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Post Offices: Standards

Volume 477: debated on Thursday 19 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what monitoring of waiting times at post office branches (a) his Department and (b) Postcomm performs; what methodology is used; and if he will make a statement. (207344)

The Department does not carry out any monitoring exercises for waiting times at Post Office branches. Postcomm, the industry regulator, has a limited role in relation to the Post Office network. It monitors the impact of strategic developments in the network, and provides advice to the Secretary of State in the form of an annual report. It is not currently carrying out any research in this area.

Post Office Ltd. monitors waiting times at branches through its mystery shopper visits. A sample of 1,000 branches are visited on a monthly basis by a mystery shopper and marked against a range of factors, including waiting times. This is to ensure that customer service is being maintained and where branches are identified as falling below standard, this is raised with the sub-postmaster or branch manager.