Many of us have once again been experiencing Royal Mail delivery issues. After long periods with no deliveries, some people have even been trekking over to the Tufnell Park delivery office to try and retrieve lost mail.
With an ever-increasing number of complainants about the issue, David Lammy's office have now decided to try and get the issue addressed.
They have issued a request, asking residents to supply as much detail as possible about the mail delivery problems they have been experiencing.
Email David Lammy's team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Use ‘Royal Mail on the Ladder’ as the subject line.
And only three hours later, a report on Royal Mail's substantial delivery problems by the BBC.
Royal Mail staff absences almost double levels of 2018
Royal Mail has confirmed that absence levels are almost double those seen in 2018 before the coronavirus pandemic. It has insisted that deliveries are operating as normal across most of the country. However, a source with close knowledge of its operations has said the internal situation is "horrific" due to sickness and increased demand in the run-up to Christmas. That source claimed: "It's much worse than a normal Christmas."
"The combination of people off with stress or Covid, combined with increased demand to send goods by post and the build-up to Christmas, had led us here," they said. "Sickness levels are around twice the normal levels," they added.
Royal Mail's website lists offices that are experiencing difficulties, which it says means they may not be able to deliver the usual service temporarily because of local issues. The firm has pointed out that there are currently 21 offices listed as experiencing delays out of 1,200 delivery offices around the country.
However, the insider source says there are wider issues. "The 21 offices listed on the Royal Mail website are the places where the situation is undeniably bad. They are weeks behind, but there are problems and backlogs across the country," they said.
The firm announced earlier in the year that it would keep on thousands of workers it had taken on in temporary positions given the record volumes of post it was delivering. However, in an open letter published by the Communication Workers Union (CWU) on Friday, it said that times were still "very difficult" for workers. Terry Pullinger, deputy general secretary of postal at the CWU, wrote: "Trying to maintain a great public service throughout the pandemic has been incredibly difficult for everybody, especially whilst deploying major changes and considering the great annual challenge of the Christmas period pressure.'
But the CWU suggested that the blame lies with "managerial capability issues", saying that "postal workers and the public deserve better". The open letter also discusses ways to improve issues with recruitment - by using family and friend referrals, as well as advertising on social media, for example.
A Royal Mail spokesperson said: "Deliveries are operating as normal across most of the country. "We aim to deliver to all addresses we have mail for, six days a week. In a small number of local offices this may temporarily not be possible due to local issues such as Covid-related self-isolation, high levels of sick absence, resourcing, or other local factors." They added that the firm also provides targeted support for offices seeing big backlogs, to restore service quickly for customers.
If it’s only 21 out of 1,200 centres experiencing problems it shouldn’t be beyond the wit of Royal Mail managers to target those urgently to address them
It's not only the ladder. We live on Green Lanes, have had no post this week - and in fact the last time post was delivered the postman had to ring the bell because there were too many letters elasticated together to fit through the mail box.
I can confirm that post in the Gardens (N4) is also very irregular at the moment (and multiple other times during the pandemic)
This was the story on the BBC site in January this year. Almost 12 months to put contingency plans into place. Wonder when Royal Mail will admit that closing the local sorting office was a mistake?
It isn't as if they're short of a few bob to pay for extra staff, either:
"Royal Mail’s annual profits quadrupled in its latest financial year as the pandemic-fuelled online shopping boom provided a surge in demand for parcel deliveries and triggered a turnaround in the company’s fortunes.
Pre-tax profit jumped to £726m in the year to 28 March, compared with a profit of £180m a year earlier".
The Guardian, 20 May 21
What annoys me, Gurks, is the issue that I have not experienced. I have been waiting for nearly three weeks for the December Issue of the Furrow journal, normally delivered before the end of the previous month.
Isn't the point that this is no longer a public service - it was sold off.
Plus it is a pain to send stuff via the post office as there is always a queue.
After a blank week, a letters delivery at 1730 yesterday, and another just now (0930) - on The Ladder, N4 end. Two in 16 hours - I hope they keep it up.
Yes, I got a big delivery on Friday, including one magazine that should have been delivered two weeks earlier & another that was a week late - though no sign of the one which was due yesterday....
I envy you both. We're still waiting for some items that have been purchased. Ultimately I'm sure we'll get the money back. But sadly the items are not ones that can be replaced.
David Lammy's office, organised a meeting between some Royal Mail managers and Ladder residents on Thursday. The managers did not seem to believe that there was a serious backlog and thought it would be possible to
deliver both the outstanding and any new incoming mail in one day.
Residents expressed their total disbelief about both claims, and their particular concern at the statement about the lack of a backlog, knowing how many items they had not received in the past month.
The meeting leaves us all with strong doubts about the ability of Royal Mail to resolve the problem.
They have promised a ‘proper investigation’ (no details given) but in the meantime, if you don’t receive regular deliveries and are aware of long outstanding items, you can email Michael.email@example.com and let him know.