A BORDERS MSP has defended the Royal Mail after it emerged 885 complaints were made against its service in the region last year.
Figures released this week showed the company paid out £8,635 compensation in 2009 to 565 people in the TD postcode area which covers the majority of the Borders.
Complaints in Scotland reached more than 84,000 for 2009, with £807,261 handed out in compensation for lost, damaged or misdirected mail.
A Royal Mail spokesman said: “The amount of complaints received last year is a small percentage of the mailbag we deal with every day. Obviously, we apologise to any customer whose mail is lost or missing, and they will receive compensation if it is required.”
John Lamont, MSP for Roxburgh and Berwickshire, has stood up for the much-maligned company.
He said: “Our local posties do a great job at getting our post delivered. They often have to deliver to very remote areas and, as we have seen in recent weeks, in extreme weather conditions.
“These figures simply confirm the commitment of the Royal Mail teams in the Borders to do the best job they possibly can as the number of complaints are significantly less than many other parts of Scotland.
“However, I am sure that they will continue to work hard to reduce the complaints rate further.”
The worst area for complaints was Glasgow, with 21,862, costing £301,287 in compensation.
Consumer Focus Scotland, the postal watchdog, said: “If you consider that Royal Mail delivers on average around five million items every working day in Scotland and around 30 million items every week, then the number of complaints is remarkably low.
“We know that Royal Mail has been working hard to reduce the number of complaints it receives.
“We want it to continue to do so because the compensation it pays out to customers when things have gone wrong is money that should be spent on keeping down the cost of postage.”