Interesting discussion in the Post Office the other day (we are traditional types and take all our mail to our local sub post office for despatch):
Apparently the new postal charges which Royal Mail imposed on 21st August have led to a massive reduction in the amount of packets being sent. Although this is anecdotal at this stage, it appears that some eBay sellers (and buyers, presumably) are simply not able to get their heads round the new tariffs and have stopped trading completely, at least for the time being.
The knock-on effect is of course a loss of revenue for Royal Mail and in particular, the local post office network. Sub postmasters/mistresses are usually franchise holders and only get paid according to how much money crosses their counter.
In the short term this is bad news for Royal Mail (serves them right) but for the people who run our local post offices, it’s a complete disaster. Here in Harrow, we lost 6 sub offices last year. The fear is, that more will follow as postmasters/mistresses give up the struggle to make a profit.
We at Snorestore suspect that this was part of Royal Mail’s plan all along. Post Office Counters is the loss-making arm of the service. Put up prices, confuse the customers, see a drop in trade, close lots more sub offices by default. For Royal Mail this would be a result. For the communities served by these outlets, it’s a tragedy.