Postal Wankery

I had got the impression from the news headlines about the umpteen million items of post lost in the postal workers strike that was never going to arrive at its destination, that Royal Mail might, just might, be utterly fucking useless. Now all doubt has been removed by my attempt to send a memory card via 'special delivery'.

My little brother is off to New Zealand with his wife tomorrow so my folks, who are also in the fabled land of 'abroad', yesterday asked me to send him their spare memory card out of their camera. No problem, thinks I, I shall send it via the famous 'Royal Mail Special Delivery', the service that guarantees next day delivery by midday. It will cost me about 4 of my English pounds but at least it will get there by midday on Tuesday so he can take with him on his hols.

Clearly by expecting Royal Mail to deliver my letter in the time it said it would, I was being a little over-optimistic.

By 2pm today it still hadn't arrived and my brother was wondering where it might have got to. So I put the reference number into the 'track and trace' system. Which promptly gave me the cyberspace version of the middle finger, "Sorry, there appears to be a problem with your reference number, please try again". So I did, 6 times, only to receive the same message 6 times. Never mind, I think, I'll ring the customer service line. Mistake.

First you get greeted by an automated message 'Hello, my name is Sarah.." I don't give a rat's arse what your name is deary, I just want to speak to someone about where the hell my letter went…"the easiest and fastest way to get information on Royal Mail services and products is to use our website at…" Of course it is, and if I could find what I wanted on your damned website would I be wasting minutes of my life that I can never get back listening to this recorded message from some bloody woman called Sarah? Of course I wouldn't. "Please choose from the following options…"oh for the love of god. Eventually I get through the 73 layers of options to the track and trace system and am hoping to get to speak to an operator. Once again, I'm destined for disappointment because I'm through to the automated voice recognition system. Happy days. Having finally, after 3 attempts managed to get the system to accept my reference number it informs me that they are currently awaiting the status of my item and I should be aware that special delivery is not a guaranteed delivery service. WTF? Of course it fucking well is, that's why you pay £4 for a delivery instead of 37p or whatever a stamp costs. If it's not a fucking guaranteed delivery service then why in the name of all that is good and decent do you people market it as such? Special Delivery? It's special alright, it costs you ten times as much as ordinary delivery and it just as likely to end up on the floor of a warehouse somewhere, never to see the light of day again. Then I get the message 'confirmation of your delivery should be available in 5 days". 'Should', not quite the same thing as 'will' is it? And 5 days? In 5 fucking days he'll be in New Zealand so that's not a lot of use to me is it? Which is why I paid for your not-so-special Special Delivery.

Royal Mail – officially shit. And they wonder why people are turning to couriers. The postal workers are about to go on strike again and to them I say this – no one is going to bloody notice because it's not like the post turns up when you are in work.  



Having just managed to find Royal Mail's section on 'Special Delivery', I would like to know how they have the brass balls to say that it isn't a guaranteed delivery service when they market it like this:

(for some reason Vox wouldn't let me put the link in in the normal way. Perhaps they're working in partnership with Royal Mail).   

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10 Responses

  1. At £4.95 for the two letters I've recently sent this way, I'd like to see the delivery people handing them across in plush cushions… I thought it was guaranteed delivery in one day (else what are we paying for, indeed!)?

  2. Having finally managed to get an actual person to speak to me, it would seem that some of the problem has occurred because someone at Royal Mail has cocked up the reference number and is too stupid to be able to tell the difference between the letters 'L' and 'M'. I believe this may be Royal Mail speak for ' We've lost your post'. And the posties think we're going to support their battle against the modernisation of Royal Mail? Personally I don't give a bugger if they have to work all the way to the end of their shift and don't get guaranteed overtime as long as my post gets from A to B sometime before the recipient dies of old age.

  3. I think it means it'll get there, but who knows when? It'll probably be treated as ordinary delivery without the special tracking thing… I'm currently 'enjoying' the strikes because at the same time I've been trying to organise a house sale/purchase. I had 'great fun' one day when we managed to convince our solicitor to send something Recorded Delivery, only to find that because we weren't in to sign for it that day it got kept by the striking postman who had it for another 3 days. I've written two lovely emails to Royal Mail to tell them much the same as you have – I couldn't give a fig about any of it, because I just want adequate post.

  4. I'm told that carrier pigeons are becoming quite popular again.

  5. fed ex or ups,goverment people don't think they have to tell the truth or get the job done.

  6. So looking at the blurb on the link, you can sue the arse off them for £2,500 compensation for failure to deliver on time, no? Quids in!

  7. I was going to write a blog about the GPO. You beat me to it! 😀

  8. That's because with a carrier pigeon there's a fighting chance your post will arrive, as opposed to Royal Mail where there's every chance your letter will end up on the floor of a warehouse until 2059.

  9. I'll be looking into that this afternoon, I think a £2500 return on the loss of a £10 memory card would be quite handy. And I could use the cash…

  10. What I genuinely am baffled by is the fact that the postal workers and the unions can't see that they are striking themselves onto the dole queue. Royal Mail is on the verge of collapse and what is their answer? Go out on strike, losing the company 3 of its largest clients and pushing it ever closer to the edge. And what exactly do they think the rest of the world is experiencing right now? This year I have had a pay freeze and my bonus cancelled and would I consider going on strike? No, I wouldn't because frankly I'm just grateful they haven't made me redundant. For years posties have had the chance to go home early if they finish their shift early and now they're on strike because they have to stay till clocking off time and for this they want sympathy? Welcome to the real world ladies and gents, where you have to stay till the end of your designated hours, you don't get guaranteed overtime and you may get laid off if the company is failing. I have precisely 0% support for these jokers. I'm also getting bored of being held to ransom by the unions, who appear to be getting increasingly militant. We've got postal strikes and round here we've also had the buses and train drivers out on strike as well.

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