Eleven million homes across the UK don’t get their post before 10 am, according to a survey into the performance of Royal Mail.
The National Audit Office, which carried out the probe, also found that for more than one million homes the post didn’t turn up until the afternoon.
Even when the mail arrives, one in four people complain that it often includes letters addressed to someone at a different property.
The results are far worse than those from a similar survey in 2001, when nine out of ten people said their first postal delivery arrived before 10 am.
Next-day post target
Since then, Royal Mail has abolished the second daily delivery for households and now aims to deliver by lunchtime in urban areas and by mid-afternoon in rural ones.
Mail regulator Postcomm has set Royal Mail a target of delivering 93 per cent of first-class mail by the next day.
But in some areas – particularly in London – Royal Mail is consistently failing to meet this target, although its general performance is improving.
A Royal Mail spokesman said that quality of service was its number one priority.
‘Royal Mail is currently delivering a record high quality of service to its customers, but we’re determined to do even better.’