Defending Royal Mail is a pretty tough job, especially at the moment. But it’s not just rising stamp prices that have angered many Brits , the ever increasing cost of a PO Box has enraged many too.
Which? Convo editor Patrick Steen wrote about the 80% increase in the cost of a PO Box last year. Back then the price had gone up from £95 to £170.
But now there’s even more to add to the bill, with a PO Box costing £220 from 30 April. That compares to just £62 in 2009!
In short, the price of a PO Box will go up by between 9 and 15% depending on the service, where a basic PO Box service will increase from £170 to £185. That doesn’t sound too bad until you realise that the service will soon be liable to VAT, adding another 20% on top.
You say: stop increasing PO Box prices
We’ve had comments from many of you who run small businesses and use PO Boxes to keep your business and personal correspondence separate. And it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that many of you have been stunned by Royal Mail’s price increases.
Commenter RS reacted by writing:
‘This is frankly obscene! I’m shocked. What am I to do? I run a very small life-style business, a hobby and have printed my PO Box address on all my “products”. I make a pittance each year from this hobby and can’t afford this fee, and yet if I cancel my PO Box I run the risk of losing potential customers, or will no longer receive the very few cheques I get each year.
‘I feel like I have been attacked, mobbed. I do understand that prices need to go up, and usually do go up, but by this much?! This is outrageous!’
Jon shared a similar sentiment:
‘It’s simply monopoly price gouging and everyone should vote with their feet.’
However, Jon Haden had a more tongue-in-cheek approach to the price rise:
‘I’m grateful to Royal Mail for forcing the issue. I ditched my PO box when the price was hiked from £125.75 to £200. That’s a saving £125.75 plus inflation a year. Happy days.’
Royal Mail’s stamping its feet
We all know stamp prices are going up sharply – first-class stamps to 60p from 46p; and second-class stamps to 50p from 36p. Royal Mail says it needs to jack prices up because it has lost £1billion on its ‘core mails’ in the last four years.
And although many of us can stock up on cheaper stamps before 30 April (though be wary of the restricted supply), you can’t do that with a PO Box. You’ll just have to sign up to the higher prices regardless. Maybe that’s just the price we need to pay for Royal Mail to continue offering this service?
Are you affected by Royal Mail’s PO Box price rises? Are you happy to pay more, or will you soon stop using the service altogether?