I don't post anything by Royal Mail, shame anyone else does, sooner they go bust and the other post providers take over the better!
I spend roughly £1000 a month with royal mail and they're generally good. Yes, I do have the occasional item go astray, but nowhere near the quantity that go missing on the way to me with other providers.
I posted my spare key to someone for a repair a few weeks ago, only to find out later that he'd given me the wrong address. I got onto royal mail customer services, gave them all the details they required, and was told it would be roughly 2 weeks before they could see if it had turned up in their lost post warehouse in Northern Ireland. They found it the next working day and I received it back in 3 days.
Hermes, on the other hand, couldn't deliver something right if their lives depended on it. I signed for a parcel about half an hour ago and both the bag and box are ripped all over. The number of times I've got home to find a soaking wet parcel on my doorstep, and a card through the door saying they've left it in a "safe place", is beyond counting. On the doorstep is not
A couple of weeks ago I heard the dog going mad, so went downstairs to find the idiot from Hermes had opened the front door and placed a parcel on the window sill. I didn't hear any knock at the door and my office is directly above the front door, so I don't believe the nutter had even tried. It's a miracle the guy didn't end up in hospital with half his arm hanging off. Our dog is great with people, but if we don't introduce him to visitors ourselves they're fair game in his book.
We've already had to have a dog put-down because a postman decided he didn't like the dog jumping up to lick him. I understand that he shouldn't have got out, and in fairness to the postman he didn't even want it reported to the police let alone going as far as it did, but his contract says he has to report any dog incident no matter how minor. The only way to avoid either my wife (on paper the owner) or me (the person at home and therefore in charge of the dog) ending up in court was to accept a formal caution under the dangerous dogs act and to have him destroyed. We could have gone to court and even if we'd lost it would have been doubtful he'd have anything worse than being registered, tattooed and need a muzzle in public, but a conviction could have ended either, or both, our professional registrations which we need to legally work.
I have business accounts with UPS, FEDEX and parcelforce. They can pay any import fees direct from these accounts so there's no delay in the deliveries. Parcelforce get it right every time, but charge a fortune in handling charges, UPS are roughly in the middle as their charges are OK but they often don't take the fees from my account leaving me to sort things out myself. FEDEX nearly always charge the fees to my account, and have the lowest percentages, but then can be guaranteed to not tell the delivery driver that the fees have been paid, so if I'm not in he leaves a note saying I have to pay the fees before he can leave the item with a neighbour. Aghhhhhhhh
Now, royal mail do get it wrong too. Our old postie used to be so helpful it made matters worse. I ordered a precision inner barrel for an airsoft gun that he decided was urgent, so forced it into the postbox so I didn't have to wait to collect it. When it's milled to +/- 0.03mm as you can imagine, the slightest bend destroys it. Before we got engaged I had a custom engagement ring made by a jewelers in London. 18ct gold and a very good quality diamond ended up being left on top
of the front gate as it wouldn't fit in the box. Special delivery my ar*e!
Bottom line, I'd rather have a nationalised mail system that gets it right 99% of the time than a free-for-all of private companies that are only in it for the profit margin and will slowly degrade the service till we end up like the US and either have to have boxes or collect our own mail from the post office. The grass isn't always greener and we get a good universal service for a vaguely reasonable price.