Royal Mail suspends sorting fines

Large mailing clients have won a new five-month reprieve from charges levied by Royal Mail for mailshots which fail to go through its new sorting machinery, following a deal brokered by the DMA.
The issue emerged earlier in the year when Royal Mail started charging firms if their mailshots jammed. The move sparked uproar among the mailing house industry and triggered accusations that the so-called reversion charges were simply a revenue-raising exercise, after it emerged they had generated £12m in income for the postal operator.
A June summit held by the DMA Mailing House Council fuelled the frustration after Royal Mail demanded that every single envelope should go through – 100% compliance – or firms would face fines. However, it did agree to suspend the scheme until September.
The new deal will extend this suspension until April of next year.
The DMA has led the industry response to the issue of reversions because of its impact on its members operating in the direct mail marketing sector. The industry body also chairs a working party, which comprises representatives from Royal Mail Wholesale and Royal Mail Retail, Strategic Mailing Partnership, Mail Competition Forum, Mail Users’ Association and the DMA’s Mailing Houses Council.
Royal Mail’s announcement follows a letter the DMA sent to its members last week calling upon them to submit evidence of reversion surcharges they had received since the closure of the first moratorium in mid-September. The DMA will share the evidence with members of the working party at their next meeting in November.
DMA chief of operations Mike Lordan said: “We welcome Royal Mail’s decision to reinstate its moratorium on reversions for envelope sealing specifications until next spring.
“The DMA is chairing a working party that’s meeting regularly to tackle the issues at hand. Our goal is to seek improvements to Royal Mail’s reversions framework to ensure that surcharges are transparent, proportional and fully accountable to an independent appeals process. This extra time should help us to arrive at a solution that’s agreeable to all parties.”

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