Apparent idiocy from the Royal Mail: and how journalism works.

A friend pointed a story out to me on the BBC news website that I had missed. It appears Royal Mail wish to change the rules to allow them to leave a lot of mail at your neighbours if they are unable to deliver it.
This story has gone into the wider media now, and seems to be based on a press release from Consumer Focus in response to a press release by Royal Mail. Well hidden the Royal Mail one, being on the Royal Mail Group web site, and not the Royal Mail one itself.

The Royal Mail statement doesn’t make it clear if there is would be an opt in service, but Consumer Focus assert it wouldn’t even be opt-out.

That idea if true is daft: whilst for many people this isn’t a problem for some it obviously will be.  I have wonderful next door neighbours, I’d be happy for the postal service to leave any signed for mail or packages with them.  Indeed despite the fact that Royal Mail apparently aren’t allowed to do so (whispers) they have. However it doesn’t need much knowledge of the outside world to see that some neighbours don’t get on!

It looks from the quotes on the BBC page that the journo has spoken to someone at the Royal Mail to confirm this plan. But…

A challenge: find any quote that isn’t just in the original two press releases.

Give up? Yup that is because there aren’t any.

The Journo has combined two press releases quite nicely to make a story.  The Scotsman and Guardian have done the same as the BBC.  The Telegraph just condenses the Royal Mail release.  The Daily Mail article rehashes the same quotes as the BBC, but adds a bit about privatisation too, presumably a third press release.

Now if this story is true, and it could be that there is no opt out, it is daft and time to get the campaigning hat on.  If on the other hand it means Royal Mail are asking for permission to follow a note left in a window to “if out, deliver to number 72”, it just seems like successful publicity seeking for a pressure group.

I’ve emailed the contact address at the Royal Mail to see which it is. We’ll see what response I get.

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Filed under bbc, lazy journalism, royal mail

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