I don’t know if my recent negative experiences with the delivery of mail by the Royal Mail is shared by others.
But I have to say that in the last few weeks I have noted some worrying signs that the services to the public have deteriorated.
For example, letters are delivered almost haphazardly, any time from 10am to 12.30pm. Occasionally no mail is delivered and on another day we receive several letters in one delivery with various posting dates.
More seriously mail we have sent has been lost and unless it is registered cannot be tracked. One gets the unfortunate impression that ‘lost mail’ does not matter, as the postal system is not geared to undertaking a complaint seriously. All letters still carry the Queen’s head reflecting a tradition that all mail is important; we need no reminding that domestic mail can be vitally important to the receiver and a dismissive shrug is not good enough.
Now it appears that privatisation of the mail services has led to a culture of total disregard to these valued and important traditions. Does any one care?
We all understand that some changes may be necessary but disturbingly do we all know that these important changes are now in place? They are not properly advertised and even some postal staff are unaware of changes, even though these changes have serious very implications for the users of the Royal Mail.
It is a service now not fit the purpose.
For example how many know that re-directed mail now requires at least a second class stamp or more, depending on the size and weight of the package. Without this additional payment a re-directed letter may not be redelivered but will be forwarded to sorting offices in Rochester in Kent!
I am reliably informed that it may take several days, even up to 4 weeks before official notification is then sent out to the re-directed address, advising that the letter is being held pending further payment, usually at least a second class stamp or more. How does one know the cost needed to ensure a re-directed letter will be delivered without further delays? What a mess.
Under the old system a letter requiring redirection could be safely posted with the new address with out extra cost, provided the envelope had not been opened.
In our case the delayed letter contained expensive rail tickets that if delayed would render the tickets useless.
Trying to address these concerns is almost a waste of time!
We contacted the local delivery offices in Hasting and St Leonards, made several call to ‘help’ lines but was repeatedly referred to websites or given telephones numbers that involved listening to so many options and recorded messages that these proved almost useless.
In short we must all be aware that things have changed and we must be on guard before things get worse.
Stanley C Mounsey