Boycott Royal Mail as parcel prices to go up 70%

Huge hikes of up to 70% in cost to send parcels – just a week after leap in stamp prices

Cost of sending letters and packets under 750g rises by average 15%
Price hikes come just one week after 30% increase in cost of stamps
Cost of sending first class packet under 100g soars by 70%

By Daily Mail Reporter
PUBLISHED: 15:16, 3 April 2012 | UPDATED: 16:21, 3 April 2012–just-week-leap-stamp-prices.html

The Royal Mail has revealed it will hike up the cost of sending some packages by 70 per cent, just a week after the cost of stamps soared by 30 per cent.

The firm had previously made incremental charges on packages weighing up to 750g, but is set to replace the pricing system by charging a standard flat rate for packages up to that weight.

Following Royal Mail price hikes to be introduced later this month, all postage weighing up to 750g will now cost £2.70 to send.

The postage cost for a first class package weighing up to 100g is currently £1.58. The new system will see this cost rise by £1.12 – an increase of 70 per cent.

Under current pricing, postage for a package weighing 0-100g costs £1.58 first class, 250g cost £1.96, 500g cost £2.48 and 750g cost £3.05.

The previous system allowed very small items to be delivered for less, but that is all set to change once the new structure is introduced.

Royal Mail said it has had to increase prices as the losses it has made in recent years are making its business ‘unsustainable’.

Royal Mail spokesman James Eadie said: ‘Over the last four years Royal Mail has made a loss in its core mails business, including packets, of almost £1 billion.

‘Our prices for packets need to reflect the cost of handling and delivering them.

The postal said it has lost around £1 billion over the past four years, figures it described as ‘unsustainable’

‘The price of our stamped and meter packet services will increase by on average 15 per cent.

‘There will also be two weight steps up to 1kg instead of five.

‘For some customers this means price increases. For others it means price decreases.

‘The changes better reflect the cost of handling packets which often cannot be delivered through the letterbox.’

The changes come just one week after Royal Mail announced a 14p rise on the price of a first class stamp.

‘It just won’t make sense to users, and customers will no doubt feel this is just adding insult to injury so soon after last week’s bombshell.’

A second-class stamp, currently 36p, will jump to 50p, a rise of 39 per cent. By comparison, most workers pay is either frozen or rising at less than 2 per cent a year.

Royal Mail will be able to continue to raise its prices as often – and by as much – as it likes after postal regulator Ofcom did away with current price controls.

Phil Orford, chief executive of the Forum of Private Business, branded the latest price hike as one which ‘won’t make sense’ to business users.

He said: ‘With the ink barely even dry on last week’s agreement with Ofcom, which saw prices leap by as much as 39 per cent, and here we go again.

‘This latest hike hardly seems fair or proportionate either. The smallest of parcel now charged the same as a much larger one.

‘It just won’t make sense to users, and customers will no doubt feel this is just adding insult to injury so soon after last week’s bombshell.

‘At a time when the cost of doing business is increasing for small firms this is simply not on.’

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