December 21, 2017 at 6:15 pm #1312
Went to the Post Office today to post the Christmas present to the relative, my goodness, no wonder they are in decline with the “customer service” on offer.
After the usual lengthy wait in a queue it was eventually my turn, up to the counter and place first parcel on the scales
Customer Service Person : Please wait a minute, don’t put anything on the scales until I’m ready
Me: Err, ok, what the problem
Customer Service person now shuffling in their chair, chatting to the adjacent Customer Service person, both ignoring their customer.
Eventually turns to me “Now, how can I help”
Me: I need to get stamps for these parcels, they need to be weighed
Customer Service Person : Ok, now what is the address they are going to
Me : In the Uk
Customer Service Person : What address are they going to
Me: All different addresses, all in the Uk – why is this relevant anyway for UK addresses
Customer Service Person : Please place parcel on the scales
Me : Ok, I’ve now replaced parcel one on the scales
Customer Service Person : Please tell me what is in the parcel
Me : Its a Christmas Present
Customer Service Person : Please tell me what is in the parcel
Me : Its a Christmas present, I’m not sure but I think its a jumper – why is this relevant
Customer Service Person – if you cant tell me what it is then I cant take it, sorry
Me : Its a jumper
Customer Service Person – but you just said you weren’t sure, if you cant tell me what it is then I cant take it
Me – Are we going to have this discussions will all these parcels or are you actually going to do your job which is to read some scales and sell me the relevant amount of stamps so that I can post these parcels.
Customer Service Person : I’m sorry, we cant take parcels if we don’t know what is in them, I will have to ask you to stand aside so I can serve another customer
Me : Pardon
Customer Service Person : If you cant tell me what is in the parcels then I cant process them
Me : Ok, they are all jumpers, just weigh them and sell me some stamp
Customer Service Person : But you said you weren’t sure so I cant accept the parcels
Me – ok, can I see your manager please
Customer Service Person – why
Me – so I can raise a complaint about your general lack of customer service capabilities, your general lackadaisical approach to service and your general rudeness
Customer Service Person : no need to take that tone, I will report this to my manager
Me : sigh, just get the managers or someone else to serve me
Customer Service Manager – please can you come over to this other till – Now, what seems to be the problem
Me – I just want to get these parcels weighed, stamped and posted
Customer Service Manager : Ok, just pop one on the scales – now where is this one going
Me – they are all for the uk, and all are jumpers
Customer Service Manager – ok, not a problem
Feck me, how freakin had is it to post a parcel at the Post Office – no wonder they are in terminal decline with people and businesses using other companies, last time I will be using Royal Mail for these things.
And this makes me sad for all the Post Men / Women that do a great job delivering our mail – just let down at the front end of the service, shame.
Rant over!December 21, 2017 at 6:16 pm #1313
There is a list of items that you can’t send through the post. After a couple of these ‘what’s in your parcel?’ demands, I’ve taken to replying ‘nothing on your banned list’. It’s none of their damned business what’s in my parcel, as long as it isn’t on their banned list.December 21, 2017 at 6:17 pm #1314
When asked what was in the parcel you could say “knickers”! They wouldn’t be any the wiser and you would have got it off your chest.December 21, 2017 at 6:18 pm #1315
Yes these bastards on minimum wage not showing enough respect. Call the manager and get them sacked, that`ll teach em.
recognise that they maybe having a bad day, and just accept in these troubled times its reasonable to ask whats in the parcel, and expect the person posting will know whats in it
Buy your postage online.
Go to Rawtenstall Post Office, opens at 8.30am, and really nice peopleDecember 21, 2017 at 6:18 pm #1316
Interesting. My local post office recently closed and has re-opened in a BP garage run by people from Pakistan.
Previously it was always awkward going to the Post Office because there was nowhere to park. Now there are parking spaces on the garage forecourt for Post Office customers.
I took a mixture of cards and parcels there, some for the UK, some for abroad. My experience was as follows
Pakistani garage owner/post master “Good morning! How can I help” said with a big smile
Me “I’ve got a mixture of cards and parcels, some for the UK, some for abroad. I’d like to send two of them by Registered Post please”
Garage owner “Would you like to pop them on the scales please”
Garage owner, after each item “That’s £x, please” pushing the appropriate stamps through to me, and repeating it for each item.
I paid him with my credit card.
Once they were all though for the cards he said “If you would like to go over to the side counter against the wall there and stick on the stamps, you can leave the parcels, and registered letters with me, and I’ll do them for you. When you have finished doing the stamps, you can bring them back to me here. No need to queue again, I’ll look out for you and explain to the next customer, just pass them through”
I duly did my stamps, then went back to the counter, and saying “excuse me” to the customer he was now serving, passed them through.
Garage owner “Thank you Sir, have a great Christmas”
Now that is customer service.December 21, 2017 at 6:19 pm #1317
You come out of that exchange looking worse than Customer Service Person tbh.
There are many reasons CSP might have hit you with a wee bit of attitude initially. Persons being merely human, can sometimes be a bit overwhelmed when things are way busier than normal, say at the peak of a seasonal rush. Perhaps nerves were still jangling from when they’d had to deal with a *proper* dickhead just before you got there. Your choice to escalate from that point on though.
They’re not allowed to accept a parcel if they don’t know what’s in it, there are various things that aren’t allowed to travel by post. Do you really not know what you’re sending ‘the relative’ as a Christmas present or were you just being an arse?
Honestly, I don’t know how Customer Service Persons cope this time of year. I wouldn’t last five minutes, probably would have had you half way through the little window and franked your face second-class to Timbuktu.
> last time I will be using Royal Mail for these things
Ha ha. You should try ‘MyHermes’. They’ll probably be so pathetically grateful for your custom that you’ll get the full “would you like to put your head between them Sir, and go blubalubalubalub?” service.December 21, 2017 at 6:20 pm #1318
@sar Thats pretty much standard in our rural PO. In the summer they wander in from cuting the hedge to serve you and have a conversation about whats going on locally.
Very different in the nearest town PO where you will get asked the questions in routine manner. That said if you simply answer the questions you are in and out quickly.December 21, 2017 at 6:21 pm #1319
Yeah, fancy having to queue at a Post Office in the week before Christmas, what a shambles that place is. In the interests of not delaying the queue did it not occur to you to do as the person behind the counter asked and not make his/her job more difficult? It is Christmas and a bit of magnanimity on your part could have saved you time.
On your wider points, there are many reasons why the Post Office might be facing decline (increased competition, online services, the use of email), I doubt that one of their minions not showing you enough deference or playing along with your games is one of them.December 21, 2017 at 6:21 pm #1320
Little sympathy with OP.
However asking what is in a parcel is a nonsense.
“It’s a gri gri”. It’s a camalot #4. How is the CSP supposed to know WTF that is and decide whether to accept it.
They should just show you a list of banned items to confirm that what you are sending is permitted. Like they do at airports.December 21, 2017 at 6:22 pm #1321
They’re in decline because they are now just a third-rate courier service – the lucrative large-volume letter post has died out as it’s all sent online instead.
While the other couriers are rubbish I find them mostly better and cheaper. Such as having a much more banded set of weights easier to check on kitchen scales.
I give the universal post maybe 10 years. If they lose the Amazon contract, possibly less.December 21, 2017 at 6:23 pm #1322
Likewise little sympathy with the OP.
It isn’t entirely nonsense to ask what’s in the parcel – it’s part of their job to advise on the type of postage you require. Basic postage only insures items up to £20 if it goes missing, so if it’s more than that you’ll need to use another service – many people don’t know that.
Using “technical” terms is only going to delay things, as they’ll need an explanation – I usually say something like bike parts, or climbing equipment and leave it at that.
If you are sending something dodgy, though, you’re hardly likely to tell them exactly what it is and without any scanner they won’t know any different, unless they ask you to un-wrap it.December 21, 2017 at 6:23 pm #1323
I went to my local PO recently to get a passport application form. It as at 7.45 am before the counter opened( runs a newspaper shop as well) . Guy could not have been more helpful in getting me the form.
TBH your response would have wound me up if I was on the other side of the counter serving you.December 21, 2017 at 6:24 pm #1324
But that being said i think asking whats in the parcel is a tad silly. Like at airports it always seems a silly question, because if someone is intent on sending something harmful the last thing they are going o do is admit to it.
However I suppose it might sort out the dumbos who genuinely hadn’t realised that sending a parcel containing Semtex or putrifying meat products might not be the brightest thing to do……December 21, 2017 at 6:25 pm #1325
@scarymary There are posters. The town post office want to know everything, possibly to extend the length of the queue and make themselves look busy. The small local (franchise?) one simply ask if there is anything off the poster, look at the address and then you pay.
If you were going to send anything nasty do the town centre people really believe that you are going to say “Oh! No worries, its a bomb but it wont go off until it reaches its destination and is opened!” People who are going to send something nasty are unlikely to be honest about it so it is a pointless question.
Like the US immigration official who asked me if I was involved in any criminal or terrorist activity. Didn’t help that I had spent the day of the flight soloing a load of routes on Stanage and they couldn’t get a decent fingerprint!December 21, 2017 at 6:26 pm #1326
In my old post office, when sending a parcel, I was often handed a list of dangerous goods/ items that can’t be sent and asked simply if there was anything of the sort in my packages (this was often only when sending more than one). A simple yes or no answer was all that was needed.
For customs forms they just wanted a brief/ non-specific description. e.g. clothing, toys, cosmetics etc.
Yes post offices are slow, they always have been, but in general I have always found the staff to be very friendly, polite and professional.December 21, 2017 at 6:27 pm #1327
You went to the post office to pick a fight, the manager resolved your request despite picking a fight with their staff and so you will never use the post office again
Was the outcome you were looking for to be refused service and kicked out?December 21, 2017 at 6:28 pm #1328
@troll disagree asking about the contents of peoples parcels is always going to annoy people as it’s unnecessarily intrusive.
Surely the sensible thing to ask is “are any of the items in the parcel on of banned list?” or “can you confirm that you have read and understood our list of banned goods? and make sure that there’s a not on the list stating the consequences of lying.
And some of the rules are silly, not delivering anything sharp for instance, why not just state that anything sharp has to be appropriately protected? and there’s no restriction on items that could become sharp if broken.December 21, 2017 at 6:28 pm #1329
I used to find visiting the post office a uniquely frustrating experience. The degree of attempted upselling at both the counters and by a staff member walking the long queue used to really piss me off. Both forms of attempted upselling made the queues worse.
If I ask for foreign money, I want foreign money not travel insurance. I don’t want to talk about my broadband. My finances are none of our f-&@£ng business. It was blatant that some of this upselling was targeted at elderly people and was counting on the post office’s brand. Scum behaviour.
I try never to go to the post office any more. I’ve been over-the-moon impressed with DPD when receiving stuff from them and am going to look into using them for my odd parcel sending duties.December 21, 2017 at 6:36 pm #1330
It’s not just banned items.
Certain items cam only be posted if packaged in a certain way, e.g. mobile phones with batteries.
I check their website before packing up items. Sold an old phone on ebay. No issue at the PO and good service (as seems usual at Shawlands PO.December 21, 2017 at 6:37 pm #1331
I sent some shoes to be resoled in a soft parcel and the post office guy had a good feel and tried to guess the size.
The “banned” list is not banned it’s things that would class the parcel as dangerous goods. Royal Mail claim they won’t handle dangerous goods, but at Christmas time I’ve had plenty of boxes arrive from perfume companies delivered by Royal Mail with a limited quantities diamond.
They’re just awkward. It’s why they are losing out to other services that let you send through shops like Premier and Spa.
As you say, it’s a shame because the RM delivery service is excellent. Next day letters anywhere on mainland with 1st class. It’s the buggers in the PO letting them down.December 21, 2017 at 6:37 pm #1332
upselling is a problem at our local, they’re getting a bit of a reputation for it. If you don’t specify you will be sold the most expensive option regardless of whether it’s appropriate. Special delivery for that old pair of socks that’s £20 sir. Basically fraudulent behaviour.December 21, 2017 at 6:38 pm #1333
I go to the PO about once every three months these days. The world has mostly moved on (most correspondence sent electronically, post takes ages to get delivered or gets lost, no discount for large quantities of stamps, no discount for early Xmas posting as in NZ just a big stick “last delivery date”) and the PO aren’t keeping up. Sadly, as someone else mentioned, the local posties are unfailingly lovely.December 21, 2017 at 6:39 pm #1334
The OP lives in a self-centred, small-minded cloud-cuckoo land. If she or he had any idea of the paranoia that exists now in the freight transport industry about hazardous cargo (s)he would begin to understand why Post Office employees have to ask these questions.
Just suppose for a minute that the OP sends, say, a bottle of hair colorant or bleach or acid or some batteries to a pal. And just suppose that the package ends up in the hold of an aircraft. And just suppose the contents leak and start a fire and the plane is forced to divert, or worse. So potentially massive commercial damage, or worse, could happen just because the OP failed to heed the rules or got out of bed the wrong side that morning.
Civilised society requires cooperation to function properly for the benefit of all members.December 21, 2017 at 8:10 pm #1363
Sounds like you came up against a complete arse.
They were rude, they ignored you and then they asked unnecessarily intrusive questions. After you objected they could have defused the situation by explaining why they were asking something which you reasonably assumed was none of their business but they just decided to be uncooperative instead.
The Post Office has a lot of employees and most of their counter staff are courteous and well trained. You were just unlucky you got one of the few that wasn’t.December 21, 2017 at 8:11 pm #1364
IATA and road and rail carriage rules require you to declare what you are shipping otherwise some poor sod could mishandle it and have a serious injury. Not everyone is shipping jumpers, some nitwits ship fireworks, blood samples containing Lassa Fever, Ebola or old organophosphates from the garden shed (sarin!) without batting an eye lid.December 21, 2017 at 8:12 pm #1365
I’ve found that people can be more agreeable if one is with them, too. Even if they’re first to be less than agreeable, if you need them to do something for you it pays to be agreeable. That’s just how it is.
The family friends I know of who seem to have the least aggro seem to see life as about being agreeable (while not backing down) as the best way to make progress.December 22, 2017 at 10:51 am #1429
I went to our local post office with a bunch of parcels a while back. It is crowded but efficient. But when the young man behind the till sorted through my parcels and said loudly “And what is the nature of the parcel you are sending to THE RUBBERMAN?” I am sure there were half a dozen suppressed sniggers from the queue behind me!
(I said “It’s a drysuit” but sadly he didn’t know what that was. “It’s special clothing for waterspo… oh, forget that, clothing to wear on a boat.”)December 23, 2017 at 10:51 am #3275
I had suspicions early on but I am now more convinced…I am calling TROLL on this.
6/10 for the dedication to not returning to thread. Many points lost for heavily unrealistic dialogueDecember 26, 2017 at 4:19 pm #3452
Customer Service Person: Ok, now what is the address they are going to
Me: In the UK
Seems like you were being purposefully obtrusive from the start. Maybe you might have said number 10 Downing Street. Maybe you don’t understand that X place is actually abroad.
Then you ‘forget what is in the boxes’, well at this point no one doing their job properly can serve you now.
If you’ve forgotten what’s in the box, go home and check and then come back when you know. They cannot accept them if you do not know what is in them and they cannot accept them if you are obviously making up what’s inside on the spot.
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