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Has your post been hit by delays?

Royal Mail has been experiencing delivery delays over the last few weeks as its staff have been affected by the pandemic. Has your post not turned up?

If you’re waiting on a long-overdue parcel from Royal Mail, you might be in one of the 28 areas that’s had Covid postal delays due to workers being off sick or self-isolating.

Royal Mail released a list of postcodes on Tuesday that are likely to receive limited service due to coronavirus.

Some have complained they’ve had to wait as many as three weeks for their post to arrive, while others were thankful to receive some belated Christmas cheer!

This has led to some concernt that vaccination letters may arrive late (please remember to watch out for scam attempts), but the vaccine deployment minister Nadhim Zahawi has said that the government is working with Royal Mail to prioritise those letters.

Your delivery rights

Though it’s best to be patient with post at the moment, you do have rights in some instances to ask for your money back.

If you paid extra for nominated-day delivery and your parcel doesn’t arrive on the agreed date, you can ask to have the extra money you spent on special delivery reimbursed back to you.

And if your parcel doesn’t arrive after 30 days, you can cancel the order and ask for a full refund.

Your rights are with the retailer you bought from, rather than with Royal Mail, so be sure to contact the store if you think you’re entitled to a refund.

Has your post been affected?

Has your Christmas gift still not arrived? Do you have a ‘next-day delivery’ parcel caught up with the delays?

Christmas cards still at large?

Whether you’re in one of the affected areas, or live in another postcode that’s experienced issues, let us know in the comments.

Are you receiving your post less regularly during the winter lockdown?
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I live in North West Leeds, and our deliveries have been noticeably poorer since last April/ May! The occasional week with no deliveries, mostly one or two per week, sometimes 3 or 4 if we’re lucky. This continued right through the summer months too, when infection rates were lower. The Christmas period showed an improvement, in fact, as the sorting office employed agency workers to cover the busy period.
The postmen and women themselves have been great, but I have my doubts about whoever manages the staffing rotas.

Kit Bird says:
15 January 2021

I live in North London (NW3). Not one of the 28 affected postcodes but we have been experiencing severe delays to our incoming post since the beginning of the pandemic. Deliveries are only once or twice a week and a couple of items sent to us over Christmas were returned to sender for reasons that are unclear (but we believe no attempt was made to deliver them). It’s hard to tell exactly how long post is taking to reach us as very few items are postmarked but we reckon it’s generally about 10-12 days and was up to 3 weeks in December

In Wembley I received 2 birthday cards 4 days after my birthday 10/01 in spite of them being posted 4/5 days before my birthday. Also an item bought on eBay arrived 5 days after the scheduled date of arrival.
I believe in London they have a high incidence of sickness & self isolation similar to the NHS which is why I never see the same mail operative on successive days.

Apparently in Chichester, not on the Royal Mail list, there are some 40 members of staff either with CovID or self-isolating, so as a result many folk have not had any postal deliveries for over a week. I live close enough to the “Delivery Office”, to be able to collect (only that post of mine that has been sorted), alas Royal Mail declined my offer to deliver to the 64 flats in the development where I live.

As a counterbalance, I have to report that the postal service in Norwich – in our part at least near the city centre – remains good. Obviously, we don’t know what items are in transit but we seem to get a delivery of something every day – usually inessential material, magazines, catalogues, etc. Some friends and relatives’ Christmas cards arrived late but that was not the fault of the Royal Mail and didn’t spoil the festivities.

Our post mainly arrives early afternoon long after the old Second Post arrival period before it was axed. Postage costs were less expensive then too. Our nearest post box is now only collected at 9 am without an afternoon collection according to the Monday to Friday Collection Time displayed. We can no longer reply to any post on the day received. Clearly Royal Mail wants to do away with letter revenue. Our neighbourhood is frequently visited by around four separate parcel couriers six day a week. Collective pollution levels must be horrendous! We also write on the back of our post; day, date & time posted, the box’s identification number & collection day & time displayed on the collection box.

I live in Luton and I’ve been having the same. Not on everything but certainly expensive packages. Most annoying was a set of computer games ordered for my little one for Christmas went missing and this was ordered back in November in the black friday sales. Chased it up with Royal mail and the agent said the fact they’ve had to take on lots of extra staff resulted in lots of bad service and tampered packages.

Marion says:
16 January 2021

I am in the CM1 area, reported as being one of the 28 badly affected areas. Post has been arriving but not every day – about twice a week – but transit times are very variable. I had two small packets this morning, one ordered on 23 December the other less than 48 hours ago and both second class. I guess it’s pot luck which pile of mail they can deal with at any time. At least we seem to be receiving less junk mail so perhaps they are managing to do some prioritisation at the sorting office.


As a matter of interest, was it posted First class or Second class?

Botleyray says:
16 January 2021

An item and it’s replacement purchased from China in October have disappeared into the Royal Mail system yet the tracking information shows they arrived in the UK in November. I can only assume they are at the bottom of the great piles of unsorted produce in the Royal Mail distribution depots impacted by the pandemic and short staffing. Nevertheless, I shall wait and maybe they’ll arrive in time for Christmas 2021.

Candie says:
16 January 2021

Delivery in DA2 (NOT on the list of poor service) has been sporadic since before Christmas but now once a week if we’re lucky.
– I have now had company shares sold without my knowledge as a letter dated 3 December (still not delivered to this date!) stated that if they did not hear from me within 30 days they would be sold.
Ironically, last week I did receive the letter telling me about the sale and when contacted am told it cannot be reversed – NOT amused – Thank you Royal Mail!!!
EVERY DAY we see our Postie (he is a nice guy) drive and stop his van to deliver parcels but only once a week walking the road with letters and yes, it is our Postie not a different parcel man!!
At this rate we should be receiving a bundle of letters once a week but have only had THAT one letter in two weeks!

Some people can’t be pleased: they whinge if they get post they don’t want and moan if they don’t get any.

m.m. says:
16 January 2021

And some will make a comment not connected to the topic, just for the sake of chipping in.

Chris says:
16 January 2021

Posted a 1st class letter in Worcester, took 9 days before it was delivered to the address in Andover. At the time the postbox was absoultely full, so can’t have been emptied for several days (and this was a double-postbox outside the post office!).

Jerry says:
16 January 2021

I’m living in se3, near but not in one of the affected areas, – I’ve been waiting for over a month for parcels posted well before Christmas

m.m. says:
16 January 2021

Northern Wiltshire, Chippenham area – no post for about a week now.

John says:
16 January 2021

We started having problems in March 20 when deliveries went down to every other day. It then became twice a week, with “timed” parcels regularly missing delivery dates – although Royal Mail still charged the sender the cost of either 24 or 48 hour delivery. It was put to Royal Mail by our MP and we received advices that it was down to COVID, although we had VERY few cases locally at the time. Currently the service, although not normal daily deliveries, is better than it was 10 months ago. I do not take issue with the “posties” as they are doing as instructed.

Here in Gloucester, post seems to be turning up as normal, with first class items arriving the day after they were posted.

Glenn Morfill says:
16 January 2021

I entered local Mayor’s charity chocolate tasting event which was to be held on line. The small box was posted to me approx 2 weeks before the event, but arrived one week after the event and with its corner damaged. It had been repaired by the P. O. and its official sellotape sticker stated that it was noted damaged and resealed. On opening I found (of 6 sample bars), one empty with wrapper chewed. plus another bar was partially chewed. Presumably this had occurred whilst in the sorting office where it had been attacked by rodents. As several participants had received their boxes too late, a second event was arranged and a replacement box was sent to me in good time. However, whilst this arrived undamaged it didn’t turn up until four days. after the second event.

Obviously not any Milk Tray in the consignment.

Chocolate mousse in the first delivery. The second attempt was clearly choco late.

Hi Glenn – Either the sender or the recipient can claim some compensation from Royal. Mail: https://www.royalmail.com/retail-compensation-policy-loss#Compensation%20Arrangements

It hardly seems worthwhile and it would be the sender, I imagine, who had any “contract” with Royal Mail and, thus, a claim. Unless a specified delivery time was purchased I don’t think late delivery would be recognised.

From the linked document: “The sender or the recipient of the item may both claim for a lost item but only one will be paid compensation.”

True, but surprising. However I would think only the sender generally has all the minimum information needed to make a claim.
” 3. All claims must supply as a minimum the following “basic evidence”

the names and addresses of the sender, addressee and claimant,
the Royal Mail product used,
the postage paid and method of postage e.g. stamps, franking impression
the place of posting,
the date of posting,
the basis for asserting the posting details and product used (such as date of postmark, certificate of posting (if available) and for Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed by 1pm® and Royal Mail Signed for® the product documentation and
a description of the contents.

I live in South Ockendon (RM15). We are very lucky if we receive post once in a week, it is mostly about once in 10 to 14 days and this has been going on for months. Our postcode has been on the Royal Mail delivery problem list for months – it was on there even when the list had 3 entries! Most postcodes are on the list for a week or too but not months. I have phoned customer service 3 times and spent 45 mins waiting to speak to a person but if you do get through to speak to someone, they just say they cannot move staff and they cannot train staff. How can 1 sorting office have continuous problems for 6 months? It seems that Royal Mail management have serious problems in our area and no sign that future deliveries will be more frequent.

Rachel says:
16 January 2021

So I’m an online vendor and we have stopped using RM this week and I have had about 20 of our parcels from before Xmas still not arrive. Example is lady in Bath (an hour from us) ordered in good time for Xmas on 12thDec. It didn’t arrive it time, so I resent item before Xmas. Neither parcel have arrived by this weekend (16th Jan). I have at least two examples that like we’re I am resending for the 3rd time. Not blaming posties but we are losing money everyday. We can’t afford to send everything by courier (but I am for the time being). This is before we even consider the extra problems caused by Brexit.

SARAH Jenkins says:
16 January 2021

The problem appears to be more widespread than RM admit. Their website list does not include my area, SE15. So they are not ‘fessing up to the scale of the problem. I am still receiving Christmas cards – post is approximately weekly. Hospital appointment letter was delayed until the last minute.