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Royal Mail 'sorry we missed you' card complaints up 25%

28 Sep 2010, 13:02

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11419324

Complaints about Royal Mail's "sorry we missed you" cards have risen by a quarter in the past year, figures show.

In 2009-10, the company received more than 36,000 complaints about the cards, up from 29,000 in 2008-09.

As a result, Royal Mail paid out compensation in more than 1,000 cases, totalling £8,255.19.

The cards are becoming increasingly familiar as more people shop online, increasing the number of parcels that postmen deliver.

A BBC Freedom of Information request showed that problems appeared to be worst in London, particularly in the South East, South West and West.

The largest single payout was for £504.40 made to an address in SW18, South West London. The smallest was for 72 pence made to an address in SW16.

Other areas outside London that have suffered are Birmingham, Glasgow, Reading and Leeds.

Online shopping

Postmen have been accused of leaving packages at the depot and posting the forms through letter boxes whether people are at home or not, so they do not have to carry heavy parcels with them on their rounds.


“Start Quote

We're ringing doorbells and banging doors. It's infuriating when they come to get the package the next day from the depot and say we didn't knock” - Steven Betts Edinburgh postman

End Quote

This kind of complaint is illustrated by one made to PostComm by a member of the public who lives in a block of flats.

He received a "sorry we missed you card" while he was in his flat and the postman didn't ring the doorbell. The man noticed him through the window and went to ask him for the packet. The postman didn't have it and told him that "the van sends them out".

Some postmen refute these accusations, but Steven Betts, a postman in Edinburgh for 32 years, says this practice does occasionally happen, especially since websites such as eBay mean more packages are being delivered.

"Sometimes, van drivers deliver lots of packages to the same address. If they're constantly trying to deliver and not getting an answer, they might assume people aren't ever in," he told the BBC.

"The driver might fill out a form and give it to the postman to deliver on his round. If the postie delivers the form and the person's in, it can be embarrassing when they don't have the package on them."

Another situation is when the van tries to deliver the package in the afternoon but no-one is in, so they give the form to the postman to deliver on his round the next day.

The form refers to the attempted delivery the day before, but people think the postman should have the package on him.
'Infuriating'

Mr Betts said postmen want to get rid of the packages, because otherwise they have to carry them for the rest of their round.

"The last thing we want is to be carrying these around. We tend to find, on numerous occasions, that when we go to a door, you know the customer's in because you can see the TV on or even hear the hairdryer.

"We're ringing doorbells and banging doors. It's infuriating when they come to get the package the next day from the depot and say we didn't knock."

Complaints tend to increase when full-time postmen go on holiday, Mr Betts said: "Part-time postmen aren't trained up as well, and they don't take as much pride in their work."

Royal Mail said the increase in internet shopping has meant they are delivering more bulky packages that do not fit through letter boxes and require someone to receive them.

They say anyone with a complaint about a delivery should call Royal Mail customer services on 08457 740 740.

"We are constantly examining out procedures and services in order to improve it in areas where customers raise complaints with us.

"Fortunately, of the huge volume of letters and packets we handle, very few encounter a problem along their way, but we do take every reported failure seriously."

Re: Royal Mail 'sorry we missed you' card complaints up 25%

28 Sep 2010, 13:44

Complaints tend to increase when full-time postmen go on holiday, Mr Betts said: "Part-time postmen aren't trained up as well, and they don't take as much pride in their work."



F*** off Mr Betts. ;liar

Re: Royal Mail 'sorry we missed you' card complaints up 25%

28 Sep 2010, 13:54

not taking packets out will be why i had a full bag of P739 packets at the end of my delivery today i suppose?

Re: Royal Mail 'sorry we missed you' card complaints up 25%

28 Sep 2010, 14:52

rmdriver wrote:Complaints tend to increase when full-time postmen go on holiday, Mr Betts said: "Part-time postmen aren't trained up as well, and they don't take as much pride in their work."



F*** off Mr Betts. ;liar



Ditto Mr Betts you knob !! I might be a part timer given zero training through no fault of my own but I reckon most part timers make it their business to do the job properly against all the odds and lack of training precisely because they do take pride in their work,,, :speak to the hand

Re: Royal Mail 'sorry we missed you' card complaints up 25%

28 Sep 2010, 15:17

My round consists of a lot of students who rent private houses the lazy bastards won't even get out of their beds to answer the door and we are talking 11.30 and after by the time i get to them. So every day i have truck back to the office with these packets,not only that whenever you put leave 3/4 hours the twats are at the post office long before you are back looking for them.I asked a student one day what it was like being a student he replied "its like being on the dole only your mother and father are proud of you" he summed it up nicely. :Applause

Re: Royal Mail 'sorry we missed you' card complaints up 25%

28 Sep 2010, 15:33

I always knock twice. It still takes some people two or three minutes to appear - frak 'em, I say. It really irritates me when some layabout appears just as you've finished writing out the p739. They've obviously only just got out of bed - at 1pm. Not a lot of sympathy.

But of course it's our fault. We're the lazy, work shy bastards. We have voluminous bags that are simultaneously weightless. Add to that a profusion of time at our disposal to wait on hands and feet for the members of the public and their precious parcels.

Why are we so god-damned lazy?

Re: Royal Mail 'sorry we missed you' card complaints up 25%

28 Sep 2010, 15:56

Compensation being paid out? What for? For not being in for a parcel? And still there is no money left for OT to actually deliver the stuff. Madness.
Still, as I'm sure many of these customers would agree: privatisation will serve us all right, and make the service they expect much better.

Re: Royal Mail 'sorry we missed you' card complaints up 25%

28 Sep 2010, 16:38

:sad: this is the only job I kow of where we ALWAYS get the blame, what;s happened to innocent until proven guilty.Well, customers are guilty too! From older family members who hide behind doors to snatch birthday cards presumably with money in them, (yes it happens, and some parents too steal from their kids) -to the constant never got my while you were out cards , when you konw you have put them through!
Thanks to the constant bad press about us in recent years, our customers have become our public enemy no 2 (after mangement)

Re: Royal Mail 'sorry we missed you' card complaints up 25%

28 Sep 2010, 16:40

The problem is out of the 36,000 complaints many are genuine,it still goes on,WE don't do it but many others do.
Speaking to a guy from another DO who i had a recorded for,he said his guys would never of got it signed for.
s**t is happening all over. :sad:

Re: Royal Mail 'sorry we missed you' card complaints up 25%

28 Sep 2010, 17:59

Perhaps it's time that RM introduced a system whereby if the packet is beyond a certain size (ie letterbox) then the officer on the duty completes and delivers a P739 and the onus is on the customer to collect the item full stop from the outset. A standardised aperture could be issued to all delivery offices on the same principle that low budget airlines use, i.e. if the item is beyond a certain size then it stays indoors; I believe that this is the practice applied in urban areas of Sweden and Denmark. It would be a more secure method and let's face it; when you've had to return an item to the DO after a 3+ hour soaking in torrential rain it's not going to be collected in the same condition that it initially left the office whatever measures are taken - those large yellow inner linings aren't always foolproof as they are meant to be waterproof. Not 'customer friendly'? Well seeing as we're being told from above that 'getting out on delivery later than we used to is of no consequence to the customer' then it shouldn't be a problem, should it :Boo hoo! ?? Might make these DSA packets diminish a little too... :dance No, I'm not holding my breath either.

Re: Royal Mail 'sorry we missed you' card complaints up 25%

29 Sep 2010, 09:09

When a customer pays for an item to be posted, the price includes delivery to the door. If the customer is not in, then as far as I am concerned another service kicks in, and it needs paying for!

If the item is being kept in safe custody for them then they should pay for this service when they collect it.
When it comes to e-commerce purchases if the customer knows that they will not be in to receive said item then the e-tailer could include an alternative address option as part of the web site transaction, namely the local DO or Sub Post Office, and the customer would be warned that there is a fee to locally when they pick up the item.

Local Collect doesn't really work, and it pays the Sub Office peanuts.

Subbie

Re: Royal Mail 'sorry we missed you' card complaints up 25%

29 Sep 2010, 09:21

At the moment we will redeliver, or hold an item if the recipient isn't in, at no extra charge, other courier firms will normally try to redeliver again next working day, if still not in you have to go to their depot to collect it, again at no extra charge, why would e-tailers want to use RM if they started charging for redelivery or storage.It would be a massive account looser. On top of this the fact that RM moved delivery times is the main reason we have to retain items anyway. When we had two deliveries the amount of items taken back was probably less than half the amount now.

Re: Royal Mail 'sorry we missed you' card complaints up 25%

29 Sep 2010, 22:00

Hi janitor

Redelivery isn't much of an option for a lot of people given the restrictive times that you can redeliver within, anyway why should the customer rearrange their life just to be at home for a redelivery, when they could elect to have the item kept safe at their local PO, to collect at a time that suits them, now thats worth a fee. The same goes for private Couriers who have the same issues.

Subbie

Re: Royal Mail 'sorry we missed you' card complaints up 25%

29 Sep 2010, 23:51

Why won't RM do a major poster campaign in POs, Caller's Offices, etc, suggesting that if they are e-tailing, why not see if they can have it delivered to their main place of employment / local pub / where ever they spend most of the time, when we're on delivery....c'mon, it's not rocket science ( then again, not many members of the public can claim to be rocket scientists, can they? :roll: )

Re: Royal Mail 'sorry we missed you' card complaints up 25%

30 Sep 2010, 02:46

subbie wrote:Hi janitor

Redelivery isn't much of an option for a lot of people given the restrictive times that you can redeliver within, anyway why should the customer rearrange their life just to be at home for a redelivery, when they could elect to have the item kept safe at their local PO, to collect at a time that suits them, now thats worth a fee. The same goes for private Couriers who have the same issues.

Subbie



it was at 50p.i wouldn't pay £1.50 per item

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