Royal Mail has been accused of stealing the most lucrative postal customers from post office stores, according to a Royal Mail employee and subpostmasters.

A Royal Mail worker told RN that business customer mail is tracked and scanned in the sorting office, with the data being used to target those senders.

One subpostmaster added: “About four years ago, we lost a customer worth £4,000 a year. Two years ago, another customer worth £6,000 a year was lost. They were both approached by Royal Mail to see ‘if they would like to save money’. 

“I have since spoken to a Royal Mail employee who is aware of machinery that collates the information from items being posted to see a pattern and suggests a strategy to approach companies.”

Another added: “Royal Mail were offering my customers half-price postage and to pick up their parcels from them. How is the Post Office going to compete with them?”

A third subpostmaster said: “A customer shipped 80-100 small parcels a day until she was offered 30% off and daily pick-ups. It was a no-brainer for her, but a big loss for me.”

CWU postmaster branch secretary Mark Baker added: “Hundreds of subpostmasters have voiced concern about this in the past – it can result in losing 10-20% of postal income if you lose the
big customers.”

Royal Mail was fined £50m by Ofcom in August for “a serious breach of competition law”, because it had been charging “discriminatory” postage rates to rival firm Whistl.  

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “Royal Mail enjoys a close and productive working relationship with Post Office. 

“We do not encourage customers to switch from Post Office to Royal Mail account services. 

“However, in some cases, businesses who have seen their postal needs grow sometimes seek to open Royal Mail accounts of their own volition.”

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