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The Greeting Card Association’s Six Point ‘#Cardmitment’ Plea To The Government

With Royal Mail’s postal service currently under threat from proposals to cut back the second-class service to three days a week, plus a runaway price for a first-class stamp, and the ‘Czech Sphinx’ bid to take over Royal Mail  expected to be finalised by the end of this month, (May), the Greeting Card Association (GCA) is asking the government to make a six-point ‘Cardmitment’ pledge to protect the UK’s postal services. (See below).

Ofcom’s data indicates greeting cards are critical to how Royal Mail is perceived by end consumers. Cards are the most frequent things UK consumers post and 42 per cent of customers now say sending cards is the only time they use Royal Mail.  

“This is a crucial period and we need to encourage everyone to write to their MPs with our message clear around six #Cardmitments,” explains the GCA’s ceo Amanda Fergusson. (See below). “Small businesses, to include those in the gift industry, all use Royal Mail for B2C orders.”

She says that the next few days are crucial to the future of the Royal Mail, with the government reported to be meeting with LP Group management to consider undertakings in respect of their offer for Royal Mail through holding company IDS.

IDS will update the market on its trading performance today (23 May), and LP Group and IDS have until 29 May to formalise any offer for the company.

Above: Press coverage that appeared in the Times on 18 May.
Above: Press coverage that appeared in the Times on 18 May.

The GCA, which represents over 500 members, is asking Ofcom, the government, MPs and other stakeholders to sign a six-point pledge – a #Cardmitment – to restore services, protect Saturday deliveries and hold back price rises to protect small businesses, high streets, and consumers.

In its ‘#Cardmitment’, the GCA is insisting Royal Mail, its owners, regulators and government must:

  1. Fix it First, then reform – insist Royal Mail meets existing performance targets before any USO changes.
  2. Keep Saturdays affordable– Protect the Saturday delivery service at an affordable price and make that price legally binding.
  3. Fully Price Protect all deliveries – Protect consumers from above-inflation price rises on 2nd class stamps, extend that protection to the first class service, and make any future price rises conditional on agreed service targets being met.
  4. Keep Royal Mail national – Protect an affordable single price delivery service to all UK households.
  5. Stop delivery discrimination – Prevent the prioritisation of parcel deliveries over letters and cards.
  6. Support high streets – Recognise the role a thriving postal service – including post offices – have in protecting high streets and communities up and down the country.

“Our members, and the customers they serve, expect a postal service that’s national, reliable and affordable,” states Amanda. “They’re already nervous that planned regulatory reform will ignore these basic needs, and now they fear a deal with new owners that will do nothing to avoid further reductions in the quality of delivery services.”

Continues Amanda: “Whoever owns Royal Mail, must be held accountable on pricing and quality of service standards, through contractual obligations that are enforceable – and delivered.”

Top: The GCA is urging the greeting and gift industries to write to their MPs to help to protect Royal Mail’s postal service.

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