Small firms criticise delays in postal services

AN ORGANISATION which campaigns for small businesses in Essex has raised concerns over “unacceptable” services provided by Royal Mail.

The Essex Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) claims Royal Mail is letting down small businesses two years on from a review of the services offered by the postal company.

A spokesperson for the FSB, which aims to promote and protect the interests of small businesses, said that while firms remain loyal to Royal Mail, the company is not delivering an acceptable service.

A poll of more than 1,200 FSB members found that 94% of people want a UK-wide postal service and six in 10 want to continue to receive mail deliveries six days a week.

The survey was conducted in response to a consultation in relation to developments in the postal market since 2008.

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Essex FSB chairman Iain Wicks said: “It is completely unacceptable that small businesses have to take the hit in poor services from the postal service.

“Two years ago, the Hooper report clearly stated that the Royal Mail and the postal service needed serious reforming to ensure that it is sustainable and provides the service small businesses and consumers deserve.

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“Post offices are the heart of many communities and act not only as a place to send invoices or to collect parcels, but as somewhere for small firms to network and meet like-minded businessmen and women as well as potential customers.”

Mr Wicks said that small firms were severely let down by the lack of business services available and “were not provided with a fully operational service.”

He added: “We are also still receiving comments from members regarding delays in receiving the important post, including cheques from customers, and this also needs to be addressed.”

The federation also criticised previous strike action which cost individual businesses between �500 and �5,000.

A Royal Mail spokesperson told the EADT the organisation remained committed to small businesses.

“We recognise the importance of small business to the Royal Mail and are absolutely committed to maintaining and improving our quality of service as well as developing new tools and products aimed specifically at assisting small business,” the spokesperson added.

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