Christmas cards could be delayed until February with Royal Mail in 'complete meltdown'

​Royal Mail
Royal Mail insiders are said to have warned of a delay for weeks
Dan Falvey

By Dan Falvey

Published: 23/12/2023

- 08:57

Updated: 08/03/2024

- 10:15

Royal Mail would only go as far as to say that the 'vast majority of mail continues to be delivered on time'

Christmas cards may not arrive until as late as February it has been claimed, with Royal Mail's service accused of being " in a complete meltdown".

Britons hoping for a last minute arrival of cards today could be left diappointed as the postal system struggles to cope with demand.

Royal Mail has struggled all year to meet delivery targets, even being fined over its failure to get post to recipients on time.

And there have even been claims that the postal service has prioritised parcels over letters as they are more profitable - an accusation which Royal Mail denies.

\u200bRoyal Mail delivery room

Royal Mail has faced accusations of prioritising parcels


It has now been reported by The Telegraph that industry insiders believe some letters will arrive weeks after they were meant to arrive.

Frustrated at the slow service, Dennis Reed, chairman of senior citizens group Silver Voices that campaigns on behalf of over-60s, said: "I am being increasingly told by members from large parts of the country that Royal Mail is in a complete meltdown at the moment.

"Many older people still rely on the postal system and the universal service that Royal Mail is obliged to provide - especially those who are unable to use emails and the internet in general."

Royal Mail would only go as far as to say that the "vast majority of mail continues to be delivered on time".

\u200bRoyal Mail delivery room

Royal Mail says most deliveries will arrive on time


A spokesman added that 96 per cent of first-class mail arrives within three days of posting.

"We are committed to improving our deliveries," they said.

"We have implemented significant changes to drive forward improvements and bring our service to a standard our customers expect.

"This is an ongoing process as we work to transform our business to reflect the needs of modern postal users."

A spokesman from the Communication Workers Union blamed Royal Mail's senior management for the potential delays.

They said: "Royal Mail and senior executive management have overseen the destruction of the universal service obligation and letter delivery service.

"Many offices have seen mail stockpiled and delivered in bulk on random days. This is because the previous leadership of the company did not want to deliver letters."

He added: "The new CEO has shown a willingness to work with the union and workers to change the direction of the company. This is welcomed and must now feel change at a local level. Postal workers are doing their very best to service customers and should be applauded for their efforts.”

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