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Royal Mail ditches e-mail operation

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The Royal Mail has scrapped its email-to-letters operation because the service is unpopular with Net users and commercially unviable.

RelayOne - which has been up and running for the last 18 months or so - stopped taking orders last week and will be shut down for good on Thursday.

A spokesman for the Royal Mail said: "We had to make a commercial decision. RelayOne was only handling 400 items a month and it was not commercially viable."

For just £1.50, Net users were able to send emails which could then be printed and posted to the intended recipient.

Although the service has been ditched, no jobs will be lost.

In a prepared statement the Royal Mail said: "Royal Mail had been trialling RelayOne extensively as part of its commitment to embrace new technology and develop new products for the quick changing marketplace. Unfortunately, it has not been as successful as we hoped."

A similar service for sending e-mails-to-letters to British Armed Forces serving overseas - which is free to users - is to be continued.

No one from technology partner, Microsoft, was available for comment by press time. ®

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