£1.25 for a stamp? It’s a discount, says Royal Mail chief

As Britons embark on their annual spherical of Christmas card sending, many shall be wincing on the £1.25 value of a firstclass stamp. But Royal Mail’s new German boss says it’s a ‘discount’ in contrast with Pret A Manger espresso, regardless of the quickly escalating value of postage and a dramatic drop in service.

Martin Seidenberg, who took over in the summertime as head of Royal Mail’s guardian firm, International Distributions Services, mentioned: ‘For £1.25, delivery a letter from Plymouth to Aberdeen in a single day with a 24-hour service, I personally assume that is a reasonably good discount.

‘Compare it to while you purchase your self a takeaway espresso at Pret. You pay greater than £3 for it and drink it in 20 minutes then it is gone.’

But this met with uproar from campaigners and client teams who mentioned value rises had not led to raised service. 

Many of those that ship letters and playing cards fairly than e-cards – significantly the aged – are unlikely to frequent Pret A Manger retailers. But they’ve needed to grapple with hovering stamp costs over the previous few years.

Sending a letter top quality value 36p 15 years in the past and 70p as just lately as 2019. Over the previous 18 months, costs have risen thrice and broke the £1 barrier in April, rising from 95p to £1.10.

This is regardless of supply delays at Royal Mail, with many first-class letters not reaching their recipients the following working day.

‘Charging individuals £1.25 for a first-class stamp is not wherever close to a discount. It’s an outrageous value hike for a service that is noticeably deteriorated in recent times,’ mentioned client professional Martyn James.

Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, mentioned older individuals could possibly be left ‘excessive and dry’ by the rising value of postage, including: ‘Many older persons are not on-line, so put up is their mainstay, each for paying payments and sending and receiving playing cards.’

The backlash comes because the 507-year-old establishment finds itself beneath growing stress to enhance deliveries, with many customers reporting late birthday playing cards and even medical appointment letters.

Unapologetic: Royal Mail chief Martin Seidenberg

Unapologetic: Royal Mail chief Martin Seidenberg

There can be lingering anger on the firm’s bungled rollout of stamps with barcodes earlier this yr when a sophisticated course of and badly publicised consciousness marketing campaign to get individuals to swap previous ones for brand spanking new left many households caught with ineffective stamps.

Others confronted lengthy delays, and in some instances acquired fewer stamps than they despatched off to be exchanged.

Royal Mail has partially attributed rising stamp costs to its Universal Service Obligation requiring it to ship letters six days per week. It has repeatedly urged regulator Ofcom and the Government to scrap Saturday deliveries. Calls for reform had been reignited final week when Royal Mail plunged to a half-year lack of almost £320 million.

A Pret A Manger spokesman replied that with the chain’s £30-a-month subscription caffeine addicts can have as much as 5 black coffees a day for about £1 – ‘lower than the worth of a first-class stamp’.