Ofcom has fined Royal Mail £1.5 million for failing to reach targets for on-time delivery, and an additional £100,000 for overcharging for second class stamps.
Ofcom, which regulates the postal industry as well as broadcasting and telecommunications in the UK, imposed the penalty because Royal Mail did not meet target levels for timely first class letter delivery in the 2018-2019 financial year.
91.5% of first class letters were delivered on time, but the target was 93%. According to Ofcom, Royal Mail did not provide an adequate explanation for the shortfall or do enough to get back on track during the year.
In 2019-2020, Royal Mail delivered 92.6%, but Ofcom took into account the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the fact that Royal Mail was meeting its target until 15th March.
Royal Mail was also found to have overcharged for second class stamps for a week at the end of March 2019. The price cap was due to rise on 1st April but Royal Mail set its new prices early, putting them 1p over the cap.
Royal Mail did not refund the extra income they received of £60,000 but instead donated it to the charity Action For Children. Ofcom levied the fine all the same.
This time around, the fines are relatively small. Ofcom fined Royal Mail £50 million for breaking competition law in 2018.
Header image from photo by Camellia Yang.