Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year?

Woes with the Post Office.

Today I had to make two trips to Royal Mail institutions – one to pay a “fine” of 6p on some postage, along with a £1 handling fee – then off the post office to send a parcel.

After navigating several scary road junctions I made it to the Post Office depot and located the counter where I can collect parcels and pay postage fines, I walked in to a bored looking queue of people waiting to be served. A strong aroma which I am worried may have been urine based permeated the small room and after paying my fine I was able to collect an A4 envelope which had just a small leaflet inside and a first class stamp on the front. Quite why I need to pay an extra 6p for that I just cannot begin to work out.

Whilst I was waiting though, I took time to contemplate the two warning notices informing me that from the 11th April 2005 – I will no longer be able to park my car in the car park. Oh, and I should prepare for the ID-Theft Week 2007, occurring shortly.

Anyhow – off to the post office to dispatch another item sold via eBay and whilst waiting in the (yet another) long queue – I noticed the video screen was wishing me a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. At least it wasn’t quite as out of date as the other Royal Mail venue – but it is possibly symbolic of the timeliness of their service now.

As a side issue though – why are customers required to go all the way to a sorting office to collect parcels, when they could go to the vastly more convenient Post Office instead?

Surely it is not beyond the capabilities of the Royal Mail to send all undelivered mail to the local mail Post Office and let people collect them there. It would be better for customers as the Post Office will have more staff to serve customers quicker (sort of) and also for all their problems – they are at least open sensible hours – unlike the sorting office which still seems to think opening on a Saturday is a privilege we should be grateful for.

Such a move would also drive more people into the Post Office, which tends to be better looked after than the shabby sorting office – and recalling that for the vast majority of people their only experience on the Royal Mail is the sorting office when they have to collect parcels that were delivered “while you were out” (or more likely, while you were sitting by the front door waiting), this has to be good for their brand image.

It just seems very antiquated to me.

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1 Comment

  1. Postman Pat

    You can arrange for collection of undelieverd packages and packest from your local Post Office though it does incur a 50p charge. This can be arranged by calling 08457 740 740. Lines are open from 8am – 7.30pm, Monday to Friday, and 8am – 2pm on Saturdays, or redelivery can be arranged on line by visiting: http://www.royalmail.com/portal/rm/print?catId=400040&mediaId=37000673

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