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Third World Postal Service

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Monday 1 December 2003 10.24am
Who else is getting the worst postal service ever at the moment?

My deliveries have slipped from before 9am to around 2pm! And I only get one delivery. Didn't there used to be two? On top of that it took a week for a recent cheque to turn up from Bekenham and closer to two weeks for one to turn up from Brighton. My Time Out subscription arrives a week late rendering it useless (and a waste of money) and my postman tells me that nothing is going to improve until the new year.

My feeling is that there is probably nothing that I can do about it but I do hate to just give in and accept it. I'm going to try and complain to the Post Office and maybe try and claim some compensation or something. Anyone else having this trouble?

Monday 1 December 2003 12.06pm
I agree that the postal service is appalling at the moment, at least in SE1. My deliveries are at about 2pm, too, and about as slow as yours, Harry. And I have had major problems with mail redelivery (my mail forwarded accidentally to somewhere else, and then receiving someone else's mail.)

I did actually make a complaint about this redelivery hell, for which the postal service were clearly at fault, and at whose hands I had clearly suffered.

I was only offered a book of first class stamps in return. So be warned that compensation is a subjective term!
Monday 1 December 2003 12.35pm
One of my card statements didn't arrive last month so I posted
a first class letter to myself on Monday 24th Nov. at London Br. PO to check the post was actually being delivered. It arrived on Sat 29th. I posted another on Thu. last wek ( first class stamp ), still no sign. As you say, complaining is futile.
Should you give the postman a christmas box to bribe him to deliver your mail for the following year ? I doubt if it would make any difference.

I suggest everyone posts a letter or jiffy bag to themselves as a survey of postal delivery times and to check if all arrive.
Monday 1 December 2003 12.50pm

I live off Falmouth Rd, and have been having (even more) carp post (then usual) for at least the last week.

Last week we got post ONCE (!!), and the post we did get included a preview magazine for the Open meeting at Cheltenham (a wonderful read - except that I should have received this sometime in advance of the 14th November when the 3-day meeting began!).

I was also concerned because I knew a friend had sent me a couple of (worthless to anyone else, but probably interesting looking as they were in little jiffy bags) bits of mail at least a week previously, and I hadn't had them either (not for the first time - interesting items of post often go astray, but all my junk mail seems to get through without any problems).

I eventually called up 08457 740 740 (got this number from the Postwatch website:, and logged a couple of complaints.

They (were pretty rubbish, and never got back to me when they said they would, but) told me that there were "staffing problems" in my delivery area, that there was a subsequent backlog of post, and that we would only get one delivery a day at around 2pm.

(Like a lot of people round here, I suspect) I live in flats, and the postie has to use the service bell to get access to the letter boxes. That's fine when they come fairly early in the morning (when the service bell is operative), but when they come later in the day the service bell doesn't work and so we can't get any post delivered.

I've spent more time chasing up our managing agents to see if we can get the bell times changed (as the Post Office say that 2pm will now be a regular time for us). However, in the last couple of days -i.e. following my complaints - we have had post delivered at a regular time in the morning.

So, to recap: no post for ages; plenty of post going "missing"; Post Office say we'll get 2pm deliveries, but we seem to get either no deliveries or (following a bit of complaining) deliveries back at our old usual time in the morning.

I've started using my work address for anything that's valuable or that I want to get within a reasonable time of it being sent.

Let us know if you find a useful way of getting anything else done about this. (And good luck with getting your mail)

...if you press it, they will come.
Thursday 18 December 2003 3.16pm
I live on Park St and am still awaiting post from early October. I just spoke to my credit card company who confirmed that they posted my new card in the first week of October, but I have not received it yet. I am also awaiting birthday presents from the end of October.

I just called Royal Mail who were actually helpful and will investigate to see if others in the area have made complaints. Their number is 0845 774 0740 if anyone wants to complain.

Personally I think there is something amiss here - funny how all of my bills make it through, but parcels and credit cards etc never do.
Thursday 18 December 2003 3.34pm
It's definitely a case of valuable-looking post goes astray in a fishy way, whilst tough old junk mail always makes it through, Katy.

I hope you have lots of luck with the PO complaints line. I have had none. In fact (by insisting on putting all replies in writing!), I got a reply last week to a complaint I'd made just before my post above (1 Dec).

The letter basically said words to the effect of: "We agree that your post is utterly carp. This is due to none of our carp posties having made any deliveries to your house."

As you can imagine, this helped greatly.

...there's plenty more c**** in the cup.
Thursday 18 December 2003 3.46pm
Well, out in Essex (where I live), we've had crap post ever since the postal strike earlier in the year. It hasn't got any better since, and a copy of X-Ray Magazine posted two weeks ago only came two days ago!

But...we in Essex have been informed that there will be some compensation for our inconvenience. As a 'goodwill gesture', Royal Mail will be pledging 1m towards London's bid for the 2012 Olympics.

Nice touch guys - makes me feel a whole lot better for all those missing bank statements. When the Olympic cyclists are taking to the streets of Hackney (or wherever it may be), at least my suffering won't have been for nothing...
Thursday 18 December 2003 3.52pm
When will these guys be properly accountable? The kind of accountability that means they get their arses properly kicked for crummy service.

The post must have some kind of legal basis. By buying postage, aren't we entering into a de-facto contract with Royal Mail, that they will make every reasonable effort (rather than paltry or crime-ridden efforts) to deliver post, in return for accepting the cost of postage?

I suspect that behind this run-down of yet another public service, there is the back-hand rationale that the more affluent will soon pay over the odds for a service that used to be considered as the basic standard. Just look at the BBC for a precedent...back-handed privatisation, with most of the decent content reserved for extra fee-payers.

A slippery but sadly well-worn slope..
Thursday 18 December 2003 4.06pm
Too right!

I received an invitation to something in November this week!! Still getting mail posted in November. I expect my Xmas cards will arrive in time for Easter..........

Thursday 18 December 2003 4.13pm
I wonder what the best way is to get some action underway.

Anyone know a news journalist?

Going on this forum, which appears to be a fairly random selection of people from right across the postcode, we can probably safely assume that the postal sorting/delivery service within SE1 is appalling. This must affect business operations within the postcode, not to say the negative effects to us just as residents.

There's definitely a story there, and who knows it probably happens in other postcodes too. But perhaps it can be sourced to corruption within a local sorting office (with the missing packages, for example. I lost my birth certificate and Amazon packages, just as a personal example.)

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