Royal Mail scraps festive first class promise

Caroline Cassidy

If you already have a mountain of Christmas cards waiting to be posted, you may want to save some money and stick to a second class delivery this year.

First class stamp
First class stamp

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According to Consumer Focus, thousands of British customers are wasting their money on first class stamps to send out their season's greetings because there is no next-day delivery target during the festive period.

Throughout the year, Royal Mail's "quality of service" target aims to deliver 93 per cent of first class post the following day - but between December 6 and January 1, this target is scrapped and the postal service is under no obligation to deliver on time.

In fact, the consumer champion's research revealed that last year just 56 per cent of first class festive post arrived the next day, compared to the 92 per cent of second class post that arrived within the target "three working days".

The Consumer Focus report suggests that customers save a few pennies by opting instead for the "slower but more reliable" second class option.

Robert Hammond, head of post at Consumer Focus, told the Daily Mail: "Christmas is expensive. If people make sure they don't get snowed under in the Christmas rush and post their mail in advance, they can save much needed extra pounds."

With 750 million Christmas cards expected to be posted over the next four weeks, the report estimated that the nation could save £67.5 million simply by going second class.

Royal Mail insist that the volume of Christmas post makes it near impossible to meet quality of service targets.

Will you be saving money with second class this Christmas? Leave your comments below...