Tag Archives: post box

Now Royal Mail can’t even deliver letters to itself!

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ceramic milk carton money box actually!

Yesterday morning, early, I’d run out of milk.  Exciting yes?  I’d got up about 4 am, thinking, ” I can’t write all these blogs without letting the local sorting office know”.   So I printed off copies of all the posts – yes printed them – and on my way to the newsagent,  (who still opens at 5 am, and somehow always manages to dress immaculately at that hour),  I posted the letter. It was a wad of pages in a white C5 envelope, on which I had scrawled, “TO ALL THE STAFF AT P……….SORTING OFFICE – hope you like this!”.  I also scrawled in the top right hand corner a little square and wrote “NO STAMP BECAUSE IT DOESN’T NEED ONE” (I’ve done that before, and its fine).   And  “What time is the collection from this box?” 

my nearest post box - says 7 am on saturdays

my nearest post box –says 7 am on saturdays

The only flaw in this plan was that there are roadworks in front of the local box I am on about (see pic – if you click on the caption, it will take you to the first blog) – the one with the notice that says, “Last collection – 9 am Mon – Fri – 7 am Saturday” and I doubted anyone would be collecting from it this week,  so I took the envelope down to the very reliable post box outside the Post Office, which is emptied several times a day.  It should have got to its destination before lunchtime, especially as that’s where the van goes with all the post that’s collected – to the SORTING OFFICE!

Later in the day, I got the email from Customers Services,  and,  because I felt I’d kept everyone informed, I didn’t worry about publishing it.  And despite having put some considerable time into this innocent query – it takes me ages to write and edit a long blog – I fully intended not to bother wasting any more time on it.  It is, on the face of it,  a very small concern.

And I certainly wasn’t going to contact The Escalated Complaints Resolution Team (what a name!), and play their game for months on end.  I was never after compensation, I just wanted to know whether, if I didn’t feel like getting dressed on a lazy Saturday morning, I could put a coat over my pyjamas, and slip down to the local postbox, with the large letter envelopes, and not have to bother going to the Post Office.  Hope that made you laugh!   The Post Office, and its post box, are a drive away.  The local postbox I can sometimes manage to get to without petrol – smile.

By an odd twist of fate ….. there was a failed parcel delivery.  The postman knocked when I was in the garden.  I didn’t hear him, and, several hours later, I found the red bordered notice on the floor, saying I’d have to go down to the Sorting Office, several miles away, to collect it.  I tut-tutted, and was annoyed he hadn’t delivered it to the designated neighbour.double new postbox pm_Fotor I went down to the Sorting Office this morning, having printed off a copy of the last blog for them, to pick up my parcel.  It’ll give me a chance, I thought, to ask them what time the collections ARE!

As I pulled the form from my sodden jacket, (there was a ferocious storm last night) so that he could find the parcel, I saw that the postman had put a note on the back, that the neighbours hadn’t answered the door.  I was inordinately pleased he’d tried, whoever he is.

I used know who delivered my post, and what time it came, and over the years there had been many friendly conversations.  The sorting office used to be down the road, and I was a frequent early morning visitor!  These days, you never know who’s doing the round, or when.

When I’d got my parcel, I casually pulled out the piece of paper in my pocket and put it down on the hatch top, and asked if the had got my letter yesterday.

What letter?  I described the letter as above.  No, I haven’t seen it? I think I was talking to the manager/supervisor because he had that attitude.  Who did you address it to?  To ‘all the Staff.’ Oddly he didn’t turn round and ask the lads sorting the mail behind him if they’d received it, and I know  they’d heard me, and no one came out to say, Oh yes, THAT LETTER! So I had to explain what was in it,  and that I’d brought the last instalment of the blog with me, and he looked at me in amazement. What post box are you talking about ?– I told him, and he immediately said

“Oh the last collection is after 5 pm”

close up of notice - last collection on saturday - 7 am, weekdays - 9 am!

close up of notice – last collection on saturday – 7 am, weekdays – 9 am!

I said, (this account is not verbatim),  then why has there been a notice on it for over a month,  saying that the last collection is 9 am on weekdays.  “Oh well.”

So I told him the story, that you can read here  in the earlier posts, about touring the area and looking at the notices on the boxes, and photographing them, because I was so bemused.  And he laughed.  And said, well you could have gone to the post office.  (But I was going to Asda’s, and that’s the other way – was what I wanted to say, but didn’t – and I hadn’t read the notice properly anyway.  Just seen 7 am last collection on Saturday!)

And then I told him I had gone to the Post Office afterwards and asked what this change in time was about, and they didn’t know, and I’d phoned up the Sorting Office and he or his colleagues didn’t know, so I wrote the blog, cos I thought it was ridiculous. And he laughed.  So I said: well are they going to switch over to the new times or not?   Ah well, we haven’t been told yet. And I said: well how will I know?  Er well, its on the box. No it isn’t: (no one has put another notice up to say its “business as usual”,  was what I’d meant to say.) Er well, it will be happening, cos they want to save money, Well I know that, I said.  But they’re not going to save any money because the two boxes with the 7 am notices on them, are on the van’s route anyway, he goes from – to, and I named the boxes – and the route. (I actually said what I wanted to say this time!)

Ah well, there are rural places where it would save money.doubledx4   Yes but they won’t save on this route so why change it?    They’re cutting back and this will save salaries –  two of the four vans,  and their drivers will be going.    (That means that two men were going to lose their jobs, don’t you care, was what I wanted to say.)

I was going to ask him to explain to me about the changes, but he was laughing at me. Instead I said, well that’s obvious, and I know that, but why can’t Customer Service people tell me when its going to change?    I did say. (…….   Or if its not happening soon, why don’t they tell me, and change the notice.)  Well that’s what I meant to say, but by this time the guy was looking at me as if I was an alien.)  He just stood there watching me without bothering to ……..

answer

apologise

say he’d phone up head office and find out

take my number and let me know

he just laughed at me……. My image of this encounter had been a cosy chat commiserating about the idiotic changes and asking them all to “Like” the blog, and pass it around so that it looked like there was loads of support for my little campaign.  

(which is not really about the postbox, I hope you’ve realised that by now!)

  Nor did he seem that bothered about the cuts.  His job was obviously safe.  So I ended up repeating several times “then why don’t head office tell me” and pushed the piece of printed paper towards him and said READ IT – JUST READ IT and walked out! It took me quite a while, and a walk round Tesco’s buying extra print cartridges for my printer, to calm down. But it still begs the question – why did an unusually addressed envelope, with no stamp, not arrive in the hands of the staff that were sorting it, and if it was addressed to them, why did no one open it, talk about it, and pass the information around?

Or is my title true, and Royal Mail can’t even deliver letters to themselves???

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Postscript:  

Later today,  I got another of the red bordered notices, and unlike last time, I actually looked at it. I couldn’t face going back to the sorting office, so I thought I’d phone and ask for it to be put on the van for Monday.  I phoned the number on the card and found it was an automated message –  a long introduction and: press 1 for….: press 2  for ……etc What amazed me was that it told me that I had to wait 48 hours before I could collect a parcel from the Sorting Office, and could only book a redelivery thro the website.  “Or you can have your item taken to a local Post Office branch for a small fee for you to pick up using our Local Collect service”.

if you look hard you can just about read this and decipher the 48 hrs inserted in the 1st paragraph, and the instructions I mentioned opposit.

if you look hard you can just about read this and decipher the 48 hrs inserted in the 1st paragraph, and the instructions I mentioned above.

I don’t belieeeve it – as Victor Meldrew used to say!

I wasn’t going to stand for this, so I tried looking up sorting office phone number in the directory: I couldn’t find it.  It was just after noon, and they closed at 1 pm – the parcel wouldn’t be available, but if I could phone, AND I could by-pass the arrangements above.

Then I remembered that the guy at the Post Office had written their number on a scrap of paper for me, when he had advised me to call them on 6 December – I thought I’d thrown it away, but after rummaging through some paperwork – I found it!

And I rang, and I’m sure it was the same man I’d spoken to earlier, but he wouldn’t acknowledge it.  He did, however, take my name & address and promise it would go out on Monday – hope I don’t miss it this time!

ROYAL MAIL – they REALLY don’t know what they are doing ……see previous 2 posts to make sense of this one!

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I finally got around to popping into the area Sorting Office, because I also went to the Library yesterday.  (Our local library closed earlier this year – another of the cuts forced on us unwillingly)

After my phone call to the office on 6 December, I had meant to phone back for more information, but I got busy that week, and didn’t have a great deal of faith that I’d get any answers.  I also hoped that I’d catch my local postie and ask what was happening – AND that Royal Mail “customers services” would reply with more than repeated requests for the post box number – no update on that conversation is yet available!

So I was in the area, and felt I really should make the effort.  Glad I did.  The guy on duty told me why they didn’t know anything about the change in the collection times, because ……

THEY HADN’T BEEN TOLD!

Nor had they been the ones that changed the notices on the post boxes, he only found out about it when he was on his rounds,  and met the guy from Merthyr Tydfil who was touring the post boxes on the instructions of Head Office.  (I forgot to ask him how many boxes in what areas were involved – but he was busy and people were coming in to collect parcels.)

EVEN MORE INTERESTING …..

was the fact that having put up the notices, apparently Head Office changed their minds and realised that Christmas was on the way, and that any disruption to collections might affect the public – so in fact, normal collections are continuing.

Which explains why, when I was in the pet shop the other day, watching people blithely posting their letters without a glance at the 7am last collection notice, the guy who runs the shop told me that in fact he’d seen collections at all times of the day, including the old 5pm van collection.  (See the picture in the 6 December blog of the notice on this box)

UNFORTUNATELY FOR ME …..

I believed what I saw on my local box, and if I’d known that I DIDN’T NEED TO  believe what the notice said,  I would have posted my letters there, with the stamps on, got my paper and gone home.  Until yesterday, I still believed what the notices said, so have avoided posting anything in my local box, and told many of my neighbours not to post anything there either, as their letters would be delayed.

HOWEVER – BEGINNING IN JANUARY  THESE CHANGES WILL APPLY……

And no doubt unless someone from Head Office reads this blog, no one will either apologise for putting up the notices early, or think that maybe it would be a good idea to put a sticker on the boxes affected to alert people to the changes.

The reason the changes are being made is – wait for it – you really couldn’t guess, could you –

TO SAVE MONEY…..

Apparently they are cutting the hours and the less hours –  the less pay ……so the idea is that Post Boxes with low volumes are to be collected by the local postie during their delivery round, and so the last collection times from those boxes will be early in the morning.

Post Boxes with larger volumes will still be collected later in the day by the usual van,  which will actually pass by these low volume boxes on their round, but miss them out!  A great saving of time and petrol eh!

And what do you bet, that by the time this scheme has been running for a while, almost no one will post any letters in the low volume post boxes, so Royal Mail will have a perfect excuse …….

for getting rid of hundreds of Post Boxes!

If any ROYAL MAIL SHAREHOLDERS are reading this, this is the kind of privatisation you invested in – do you agree with it?  Are you happy to take your dividends and watch our beloved national service be decimated by an ineffective private management, who goes whinging to the government that they can’t cope with competition,  and will need more money to keep the service going, whilst making sneaky cuts, and not telling anyone about them?

ROYAL MAIL AND THE DISAPPEARING POST BOX – the saga continues …….

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I’m sorry, but I really can’t help myself, this whole story strikes me as so ridiculous, that it deserves to be ‘enjoyed’ by a few more people – smile!

In a week where the privatised Royal Mail has got into much more serious trouble with headlines like –

“Stamp of disapproval – The Post Office needs to treat sub-postmasters fairly” – The Telegraph

“Royal Mail could scrap next-day deliveries and make customers pay more for first-class stamps” – The Mirror

Santa and Royal Mail reveal what kids really really want for Christmas! –  Royal Mail Website media release – 12 December 2014

my nearest post box - says 7 am on saturdays

my nearest post box – says 7 am on saturdays

THEY CAN’T FIND MY POSTBOX!  And seem to think that it’s my responsibility to find it for them!

 The following is my email conversation with no less than FOUR “customer service advisors”  (I have “redacted” their names, and my full address, which I had to give them on the form I filled in on their website – which is where I decided to go after I couldn’t get any answers from the sorting office, last Saturday.)

This is what I wrote on their form:

Enquiry Detail: got very confused when I tried to post some letters at my local box at 8 am on saturday to see that the last collection was 7 am! no notice had been posted warning of this change and I ended up having to tour the area to find somewhere to post my letters. Was so annoyed about it I put up a blog about it – see julzcrafts.wordpress.com – especially as the local post office and sorting office knew nothing about this. Privatisation is not making things better. Because of the confusion I also forgot to put a stamp on one of my letters – see blog, and I would like to inform you of this now, so that I can claim compensation should I or my intended recipient end up having to pay extra fees.
Problem Occurred Date: 06/12/2014

Customer Service person No 1 replies

On 11 Dec 2014, at 11:13, customerservice@your.royalmail.com wrote:
Thanks for your email. I was very sorry to hear of the problem you’ve experienced with your local postbox.

In order for me to make further enquiries, can you please provide me with the following information by responding to this email:

  • The street on which the postbox you are referring to is located
On receipt of this information, I will investigate this further and get back in touch.

Thanks for your help and once again, please accept my apologies for the problems this has caused.

And I replied: 11 December 2014 14:01:50 (GMT Standard Time)

….. road, y……..
 this is NOT the fault of any of your postmen – its your fault for not letting people know of the changes.
 perhaps you’d like to compensate me for my time with some stamps?
Customer Service person No 2 replies
On 11 Dec 2014, at 14:14, customerservice@your.royalmail.com wrote:
Thanks for your email. I was very sorry to hear of the problem you’ve experienced with collections at a near by post box

In order for me to make further enquiries, can you please provide me with the following information by responding to this email within the next 10 working days:

  • Can you clarify your full postal address, is this residential? ( we only have a business name at number “x”)
  • The post box number (i am unable to locate the details with the road name)

On receipt of this information, I will investigate this further and get back in touch. If I don’t hear from you within 10 working days, I’ll assume the matter is resolved and close the case.

Thanks for your help and once again, please accept my apologies for the problems this has caused.

And I replied:  SENT: 11 December 2014 14:54:35 (GMT Standard Time)

…………it is a residential address.
the postbox is just by the start of …… road, but as the road name changes there, it might be under …….Hill – it is also at the bottom of  …….Merched – so with the photo of it, you should be able to find it. (I attached the photo above)
 I can also send you photographs of all the boxes I toured to find somewhere to post my letters, but it might save you time to read the blog – they are all on there, and I think you will see that there is such a variation of collection times that anyone would get confused!
 I look forward to hearing from you with some information.
Customer Service person No 3 replies: 

On 11 Dec 2014, at 15:24, customerservice@your.royalmail.com wrote

Thank you for your further contact with Royal Mail.

In order for me to make further enquiries, can you please provide me with the following information by responding to this email within the next 10 working days:

  • Please provide the box number which will be displayed on the front of the post box in order for us to identify it’s location
On receipt of this information, I will investigate this further and get back in touch. If I don’t hear from you within 10 working days, I’ll assume the matter is resolved and close the case.

Thanks for your help and once again, please accept my apologies for the problems this has caused.

And I replied:   SENT: 11 December 2014 15:41:03 (GMT Standard Time)

if the number is on the box, its on the photograph i sent you – how many excuses do you have for not doing anything?

Customer Service person No 4 replies: on 12 December 08.42

Thank you for your further email and for providing the information and attached photograph requested by my colleagues
The details of your enquiry have been recorded against the reference number 1-3208996693 and we are now reviewing the concerns you have raised. A full reply will follow once our enquiries have been completed – please be aware that depending on your enquiry, this can sometimes take up to 10 working days.
If you would like information about Royal Mail services or our complaint procedure in the meantime, you can visit ourwebsite at any time.

I waited until tonight to put this up on the blog, in case I got a prompt reply – I wonder how long it will take to just tell me

WHY they have changed the collection times – Surely they don’t need the post box number to tell me that!

julz signature

POSTSCRIPT – as of today’s date – 7 January 2015 – I have heard nothing further from Head Office