Posties or management?

I see on the news this morning, that a new survey by Consumer Focus is showing that half of those ‘sorry you were out’ slips delivered by posties because things are too big to get through our letterboxes, were shoved through the door when people were in.

The response by the Royal Mail is to repeat the mantra that this is against company policy and that any post person found sticking these notes through the door without ringing – and judging from the report – without even carrying the parcel to the door – will be disciplined.

So – if the Royal Mail is so shit hot on clamping down on this practise – how come it is such a common experience? During this so-called disciplining – are posties noses growing longer?

Or is it the management – not really walking the talk? I am tabling a Parliamentary Question to find out how many disciplinary actions have been taken in each delivery office over each of the last three years.

The Royal Mail needs to show us that it is an exemplar service right at the moment when the battle for survival is so fierce. We love our Royal Mail – but we need them to shape up – otherwise they will write their own obituary.

0 thoughts on “Posties or management?

  1. I have had this problem too but, twice in the last month, I have also had no card delivered when I was expecting a parcel. On both occassions it has been sitting at Highgate post office – but the postman evidently hadn’t even bothered attempting to deliver them – or couldn;t be obothered to fill in a card.

  2. The argument from the posties is that they’re too overworked and understaffed to carry the parcels around with them. It’s hard to know where the truth of the matter lies on this one – I think we need some kind of parliamentary inquiry into what’s actually going on at the delivery level, to see whether mail volume has gone down like management claim or up like the posties do, and whether the money the Royal Mail gets paid by commercial carriers for delivering mail is fair recompense for the work involved.

  3. Frankly, I don’t believe the survey. I think a lot of the responses were from people who’ve heard of the issue. I doubt that 50% of people get such a card in a year, never mind when they’re in.

  4. Leaving aside the horrendous weather of late which adversely affects every aspect of mail distribution and delivery let me hopefully throw some light on the problem.

    RM has been shedding tens of thousands of staff over the past 2/3 years especially in delivery offices. The way of working has been totally reorganised in delivery offices which just isn’t working in many. It leads to the loss of a regular postie and longer heavier rounds which physically can’t be completed meaning items are returned daily to the delivery office.

    It also has got to be remembered that RM was actually built on delivering letters in terms of automated sorting and physical size of offices and sorting frames. But there has been a huge shift in recent years with letter numbers collapsing through online alternatives and a huge increase in packets/Parcel deliveries through internet shopping.

    Then throw in Xmas pressure and I often wonder how the organisation ever manages to actually operate at Xmas.

    But a major problem with the 739 while you were out card is that most initial deliveries of larger items are made by van but because of time/security pressures the driver doesn’t actually leave a card if no one is at home. Instead, he writes the card out when he gets back to the office and it’s then put in the sorting frame for delivery by the foot delivery officer next day.

    But the foor delivery officer doesn’t have the parcel with him, only the card, which he leaves without knocking the door and this is where a huge percentage of the problems are caused because people could be at home that day and get annoyed because they don’t think the postie has attempted to deliver.

    If anyone stops to think they must realise that a foor postie can only carry a limited amount of larger items with him and, in any case, it takes longer to fill out a card than to attampt delivery in most cases.

    There’s also a problem with people who say they haven’t received a 739 when in fact they have put have mistakenly thrown it out as junk mail – this is really common.

    Yea there are lazy posties and stressed-out posties who don’t do the job correctly but most are fairly decent and try to do the best they can under tough conditions from the weather and the system they have to operate.

    It is a great pity that Ms Featherstone has seen to attack the workforce and make some cheap political capital rather than conduct even a cursory investigation into the problem. The issue btw is a lot more complex than I have described but I hope I have explained some of it.

    And shame on Consumer Focus who are well aware of what causes the problem but just like their predecessor Postwatch go for the soundbites but are toothless in fighting for the real changes required to protect the consumer and which lie beyond the pay-grade of ordinary posties.