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Union warns Dunfermline Post Office will have 'inferior service'

29 Oct 2018, 14:54

https://www.dunfermlinepress.com/news/1 ... r-service/

WHSMITH’S operational takeover of Dunfermline Post Office will “lead to an inferior service”.

That’s the view of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) who have slammed Post Office Ltd’s privatisation plans.

It was announced last week that from early next year, WHSmith will start to manage the Dunfermline branch at High Street with new opening times on Sundays.

Post Office Ltd have now launched a public consultation about their plans for next year but the CWU believe that it is a “hollow process”.

They say the company is simply looking at access to the new site and other issues around the periphery, without looking at the actual decision to privatise the Crown Post Office and replace it with an inferior model run by WHSmith.

Carole Bowman, CWU representative, said: “The fight to save the Crown Office continues, despite the ‘consultation’ being a sham, the plans for the Crown Office, and the effect it would have on the people, the businesses and the community as a whole must be exposed.

“We know from experience that the quality of the service does reduce when a Crown Office is replaced with a franchise model.

“There are hundreds of people who come to this office every day and we just don’t think the same service could be matched by a few low-paid and inexperienced WHSmith staff.”

Dunfermline’s town centre post office was moved from Queen Anne Street to WHSmith on High Street in March 2017 but has continued to be run directly by Post Office staff.

The changes will begin on January 25; it will open on Sundays from 10.30am to 2.30pm and services will be made available earlier on Tuesdays – opening at 9am rather than 9.30am.

Roger Gale, Post Office network and sales director, said: “WHSmith and Post Office have worked together successfully for more than a decade and our collaboration helps to secure our services on high streets for years to come.

“We’re continuing to respond to unprecedented change on high streets and in consumer trends.

"By adapting to the needs of customers, we’re making sure post offices will matter as much tomorrow as they do today, with services available when and where people want them, in convenient locations and open for longer hours, including Sundays.

“We’ve made significant changes in our network of 11,500 post offices over the past few years, modernising more than 7,500 branches and increasing opening hours for customers by more than 200,000 a week.

"We’ve also developed our services, including the introduction of everyday banking for customers of the UK’s high street banks.

“The vast majority of the Post Office’s network of 11,500 post office branches, large and small, are run on a franchise or agency basis with retailers as part of thriving businesses.

"It makes sense to further expand this successful, sustainable way of providing Post Office services to customers.”

Customers can share their views by completing an online questionnaire via postofficeviews.co.uk, using the code: 260844.

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