£1.8m is paid out for items lost in the post

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THE Royal Mail has paid out more than £1.8 million in compensation in South Yorkshire in the last six years, new figures obtained by The Star reveal.

As part of our new Your Right To Know campaign, The Star discovered there has been 192,737 complaints for lost, stolen, damaged or significantly late post over the six years.

That’s an average of 88 complaints daily - and £833 compensation paid out every single day.

The Star’s Your Right To Know campaign turns the spotlight on the hidden facts and figures that affect everyday lives. From council tax to school truancy, The Star is making public the information that matters most to you.

For Royal Mail, our figures cover South Yorkshire’s two postcode areas - postcodes beginning ‘S’ and ‘DN’.

The S area, which takes in Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley, Chesterfield and areas of the Hope Valley, had the highest number of complaints and compensation payouts - 130,338 and £1,218,098.

The DN area, taking in Doncaster and small parts of Rotherham and Barnsley, had 62,399 complaints and £607,412 in compensation.

Royal Mail turned down The Star’s request for the figures to be broken down across individual postcodes to show readers the performance in their neighbourhood.

The firm said it would prejudice the commercial interests of the company.

The Star challenged the decision - but it was upheld.

Lost mail is the biggest reason for customer complaints. In the S area, lost mail accounted for 51,104 complaints with £957,958 paid out.

On average 36 items of mail were lost every day with £643 paid out to compensate customers.

In DN, lost mail made up for 26,547 of 62,399 complaints and £452,411 of the £607,412 in compensation.

Thousands of complaints are also categorised as either mis-delivered, redirection failure, unconfirmed loss, part loss or denial of receipt.

The Star can also reveal 59 workers in the region were caught stealing items of post over the six years. All were fired, or resigned before they could be fired.

Royal Mail spokesman Mike Norman said: “Nationally, Royal Mail delivers around 59 million items of mail on a typical working day.

“Only a tiny fraction of customers ever have to raise concerns with us. In fact, our most recent data indicates numbers of complaints amount to just under two per cent of the total mail handled.

“Nevertheless, Royal Mail takes every complaint extremely seriously and makes every effort to resolve issues to the satisfaction of customers.”

Mr Norman added customers can help by addressing items correctly, using a postcode, and using Special Delivery for valuable packages and Parcelforce Worldwide Express Service for international destinations.