Royal Mail struggling to deliver 3rd class service in Croydon

The cost of a first-class stamp may have recently been increased to £1.25 – or £1.95 for a “large” letter – but the service delivered by the Royal Mail for households across much of Croydon has deteriorated to the point of non-existence.

Snail mail: some Inside Croydon readers have not seen their postie for weeks

Some Inside Croydon readers have been in contact to say that they have been going for whole weeks without any reliable post deliveries. They say that the delays and missed deliveries have been going on for perhaps three months, with no explanation or apology.

And sources at Royal Mail have suggested that the major delivery office on Factory Lane which handles post for the CR0 postcode area could be close to having a delivery target imposed where they can only guarantee that your local postie will be troubling your letter box just once a week.

“We go days without any delivery whatsoever,” one troubled reader told iC. “The service now is worse than at any time after the pandemic lockdown, when sorting offices were badly hit by covid outbreaks among their staff.”

Some areas of the borough were hard-hit over Christmas 2020 and January 2021, with no deliveries for weeks, after an influx of Christmas casual staff saw an outbreak of the virus through several sorting offices and many staff forced to self-isolate. Presents, Christmas cards and other important documents – including medical appointments for covid vaccinations – went undelivered for weeks.

Royal Mail today refused to say whether the latest deterioration in its delivery service might be because of any outbreak of covid among its staff.

Big patch: Royal Mail is apologising for its lack of service in CR0. Again

They did, though, deny that the Factory Lane sorting office had been placed on a once-a-week service target. If daily deliveries are not possible, the next level of service target that Royal Mail works to is a delivery to any address every other day.

“I can confirm we are not operating to a target of delivering mail to addresses once a week,” a Royal Mail spokesperson told Inside Croydon.

“There are delays in the area which we apologise for.

“This is often in part due to staffing issues brought on by sick absence and vacancies.

“Every effort is being made to ensure mail is delivered on time, and if a person has mail and does not receive it on the day they expect we do try to prioritise their delivery the next day.”

CR0, one of the postcodes handled by the Factory Lane office, is the most populous postcode district in England and Wales, with more than 150,000 people living in the area – making it about six times bigger than the average postcode population.

CR0 covers a large geographic area, from parts of Thornton Heath to New Addington, and also taking in the town centre, Addiscombe, Selhurst, Broad Green, Shirley, Forestdale, Waddon and parts of Woodside, as well as Beddington (which isn’t even in Croydon).

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  • ROTTEN BOROUGH AWARDS: Croydon was named among the country’s rottenest boroughs for a SIXTH successive year in 2022 in the annual round-up of civic cock-ups in Private Eye magazine

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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9 Responses to Royal Mail struggling to deliver 3rd class service in Croydon

  1. David Hoole says:

    Might be worth trying to find if they’ve had a spate of resignations recently. The year-long dispute ended fairly recently and anyone employed by RM on 1/8/23 qualified for two lump sum payments totalling £1500 as part of the settlement. Although those are not paid until next week, I imagine some colleagues felt free and willing to resign as of August 1st.

  2. Ian Kierans says:

    This has been the case in CRO – Broad Green area – for years. So many letters have gone missing. Or have been mis-delivered to other addresses. Surpisingly though during Lockdowns we had a very nice postlady from America who was always cheerful and the service actually became a lot more reliable but hey same old again since then. I suspected many hospital letters went missing but after running down a few back then and looking into the matter apparantly some had never been ticked as printed. Others were received with my address but not for anyone who lived at our residence. This was not isolated.Many Neighbours did also.

    The Royal Mail replied to the complaint we raised regarding lost mail stating that I could not complain as I was not the sender. Having contacted the sender (Croydon University Hospital) they did not feel it appropriate to raise that matter to the Royal Mail.
    We have received letters that were addressed to areas in North England and Wales – we used to pop them in a new envelope and send them back – but that became too expensive.. Never once has the Post Office offered to pick them back up.

  3. Diana Pinnell says:

    To be honest, most of my communications are now email attachments, so a weekly but guaranteed delivery of paper items might be perfectly acceptable, provided I knew which day it would arrive. Birthday cards can no longer be expected to arrive on the big day, though, and the current level of service is unfair on people who don’t use computers or smart-phones, most of whom are elderly.

  4. Caroline Brain says:

    Can this article be sent to Royal Mail area manager? I have a perfect example of the mess! I sent 1st letter recorded delivery with 2 parking permits for my tenants who live close to Croydon Hospital. You would expect a 1st letter to take couple of days to get from me in Purley CR8 to CR0 2SR??? NO! RM only attempted delivery two weeks later – now missing. In the meantime I paid £30 to replace the permits of which RM said they wont refund me. My tenants said they had nonpost at all for 2 weeks in August. POOR POOR POOR must do better!

  5. Caroline Brain says:

    In addition to my last comment, the Croydon letter service now isnt fit for purpose but I would like the add RM are currently investigating the suspected theft of two of my packages (in one week) by the local postman in Purley
    I have full cctv to support my claim. Anyone that uses RM collect from home service
    Be aware! I often sell my surplus household items online. I had collection parcels in my porch BUT in one week the postie didn’t scan two packages that were in big white envelopes and they never tracked to my customer or got returned to me. So out of 3 parcels sent only 1 got to customer. Im currently almost £40 down awaiting investigation. Strangely that postie is now off my round. They also lost £80 pair of my curtains in January which RM would no pay out to me neither.( I didnt have cameras then to provide collection) again parcel was bot scanned on collection and didn’t track.Its a felony for a Postman to steal mail. If RM dont pay put this time Im going to the police/social Media to highlight this issue.

  6. AJ Owoade says:

    Its been awful, I’ve been noticing no mail daily for months now!!
    Can you possibly head down and claim your mail earlier?

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