Royal Fail

After avoiding the Post Office (part of the Royal Mail Group), since my last not-so-good experience, today I had the unfortunate reason to visit again. Uncle Billy (97), asked me to go and pay his electricity bill – I know what you’re thinking, ‘do it online’! Being the age he is though, he doesn’t like all this technology we have; mobile phones, online banking and so on. He therefore gave me strict instructions to visit the Post Office ‘traditionally’, with paper receipt in-tow!

I got to my local Post Office with half-an-hour to spare, but something told me I’d be there much longer, so I decided to walk a few minutes to the next branch, which is open for an hour later each day, lucky I did. Another hour later , my life passed me by at the Post Office, standing in the queue, which didn’t seem to be moving at all. There was a couple of counters for ‘general’ post (their core business remember) with over 30 people in the queue and a couple of counters for business post/special delivery, with one or two customers in the queue. The staff at these counters did not assist their ‘general’ colleagues, I guess it isn’t in their terms and conditions!

Anyway, I paid Uncle Billy’s bill (just how he wanted it done) and went to post a few letters I had on me, the post box being attached to the branch. When I got outside, I realised that I had just missed the last post, which was at 6.30pm. I then established that, the branch I first went to (my local), which closes at 5.30pm – its post is collected at 7.30pm, an hour later. I now found myself walking ‘back’ up the street, to post the letters I had. So was I. In a nutshell, the branch which closes an hour earlier, has the latest collection time and the branch which closes the latest, has the earlier collection, none of it making sense.

Sometimes when things go wrong, you think it’s a ‘one off’, but evidently from my previous blog on the Post Office/Royal Mail, I’m yet to have any luck with post! I stated last time in my blog (The Peoples’ Post Office – NOT!), that I thought privitisation was the way forward for Royal Mail and the Post Office, as it wasn’t working. Sadly, I still hold that view and I’m usually all for nationalisation, offering the same quality of service for everyone. But, the postal system in this country just doesn’t work. I’ve read that the new Coalition Government, is set about breaking up the Royal Mail Group, selling the sorting and delivery services to private companies, but keeping the Post Office counters. I doubt it will be a great moment for employees, but something needs doing. The way it is now, the future is already bleak!

This has been another of my blogs on Royal Mail and the Post Office, in my ‘View from the Bottom’ on Britain’s Public Services, Max.

© 2010 Kevin Maxwell Media & Performance – Published by My Mum