For about 5 years, a few years ago I used to do a quality survey for the Royal Mail. They pick random people at postcodes throughout the UK and this survey group send out "fake mail". I had to write down when it arrived and then post it back for free. I got paid in stamps and it was pretty good. Suddenly they decided not to use my postcode area any more. When I was doing the survey the results were published each year and always about 96% of 1st class mail got to the destination within the "allowed" 3 days or something like that. This was at that time, and now the figures are far worse!
Going off on a Rusty anti mail rant, the postal service is truly fucked and its far worse in London! We have gone from getting 2 deliveries of post a day to 1, and that normally arrives at 2pm. All the local red postboxes have gone from 4 collections a day, to 1 at 5:30pm with no Sunday posts, unless you go into London.
They have economised the service, but the service is totally dreadful! I personally feel the service is collapsing and its not the fault of the workers. Postal Workers get treated like crap with low pay, and our local postman seems to be getting a bigger and bigger round. The workers are disgruntled and hate their work, and the system is collapsing. They work early in the morning in all weathers. I think its the people are the top of the company and the people who make the decisions who are the problem.
Rich sent me a parcel some weeks ago of Kath & Kim dvd's he copied for me, that he brought direct from Australia. They never arrived! They just "vanished". He burnt them again and they arrived fine.
This all leads too ====> My father sent a important letter to some relatives of the family. They contained tickets which can not be replaced or transferred. They were sent, so that it has to be signed on delivery and they are guaranteed. However its vanished and gone missing! Using the track and trace service online the letter has literally disappeared. How the hell is that possible?
Currently in the UK the Royal Mail has competition in parcel deliveries, there is other companies you can use for couriering parcels and letters, but there is no normal post competition. I think if the monopoly was broken, then they are doomed!
The Royal Mail has a massive history and it used to be in charge of all of the UK's mail and telephone. It was a government company. The telephone part became British Telecom which is now a public company. However I would welcome any company that means that letters and parcels would actually get to places you want them!
I think the problem is a lot worse in London, than it is anyway else, and its only going to get worse :(