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Sorry you were out, let me come back later…

By Chris Dawson October 21, 2014 - 9:48 am

While you were outWe often hear complaints about delivery companies, or more specifically some of the less favourable delivery experiences some of their employees give, so it makes a change when a delivery worker gives a service way above that you’d normally expect.

Last week I was out in the morning when the postman called. Normally he’s not down my way much before 2pm, so it was something of a surprise to find a Royal Mail missed delivery card in my letter box. I was less than amused as not only did I now have to trot off to the delivery office to collect my items, but I was out for the next few days so wouldn’t get them until after the weekend.

However my postman is quite simply fantastic! He had to come early to my house as one of the items was a Special Delivery item which had to be delivered by 1pm (more accurately it was a parcel from abroad which was treated as Special Delivery). Posties have to run all over their area to make sure that they deliver timed deliveries by the promised deadline.

But, when my Postman came back on his normal schedule with my letters he bought my parcels back round and delivered them on the day! He was obliged to drop the card in before 1pm but he didn’t want me to have the inconvenience of going to the Delivery Office so made the effort to redeliver them on the same day.

You don’t get service like that too often. Kudos to those Royal Mail employees who really do do their best to delight their customers.

  • 3 years ago

    Hear hear. The postie is a great British institution and their contribution is often overlooked. We get our mail collected every day by RM and we greatly appreciate them. Nice to hear them being praised for a change.

  • Ross
    3 years ago

    I’ve been surprised at how good the local delivery service can be.
    We have a mail box that looks like it’s locked but has a catch that can be opened by the postie. Now when we get a larger box that won’t fit through the letter box, the sorting office mark on that the box opens. Hardly a big deal but the kind of personal touch that makes a difference.

  • James
    3 years ago

    Royal Mail are an awful company and should only deserve the respect that one confers to any other business.

    They consistently lose / delay mail, are woefully inefficient and have become lazy due to having little competition when publicly owned.

    Even missed mail is a chore – in my area having to wait 48 hours to be able to collect or re-deliver

    I can only hope that their business is subject to severe competition, and their service is forced to improve massively for the benefit of this country.

  • northumbrian
    3 years ago

    why is it when someone at Royal mail does the job their paid to to somewhere near right, were shocked and comment on it and heap praise on them
    these people are paid to deliver, their job is to deliver ,they dont do anything other than deliver, so they should be able do it right

    • 3 years ago

      I think it’s fair to say that he’d done his job when he knocked on my door with a timed delivery and I was out. If he’d wanted to work to rule he’d have left the parcels in his van, delivered my letters and dumped the parcels back at base for me to collect.

      Bringing them back to save me the nuisance of a trip to the delivery office was very much an extra on his part and very much appreciated.

    • northumbrian
      3 years ago

      sorry if he had mowed your lawn or cleaned you windows i could be persuaded he went out of his way,
      though for a postman to deliver an item of mail is not really impressive

    • Gerry007
      3 years ago

      .
      Her in doors is still in her dressing gown if you have time posty, you’d be doing me a favour…….!!

    • Gerry007
      3 years ago

      ,
      Actually they now also do the collections (from post boxes).

  • LJ
    3 years ago

    It sounds like you have a postie who is switched on, and goes that little bit extra than what his job requires. It does seem very rare nowadays though.

    Unfortunately most of my experiences with Royal Mail have been bad. Just yesterday I went to collect 2 non-tracking parcels from the delivery office as I was out and the card stated they were too big to put through. When I got home I duly pushed them through my letterbox without any issue.

    You get good posties and you get useless posties.

  • northumbrian
    3 years ago

    “You get good posties and you get useless posties.”
    should not happen Royal mails been doing this for hundreds of years
    they should be able to sort the wheat from the chaff by now

  • Martin
    3 years ago

    Hmm, not sure I agree. My collection postie is excellent, but he tells me that he is rare in having a full time contract. Most of the local posties are zero hours and short time contracts, and are then asked to work difficult hours at times. These days, even the pay for new posties isn’t that good. Like in many areas the gravy days are over. Let’s face it, if you could obtain a more secure or amenable job elsewhere wouldn’t you do so? If you set up bad conditions for employment you will end up employing the lower grade staff who aren’t wanted elsewhere.

    But beside that I won’t say RM are great but they are in my experience vastly underrated. You can have a go at them for a mistake, but are you telling me you never make a mistake in your work? I certainly do from time to time, and I don’t suppose RM are any different.

    Overall they do what I pay a low price for (compared with post rates in other countries). They deliver over 99% on time and without loss.

    I agree with Chris, the postie did go out of his way. He made a 2nd attempt to deliver. I have also occasionally experienced this both with RM and some courier companies. They don’t need to do this because they fulfilled their obligation first time.

    • northumbrian
      3 years ago

      were always making mistakes and errors
      though we start with the ethos of doing it the very best we can do as the starting point ,not special treatment or service when we feel like it

  • James
    3 years ago

    Complaints directed at Royal Mail are not usually about individual postmen, it is about the company overrall.

    Problems Royal Mail have are numerous and not really acceptable

    i) Lack of tracking as standard and a basic tracked system (signed for) that is cumbersomely expensive and has a poor service (considering about a 1/3rd of the items I send tracked don’t even get a signature)

    ii) 15 day waiting time for recognition of a problem. This partly relates to (i) as if they had bothered to invest in a decent system this would happen less. Add this on to lack of claiming ability on 24/48 mail and that is a poor reflection of a business that is happy to lose your items and not take any of the blame.

    iii) A monopoly over pricing in the large letter to small parcel range. It is incredibly frustrating to pay almost a £2 jump in price between a large letter and small parcel. This is severely letting e commerce in the country down.

    iv) Often 48 hours for re-delivery / collection

    v) Prohibitively expensive international options

    vi) OBA system that (at least recently) crashes often and has an awful backup system that very few people can actually use or understand.

    I could go on..

    You just need to go to an RM depot to see their inefficiencies. People standing around doing nothing, two people doing the job of one person. Even manually sorting items in this day and age

    The only way RM will be forced to improve is if they are losing business – which will happen, competition is ramping up. I only hope that they lose more small parcel business as this is their last real monopoly (letter/large letters are mostly becoming unprofitable).

    A business this badly run has no place being the go to national carrier in the state the are in. It will hold back ecommerce growth in a country already far ahead of the pack.

  • Martin
    3 years ago

    I don’t think this is fair comment. I agree RM have problems, and the 48 turn round on redelivery and flakiness of OBA are some of them.

    But why should they offer tracked as standard. they offer untracked and tracked and it is the customer’s choice which to choose. Mail services in many countries offer exactly the same.

    Tracked 24 and Tracked 48 are competitive offerings for OBA customers.

    I suspect 15 days is not an RM policy, but one specified by the Universal Postal Union with which all mail services comply.

    Compensation is a downer, I agree, but at the same time very few services offer more than £20 unless you pay extra, so for a business it isn’t really an issue. If you cost your time, the claim was usually more expensive to make than the compensation you received anyway. Courier company compensation claims are equally as complex and time consuming to handle. Now they are privatised why would they offer better than their competition?

    International prohibitively expensive.? Compared to who? Try checking prices for a return from France, or look at the cost to ship out of USA, Australia, most European countries etc. RM are actually very competitive. The only other country I know that is also competitive is Germany.

    Again, small parcels. Expensive compared to who? You can get better rates currently on Parcel2Go, but slow delivery and no collection. Everyone else is more expensive. OK, companies like Amazon may get better rates because of volume. But would you price your product lower just to be nice to people, and make a loss? Like every other business RM have to make a profit to survive.

  • James
    3 years ago

    Martin

    Fair response

    I think the issue I have with Royal Mail is more symptomatic of their period in public ownership and the monopoly status they enjoyed during this period. This resulted in a bloated and inefficient business on privatisation that will have to shape up to stay competitive.

    There is no obligation to offer tracked services, however many other countries offer this as standard – and at the very least should be standard amongst parcels. Tracked 24/48 are good services but they have a minimum threshold which many suppliers will not meet.

    Fair point on the compensation.

    Your last two points – international / small parcels and my response is more directed to the fact that as Royal Mail have enjoyed a monopoly status for so long this area of the market has very little competition (although it is steadily increasing) and means that RM can effectively provide a bad service at uncompetitive prices without fear of losing business to competition (because they have no / very little competition).

    Of course this is not necessarily their fault – any business run by the government / public sector ends up having the same inefficiency and bad management problems, but the end result is a less competitive parcels/letter market then there could have been and this has a knock on effect for ecommerce.

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