"Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you," said the wisest of wise men. "The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon."

('The Alchemist' Paulo Coelho)

Friday, January 10, 2014

Royal Mail - again

Since New Year, our post has been arriving ever more erratically, even arriving one day at 4.30pm and on another at 4.45pm. The parcel van, which used to follow minutes later than the letter delivery is now anything up to a couple of hours before or after, so deciding that enough was enough, I decided to take to Twitter to vent my frustrations. It may seem that I am making a mountain out of a molehill, but Keith frequently orders small amounts of new stock as and when it is needed, and relies on being able to take delivery the following day, as there is usually a customer waiting.  As the packages often need to be signed for, it means that I have to tailor my day, when possible, to be in when the post arrives.

Yes, I know, I’ve said all this here before and you are probably fed up to the back teeth with hearing about it, but wait! There are new developments!

I also sent my tweet to Twitter@Royal Mail and, at first got a blasé reply to the effect that they are doing it all in a new way which is safer and more secure. (What???) So I sent them another tweet – “Not much use for someone trying to run a business who relies on regular deliveries!” I said indignantly.

Then I got an invitation to email them with details of my complaint, so I did:
On two occasions recently, post has been delivered after 4pm, once at 4.20 and once at 4.45 and is generally after mid day.  The parcel van can be a couple of hours before or after letter delivery. Before Christmas, the post did at least come some time before lunch-time. Now, because my husband's deliveries often have to be signed for, I am having to stay in all day if he is expecting mail. 
In the event that I miss a delivery and receive a 'you were out' card, I now have to wait till the next day to collect it. I used to be able to ring up the local office and arrange re-delivery, now I can only speak to a computer, which wants to know everything bar what I had for breakfast!
Parking in the sorting office car park is no longer allowed, meaning that it is necessary to find a space in a local pay and display car park. Parking for blue badge holders (e.g. my husband) was permitted but no longer is, so he is unable to collect post and has to rely on me to do it.
All in all, I have no complaints about the postmen/women but the system seems to be fast becoming less and less user-friendly.
Also, although fliers were sent out last year informing us that parcels would now be left with neighbours when possible, I was finally told, after numerous enquiries, that this is not happening because the Union has not agreed to it.
I appreciate your taking the time to deal with my concerns.


This afternoon, I got a reply from Kieran:

Hi Jenny
Thanks for your message.
I’m sorry to hear your mail has been arriving after 3pm and for the inconvenience this would cause.
I’ve passed your details to my Customer Service colleagues and instructed them to report this as a complaint. They’ll liaise with the Delivery Office Manager over the next 72 hours to establish why your mail has been coming so late and that steps are taken to improve this. You won’t hear back from them on this occasion but if you experience any further problems please don’t hesitate to contact me, quoting the unique 1- reference number in the subject bar of this email.
Again I apologise for what’s happened Jenny; if I can help you any further then please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Kind regards
Of course, I’m not holding my breath. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if the local delivery office manager blacklists us and we have to go to Liverpool every day to collect our mail in person.
Still, we live in hope…


Yorkshire Pudding said...

I can imagine your irritation and you have my sympathy but what I'd like to know about is these "Everything bars" you have for breakfast. Surely they don't literally contain "everything" do they - from bananas to bacon and from cornflakes to carrots? Where can I buy some?

Jennyta said...

Exclusively available to people living in Wales, I'm afraid, YP!

ZACL said...

It is irritating, and you are right it is soooo familiar as much of what you write is what we experience, though we're hundreds of miles apart. I don't suppose Post Office Head Office have suggested you swim across the North Atlantic , or The Bristol Channel in your case, I think, to get to your main post office....yet.

Years ago I took up the issue of the times of deliveries and also the holding back of post by a day or two. Not having got a useful reply from the local management, I took the complaint to regional management. The service did improve for a couple of years. It's a dim memory now. I feel the seat of my pants getting irritated by the lateness of the deliveries, now that Xmas is over. However, I also remember clearly the dreadful conditions that the foot delivery postman/men/lady have endured to get our post to us, at times, and it is these thoughts that mostly deter me from jumping to action stations.

Dale said...

Wasn't your Royal Mail recently sold, Jenny? "Privatised" is the word often heard on this side of the pond. Things are headed in that direction here too, I'm afraid. Service reductions, job cuts. It's become the order of the day. And I'm sure our VIA Rail will not be spared either. I hope it lasts in its present (pathetic) form at least until I can take my pension.

Cro Magnon said...

My charming 'factrice' (post lady) arrives in her yellow van at 1.30pm. If I'm nearby, she always has time for a long chat, and always makes a fuss of the dogs.

Is that KIERAN the one who lives in Mumbai?

Jennyta said...

No swimming, ZACL, but it is suggested on their website apparently, that you can go to your local delivery office and pick up your own mail between 6.30am and 8am!

Jennyta said...

Yes, Dale, it was privatised - things can only get worse, I'm afraid. :(

Jennyta said...

If it is, Cro, he writes good english. :)

Flighty said...

Post deliveries have been erratic here on and off for ages. I'd be surprised if anything changes since privatisation, and I guess it's only likely to get worse if anything. As you say we live in hope. Flighty xx

ZACL said...

We'd all love to do that wouldn't we (not!) Are they offering to pay us for providing self service, or maybe, a few shares for being our own postal service.

With an offer like that, Jennyta, we should all be paying very reduced postal rates.

Jennyta said...

I'm sure it will get worse, Flighty. It's all for the shareholders now, not the customers.


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