Royal Mail has been fined £1.5m for failing to deliver first class post on time.
Communications regulator Ofcom said Royal Mail had missed its target, which is to deliver at least 93% of first class post across the UK within one working day of its collection.
Instead, only 91.5% was delivered within that timeframe during the 2018-19 financial year – although the company did meet the target in the following financial year.
But Ofcom said the business had not provided a “satisfactory explanation” as to why the 2018-19 target was missed, adding that “it did not take sufficient steps to get back on track during the year”.
Royal Mail said it was “disappointed” with the performance, but that it accepted and understood Ofcom’s decision.
In a statement, it added: “We worked hard to restore our service quality in 2019-20 and, were it not for the pandemic and its impact on our business in the latter half of March, we were on course to deliver the requisite first class regulated quality of service target of 93%.
“Despite our best endeavours, some areas of the UK experienced a reduction in service levels during March.”
Royal Mail has also been fined £100,000 for overcharging customers for second class stamps over seven days in March last year.
It had charged 61p for second class stamps from 25 March, overcharging customers for a week until the cap increased from 60p on 1 April.
Royal Mail estimated that customers were overcharged by around £60,000 as a result.
It admitted it had “made a mistake”, but said it had tried to “put this error right” by “publicly acknowledging” it.
Gaucho Rasmussen, Ofcom’s director of investigations and enforcement, said: “Many people depend on postal services, and our rules are there to ensure they get a good service at an affordable price.
“Royal Mail let its customers down, and these fines should serve as a reminder that we’ll take action when companies fall short.”
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