Our local full post office is shut for at least four weeks while the store in which it is based converts from a Co-Op to Tesco. All post office services have therefore been taken up by two small sub-post offices, which offer only restricted opening times, in the morning only until lunchtime.
Because most of our orders come in during the evening, and we therefore try to cast and pack them the next day when possible, we cannot currently get them dispatched within 24 hours of receipt, so in general it will now take from two to three days to turn around an order.
We had returned to using post offices with the general reduction in the severity of risk of Covid, thanks to vaccinations and a less terminal variant, so orders could once again go out as quickly as possible – some even same day. However, it now makes as much sense to use the Royal Mail Collect service again, as we did during the severest parts of the pandemic, because this also entails collection the day after we process the postage for an order. It also means that we’re not pressured to try to get orders away in small, time-sensitive window.
Also, Royal Mail refuses to collect from our local sub-post office, requiring the employee to drive to the mail depot at the end of the day with all the post. This seems somewhat less secure than ideal for tracked and special delivery items. Complaining about this to Royal Mail has just resulted in an “internal decisions are none of your business” reply.