It's a sad thing to recount but we will be dropping Royal Mail as our primary delivery method. I'll explain why in this blog post.
When Homechip Ltd started up in 2009 we chose to use Royal Mail as our delivery agent. We had a local village post office who were helpful and quick to accept shipments. The last post went out at 4pm which was adequate and we could always take a quick dash to the sorting office down the road if a customer needed an emergency shipment. Nearly all First Class shipments arrived the next day and even Second Class shipments usually arrived the day after. If we wanted a guaranteed delivery then Special Delivery was absolutely guaranteed to arrive before 1pm the following day and was fully tracked. We bought a franking machine and shipped virtually everything, including overseas shipments by Royal Mail.
In the last two years all that has changed. We can no longer rely on Royal Mail first class arriving the following day, indeed we can no longer rely on it arriving at all. We've been told that there is now really no difference between first and second class post: both are processed together. Even Special Delivery, once the gold standard, fully tracked, guaranteed to be delivered, is taking several days to arrive and the tracking results are a work of fiction.
We started to phase out Royal mail for overseas shipments a year or two ago when it became the case that with electronic commercial invoices being required our franking machine could no longer be used to ship overseas and we lost the benefit of franked mail.
We've tried various courier companies, mainly for overseas deliveries and we will continue to use an appropriate one where necessary (Fedex and DHL seem to be the most reliable) but we feel the time has come for us to shift away from Royal Mail completely. We've been testing DPD and they seem to be reliable and their portal is easy to use. And their tracking and delivery monitoring seems to be unbeatable at the price.
So from now on look to see your parcels delivered by DPD. And let us know how you get on.