newbury said: ‘Has Royal Mail completely given up on deliveries to my part of Newbury? We used to get 4 or 5 a week. For the past few months, there has been one delivery per week. This week: nothing at all.
Anna Arnone said: ‘Royal Mail’s letter delivery services appear to be disintegrating. It seems like the service is being destroyed.”
Another angry father, John Bridgman, said: ‘There will be no mail delivery all week when it is my daughter’s birthday. Royal Mail their level of service is terrible. The fact that you still sell stamps is a joke; people could stick their cards to a pigeon and cross their fingers.
Jamie Derrick said: ‘Can someone explain to me why 14 days after the packages were sent I am still waiting for them to be delivered? No post for a week. It’s surprising that a service I pay for takes so long to deliver. Is not sufficient.’
Another resident said: ‘My postal delivery has fallen off a cliff. Now I get posts about once a week if I’m lucky. Some of these letters are very important to me, like the hospital appointment letters.’
Royal Mail is subject to the universal postal service, which requires it to deliver letters six days a week (Monday to Saturday) and parcels five days a week (Monday to Friday) to all UK addresses, at affordable prices and uniforms throughout the UK. UNITED KINGDOM.
These minimum requirements are set out in legislation and any changes to them can only be made by the UK Government and Parliament.
Ofcom, whose job it is to ensure the universal service is provided, said Royal Mail was failing to meet delivery targets.
A spokesperson said: “We know how frustrating and upsetting it can be when your post is delayed.” We assess Royal Mail’s performance each year against annual delivery targets and are currently investigating its failure to meet its 2022/23 targets.
Ofcom has the power to impose a financial penalty if Royal Mail fails to provide an adequate service.
A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “We have dedicated teams responsible for identifying delays at our delivery offices and taking immediate action.”
‘This includes extensive staff recruitment (6,000 new postmen have been recruited in the last 12 weeks) and detailed plans to improve quality and provide a reliable service in the future.
‘These measures add to the extensive plans we have in place to ensure a successful festive period. We are hiring 16,000 seasonal workers, increasing our vehicle numbers and increasing our operational capacity with additional parcel sorting sites to manage expected demand.
‘These actions and others are already making a difference. “We are confident they will continue to improve our service, limit delays and help deliver for our customers.”
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