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Consumers advised to plan around four days of upcoming Royal Mail strike action

The Consumer Council is advising postal consumers to plan ahead for Royal Mail strike action which is expected to take place this Friday, August 26; Wednesday, August 31; Thursday, September 8, and Friday, September 9.

Royal Mail’s services will be affected with delays to mail posted the day before, during or in the days after any strike action.

Michael Legg, Head of Postal Services at the Consumer Council, provides the following advice to consumers.

“We are encouraging consumers across Northern Ireland to plan ahead for expected strike action which will affect Royal Mail services. Our tips include the following.

Plan ahead – Post items well in advance of planned strike dates.
Consider your needs – Do you need to post over the strike period, or can you wait until the strike action is over and normal service is resumed?
Let your recipient know – If you are sending urgent outgoing mail and you think it may be delayed, contact the recipient by telephone or other means to explain the situation.
Check before purchasing special services – If you are sending something valuable and important by a Special Next Day Delivery service, Royal Mail is unable to guarantee it will not be delayed and you will not be able to claim any compensation.
Speak to senders about alternatives – If you are expecting urgent and important mail over the strike period (such as medical appointments, prescriptions, benefit letters and bills), contact the sender to find out what alternative arrangements can be made to ensure you receive your items, or that you receive vital information on time.
Know your rights – If you are a consumer and you have bought something online and it is delayed, remember the item should be delivered within the timeframe agreed with the retailer. If no timeframe is agreed, the retailer must deliver at the very latest no more than 30 days from the date of purchase. If the item is not delivered on time, you can return the item, cancel your order and get a refund.”

The Consumer Council is recommending concerned postal consumers to keep in contact with Royal Mail to get regular updates on the situation via their website.

Consumers can contact Royal Mail customer services at 0345 7740 740. Lines are open Monday to Friday, 7am-8pm; on Saturday from 8am-6pm; and on Sunday, from 9am-4pm.

More information can be found at www.consumercouncil.org.uk/royalmailstrikes.

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