Well, it appears Royal Fail do not want people to send letters, yet, Royal Mail have the Universal Service Obligation to deliver mail 6 days a week to every address in the UK for the same cost (1st class to arrive next working day, 2nd class within 3 working days). However, there have been days that letters have not been delivered, and a penfriend reported that she hadn't had a postal delivery for over 2 weeks in January, which is no good for her weekly subscription to a television listings magazine with delivery days after the start of the listings.
There have been postal strikes affecting Royal Mail. I have been supporting these strikes as Royal Mail seems to want to dehumanise the posties, to track them, to perhaps rank them. Royal Mail has the technology to know how long a postie has been in the same place, to see where the postie goes...
There have been select committee meetings with Royal Mail's CEO. First impression, answers to the questions put to the CEO was akin to trying to get blood out of a stone. From the first meeting in January, it appears RM wants to cut sick pay to the postie, RM has introduced owner-driver posties (are they self-employed? and on insecure contracts), they deny prioritising parcels over letters (b*llocks). From the second meeting in February, there was evidence presented that there was a list of postal workers at a delivery office ranked in terms of speed of their deliveries. The CEO claimed that the PDAs the posties have do not track in real time and claim the PDA data is not being used to discipline staff (but a message from a delivery office manager submitted to the committee disputes this). The Chair of the committee is wonderful! Shame not all politicians are as well-spoken/well-meaning/etc. as him. Below is quoted from the transcript for the February meeting, and links to both meetings can be found at https://committees.parliament.uk/work/7176/royal-mail-and-the-post-office
Q197 Chair: I have to say that I’m not particularly persuaded. There’s a theme to your answers today, gentlemen, which is that we have rogue posters, we have rogue managers, we have isolated incidences, we have got a global pandemic, we have industrial action—it’s everyone else’s fault that there are all of these problems. “Nothing to do with me, guv!” Can you see, based on all of the information we’ve had, why it’s difficult for me to agree with the way you’re presenting your cases today?
So, Royal Fail needs to increase postage prices. Well, the rise is due on the 3rd April 2023. I shall cry, as will other UK-based snailmailers.
1st class. 95p now, will cost £1.10
2nd class. 68p now, will cost 75p
International Standard, aka airmail, first rate is £1.85 but will cost £2.20 (though the weight allowance for worldwide goes up from 20g to 100g, but the 20g-100g rate currently is £2.55, so silver lining perhaps).
International Economy, aka surface mail £1.60 now, goes up to a whopping £2, and all for letters outside of Europe.
I don't send large letters, but there are large letter rates for domestic mail, and for international mail (both tariffs).
Silver lining, perhaps, is that international airmail will be again 2 x 1st class. So, less of a need to faff around trying to make up from first class to the international postage rate.
Read and weep via https://www.royalmail.com/prices2023 where you can download the prices.