you were out

Royal Mail parcel anyone?

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This is a cracker – if you have any doubts about sending anything valuable via the Royal Mail, this will ensure you never trust them again!

Currently running the show?

I had to visit the Royal Mail sorting office at Clarke Road, Nottingham on Saturday, to collect a parcel which they had been unable to deliver earlier in the week (Wednesday). This is fairly common, we are out during the day and the post is never delivered before mid morning. Not great, but the way things are now with the post.

I have blogged before about this sorting office and the lack of parking, so I won’t go over old ground here. This issue however is a major one and makes you really wonder if you can trust the Royal Mail with your valuable post!

So,on arrival I showed the staff member my ‘we couldn’t deliver’ card and my ID when requested. Remember the ID inspection – it becomes rather salient later on in my story.

Off went the ‘posty’ to find the package, I could hear some ‘office banter’ in the background and everything appeared fine. A few minutes later our ‘happy posty’ re appeared with a package – ‘here you go’ says he. This would be fine apart from a few small point;

  1. It was from Amazon (I hadn’t ordered anything from them – although he didn’t know that)
  2. It was the wrong shape (I was expecting something cube shaped – it was flat – although again he wouldn’t know that)
  3. It was addressed to someone else – getting dodgy for our man now
  4. It was to a totally different address – really dodgy ground now for our man!

So, what did our man do – he jokingly said “oops, sorry I got distracted”

Off he went to find the correct package – which he couldn’t, so I had to leave my phone number and was told they would ‘do a parcel search’ – but not before Monday.

what we have here then is a total lack of quality control. There are signs up saying that identity checks are taken very seriously and packages wont be released without ID. What they should say is that packages won’t be released without any old ID – not necessarily your own!

We wait to see if the package can be found, it was an item that my wife had been looking for to complete a china collection, very rarely has she seen one, so if it is lost it will be particularly annoying.

My issue is that I could have walked out with the wrong package – is that what happened to mine? Frankly I won’t be using the Royal Mail for any parcels anytime soon!

UPDATE –

Apparently I have done the Post Office a dis-service – for they don’t deal with our mail now (they became a separate company from Royal Mail in April apparently). Obviously I missed this fact! My blog has been amended accordingly!

So to confirm it is Royal Mail who I have an issue with – that’s much clearer!

Our ‘wonderful’ Post Office

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At this time of the year we all become beholden to the man in the red van – not the man in the red suit (that joy leaves us at an early age). I am of course referring to Postman Pat – or whatever name you local postman goes by.

a common view for us all by the end of Christmas

I will hold my hand up here and confirm that I am not a fan of our once wonderful post office – I believe that the service they provide is poor and they need a good ‘kick up the arse’ to get things back on track. Unfortunately this is unlikely with the current dynamic between employer and unions so I would not be at all surprised to see the demise of the Post Office in the UK in the form that we all currently know over the next few years.

The reason for my current rant is related to their inability to manage when things get busy at this time of the year. I have had to make a number of visits to the Incinerator Road sorting office over the last few weeks to collect parcels. Now this is not something I have a particular problem with, both my wife and I work, so there is no one at home to receive these packages (although we have had ‘you weren’t at home’ cards through the door when we have been at home – but that is another story).

The changing face of retailing has had a direct impact upon the Post Office – or more precisely it would appear Amazon have. Everyone orders a massive amount of stuff on-line now and the Post Office appear to ‘deliver’ the lions share for these retailers. Now on the basis that many households are not at home when the mail is now delivered (later and later in the day by my experience), then most of the packages will need to be collected – and this is where the system starts to fail – badly!

Incinerator Road is a fairly small industrial unit – a sorting office with a small yard and many surrounding small businesses. But, it is also a pickup point for most of Nottingham’s  parcels that have not been delivered (certainly for south of the river). Consequently when busy (and even when it’s not) parking is a total nightmare – we are talking maybe 4 spaces for pickup – at this time of year it is a war zone!

I can see this having two effects;

Firstly people will become even less enchanted by the Post Office (difficult to believe I know) and this can have only one long-term effect!

Secondly this poor service will make the likes of Amazon more to an alternative delivery system ( they threatened it when the post office workers were on strike)

The upshot? The end of the post office parcels service as we know it.

So come on Post Office, sort your lives out or you really are going to become a thing of the past. Perhaps a bit of flexibility from your staff might go a long way?