Some parcel deliveries have been taking longer to arrive because of exceptional demand and coronavirus restrictions, Royal Mail has admitted.
Social media users have reported unusually lengthy delays to items they were expecting, while delivery workers have pointed out online that they are dealing with high workloads.
A spokesman for Royal Mail said on Thursday: “Despite our best efforts, exhaustive planning and significant investment in extra resource, some customers may experience slightly longer delivery timescales than our usual service standards.
“This is due to the exceptionally high volumes we are seeing, exacerbated by the coronavirus-related measures we have put in place in local mail centres and delivery offices.
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“In such cases, we always work hard to get back to providing our usual level of service as quickly as we can.”
Twitter users had spoken of delays to their packages.
@RoyalMail beyond diabolical, 1 parcel took 3 weeks to be delivered, was sent signed for. Just received a parcel through the post 4 months old!!!! It had been delivered to random address and they were kind enough to post it back to me. Royal mail should be ashamed of themselves
— Ali ☮ YOLO (@Funky1211) December 10, 2020
@RoyalMailHelp do you think you’ll be up to date on deliveries by Christmas? Since you’re currently 2 weeks behind. I’m guessing it’s not worth using Royal Mail for anything at the moment until you’ve caught up?
— 𝕛𝕒𝕔𝕢𝕦𝕚 𝕞𝕠𝕣𝕣𝕚𝕤𝕠𝕟 (@ihasjacks) December 10, 2020
The spokesperson said 33,000 temporary workers had been brought in to support its 115,000 permanent postmen and women, and they are helping to sort parcels, cards and letters.
Eight centres to deal with the expected growth in parcels were opened, and a Sunday parcel delivery service will run at the weekend.
“The combination of greatly increased uptake of online Christmas shopping, in no small part driven by the recent lockdown, and the ongoing COVID restrictions mean that all delivery companies are experiencing exceptionally high volumes this year,” the spokesperson added.
“Every single parcel, letter and card is important to us.”
Earlier this month, Royal Mail announced it was hiking the price of first class stamps by 9p to 85p and a second class stamp by 1p to 66p.
This came after it reported spending £85m during the period on protective equipment, staff absences, overtime and agency workers.
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