7 December 2012 - Edited Press release
Royal Mail announces proposals to change its parcels range
- Royal Mail is consulting on changes to its parcels range. The proposals apply to consumers, small non-contract business and franking customers. Currently, there are up to 15 weight bands for parcels. Royal Mail’s proposal is to reduce that by more than half to seven weight bands from April 2013
- The proposal means Royal Mail’s range of parcel products should be easier for consumers to understand and improve choice. They will have the ability for the first time to send parcels between 1kg and 20kg using Royal Mail’s 2nd Class service, with the added option to receive a signature on delivery
- The proposal also includes introducing two broad parcel categories – small parcels and medium parcels.
Currently, for items weighing up to 20kg, signature on delivery is only available through 1stClass. We believe the increase in the 2ndClass weight limit to 20kg is a very meaningful addition to customer choice. As a result of this improvement, our Standard Parcels product will be withdrawn.
In addition, Royal Mail’s proposal is to introduce two broad parcel categories – small parcels and medium parcels. Parcels are priced by weight but the size of a parcel has an impact on the cost of collecting, transporting, sorting and delivering an item.
Changes to compensation levels for untracked and Recorded Signed For itemsRoyal Mail intends to change its compensation arrangements to bring them more in line with other postal companies. It is our intention to increase the maximum compensation payable for loss or damage of Recorded Signed For items from £46 to £50. These are items for which a signature is collected on delivery and a proof of posting receipt is provided.
Alongside this, it is our intention to reduce compensation for loss or damage of items sent using our untracked 1stand 2ndClass stamped mail and parcels from £46 to £20. Many countries do not offer any compensation for loss or damage of untracked items, including Germany, the Netherlands and the United States.
We will continue to pay compensation for delayed items and the limit will be unchanged. The changes will ensure that Royal Mail provides proportionate and reasonable compensation based on the service used and postage paid.
I doubt that there will be much impact on stamps and collecting, although there may well be an option for 2nd class small parcels on Post and Go machines.
In the letter service, the Packets are anything over 353 x 250 x 25mm, and 2nd class (for which Recorded Signed For is available) is limited to 1 kg.
The new proposals will introduce
Small parcels - items that weigh up to 2kg and are no larger than 450mm x 350mm x 80mm in size; and
Medium parcels - items that have dimensions larger than the small parcels size but no bigger than 610mm x 460mm x 460mm, and up to 20kg in weight.
Under the proposals, items larger than the medium parcel size (610mm x 460mm x 460mm) or over 20kg in weight will no longer be delivered through the Royal Mail letter service as Packets, but will be sent by ParcelForce. Recorded Signed For will not therefore be available for the larger-sized items.
Although this is supposed to provide extra services and simplify the service, there seems to be a degree of overlap with the Packet rates - customers will have to compare the options carefully.