3rd class Royal Mail: readers say ‘service not fit for purpose’

The dire situation with postal deliveries in Croydon could be far worse than even the most mail-deprived residents might have feared.

Inside Croydon readers from across the borough, and even in other areas covered by one of the CR post codes, have responded to last week’s report about the struggles at the Factory Lane sorting depot to get posties out and delivering sometimes vital items, including urgent packages ahead of NHS hospital appointments.

A Royal Mail insider has come forward to suggest that the severe staff shortages at the CR0 sorting depot on Factory Lane are the latest example of crass mismanagement, as following the long-running industrial dispute posties have left their jobs en masse, leaving the office badly under-staffed.

In the digital age, and with businesses such as Amazon and DPD hoovering up massive amounts of the parcel and packet delivery work, Royal Mail is a basket case declining business, but with a legal responsibility to maintain once-a-day deliveries.

All indications suggest that in Croydon, Royal Mail is not even maintaining reliable deliveries once a week.

Royal Mail chief executive Simon Thompson paid himself a £140,000 bonus last year, on top of his £540,000 salary – more than 23 times higher than that of the average Royal Mail worker (£25,700). Thompson is to leave his job at the end of next month.

Failing to deliver: Simon Thompson was appointed Royal Mail CEO in January 2021

Croydon residents, and iC readers, meanwhile, continue to get no service whatsoever from Royal Mail under Thompson.

One reader emailed us (well, you can hardly expect them to trust the post, can you?): “We have had no post whatsoever in over a week now. I am due to go for a hospital test at Queen Mary’s in Roehampton.

“On Thursday September 14 they posted me a pack with instructions of what I have to do for two days prior up the test, together with some medication I have to take for two days prior.

“It’s now Friday 22nd and still the pack hadn’t arrived, but nor has any other mail.

“So now today I am going to have to drive to the hospital to get a duplicate pack with instructions, as I have to start following the procedure from tomorrow. It’s ridiculous!!”

Another reader lives on Whitehorse Road, in the CR0 post code.

“I’ve not received post for over two weeks. Last week, I was meant to receive my daughter’s Zip Oyster card and a book bought from eBay which my daughter needs for school.

“This week I reordered the book from Amazon. This is a loss to the eBay trader who will need to refund me. TfL are resending the Zip card, but who knows when or even if it will ever arrive. Until then it’ll be more expensive for my daughter to travel to school by train.

“I’m also due to receive a new credit card in the next few days. Not sure what else I’m missing!

“I emailed Royal Mail and received a standard reply with no information. They had not bothered to find out what is going on in my area.”

A reader who lives in Warlingham has a CR6 postcode, which should mean that their post comes from a depot in Caterham. Different sorting office, same problems: “We have been having similar delivery problems for months, too. Last week, we had no delivery at all.

“On Tuesday this week, two Radio Times were delivered, one virtually a week out of date. I have had to report non-delivery to the publishers on numerous occasions, who just extend my subscription by a week each time.

Gas-lighting: the Royal Mail’s response when there’s a complete failure to deliver post in the CR0 area is to… ask for people to ‘report’ the problem. All Inside Croydon readers should welly in and send DMs to @RoyalMailHelp on Twitter on a daily basis

“Speaking to various postmen they say it’s mainly down to lack of staff which is exasperated by the new working conditions which are being brought in by Royal Mail management.”

And our postie insider tells us: “It 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 Royal Mail on August 1 2023 qualified for two lump sum payments totalling £1,500 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 1.”

Which possibly only exacerbates the failure to deliver a service in Croydon which has been noticeable for many readers over the course of several months.

“The current level of service is unfair on people who don’t use computers or smartphones, most of whom are elderly,” as one reader said.

Another, who had had parking permits undelivered, noted, “Croydon letter service now isn’t fit for purpose.”

And another reader asks whether its possible simply to visit the sorting depot to collect mail, rather than wait for deliveries that never happen. “It has been awful, I’ve been noticing no mail daily for months now!”

  • Have YOU been experiencing delayed post deliveries? Or no deliveries at all? Write to Inside Croydon – by email to inside.croydon@btinternet.com – with details of your area and postcode, the last time you saw your postie, or how the delays have affected you. Please write “Royal Mail Fail” in the subject line

  • If you have a news story about life in or around Croydon, or want to publicise your residents’ association or business, or if you have a local event to promote, please email us with full details at inside.croydon@btinternet.com
  • Our comments section on every report provides all readers with an immediate “right of reply” on all our content
  • 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 inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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5 Responses to 3rd class Royal Mail: readers say ‘service not fit for purpose’

  1. Jack Griffin says:

    In which case, fair play to the teams in the Purley SO (by the ‘VW Centre’) and Coulsdon as here, in my bit of CR8, the service is solidly first class.

    • Lucky old you lot, living in the posh, leafy bits.

      But when did the Royal Mail become a postcode lottery?

      • Jack Griffin says:

        You’re right and dunno.

        Does our MP live here?

        That usually helps, not that Philp will divulge.

        But typical of the asymmetry we see in the borough.

        Perhaps Sarah ‘I must remember to look up what’s going on in Croydon some time’ Jones and Steve ‘Croydonians? I shit ’em’ Reed could take an interest?

        As an aside, but in similar vein, Purley never had a better rail service than in the days when Bernard Ingham and BR Chair Robert Reid were resident and both of whom commuted.

        If only the Cronx had a few more (some? any?) grandees on the patch these days…

  2. Resident says:

    I live in CR0, I believe I haven’t received any letters for over 2 weeks now, I went to the the delivery office in Factory Lane, they don’t keep the post unless the postman didn’t find anyone at home. The post is at the Mail Centre in Beddington Farm Road and there is no customer care there so I can’t go and pick them up myself. Very annoying, I called Royal Mail and I got the same answer.

  3. Graystar says:

    It’s pretty awful just about everywhere in the UK. i worked for Royal Mail as an agency worker throughout the pandemic and 2 years afterwards and I am reliably informed that my local Devon delivery depot is exactly as bad as Croydon. The management at head office level are only permitting low level recruitment at tier 2 levels of pay (way down on usual rates) No wonder the diabolical level of service that is now happening all over the country. And for the man the myth the muppet Simon Thompson to get away with any bonus at all in a year of massive losses and dreadful management is an utter disgrace and contempt.

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