Why I’m terrified of decisions Royal Mail are making

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Today, I have had a terrible experience with a recent decision the Royal Mail have made to stop leaving un-delivered mail at our local post office. The whole experience prompted me to write the following feedback that I have sent to the Royal Mail.

Okay firstly, what is the purpose of SO many required fields on the Royal Mails Contact Us form. Are they all actually necessary? I don’t think so. Personally I feel they’re being used as a way of putting people off contacting you. Which is a shame, as you could learn a lot by listening to what people want and need from the Royal Mail.

Screenshot of the form and all it’s required fields.

 

Secondly onto my reason for contacting you, which is that I want to complain about the decision to no longer leave undelivered post at our local post office. I’ve no idea if this is a national decision or just happens to affect our local post office which doubles as the local shop.

This is extremely unsupportive of local business as it means people will visit the shop less often as they no longer have the reason of popping into collect their parcels and as a result won’t make those small purchases that they otherwise would have done. The real danger here, is not one of inconvenience to myself, but ultimately to our local shop as this will only add to an already struggling business’ ability to sustain itself and will inevitably mean closure. Which should be a of huge concern to everyone. The local shop, doesn’t just sell things to people, they provide a lifeline for many. For some, visiting the local shop is the only reason they have for leaving their houses, the only time they see other people. If the shop is taken away, these people are left even more isolated and forgotten. We can NOT let this happen.

Instead of being able to pop into the local post office on our daily commute to work, we now have to somehow get to Winchester which is a 40 minute drive from my house and in the opposite direction from where I work. So, I am forced to either go and collect the parcel myself or attempt re-collection.

The card states “You can arrange for us to redeliver the item to your address or to an alternative local address”. Perfect. However, when negotiating the re-delivery form on the RoyalMail website at no point do I get an opportunity to give a different ‘local address’. I also have no idea what the definition of ‘local address’ is.

Screenshot of the card with the false promise of ‘free’ re-delivery to an alternative local address.

 

Or, I can pay £1.50 to have it delivered to my local post office. I don’t believe for one second that money is going to be paid to my local post office, I would love to be proved wrong about this. What is the reason for this charge? Why does it cost £1.50 to deliver it to the post office but it’s free to my house, which is technically further away from Winchester than the post office is. I’m not complaining that re-delivery is free. I’m complaining at the complete illogicalness of the reasoning. I, like most of the population, work every day. I’m not at home when the postman comes, so arranging re-delivery to my house is not realistic. My neighbour is home most of the time during the day, however as I am unable to ‘actually’ do anything with the arrange re-delivery to a local address option that is so tantalising promised on the card that was popped through the door, delivery to my neighbour is not an option.

The re-delivery form on the website is both unhelpful and a usability nightmare. I do not understand why the reference number is requested on the second page. It’s taken me long enough to fill in all the useless information that is on the other parts of the form, to only be faced with filling in the reference number which is where the system is fatally flawed. It is entirely reliant on the person attempting the delivery to write with legible hand writing. Anyone in a hurry, and trying to write on a piece of card without having anything to lean on, is going to struggle with this. I understand that. Lot’s of people understand that. Apparently Royal Mail do NOT understand this major detail.

Admittedly, the handwriting on the card that was left could have been much worse, and the website could be much more helpful. I was completely unable to read the last two letters, I couldn’t even tell that they were letters. To me they looked like numbers. But after some help on Twitter, we figured out that they said GB. Your ‘decision’ to stop leaving parcels at my local post office is infuriating, you have taken a step back and not forward with regards to progression. Photo of the reference number.

Due to the time it took to decipher the hand writing, my session timed out on the website, brilliant. This meant I got to fill in all of the useless ‘required’ information all over again.

Oh and I only have 18 days from the date of delivery to do something about arranging re-delivery. Ace. All this means is that instead of getting things delivered to my home, I will have to get them delivered to work. I am fortunate in that I have this option, many many MANY people do not have this luxury.

People need to get outraged about these kinds of decisions, they are detrimental to our society and we need to voice our concerns about that.