ACCESS COMMUNICATION: Launching the revised Access Letters Contract Variation Process

Under Clause 13.1 of the ALC, a Wholesale customer may ask for a change to the contract by completing a contract variation request form. The Wholesale website sets out the current process for dealing with such requests to vary the terms of the ALC.


We recently sought feedback from customers on proposals to improve the process. We would like to thank you for your valued insight, which we have reviewed, and we are pleased to publish the revised process which you can find here.


The amendments we have made to the current process reflect two key areas where customers felt there were improvement opportunities, as follows:

  • The timescales for handling variation requests ??" To reflect the different types of requests we may receive, we are implementing a tiered timeframe model for Royal Mail to work within. The timeframes are based on the level of complexity of the request, as follows:
  • Low: by 4 weeks
  • Medium: by 6 weeks
  • High: by 8 weeks
  • The provision for negotiation ??" Customers fed back that the process should prescriptively make provision for negotiation of the terms of a request. Whilst we do not deem it necessary or practicable to be prescriptive as to the point at which negotiation between the parties shall take place, we do see value in having dialogue with the requestor, where appropriate, to discuss the request in further detail. The need for engagement and negotiation will vary dependent on the nature of the change request, and the process needs to be flexible to reflect this. Therefore, we have incorporated a stage into the process which states that we will engage with the requestor, if applicable.

Turning to the contract variation request form which customers use to submit their requests, customers agreed to the proposed changes we put forward in the proposal document. Additionally, we have made an improvement to the contract variation request form to reflect the feedback received.  In the “To Be Completed by RMW” section there is currently the option for Royal Mail to either accept or reject the request. We have added an option which indicates Royal Mail has accepted the request but with amendments.  We have also added a box for Royal Mail to complete with any ‘further steps required’ which indicates that we accept in principle all or part of the request but such acceptance is subject to further activity being carried out (e.g. customer engagement or consultation), which is required to meet our operational, contractual or regulatory requirements. The process has also been updated to reflect these further two options.


If you have any queries regarding the revised process please contact your Account Director.