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why are Royal Mail ridiculously priced above 2kg?

13 Dec 2017, 17:52

I send a lot of parcels through various courier companies and am astonished at Royal Mail UK's pricing structure.

Why do Royal Mail think that they can charge over £15 for a 2nd Class, non-signed, non-tracked parcel above 2kg?

Below 2kg the price is either £2.90 or £5, depending on size. But as soon as you go over 2kg, the price exponentially rockets! And for a service with no tracking, and only a "reference number" that tells you when delivery was attempted to any address...

At least other couriers, such as MyHermes, UPS, Collect+ are cheaper and charge a fair price for parcels over 2kg. Plus, they all have tracking, so you can see exactly where the parcel is at any point in its journey.

Even Parcelforce 48 is cheaper than Royal Mail for >2kg and they are £13 tracked and signed!

Why are Royal Mail allowed to do this - surely there should be some sort of regulation to ensure that the customer gets a fair service at a reasonable cost...

why are Royal Mail ridiculously priced above 2kg?

13 Dec 2017, 19:41

There is regulation, RM are more regulated than most couriers. RM are overseen by OFCOM, a supposedly impartial ombudsman. The only real way to influence RM's pricing is to vote with your feet.

why are Royal Mail ridiculously priced above 2kg?

13 Dec 2017, 20:28

Sir Henry wrote:There is regulation, RM are more regulated than most couriers. RM are overseen by OFCOM, a supposedly impartial ombudsman. The only real way to influence RM's pricing is to vote with your feet.

That is why I use other couriers for items above 2kg.

Though the question really is, why are RM even allowed to go from £2.90/£5.00 up to £15+ in the first place? Bear in mind that this is untracked (so could easily get lost) and unsigned (so said items could just be dumped anywhere).

In fact, RM's compensation policy is £20 for 2nd Class (non-signed), if items get lost/damaged - therefore, paying £15+ postage would mean that the item would have to be worth no more than £4 for RM to cover the full cost in compensation? And who would pay £15+ to send a item worth £4!!

Ofcom should have capped the cost of sending a parcel to no more than £7.50 for above 2kg, and no more than £10 for anything above 10kg. That would bring Royal Mail nicely in line with MyHermes' prices. And MyHermes deliver within 3-5 days (often 2-3 days, which is the same as RM 2nd) plus they also have tracking.
Asking people to shell out over £15 for a non tracked, non signed service to the UK is pretty much robbery.

People like myself can easily use a variety of couriers to deliver parcels - including tracked couriers, signed couriers, next day couriers and couriers that aren't frightened as soon as you say the word "battery". Like, a portable alarm radio with in built battery (that cannot be removed). However, the process of using other couriers isn't as simple as you might expect, with PayPal, weighing scales, and a printer being essential for other couriers.
And people who find the process of online postage/forms etc a bit daunting have no choice but to use either Royal Mail, at the aforementioned £15+, or Parcelforce, which isn't much cheaper.

Plus, the costs keep increasing year by year - so it'll soon be too expensive to send anything via mail, including Christmas cards and the like (which is now 56p per stamp, yet it used to be a lot cheaper).

C'mon RM, let's play fair by not monopolizing certain markets and charging extortionate prices to boot.

why are Royal Mail ridiculously priced above 2kg?

13 Dec 2017, 21:27

Sir Henry wrote:There is regulation, RM are more regulated than most couriers. RM are overseen by OFCOM, a supposedly impartial ombudsman. The only real way to influence RM's pricing is to vote with your feet.

So are you saying that OFCOM are to blame for high charges over 2kg ?
I thought OFCOM restricted some prices not inflated them.

why are Royal Mail ridiculously priced above 2kg?

13 Dec 2017, 22:16

Even Parcelforce 48 is cheaper than Royal Mail for >2kg and they are £13 tracked and signed!


Parcelforce are Royal Mail. :thumbup

why are Royal Mail ridiculously priced above 2kg?

13 Dec 2017, 23:40

Lounge Lizard wrote:
Sir Henry wrote:There is regulation, RM are more regulated than most couriers. RM are overseen by OFCOM, a supposedly impartial ombudsman. The only real way to influence RM's pricing is to vote with your feet.

So are you saying that OFCOM are to blame for high charges over 2kg ?
I thought OFCOM restricted some prices not inflated them.


Nope, I mentioned OFCOM as the op was talking about regulation.

why are Royal Mail ridiculously priced above 2kg?

13 Dec 2017, 23:47

And not trying to be pedantic but it's the publicly owned Post Office that charge the postage and the private company Royal Mail that deliver.

why are Royal Mail ridiculously priced above 2kg?

14 Dec 2017, 06:49

Sir Henry wrote:And not trying to be pedantic but it's the publicly owned Post Office that charge the postage and the private company Royal Mail that deliver.


The Post Office have absolutely no say in what Royal Mail decide to set as their prices.

why are Royal Mail ridiculously priced above 2kg?

14 Dec 2017, 07:05

theoneandonly1995 wrote:Why do Royal Mail think that they can charge over £15 for a 2nd Class, non-signed, non-tracked parcel above 2kg? Below 2kg the price is either £2.90 or £5, depending on size. But as soon as you go over 2kg, the price exponentially rockets!


That is down to history. If you go back about 4 years, RM had a nice, logical stepped structure for 2nd class. However, this massively disadvantaged a lot of e-commerce sellers, so after an outcry they dropped the price of packets up to 2Kg, but only for second class. This remained, and you can see it in the pricing leaflet if you look at the way 2nd class shadows 1st class except for in this size & weight combination.

Ofcom regulate RM prices on a 'basket of goods' basis. That is, RM can ask to put the price of something up but they have to put the price of something else down in return. So pricing works via a complicated interplay of these two forces.

theoneandonly1995 wrote:Ofcom should have capped the cost of sending a parcel to no more than £7.50 for above 2kg, and no more than £10 for anything above 10kg.


I'm not sure that Ofcom have the power to cap any price in the competitive part of the market. RM prices will always be a bit higher overall as they are obliged to cover the whole country while the couriers ignore the 10% of the country where the costs rocket and a load of product types that don't make money anywhere (like the 56p Christmas card you mentioned, sold to you at under cost price).

theoneandonly1995 wrote:Even Parcelforce 48 is cheaper than Royal Mail for >2kg and they are £13 tracked and signed!


So use that then.

theoneandonly1995 wrote:People like myself can easily use a variety of couriers to deliver parcels - including tracked couriers, signed couriers, next day couriers and couriers that aren't frightened as soon as you say the word "battery". Like, a portable alarm radio with in built battery (that cannot be removed)


Any courier that uses aeroplanes for any of their mail should be afraid when you mention the word 'battery', the regulations come from international law and they have a legal & moral obligation to follow them.

why are Royal Mail ridiculously priced above 2kg?

14 Dec 2017, 14:08

Snaggletooth wrote:
theoneandonly1995 wrote:Why do Royal Mail think that they can charge over £15 for a 2nd Class, non-signed, non-tracked parcel above 2kg? Below 2kg the price is either £2.90 or £5, depending on size. But as soon as you go over 2kg, the price exponentially rockets!


That is down to history. If you go back about 4 years, RM had a nice, logical stepped structure for 2nd class. However, this massively disadvantaged a lot of e-commerce sellers, so after an outcry they dropped the price of packets up to 2Kg, but only for second class. This remained, and you can see it in the pricing leaflet if you look at the way 2nd class shadows 1st class except for in this size & weight combination.

Ofcom regulate RM prices on a 'basket of goods' basis. That is, RM can ask to put the price of something up but they have to put the price of something else down in return. So pricing works via a complicated interplay of these two forces.

theoneandonly1995 wrote:Ofcom should have capped the cost of sending a parcel to no more than £7.50 for above 2kg, and no more than £10 for anything above 10kg.


I'm not sure that Ofcom have the power to cap any price in the competitive part of the market. RM prices will always be a bit higher overall as they are obliged to cover the whole country while the couriers ignore the 10% of the country where the costs rocket and a load of product types that don't make money anywhere (like the 56p Christmas card you mentioned, sold to you at under cost price).

theoneandonly1995 wrote:Even Parcelforce 48 is cheaper than Royal Mail for >2kg and they are £13 tracked and signed!


So use that then.

theoneandonly1995 wrote:People like myself can easily use a variety of couriers to deliver parcels - including tracked couriers, signed couriers, next day couriers and couriers that aren't frightened as soon as you say the word "battery". Like, a portable alarm radio with in built battery (that cannot be removed)


Any courier that uses aeroplanes for any of their mail should be afraid when you mention the word 'battery', the regulations come from international law and they have a legal & moral obligation to follow them.


1) I do remember that prices were different a few years ago, back when they had the "Standard Parcels" service and also accepted larger items above 61x46x46cm. I do appreciate the reduction of 2nd Class parcels to £2.90 and 1st Class to 3.40 (below 1kg small) as it brings things in line very nicely with another economy courier I also use.
I also do not mind the £5 medium parcel charge as that is more or less in line with MyHermes' economy service and Collect+' ecomony service, give or take a few pence.
The problem is the price rocketing up to £15+ after 2kg - which neither MyHermes or Collect+ do (MyHermes being just over £5.50, Collect+ being just under £6). Both of those couriers are tracked and signed - and will take parcels to the vast majority of UK places - the only exception being unadopted roads in poor condition.

If the RM price wasn't as cheap now for small parcels then they would be absolutely nowhere. When I go to the Post Office, the only things people tend to send are letters and <2kg parcels, except for the few people that are either unaware of the steep increase, or don't care anyway.
Trouble is, when selling items online, you just cannot charge the buyer £15+ for postage and expect them to pay it.

For all I care, Special Delivery (which virtually no one uses) could go up, due to the higher compensation limit, so long as RM >2kg 1st and 2nd goes down to more in line with other couriers - including next-day UPS services.

2) Yes there are couriers that do ignore certain areas (such as Scottish Highlands & Offshore etc) and/or charge premiums for this, but for items >2kg then the cost of shipping to these remote areas (the 10%) won't be much more than Royal Mail anyway, when RM are charging £15+. And are tracked/signed/offer better service etc etc....

3) Quoting Parcelforce 48 prices was just an example of how bad RM's pricing structure is - Parcelforce is a large courier company (which would charge surcharges to places mentioned in (2)) but when couriers like PF48 are cheaper than RM, There's a large problem with the postal service and the pricing structure.
It's like RM are trying to match the prices of specialist services like TNT for >2kg services, which is a joke.
If I want to send something over 2kg, then most well known courier services would be a better option, given the factors of price, reliability, insurance and tracking/signature etc - including MyHermes (the cheapest), Collectplus (more reliable and only slightly more expensive), and UPS (very reliable, signed as standard, next day as standard).

4) I would definitely agree with you there if sending internationally, as other than using ferries, aeroplanes would have to be used. However, using aeroplanes for UK to UK deliveries is unnecessary - as everywhere can be accessed via roads.
For example, MyHermes delivers most parcels within 3 days (the same as RM 2nd Class) yet logically delivers between local couriers, regional depots, national sorting hubs etc and to the customer via a road only network. I've even had items arrive next day via Hermes and Collect+, both of which use road only networks.
I mean, it doesn't take long to drive between a regional depot, a national hub, another regional depot and to the local courier, no matter where they are located in the UK (this can be done within a day). Therefore, no reason whatsoever to require the use of aeroplanes, and therefore the company in question (Royal Mail) wouldn't become scared stiff as soon as the word "battery" is mentioned. If MyHermes/Collect+ can do it, why can't Royal Mail?!

why are Royal Mail ridiculously priced above 2kg?

23 Dec 2017, 08:20

OP,

I understand your frustration and don’t really know why there is such a sharp increase for parcels over 2kg. One thing I can think of is parcels over 2kg are usually oversized and would not be able to be delivered with regular mail by a postman due to logistics so will need a dedicated member of staff doing parcel deliveries, this costs the business something like 70% more after taking into account fuel, vans, insurance and wages etc nationwide on a large scale. This is not an excuse for the pricing and It really should be looked at as it’s a huge gap in the market.

Comparing RM to my Hermes etc is like comparing apples and pears though, they employ lifestyle couriers who to put bluntly exploit their workforce with zero hour self employed contracts and flout minimum wage obligations which allows them to have such prices.

The flaws in their operations show from the moment you try to order. As you said yourself, it’s an inconvenience and the service often received leaves a lot to be desired.

why are Royal Mail ridiculously priced above 2kg?

07 Jan 2018, 18:06

South_London_Postie wrote:OP,

I understand your frustration and don’t really know why there is such a sharp increase for parcels over 2kg. One thing I can think of is parcels over 2kg are usually oversized and would not be able to be delivered with regular mail by a postman due to logistics so will need a dedicated member of staff doing parcel deliveries, this costs the business something like 70% more after taking into account fuel, vans, insurance and wages etc nationwide on a large scale. This is not an excuse for the pricing and It really should be looked at as it’s a huge gap in the market.

Comparing RM to my Hermes etc is like comparing apples and pears though, they employ lifestyle couriers who to put bluntly exploit their workforce with zero hour self employed contracts and flout minimum wage obligations which allows them to have such prices.

The flaws in their operations show from the moment you try to order. As you said yourself, it’s an inconvenience and the service often received leaves a lot to be desired.


I've had parcels over 2kg delivered to me via MyHermes before (sometimes as much as 10kg!) and they deliver via the standard "lifestyle couriers" that you speak of, which basically is the same: one man on his own carrying a 10kg parcel from their van (or car) to their door.

Items over 2kg are likely over the small parcel dimension but would be well within the medium parcel dimension. Out of the 1.5-2 years of buying and selling on eBay, I've neither sent nor received anything that's bigger than Royal Mail's maximum dimensions of 64x46x46cm - including some rather heavy items. Therefore, the points about items over 2kg would be perfectly valid to those parcels under 2kg, but are a Medium Parcel instead of a Small Parcel.
Those Medium Parcels will not fit into the shoulder bag of a postie either, and would have to be delivered with the use of a van - yet Royal Mail only charge £5 for those parcels, and Collectplus couriers even less at £4.70. So there really is no excuse for penalizing parcels based on their size, when <2kg it is £5 and >2kg it is over £15 for the same service.

I know that MyHermes couriers are paid pittance (something like 50p/parcel including fuel) - how they manage to keep afloat is another thing outside of this debate. However, I chose MyHermes due to their competitive price. I could have also chosen Collect+ (or CollectPlus, depending on your preference) - which, ignoring small parcels, follow a very similar pricing style to MyHermes. Collect+ couriers are like Royal Mail and have a dedicated team to deliver parcels, no nonsense like MyHermes; yet they charge very reasonable rates as well. £4.70 for items under 2kg, any size (which nicely competes with MyHermes' medium parcel rate and RM's medium parcel rate), and £5.98 for items between 2kg and 5kg. Which is also very similar to MyHermes' pricing, and MUCH BETTER than Royal Mail's fail of £15+.
Oh, and Collect+ couriers are also fully tracked, with the option of a signature, and deliver within 3-5 days (which is only a couple of days later than Royal Mail, and equal to MyHermes).

Therefore, given the above, HOW can Royal Mail justify charging £15+ for a non-tracked, non-signed for service when other courier companies (some of which are well known, UPS even offering next day services) charge a fraction of the price for the same weight, but with tracking and signature options?

Personally, if I was running the Postal System and no-one was able to change the pricing to something more reasonable, I'd explicitly tell my staff to advise customers of >2kg parcels to use another courier!

why are Royal Mail ridiculously priced above 2kg?

04 Mar 2018, 12:02

And... as of 3/26/2018 the price is going up... again!

Royal Mail now charging £1.01 for a 1st Class Large Letter, £2.95 for 2nd Class Small Parcel, and £5.05 for a 2kg Medium Parcel !

CollectPlus couriers charge £4.70 for any parcel under 2kg, which, although they are slightly slower, are better regarding cost - and MyHermes are £3.99 for a medium parcel under 2kgs!
Even for a small parcel, MyHermes are £2.79 compared to RM's new £2.95...

And for anything over 2kg? Their prices are even more of a joke. Parcelforce will want £13.14 and RM even more - bear in mind that RM is non tracked and non signed!
Are they trying to price themselves out of the market or something?

Conclusion: I will be stockpiling large letter stamps at their current rate of 76p (2nd) and 98p (1st). Anything that is a small parcel or larger will be dispatched by another courier - regardless of size and/or weight. Anything over 2kg is still a joke. As for greetings cards, they will soon be a thing of the past as well - emails are free and letters are 58p (2nd)/67p (1st)!

why are Royal Mail ridiculously priced above 2kg?

19 Apr 2018, 07:39

Because RM want did of overweight parcels so that they can se!l parcelforce and have the post men deliver parcels which let's face it are getting bigger and bigger. This has been the plan for years but it's really starting to take off now. What happened to ( the parcels will be no bigger than shoebox size). Aye right and the new boss is a parcel boss in a non unionised part of RMgroup, GLS. SHOULD have read the agreement on pay and conditions boys and girls. Stand by for a s**t storm.Bunch :evil/mad :evil/mad :evil/mad

why are Royal Mail ridiculously priced above 2kg?

24 Apr 2019, 11:47

Having looked at RM prices this year, they are even worse than what Theoneandonly1995 was suggesting back in 2017!

Royal Mail want at least £2.03 for a signed for large letter (the only way to get tracking/reference) (MyHermes are £2.26 for anything up to 1kg and up to 3cm thickness)
Royal Mail want £3 for a small parcel (MyHermes will do it for £2.85 and Parcel2Go will do it as cheap as £2.51)
Royal Mail want £5.10 for a "medium parcel" up to 2kgs (MyHermes will do it for £4.05 and Collect+ will do it for £3.99)
Royal Mail want ££££££££ for anything over 2kgs (it has not changed since TOAO posted about this first!) (Any other choice is better than RM at this weight bracket)

I struggle to see how RM even continue to operate, given how for every service operated, there is another company offering equally competitive, if not more competitive, rates?!

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