How long do you spend queuing at the Post Office?

By Dan Wilson July 13, 2017 - 2:26 pm

It’s probably that big moment of transformation for a marketplace seller: when you stop queuing at the post office and improve your fulfilment logistics. But when do you make that big step forward?

Needless to say there are other options. Print your postage online with Royal Mail or embrace the The Post Office – Drop & Go service and don’t forget all those couriers out there. The marketplace for couriers and carriers is big, huge and developing. There are plenty of options.

But, if you’re still cautious that you can’t justify adopting a new service, perhaps the amount of time you could spend at the local PO branch will shock you.

You could be losing a day a year

This ‘just-for-fun’ infographic from Parcel2Go does illustrate the amount of time that you might be spending in those queues. They say, after a survey of 1000 people, that on average a post office queue takes five and half minutes every time. And tot it up: 5.5-minute queue X 260 working days in a typical year = 1,430 minutes / 60 = 23.83 hours.

  • Andy R
    12 months ago

    The average for the main post office in town, since it moved into Smiths with fewer windows, is 20 minutes at peak time. No automated tills available and surly staff trying to tell you that a first class recorded item posted on Friday morning won’t even arrive by Monday. They’re on bonuses to push Special D presumably.

    I now mostly travel five miles out of town, buy some locally grown produce and use a village post office in the shop where there are no queues.

    Alternatively, if its a large item, we use Collect Plus and can drop it in seconds at our local filling station, saving a small fortune compared to RM. What’s not to like?

    To the Post Office and RM, customers are treated worse than cattle. Remember the much vaunted extension of opening hours and services at RM delivery offices? Sounded great. Here in Wales, the hours have actually been cut and they still won’t accept scanable items as promised. So the little shop benefits – presumably they managed to come up with the 4 grand a month independent income demanded by the Post Office to stay open.

    • Alan Paterson
      12 months ago

      Post office ques in my town are about 5 to 10 mins. The problem is the training (or lack there of )of the staff. I was sending a packet internationally and the country did not appear on our own Royal Mail DMO. I took it to the post office and handed over the order. The person on the counter took the paper order – which had the destination address on it- and put a tiny bit of sellotape in the top right hand corner to “secure” it to the package.

      I was astounded when i realized that she thought this was a sufficient “label” for the destination. When I pointed out that the address would not stay on in transit i was told that I should not tell her how to do her job. I also pointed out she had sellotapes the buyers paypal details to the box for everyone to see.

      As the address would obviously not stay on in transit i was forced to ask for the package back and go elsewhere.

      What is also very frustrating is the post office staff trying to “sell” special delivery (where the post office makes their biggest commissions) when it is completely unnecessary. Many staff are not being familiar with their alternative services. Too often they give wrong advice.

      A lot of the delays at the counter are due to lack of training of the staff. And a lot of parcels not reaching their destination is also due to staff issues at the counter.

      There would be far shorter ques if the staff were trained properly and understood what was required.

  • northumbrian
    12 months ago

    its the self important jobs worths behind the counters with pernickety attitudes ,
    that cause the problem

  • northumbrian
    12 months ago

    you can drop off a truck load of parcels at our local news agent for my hermes
    and their delighted,
    you go with one parcel to the postoffice and their weighing it ,shoving it thru templates ,wittering on about content and value,

  • 12 months ago

    If you spend £15k or more on Royal Mail franking per annum you can get a daily business collection. If you spend under that amount – you can pay £787 per year for a weekday collection.

    If you frank your mail – you can drop off (pre-sorted according to size/delivery class) at any post office and be on your way.

    Why anybody would waste their time queuing at a post office is beyond me.

    • 12 months ago

      Too right. Now, £787 might seem a lot to some people, but, if you’re open 50 weeks of the year, it’s only just a little over £3 a day.

      If you go online with Despatch Manager Online, use RM 24/48, which are lower prices than 1st and 2nd class, by the time you’ve sent 15-20 parcels, you have got your collection costs back. No small parcel/medium parcel nonsense to worry about with RM 24/48 and it goes off the average weight divided by total for each group, so if you send a mix of weights, your heavy stuff can often be brought down into a lower weight price bracket by your lighter stuff.

      Swapping from queueing at the local post office to the above, made a huge difference for our business. Saved money and time. Highly recommend if you’re sending 15-20+ parcels/large letters daily.

  • Leader of the Banned
    12 months ago

    Five and half minutes in the queue! Not here in London. Add another 20 odd mins to that. Last time I was there I counted 17 people in front of me at 1.15pm. 3 out of 7 counters open with one specifically for money changing, bill paying & driving licences etc the other two for posting. Every time someone asks how much is it to post a letter they are told £6.45 & we have to listen to the shock horror & complaints & wait for them to say “but signed delivery is £1.75” Then I shout it’s 65p for a stamp which the customer says “thanks, I’ll take the stamp”. All this hard selling holds up the queues. In London there are many visitors & old folk who they try to steer into buying an unnecessary expensive service. Unfortunately this is how the entire world operates now. Customer service will abuse your lack of knowledge…especially if you are old, stupid or foreign. They prey on the vulnerable. It never used to be like this 20 years ago.

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