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Postcomm plans to deregulate compensation for delayed bulk mail

LONDON - Mail watchdog Postcomm is proposing a series of measures that would end Royal Mail's current compensation regulations for delayed items for companies sending bulk mailings.

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The proposals, which were formulated from a public consultation and discussions with Postwatch and Royal Mail, would remove bulk mail from a regulated compensation scheme for delayed items in April 2009.

Postcomm said it was no longer necessary to compensate for delayed bulk mailings following the opening up of the UK postal market. The new open market meant it was "more appropriate to move towards a market-driven option" reflecting the different needs of companies sending large mailings.

The proposals are subject to a two-month consultation period, with a deadline for responses slated for February 18 2008.

They also encompass changes to compensation for non-business customers to make it easier for them to process claims for lost, delayed or damaged items.

Postcomm is considering the introduction of first-time compensation for items sent by Royal Mail that were lost, damaged or delayed that have no intrinsic value, postal refunds for lost and damaged items on proof of posting and item value, and monetary compensation for substantially delayed non-special delivery items.

Nigel Stapleton, chairman of Postcomm, said: "Royal Mail's compensation schemes for their retail customers have developed over many years and have become difficult for customers to understand.

"Recognising this, Postcomm has worked closely with Royal Mail and Postwatch to try to find ways to cut through the complexity and make sure mail customers have access to a clear, fair and user-friendly compensation system."

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