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Postal Regulation and Complaints

Along with our UK parcel and UK letter guides, we’ve researched the history of postal regulation and how to complain about a postal provider when things go wrong.

Postal regulation and complaints

Ofcom became the regulator of the postal service following the Postal Services Act 2011. As part of the plans, the roles fulfilled by Postcomm were absorbed into the communications regulator Ofcom from 1 October 2011.

As the regulator of the postal service, Ofcom is charged with overseeing the quality and universal service of post in the United Kingdom. Within its remit is commissioning research, data and reports relating to postal services in the UK. 

Complaining about a postal provider

Although Ofcom regulate the postal industry, they cannot investigate individual complaints about postal operators.

Any regulated postal operator like Royal Mail must have a complaints procedure published on its website. After exhausting a postal services internal complaints procedure and if your complaint cannot be resolved, the operator can issue a ‘deadlock’ notice that will allow you to ask the Independent Postal Redress scheme to investigate your case. Here is a link to Royal Mail’s complaints service.

Independent Postal Redress scheme

The Independent Postal Redress Scheme can only investigate complaints about Royal Mail’s regulated postal services. If your complaint is about a non-regulated service and you are still unhappy with Royal Mail’s response, you should seek independent legal advice (The Citizens Advice consumer service provides free, confidential and impartial advice on consumer issues).

The Independent Postal Redress scheme is managed by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) which is a mediation and alternative dispute resolution body. It was founded as a non-profit organisation in 1990, with the support of The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and a number of British businesses and law firms, to encourage the development and use of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and mediation in commercial disputes.

A link the appropriate section of CEBR’s website is here however only use this scheme if your complaint has not been satisfactorily resolved within the postal operator’s complaints procedure.