I've noticed that Royal Mail have been quite poor with their delivery times since the introduction of lockdown measures and the spreading of the Covid virus, but didn't know it would be this poor...
The long and short of it is that I tend to use other courier services when sending parcels, and only use Royal Mail for letters and "large letters" (items that are A4 sized and under 2.5cm thick). Recently, due to a re-structuring of Hermes' prices, I am now having to use Royal Mail (2nd Class) for small parcels between 1kg and 2kg.
However, this may not actually be the best idea at the moment.
The long and short of it is that RM 1st and 2nd Class items are being delayed in the shipping, and are taking longer than usual to arrive at their destination. This is normally excusable, especially with 2nd Class (so as to prioritize 1st Class), but in this situation, 1st Class is being slowed down as well - sometimes substantially.
Before the UK lockdown measures were introduced, 1st Class items took 1-2 days to arrive to their destination, and 2nd Class took 2-3 days. (1st Class was usually next day, and 2nd Class was usually 2 days, sometimes 3 days.) There was the odd rogue item that took slightly longer, but nothing too extreme.
Recently I have had items take in excess of 4 days with 1st Class and 2nd Class. One item, recently sent by another family member, was posted 1st Class "Signed For" (to ensure they received it, and promptly) took a whopping 7 days to arrive at its destination!
Out of the last items that I sent via Royal Mail, the delivery times of particular interest were: 3 days (2nd), 3 days (2nd), 4 days (2nd), 7 days (1st Signed For).
Other items that were posted through RM were either within their normal time scales, or were large letters (with no delivery confirmation).
So there are at least 2x RM parcels, that I (or my family) sent, within the last 2 months, that were delayed (3 days is OK for 2nd Class) - one of which was significantly delayed. There was also a report from another local individual of a parcel taking 8 days to travel a distance of 150-160 miles by road (2.5 hours if driven directly) - again, very poor for a national delivery company.
Note that the other items that I have sent, via Hermes or UPS couriers - have all been on time (except for one, which was a day late) - and I send many more items through Hermes/UPS than I do Royal Mail (though 1-2kg small items now have to go RM).
I have made a post about my experience on the Royal Mail Community here: https://www.royalmailchat.co.uk/communi ... =6&t=97019
Note that I assume the reasoning for these delays is to get more customers using their "Special Delivery" service - a service that costs up to 5x more than 1st/2nd Class, depending on item, and is therefore completely unfeasible to use. And yes, profiteering out of a natural disaster is not looked upon too favorably/kindly...
I have also attached screenshots in case the RM Community thread gets taken down.
My advice: use another courier if you can, and especially if time is not on your side (see screenshots/thread for explanation of why eBay sales are more time critical than before...).
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