Royal Mail Says PIP Program Running Smoothly

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Despite some reports to the contrary, Royal Mail said Aug. 21 that there was no sign of the "chaos" some had forecast over the introduction of new postage pricing changes.

Starting on Aug. 21, postage for mail weighing up to 1 kilogram in Britain is based on size as well as weight so that prices better reflect the costs of collecting, sorting and delivering mail. In general, Royal Mail's new pricing scheme, Pricing in Proportion, means mail is priced in three size formats: letters, large letters and packets.

While Postwatch, Britain's consumer watchdog for its postal service, said it understands the need for the new charges, it also said a recent survey it sponsored shows that post offices around the country had not done enough to communicate about the plan. As a result, the group said it is concerned that the change may not be fully understood by all customers and confusion amongst residential customers and small businesses could lead to unnecessarily long queues at post offices.

In the first week of August, Postwatch surveyed post offices throughout Britain to examine the efforts branches were making to alert customers to the new program.

Of the 307 post offices Postwatch visited, 34 percent did not display a measuring template, 37 percent were not displaying a PiP poster; and 32 percent did not have PIP leaflets available. Britain has 14,000 post offices.

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