Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Not best pleased with the Royal Mail

I’m not best pleased with the Royal Mail right now. I had a package that should have arrived last Friday (16th Feb), but unfortunately no-one was in at the time, so we got one of those “Sorry, you were out” cards. Since I don’t have a car, I can’t go and pick up the package and instead have to rely on arranging a re-delivery. This is where the problem lies.

Bradford South depot has never been particularly reliable at answering the phone, but usually you can at least leave a message on their voicemail and the package will arrive when you want it to. But lately I’ve either not even got through to voicemail (the phone just rings off into infinity) or I leave a message and nothing happens as a result. I’ve been trying to get this package delivered for a week and a half now and it still hasn’t turned up, and if it isn’t delivered in the next week and a half (by next Friday) it’ll be returned to sender. The contents of the package are quite important and I would like to have them as soon as.

I’m really considering complaining to Royal Mail. It’s starting to get silly.


  1. None of your friends have cars? You can’t bribe any of them with a couple of pints down the local/union?

  2. Well I could, but the people who I know who have cars tend to be quite busy during the day, so it’s a case of finding a time when we’re both free to head over to the depot.

  3. I know exactly what you mean. Although those are solutions, the don’t fix the problem and are only temporary.

  4. I have the same issue with the “Leicester East” sorting office – the phone just rings out and they are open from 7am to midday most days (apart from Saturday when they are open 7am to 10am – and there is a massive queue all the time). I don’t think I’ve *ever* been able to rearrange delivery.
    Ask at your local post office for them to get it redelivered there as a “KeepSafe” item – it may cost 50p, but it may work out cheaper than any taxi/bus costs.
    For packages, I just try to either get them delivered to work or c/o the local post office and pay the fees.

  5. The USPS may be pathetic, but at least they’ll let you arrange redelivery online. Or you can make a note on the back of the “Sorry we missed you..” slip and pop it back in the mailbox.
    Be glad you know where your package is. It seems they put a new postal carrier on my route every week. Half of them can never find my address. I always ask the sender to get delivery confirmation, so I know when to start knocking on neighbors’ doors to see where they left it this time.

  6. You think that’s bad? RM workers were on an illegal strike for nearly three weeks here in Belfast, with threats of an official strike still to come. As I get paid via snail mail mostly, that has been something of a problem. The backlog (7 million items!) will take another three weeks clearing…

  7. Oh, hey, I didn’t even know the phone number works. No one ever picks it up, and the last time we left a message for a redelivery, nothing happened. Nowadays we just walk there and pretend it’s good-for-us exercise.

  8. yep, exactly my problem!
    Royal mail depot in wollaton, Nottingham: the phone just rigns and rings! (one of my mates went there and said there was one bloke dealing with customersto a soundtrack of the phone ringing constantly in the background!)
    i actually walked me ass an 8 mile round trip over there, but missed their opening hours cos they close at 1pm on a weekday.
    i have ordered two re-deliveries, and they have confirmed each time that it left the depot, but it just didnt get delivered!
    i always ring customer complaints, as they tend to actually answer their phones, and ‘can’ arrange redeliveries.
    Absolutely useless, i hate them.

  9. Stop slagging us off and get of your arses and walk to your post office, its not our fault you were not in, people are too quick to knock us down without realising how hard most of us posties work. now please take up running or cycling or something

  10. I don’t necessarily blame the posties, it’s the post office workers who blatantly steal packages or can’t be arsed to sort stuff properly.
    I used to order software from AppleStore and they send by Royal Mail. Not ONE package ever turned up, even though it had been dispatched from Apple. I’d always have to wait a week so they’d send a replacement by courier. Someone in my local sorting office had a lot of free Mac software after that.
    Royal Mail sucks PERIOD! Online order companies should use independent couriers exclusively, as RM can’t be trusted.

  11. Why is it that the postal workers are blamed for a badly run service by the public When the so called management are the ones who are responsible for the all the changes that have resulted in a declining postal system, if they go on strike to try and prevent the use of casual labour or other destructive matters the first people to attack them are the ones who are now complaining about missing items /poor service etc
    Prior to these changes royal mail was the world number one postal service (that’s a fact).

  12. Maybe Rich should get to know someone that works for apple,
    Perhaps he could get his software extra extra cheap!
    After all items get lost in the post all the time don’t they?
    Especially when they are not sent by registered mail
    And no one would suspect anything but the obvious


  14. hi
    To the guy who says stop slagging off Royal Mail and get off your arse and pick it up from the PO. One if you guys at the RM STOPPED providing such a crap service, then we will stop slagging you off, two we paid the right postage so we have a right for it to be delievered to our houses, three people cannot wait in all day for a package that may or may not arrive. Four tell your RM mates to stop being so lazy and KNOCK on the door so people can get the stuff they paid for. Five get some good manners from one of thouses people who teach elocution and posture( I know the spelling)
    My problem with the RM is delievery, they just do not knock, and stick stuff through the door saying we called. Twice this happen, second time I waited all day, first time I was not in. I mean u can go to the bathroom and puff the postie has been and gone, rather pathetic service

  15. What a shame that a few people are so lazy and pig ignorant
    That they can’t even be bothered to answer there door
    Claiming that the correct postage has been paid and therefore
    Have the right to have it delivered, well it was delivered!
    Try answering the door, get a hearing aid or replace the door bell
    Even leaving a small note on the door re your instructions works.
    It really isn’t that hard maybe you should try it at least once.
    Since when has a delivered postage paid item?
    Meant that it can be delivered multiple times for free,
    Sorry to disappoint but postage is paid from A to B (once)
    If its re delivered then it’s done at a cost to royal mail,
    I can assure you that is the last thing that royal mail wants.
    Just try to have the intelligence to work out that the
    (Sorry you were out card) is written out at the doorstep,
    Combine that with the time spent waiting for you to answer
    And it’s more than obvious that your postie or driver
    Has spent more time than you deserve at your front door.
    That’s time he doesn’t have, no doubt someone else down the line
    Pays for your delay in some way or other,
    Don’t keep making excuses for your pathetic incompetence
    Get some manners and stop causing unnecessary delays to other customers

  16. As something of a noobie to RM I guess I must be doing it wrong……
    I knock on the door and listen for movements inside – it takes about 90 sec to fill one of the red cards. I’ll wait about 30 sec before starting to fill the card. If I do get an answer I’ll hand them their milk with the parcel. I’d really much rather leave it with a neighbour (& card the delivery address) than have to walk around with it in my pouch.
    I work relief ( like most new postmen it seems) so do a different walk every day. I rarely see the driver – most of my mail is picked up from bag drops ie post boxes, porches, etc. So it’s tricky to carry around an ‘undeliverable’ parcel.
    Today I picked up two parcels left by the driver on doorsteps & passed them to customers who were in. (At the time I delivered!!!).
    Having been in mail order business for years I try toi see it from the customers’ side but honestly it seems so many postmen just don’t.

  17. All posties were new at the job at one point and what you describe as doing a different walk every day is the norm for a newbie.
    It used to be a way of weeding out the useless and unreliable as the postie was monitored by his line manager who would make a monthly report as to there progress.
    However I no longer believe that any form of monitoring of new staff takes place,
    Just in case you hadn’t noticed postal workers are also customers of royal mail.
    If you manage to stay the pace I would think twice about leaving items with people you know nothing about – if the item is opened / damaged / or stolen guess who is responsible (YOU ARE) and that unfortunately happens, so tricky to carry or not take it back to your office for re delivery or collection.
    As for drivers leaving packets on doorsteps (report them to your line manager) they are not allowed to do that unless they have an arrangement with the customer.
    No driver would like to have his parcel stolen from his front doorstep just for the sake of filling a card in, I can only assume from what you have stated that the office you work from has very poor standards in working practices and training,
    You should take up these issues with your line manager or better still the DOM.
    If you are taking less than three minutes to knock on someone’s door fill out a card and then walk away I would agree with you that you must be doing something wrong
    Firstly it takes some people longer than three minutes just to get to the door –
    Disabled / elderly / in the shower / on the loo etc, it’s not surprising that you don’t find the dib cards time consuming and a delay to other customers further down the delivery.

  18. Yeah, Bradford South is fun, isn’t it?
    Ordered a CD last week from play. Got a “item too big for your letterbox” card on Saturday 8am, “please wait 48 hours before collection”.
    Me and my girlfriend repeatedly phoned on Monday, Tuesday, Weds, Thurs (today) and all it does is ring and ring, both numbers (600 and 612), with the exception of voice mail on tuesday (left a message, no response).
    Too late for redelivery now (item needed before easter weekend as it’s a present), so girlfriend walked to Bradford South on Weds to be told that they didn’t have it and it could be “up to a week” (so if it’s not in the depot or in a van… where is it?). When quizzed about the non-answered phone, was told that one person mans the desk and the phone, so just keep trying (ha! four days of trying!). Asked to rearrange redelivery there at the desk, and you can’t! You have to do that over the phone! Say Wha…? But… it’s…the…same….person… *short circuits*.
    I called another depot on the off-chance they had it, and got a human! They put me through to another human, who said they didn’t have packages, but gave me a third number – for the manager of that particular postcode down at bradford south. Guess what? I’m typing as my speakphone rings away to infinity…
    So, now, got to find a different present. Anyone of you who knows the system know where the hell my package is?

  19. Any one got a problem with there local royal mail
    Don’t waste your time trying to complain to them
    Contact your MP and demand they take action against the office manager
    ROYAL MAIL IS A PUBLIC SERVICE and the managers who run the service can be justly held responsible for there actions.
    Firstly royal mail is run by Managers & not postal workers it’s the managers who decide the staffing levels as well as the quality of people in there office,
    Royal mail workers are made to do exactly what there managers tells them or face the sack full time long serving postmen don’t agree with the majority of decisions made by managers and most still regard royal mail as a public service unlike the managers who hold a different view, and that’s why royal mail is getting rid of them in any way they can, they haven’t yet finished making changes to the system to increase profits at the expense of quality of service and bullshitting the public into believing that its all for the better. next time a casual who has replaced your regular full time postie delivers your mail to another house probably in the evening or you try to contact your royal mail office without success or maybe your packet has gone missing you will be happy in the knowledge that the manager responsible will be getting lots of praise from his boss for doing such a great job of cost saving.
    No worker at royal mail is in a position to do anything about the way his manager runs the service and I doubt that an angry customer would give these self styled gods more than a seconds thought
    Your MP can make them accountable for the changes that result in poor service
    Contact them.

  20. In defence of our current postal service run by royal mail and run down by people who have never heard of the lie your cheque is in the post,and one that is under threat from the government and the regulator read on.Not a lot of people know this but the.Labour government has recently opened up the postal market to foreign postal companies,such as tnt and duetch post whose goverments funnily enough have declined to open up their markets to us and remain nationalised. So if you think the bad experiences of a tiny minority of customers gives you the excuse to bad mouth the best postal service in the world,then go ahead!Throw the baby out with the bath water,bite your noses off to spite your face and convince yourselves that putting a foreign company flush with the profits that will go directly into the dutch and german economies,and without ever having to answer to the regulator,WHO WILL GIVE THEM financial support and a free hand and put them in charge of your mail service, then go ahead.And if you dont believe me check out the performances of the foreign companys who are being invited to take over your postal service,because believe me the postal services abroad are more expensive,less reliable,and rely more on casual labour,and will double the price of your postage in time, and will wriggle out of their obligation to provide a universal service that currently delivers to every post code area for a standard price then go ahead!So if you live on skye or the isle of wight forget it! You will get the service you deserve and prices will rise service will suffer,the royal mail recognising that their competition will cut prices by using cheaper labour is embarquing on a plan to make their workforce predominately part time at this moment,just to compete with the lowest tender and reduced services to follow and If you dont believe me just look at the privatisation of the bus trains,energy companies,and all other examples of de-regulation.For as soon as the private companys get in the door prices will at first seem cheaper then once the big fish gobbles up all the minnows price increases and all these other things will inevitably occur look at stagecoach and first buses how they have achieved a monopoly in some areas and have trains become cheaper?not to mention safer since privatisation,have they heck.The problems in the royal mail arise from lack of lack of investment due to moning minnies who think nothing of splashing a grand on a wide screen telly but find it painful to stump up a couple of pence to fund and strengthen a much maligned postal service.You get what you pay for in this world,and in some cases get the royal mail you deserve,must add I have just posted 150 plus dvd rentals in a trot without a single failure,so wait and see if blair(whosecull of 40,0000) plus postiesand who is responsible for most of the troubles mentioned,can get his german and french chummies to deliver the same successes somehow I doubt it.Also I might add I find it hard to understand why this labour government through its sinister alliance with the liberals can allow all the hard work to be done in this country only for the profits to dissapear abroad. look you have a steel industry financed by foreigners,a coal industry vanished but now sorely missed,your aircraft indutry sold off and dominated by foreigners ,and call centre and admin posts sent to india,not to mention a car industry that has gone abroad,and the sell out of the nurses,posties,council workers,and every other industry in this country by successive governments too consumed by greed,self-interest,and often indifference,all grovelling to so called captains of industry,instead of catering to the long term interests of those who put them in office.So if you want to add the royal mail to this list of betrayals then go ahead,makes you proud to be british doesnt it? So would the last british job and profit to leave this once great country please turn off the lights on the way out amen.Save the royal mail while there is still time and stop those greedy fat cats from selling off another of britains most famous institutions for short term profit.

  21. I am writing with regards to the person who suggested writing to their MP in order to complain about the poor standard of service
    they are supposed to have been receiving from royal mail,and would like to know what he hopes to achieve.
    Unless his MP is from the monster raving looney party you will find he belongs to a party that has a vested interest in creating the very problem he is trying to solve,most probably he is a member of the labour party that has single handedly dismantled an apparatus of post offices launched the single delivery leading to 40thousand jobs losses with another 30thousand more to follow,and which is in the process of closing many more to balance the books and is currently engaged in handing royal mails head on a platter to la poste,duetch post,dhl,tnt indeed any foreign vulture predator that wishes to feed on the carcase of one of britains most famous companies with the labour partys blessing,oh!and dont you find it ironic when brittania music use the strike ridden french national la poste to convey their post through royal mails postal network for a cheaper price than the french pay to post their own mail within france,or that tnt the dutch operator is the choice of tesco,neither of these companies are a patch on the royal mail,their only advantage is their access to technology that has so far been denied to the royal mail due to lack of investment.Neither of these companies are chosen due to their previous successes,but due to the short term savings on offer,much the same as call centres being moved to india to save a pound here and a penny there.perhaps the gentlemans MP is a liberal ,who belongs to a party that has won the vote of their members to privatise and sell off the royal mail (see menzies campbell).If the tories had their way they would have sold it .off years ago.All these political parties can offer is a multi-million fine every now and again from postcom further weakening royal mails ability to compete,and reducing the likelihood of investment in new technology,and its employees,because if employees arent suitably rewarded for their efforts the companys employee turnover will increase,and being a service industry standards will dont go running to your MP as it will prove useless to you as they usually are,instead I WOULD SUGGEST SPEAKING DIRECTLY WITH YOUR POSTMAN WHILE YOU STILL HAVE ONE,if that fails talk to his superior,but our elected representatives have no intention of helping you solve your problem,because invariably they are the problem.

  22. In reply to Stevie
    I am not trying to achieve anything
    I am just passing on my nineteen years knowledge as a postman (now retired) on to a minority of people who are having serious problems with there local royal mail office (or the way its run). In my EXPERIENCE customers who have contacted THERE MP have in fact had there problem solved
    LIKE IT OR NOT that has been the case). By all means contact the delivery office manager or customer services if you are able to as that should always be your first port of call.

  23. Dont bother speaking to customer services, the DOM, all a waste of time. RM – shit I know I worked there but the still arse it up and cant be bothered

  24. Royal Mail are a joke – and customer services just keep incorrect records of any complaints to cover themselves. A lot of my mail ends up in Ireland with the lost mail department because they are so useless.

  25. 84 Million items a day, best quality results for years, and a business facing competition for the first time, which in three years has changed around from losing 1 million pounds a day to a considerable profit that will be invested in the company so that customers can have a better service. Customer services send info to each delivery office regarding complaints, so that in most cases these problems can be rectified, if this doesnt happen look up ‘postwatch’ online, the independent consumer watchdog for postal services, however the long and short of it is that RM is a business that, despite occasional errors, does a fantastic job. How many other businesses are perfect?

  26. to matt
    Instead of being an apologist for RM face the facts RM is running scared of competition.
    After the last round of revisions SDD, the only reason profits have been achieved is on the back of massive job losses not postie finsihes as do his mates 2 hours early most days.
    Quality of service..erm you mean an item is not considered lost until 15 DAYS after posting..Pleeeeeeease!!!!
    The books are being cooked by Government subsidies by another name.
    It hasn’t a chance against DHL UPS etc.
    My postal service is diabolical but as they have all day I would say thats a decline in standards from mail being delivered by 09:30 not an increase in quality of service.
    Cook the books and change the goalposts is the motto.
    Discuss …

  27. After 5 or 6 (7 minute cut-off?) calls to have an item redelivered, I eventually got through and the matter was dealt with in seconds. “What’s your problem, where do you live, when would you like it?”
    The staff are efficient when you get through to them, I just guess they’re very very busy.
    Lets see if it turns up tomorrow!

  28. Supposed to have a parcel delievered yesterday…
    No parcel + No card, I thought maybe today.. but tracking site told me it had tried to be delievered yesterday…
    The fact I was in all day yesterday and WATCHED the POSTIE come to my door and not knock makes me laugh… oh and the fact I got the card through today, with yesterdays date at a time to late to go and collect it…
    But I assume the fact he didn’t knock and that he didn’t write and post card yesterday aren’t his fault? (!)
    Will have to try and get to fetch it tomorrow… thats hard when you are working thought isn’t it… seen as they close at 12 midday…

  29. I’ve had problems with “no answer” cards through the door when the bell was not rung – a friend who worked in RM fraud tracking said this should not happen as it takes longer to write the card than to ring the bell. But clearly they are missing something.
    Perhaps some unscrupulous posties fill in these cards in advance (on the way to the route, perhaps?) to save time on the actual route?
    One way to monitor this would be to count the proportion of “no answers” vs signed deliveries, and investigate where this was out of line.
    Certainly there is a problem in PARTS of the service SOME of the time.
    The service is excellent overall, I have to say. And when you compare the extortionate surcharges that some cowboys charge for delivery to Northern Ireland, RM looks like a real bargain!

  30. Having the same problems. Parcel racing round england. Tracking say parcel unable to be
    delivered. No postcard put through door. Phone rings out unanswered at the depot.I have been a defender of our postal service and if i could get to speak to a human being I would say that. I now just want this to end.How can I reach someone who can tell me where the parcel was delivered where the residents where not in?? It was not at my address. This is the Bury Lancs sorting office if my parcel is in any other Bury sorting office I would happily come and collect it.

  31. Unfortunately I think a lot of you guys on here need to go to your local Delivery office one day at 4.30 or 5 in the morning, or go and work a late shift in a Mail Sorting Center and see how much hard work goes into the distribution of a letter, i doubt some of the people posting messages on here work a 9 to five office, penpushing office job, where time just drags along until the postman arrives lol, then he brings most of the mail that you were expecting but there is a problem, unfortuanatly your parcel hasn’t arrived from x company, well you call up x company and they tell you its in the post, they don’t tell you that they sent it second class and it will be with you in a few days they say you should have it, well i say to the people on here you should take a look at the job you have to do on a daliy basis and the mammoth task of 80m letters per day shifting from every post box and every post office 5-7 days a week, i would like to challange any of you to use a standard RM sorting frame and sort 600 items in 30minutes

  32. ive had five parcels go missing this week, one of which is recorded delivery, i keep using track and trace, just keeps saying its in transit, ive left email after email for cus services with no contact back, i cant even get hold of number for them, getting very fed up with it now, soi if any one knows of the phone number for the sorting office, iveson one in leeds could you please please let me know it, sue

  33. Royal Mail is indeed overcharging us.

  34. Almost the same experience as the one which started this blog: Hemel Hempstead sorting office, where the phone rings and rings until some lazy postal worker picks it up and puts it straight down again: three times, this morning (16 November). But in our case we DID get an alomst instant answer having used the “complaints” option and we MIGHT get our package tomorrow morning.

  35. Postie, there are some people that are not able to get off their arses as you so delicately put it. Have you ever considered trying the immediate neighbours to see if they can take the package or maybe once in a while you could answer the phone to make alternative arrangements now wouldnt that be a novel idea!!!

  36. IMO the post office is leaving itself wide open for complete closure in favour of DHL,ups,etc. Poor management, a non-caring ignorant,beligerant workforce whose only thought is “when can I go home?” present such a negative public image that there will be little or no sympathy when it happens.
    Incidently, royal mail drivers, wether in a corsa van, 7.5 tonner or artic, are all in my experience CRAP drivers who I wouldnt trust with a wheelbarrow. dont expect me to support your cause after one of your severn beach psycopaths has carved me up on the M4 for the umpteenth time.are you on job and knock? is that why you all drive like spackers?
    Postie, when you’ve delivered to every house in my street, then get to mine and realise you still have a letter for a house at the other end, dont dump it in my letterbox because you cant be arsed to go back. you’re being paid to do it.

  37. I can see both sides of the arguments on here. Peoples experiences of the postal service will obviously colour the way they see the company or it’s employees.
    Well, I worked as a postman at the tail end of the seventies before leaving and doing fairly well at a few jobs before facing redundancy and then the failure of a business I started shortly afterwards and now, I am back working as a temporary postman.
    The comments about ‘Job and knock’.
    Let me say that currently, I am scheduled to work six hours on a Saturday. I am up at 4 in the morning to get in for 5. Then I have to sort the mail into the delivery frame. Initially, this takes time. It’s not something you can pick up immediately as the frame is laid out in a way that takes some familiarisation. If you do the same delivery route week after week then you speed up. I was on one walk for a few weeks and would get finished by around 10.45 however recently I have been placed on unfamiliar walks, leading to me getting out later and finishing later. Now, during this period I take no break. Even over the Christmas period when I worked some extra days I would not take a break. Most of the guys don’t. They even go in earlier than their scheduled times quite often, to enable them to sort their mail.
    The cost of mailing, well you can bet that some competitors will do it cheaper in the short term, but ask yourselves, when you consider what’s involved, whether the price of a first class stamp is good value.
    As for non-delivery of items like parcels/packets. I’m often amazed that some people complain that they’ve been left a card and they are expecting a parcel yet they aren’t in. We don’t offer an appointment system for delivery and leaving a card is the only option. The amount of times I’ve called at houses early on a Saturday, had no reply and left a card only for the householder to catch me up later and ask for their item is beyond belief – and no, they don’t get it given to them either. That’s simply because it’s a rule not to do so, not a form of punishment. After all, they could be anybody.
    Customers can make things easier for themselves and the system if they pre-arrange a safe drop (Could be a neighbour or somebody else they know locally) for large items.
    The person who actually watched a postman come and stick a card through their door rather than knock and delivery their item – Why did you not go out and ask the postman what they were up to? I certainly would.
    Believe it or not, managers in the sorting offices are hot on non delivery etc., so a complaint does bring action.
    It’s not just Royal Mail who suffer problems re. delivery. I’ve had items delivered by couriers and had the same issues about no knocking or carding immediately.
    Delivery times – this has been an issues for years. Even back in the 70’s. At that time there were two deliveries. Now there is just the one, but what that meant was that the size of delivery routes were increased and for some people that meant later delivery times. During the Christmas period I didn’t get away from the office until close to 9 am due to mail volumes and I wasn’t alone. Therefore, you will get your mail later.
    Royal Mail policy seems to be that now, they don’t recruit for permanent jobs immediately. You start as a temp and wait (and wait and wait) for a permanent position. You get shifted around on different walks and consequently you will get mail at varying times. They seem to want to offer 30 hour contracts, which don’t constitute a living wage and therefore staff turnover can be high.
    One thing I’ve always held against the Royal Mail is that if you’ve any real intelligence and want to progress then you can’t do it on that basis alone. It’s all done on seniority. So, if you want to go for some form of promotion and you are up against somebody who’s been there longer you won’t get it. That simple.
    It makes progression a waiting game and I’ve no doubt, many bright people have got fed up and left instead of waiting and maybe, the Mail service would have been better served if it was able to promote on competence.
    Whatever you may believe, the great majority of people who work for Royal Mail want to offer a good service and strive to. We are up against many problems and we do our best. As in any organisation there are bad apples and as the Royal Mail is a large organisation it can appear to have lots of bad apples – This isn’t the case and believe me, managers do their best to root out and solve any issues.
    One final point regarding deliveries.
    I may go out of the office and have 5 pouches of mail to deliver to somewhere around 500 or so houses.
    This in all weathers. Your house is therefore one of many – consider what you may do to make life easier for yourself and the postman. Take a look at your letterbox – is it big enough to take the items you get delivered?
    Is it conveniently placed? (I sometimes have to perform virtual acrobatics to deliver mail to some houses). Is your house clearly numbered? (there seems to be a worrying trend to have no house number and whilst it may seem obvious that if yours is say no. 51 then next door should be 49 or 53, this isn’t always the case and if you’ve a postie on an unfamiliar walk it all leads to delay).
    When all is said and done, even though I’m a postie I’m also a customer – if my post wasn’t up to scratch I’d be having a word.
    Finally, don’t shoot the messenger – the postie is basically doing his job, there are a number of things that aren’t perfect and we do our best with the system we work with.

  38. I have a similar problem, I recently moved address and its the same at both addresses.
    I often buy things from ebay, I work at night, not in the day. Every parcel that comes, they don’t knock the door, they just automatically put the ‘you were not home’ slip through the door.
    A fundamental of mail to me is that you get it delivered to your house, not pick it up at the depot. I caught the post man red handed last week putting the slip through the letter box, I opened the door, and asked him for the parcel. he said he would bring it the next day (which he did). Obviously they just assume you are out, leave it in the depot!!
    Thanks for the info, I will definately be ringing the depot now, as it has happened more than 10 times in the past 3 months.

  39. I worked for the royal mail, yes it was really hard work, early mournings, slipping in bad weather with heavy bags on your back, sweating in hot weather. 3 mile walks everyday at 6am. But, the royal mail doesn’t deliver its promises, and this is where it lets itself down, if it paid half as money towards getting its services right, rather than advertising campaigns, maybe they’d start to deliver ‘had to do it’. Still most posties are very reliable and proud working ppl. So mcuh so they had a sense of pride that they provide a service we cannot live without. However, like everything, you get a bad apple, one guy at the office where i worked opened mail that looked important. Its a shame give the rest of the guys a bad name. I think the royal mail are a gamble, you never can be sure if your item will get to its destination, they need to wrap their service up a bit, make it more efficent. ‘Don’t send anything by recorded delivery, send it special’.

  40. oh and as an after thought, if you get a card through your door, don’t be so damn lazy, just remember there was a time i lugged that stupid item around in the pouring rain just to have you not be at your door when I got there. HOW DARE YOU!!! seriously, if you get a card through your door, its the best the postie can do. Do you expect him to wait till you get home, then what will Mr so and so say when he hasn’t arrived at their house with their item at their precie delivery time. I don’t like the service of of the royal mail, but you lot of extrememly lazy, get down the depot and pick it up!!!

  41. having read all the responses i thought i’d give my two cents.
    my postie is a right lazy bastard, he delivers my mail anywhere from 8.30 in the morning to 4.30 in the afternoon, its totally random.
    having said that he’s quite a nice bloke, and he, just like anyone here is taking the piss at work cos he can. i know if i were in the same job i’d do the exact same thing. just being honest…try and complain to royal mail, see what happens…you may aswell repeatidly bang your head against a red hot iron, you’ll achieve more.
    the problem is the whole system sucks, they’re telling me that it can take upto a month for a package from usa to be taken off a plane and put into a van. my package is in the country but i have to wait that long for them to process it for delivery.
    no one in the company cares and they know that complaining will achieve nothing, if it were fed-ex or any other company all those employees would have been sacked long ago. the people at royal mail know they can act with complete immunity, deliver mail when they want.
    any complaints will be ignored.
    don’t blame the postie, he’s only doing what anyone would do (well 99.9% before all the self-rightous people respond), blame the entire system and blame ourselves that we all bitch about it on forums but why isn’t everyone writing to Royal Mail and telling them how shit their organization is.
    my advice, if you ever have to send anything around the world get a Fed-ex account, it works out about 5 quid more and their service is amazing. otherwise keep complaining, if enough of us do they may just do something…(an elvis will be the next president)

  42. I am a foreign student. I wish I had read this earlier. I had tested the bell, got up early, left a note at the bell says “ring here”, and even left my bedroom door open to make sure I will hear the ring. I naviely filled the online re-delivery form 3 times and waits at home. Guess what, the postman didn’t bother to ring the bell! A google search “royal mail AND ring the bell” leads my here.

  43. Hang on a minute you are not comparing eggs with eggs here. Your average delivery postie has to deliver around 80-100 kgs of mail per day covering a route to around 500 homes. On foot or cycle in all weather and all to be done in less than 4 hours. Not like your UPS man who will probably have no more than around 100 parcels and all day to do it in a nice warm van.
    You – the British public don’t realise what you have got. What the heck does 22 pence buy you these days, other than a stamp? Half a Mars Bar, half a Daily Mail. Yet for the same money you can send a letter from one end of the country to the other. The mind boggles. Not only that, the poor postie has to put up with all your crap. Overgrown bushes, letter boxes at back breaking ground level, most of you seem to over look the need to have a bloody door number and then complain when a postie gets it wrong. You seem to think it acceptable to turn your oh so precious little castles in to what amount to man traps manned by out of control dogs, that of course will never, ever bite.
    No sympathy here mate. Get off your arse and answer the door. Failing that get some exercise in and walk to your local office, I can tell you the majority of addresses in the UK will be little more than a 30 minute walk away. Which is more than can be said for the oh so lovely competition. My nearest non-Royal Mail delivery company is about 10 miles away the rest between 15 and 30 miles, I kid you not. But it makes no difference because I have the good sense to be in when a package arrives. After all I ordered it, so it would hardly be a surprise to expect somebody to be knocking on my door, would it?

  44. I did work for the Royal Mail on a collections loading bay in Central Lancs. I’ve never known such a warped twisted culture, problems of mindless political correctness, reverse racism , spurious use of the race card etc, etc. In sorting offices there’s problems of nepotism and favourtism , a command and ignore culture, it’s always been a braindead machine that would make cardboard submarines, but thanks to New Labour’s ministers apponting Allan Leighton a late 80’s spiv , to soften up the union and staff for privatisation,morale is dreadful. However this idiot and his coherts Crozier and McEvoy with thier arrogant Walmart Regimented command and control culture have made things worse . We had a nationally pubclised systematic thieving case, the Royal Mail’s investigation branch are basically old school, beseiged with cases. We had a manager who was caught pilfering items that had fallen from the mail, refusing to resign after the sorry episode was leaked to the press, his one dimensional idiot of a son won a car in a fixed morale boosting prize draw, usually the RM would have closed ranks to protect it’s managers.After a Ram raid on the Post Office Cash Handling section , a inside job if there ever was !, a shift manager was mystierously moved and promoted.There is still good staff in this ONCE proud service, delivery is different from the surreal world of sorting offices. Mick

  45. I did work for the Royal Mail on a collections loading bay in Central Lancs. I’ve never known such a warped twisted culture, problems of mindless political correctness, reverse racism , spurious use of the race card etc, etc. In sorting offices there’s problems of nepotism and favourtism , a command and ignore culture, it’s always been a braindead machine that would make cardboard submarines, but thanks to New Labour’s ministers apponting Allan Leighton a late 80’s spiv , to soften up the union and staff for privatisation,morale is dreadful. However this idiot and his coherts Crozier and McEvoy with thier arrogant Walmart Regimented command and control culture have made things worse . We had a nationally pubclised systematic thieving case, the Royal Mail’s investigation branch are basically old school, beseiged with cases. We had a manager who was caught pilfering items that had fallen from the mail, refusing to resign after the sorry episode was leaked to the press, his one dimensional idiot of a son won a car in a fixed morale boosting prize draw, usually the RM would have closed ranks to protect it’s managers.After a Ram raid on the Post Office Cash Handling section , a inside job if there ever was !, a shift manager was mystierously moved and promoted.There is still good staff in this ONCE proud service, delivery is different from the surreal world of sorting offices. Mick

  46. I’m getting the same problem here in Edinburgh, apparently the EH3 district(where I am) has made the headlines in the local papers, for been one of the worst post codes for mail delivery. I ordered and paid for an item online on Monday 23rd April, I was informed by the company that item was dispatched on Tues 24th through Royal Mail 1st class. Unfortunately, I was at a lecture on Wednesday, so I missed the delivery, and got a ‘sorry, you were out card.’ So the next day I dutifully went down to the sorting office (2 mile walk), after the designated 24 hour period, only to be told my parcel wasn’t there, or they couldn’t find it. On Friday I went down again, only to be told the same story, my mail was missing. By Saturday morning I was starting to get angry, when the area postal manager still couldn’t find my package. Come Monday 30th April, the same area manager tells me, that my package cant be found,and the local postman won’t back till Wednesday, which will be a week that I’ve not received my package, a recorded delivery item, which apparently gets sent back to sender if not claimed within the week. I have emailed Royal Mail about six times with no answer. What the hell goes on, do the postal staff actually communicate with the postmen,why don’t they have 2 way radio to keep in contact. So where does my package go, does the postman take it home with him, till he returns to work, is it left in a van, is delivered to the wrong address, is it in a giant warehouse not connected to the sorting office, worst of all the post office never answers the phone, so the two mile walk can get you into a right mood swing.

  47. A P739 NOTICE should be left with the addressee,giving the minimum amount of time it could be collected from the Delivery office, arrangements for re delivery, after they expire ; there’s other options usually it’s return to sender.There’s stages until it could become a “DEAD ” letter/item etc, they eventually end up in Belfast , staff can find very unpleasant things in them , pornography, excrement etc.
    A P3756 Sticker has to go on the parcel with the date, duty no ( the postie”s round) they should be collected from the Delivery Office Reception, sounds like a very badly managed shambles there , but unfortunately not untypical.Most of the Staff / Stephen Milligan comments are well made and justifiable, the Royal Mail is very consistent , a brain dead machine rolling along cocking everything up! Postie Pat

  48. I had a parcel go missing which apparently was delivered, yet no signature could be found despite endless calls to customer services, where they merely tried to avoid dealing with the issue. No attempt was made by RM to contact me despite telling me to expect phone calls numerous times. I am not criticising those delivering my post (apart from the person who either stole my parcel or allowed someone to have it without a signature or ID), only the way RM deal with complaints, the disgusting level of service their ‘Customer Service’ department provide & compensation claims. I have been told so much misinformation, bordering on lies, including (‘your cheque is waiting to be printed & will be in the post shortly’!!!), far too much to post on here, which I have been told by a manager from RM (Yvonne McClaren) they are going to nothing about. It has been nearly 3 months since I sent in my claim form… 🙁

  49. from postman plod
    Quite SIMPLY the royal mail does not do responsibility, it’s the worst that happens in the real world only taken to extremes , usually it’s the ” peter principle”, morale is lower than a snakes belly, noone cares anymore , a very cynical industry , people taking the money and waiting for thier pensions basically.
    It’s also very defensive , paranoid especially about Postwatch with it’s deserved but slightly distorted shaftings in the media. Royal Mail does not do criticisim , it’s always been autocratic , doing what it wants but now it’s more regimented and arrogant, a system for inbeciles by inbeciles especially with that spiv as chairman who thinks he’s running Walmart, the usual Aerial Sharron school of Industrial Relations.My only advice is go to the papers, then it can’t be kept down or small claims. Give THEM A PROBLEM. pLOD

  50. After reading all this I feel quite dismayed I am waiting for a laptop to come from me off ebay and 2 weeks later still no sign ;-\ kinda pi***n me off now they like all other companys put charges up but quality of service down (not saying anything against the posties) casual labor etc, I have also sent an item I sold on ebay and suprise suprise its gone missing too. F*** what are we paying for exactly here?

  51. I have 3 times seen them almost run to my door, slip the card in, and diappear again just as quickly.

  52. RM – total waste of time and money.
    I had a problem with RM for the last… THREE YEARS!
    My local postie has never ever put a single letter through my letterbox! Nothing… confronted on the street he said “stairs are… slippery” !
    i have a 5yo daughter who never ever had a problem walking those up and down all day.
    had to complain… five times!

  53. Do you know that Royal Mail are only obliged to make one attempt at delivery, with any additional redeliveries being on a goodwill basis. If you want you item that badly- get a bus….

  54. I heard the postperson delivering my mail today (I was about 3 feet from the door) and heard the letters dropping onto the floor in the porch. I went to collect them and found amongst the letters a card stating a parcel had not been delivered because I was not in!
    No-one knocked at the door or rang the bell (bell working). This has happened before as well! Are they too busy to deliver parcels & shove the card through then dash off?
    I rang to complain as this is an inconvenience now – I am off work ill and will struggle to collect it. They cannot redeliver till Monday & this is too late – besides – the same thing might happen!
    I am told that if I send someone else to collect it I must give them my passport, drivers licence or credit card for ID!!!!! No chance! Don’t even have a credit card but if i had It wouldn’t be leaving my possession. Was also told the person collecting the parcel for me would need similar ID of his / her own.
    My complaint was not even being logged and I was aware no record was being made & I had to insist they log it officially before any details were taken – so it seems apparent that many complaints probably never get recorded.
    On top of this I frequently get mail addressed to other persons – in same street or adjacent streets & have to deliver these myself. Also, I have had bank statements seemingly fall into a black hole since they get sent out but never arrive. Gone paperfree now!
    Worse still, there is a pink envelope, unopened & undelivered it seems, that was lying on my front path near my gate on Wednesday (not addressed to me or neighbours) but got blown into street as it was very windy. The letter is soaking & filthy so I have no intention of picking it up & delivering it or putting it back in the postbox. The postperson seems to have ‘dropped’ it when delivering my mail on Wednesday.
    They should get rid of the ‘Royal’ part – you expect top class service with ‘Royal’ in the name. There is nothing Royal about this service unless Royal goes with inefficiency, poor service & ignorance.

  55. **** anybody giving attitude sticking up for RM. The service is absolute bollocks.
    I am currently waiting on a parcel that was dispatched a month ago. One of your **** **** has blatantly nicked it I reckon. A parcel containing a lot of software has gone walkies, yeah try bloody telling me that no sticky fingered prick hasn’t had it away.
    I want to find out who it is and have his bloody hands chopped off. Furious is understatement of the bloody century.
    Fuck Royal Mail.

  56. I really do not know what is happening at the royal mail round this area. I live in rural Lincolnshire and for the last 3 weeks I have been sending letters of varying importance but none of them have reached their destinations. I have had one with a cheque in that has dissapeared and the company waiting for the cheque is chasing me for it, I have also had very important insurance letters just vanish. I thought it was just me but today, I have spoken to someone at the job centre as I am currently looking for a new position after being made redundant and she also said that she has had problems over the last few weeks, herself having had very important mail go missing. She also mentioned that several other people have said the same. I am very concerned that I may have job offers missing. I contacted the customer service department to be refused help because my very important mail has not been missing for 15 working days. I would not just be concerned if it was one item but it sounds like missing mail in this area is endemic. I am not against the royal mail and realise that in this modern culture, times can be hard and if as mentioned they are working in an autocratic atmosphere then it is difficult for them and their motivation but I am concerned for the people in my community who may be missing mail whether important or not.
    Also, can I ask if the Royal Mail makes money out of items of mail addressed ‘to the householder’ we seem to get at least 3-4 of them a week, mainly for over 50s insurance. Why is this mail delivered so promptly and genuine items of mail, important or otherwise have been sucked into a black hole.
    It is all very worrying.

  57. it saddens me that that a royal mail employee has been ripping off the mail for many years and furnishing his local scout pack with various items from the depots he has worked at. I think this is disgraceful and why should the taxpayer pick up the cost for this. i will happily name the employee and the scout pack….

  58. Here is an experience I would like to share with you all in good old British manner.
    Having purchased 2 tickets for a show in Brighton for my girlfriend’s birthday a month ago and paying above the odds for them with one of Ticketmaster’s official sites, hence to say I paid above the odds, £250 to be precise. So contacting the ticket website stating that I had not received my tickets mentioned that they had been dispatched and I could track them through the RM site, which I did and was happy to see it was in transit to arrive the day of the show being last week as I write 23/10/08. Getting up at 6am that morning in time to sign for the tickets which were recorded delivery. Door knock’s (doesn’t ring the bell) knocks once!!! at 7:48am, as I live on the top floor flat of a two storey building I have to get down a flight of steps to answer the door, from the time it took me to get from my kitchen down the steps and open the door which took all of less than 40 seconds as it would for anyone else hoping for me to open the front door to them, only to find that red note on the floor saying signature required and please allow 24 hrs and as the tickets were for that very day I was stuffed. Now for tickets that I paid £250 a month in advance for took the RM all of under a minute to almost ruin a day, I say almost as I begged and pleaded with the box office of the event who felt sorry for me who offered to sell me other tickets they had at a far cheaper price. But the fact that the RM effectively tried to pull a fast one quite literally is just astounding… I’m yet to decide what and where to take my action on this as £250 is way too much money in these hard times to allow Royal Mail’s despicable service to get away with this.
    I’m 29 years old and not in anyway disabled, had I maybe been a pensioner and/or disabled as my neighbor is, how long would take them to reach the door 1 minute 2 minutes maybe.
    Recorded delivery where you pay more but have to then put up with their terms and conditions, COM ON!!!!
    Very dishonorable service indeed and not fit to hold the ‘Royal’ name in any shape or form, and I really don’t care what time you all get up in the morning! What about us who get up at 5am to drive or take public transport for 2hrs to work sometimes beyond 6pm to only sometimes get home around 9pm or beyond.
    We pay you serve and we tell when and how, got it! If not GET OUT!
    Esher Depot I’m coming for you…

  59. Here’s how stupid I am: Wanted to help the Save Our Post Offices campaign So: Changed my Bank to be able to use PO Branch; waited a year for PO Broadband; applied to change credit card to PO. In that order: use of PO Branch OK; Broadband a total disaster and had a horrendous time getting chairborn ‘managers’ to deal with anything – account not updated for months, and direct debits not taken – finally escaped from their service – never again! PO Credit Card reaction was an insulting stock answer (several colleagues were similarly outraged); said sod it and got card I wanted elsewhere – all I asked of PO (Irish Bank job) was to issue on equal terms to cards already held, which I would then surrender!!! Last week, got an unable to deliver card -item too big. None of the boxes were ticked. endless tries to arrange delivery to local PO Branch not yet succeeded as at Monday 1 December. My opinion – the PO is suffering from a massive over-supply of direct entrant ‘managers’ and the willing horses are having their spirits broken by stupid directives and initiatives that do not work. Think that is it, for now

  60. Very annoying this “returned to sorting office”. Even when you do have a car. Of course, an organisation that had a network of small shops – say never more than a mile away – could simply deliver your parcel to the nearest shop. They could call them “parcel shops” or, hmmm, “post offices”.

  61. Yes they tell you that they’re only obliged to attempt delivery once after you’ve completed that online redelivery form (that doesn’t mention this retriction at all).
    In my experience there’s no goodwill.

  62. No it’s not your fault that we’re not in – But it is your (Royal Mail’s) fault that you don’t respond to redelivery requests.
    For a start, many senders don’t tell us that a parcel’s on its way – most of us who can afford to buy things that get delivered tend to be…at work during the day. Royal Mail delivers at different times every day, so it’s not even possible to hang around for an hour or so before going to work. The local office closes at 13:00 Unless I worked for Royal Mail then I can’t travel the 12 miles on London transport (it takes over an hour) to get there before it closes.
    So, easy – Arrange a redelivery online – choose a day when I know I’m going to be in and….. nothing. Repeatedly. Over and over again.
    Solution? Avoid buying anything that involves Royal Mail delivery. Consequence? No more chippy posties blaming customers for daring not to fit with some out-of-date Victorian idea of domestic logistics. Good luck with the recession!

  63. But you’re missing the point!
    If I have to get a bus, to go to town, to pick up a parcel… then I may as well get on a bus, go to a shop and buy the thing I wanted so badly.
    That way, I avoid postage costs and all the hassle involved with trying to get a redelivery.
    And if we all did that, then we’d be helping out Royal Mail, wouldn’t we? Because in these days of email, electronic greetings cards, and online accounts, the only thing left is parcel/packet delivery. If that goes, then what’s left? Business mail? Royal Mail redundancy letters?

  64. Hi, I’ve linked to your site from my Royal Mail compaint site, along with others – a lot of people are sick of Royal Mail!

  65. I have not been receiving my wage slips from my place of work so asked the postman if he had seen them? His reply was no sorry if I had them I would have delivered them!..forgot to say I have received all other now appears that my employer has made a slight mistake with my house number so the wage slips have gone next door!..simple go next door and pick them up!..Problem postman take all next doors mail back to office as house next door been reposessed! letterbox blocked!..He doesnt have the brains to pop them in my letterbox or isnt allowed to due to rules!..I phoned the customer services to try to get some sense but they appeared to be singing from some sort of sheet!..Had already tried local delivery office no reply!..They told me as there is no return address they will have been destroyed!..Moral of this story is Royal Mail – (Leighton and co) not the postmen and women have screwed the service for us all!..God I for one cant wait until new labour are gone!..I was a labour supporter for 30 years!..Now who knows!..PS he that is the postman is a temp! what a way to run a sevice!..

  66. Let’s look at the problem from a few angles and firstly let me make the point that Royal Mail is NOT a public service and hasn’t been for a number of years. The Government may have a big shout in the running of the postal Service but that’s because it takes a massive slice of the Annual Revenue for itself and puts little or nothing back but obstacles. The RM is run as a Business not a Service – those days are long gone.
    Gone too, is the ‘happy go lucky’ postman with time to spend with the old, the infirm and the needy. He / she has been replaced by a harrassed employee, with the very basics in training for what should be classed as a labour intensive and semi skilled job. He / she doesn’t have the proper tools to complete their job to a high quality of service to the customer. He / she has been deprived of pouch boxes, decent shoes, wears a uniform that is inadequate by anyones standard. They are forced to work in extremely cramped conditions, whilst indoors, but the biggest issue is training.
    When I was a postie, I was trained indoors for 3 months, then put with a postman for two weeks before taking a delivery out myself. These days, the ‘training’ is two days ( if you’re lucky ) and then you are thrown onto the streets. When I was a postie, packets were a rarity but these days the postie can expect 20 to 30 packets a day, every day. Thats 20 to 30 house calls a day. There is no additional place for the postie to carry these, except in their already overweight bags.
    If the postie leaves on of the red cards but cannot get the item back to the Delivery Office, they have to put it into a local Post Office so the item can go back through the system and return to the Delivery Office the next day – or at least thats the theory.
    Quite often the item is placed on the shelf by the Post Master and forgotten about for a couple of days or the item gets to the Mail Centre and the badly trained staff there don’t know their postcodes or delivery areas ( the generic term is IP trained ) and the item sits there until someone who knows the job moves it on.
    The fact that you cannot get through on the phone is, as someone has noticed above, there is usually only one member of staff on the collection counter – part of the cutbacks that are so prolific as a result of The Business needing to make a profit for the Shareholder ( The Govt ).
    I know it’s irritating when you cannot have your item redelivered but it’s true, any redeliveries are at Royal Mails expense and in most cases it isn’t the customer who has paid the postage it is the sender.
    I haven’t sorted the issue here, but hopefully some of you will have a better understanding of just how the RM treats its staff and yet they do try to do a good job.

  67. If you (like me) have suffered at the hands of Royal Mail – come join us on
    My business has been all but ruined by the Royal Mail strikes – I deal heavily in low value items that can’t easily (or cheaply!) be couriered.
    It’s a new forum, so posting is encouraged – there are no ads also. I won’t make a penny (sadly!)
    See you there,

  68. I do love the way I am handling royal mail at the moment, its quite amusing to be brutally honest.
    Have 2 pathetic excuses usually for a postie, I mean, this bald headed lazy arsed twit lol and that is a light phrase for such a mindless idiot.
    He bangs my door, get down there from my flat within seconds, was waiting at the window for them to arrive!
    Anyways he just left a sorry you where out card, thought might aswell run up the road see if the idiots still there, found the RM van, and actually mentioned to him when he got back to his van what the hell is this?
    His face was priceless, its like do this again to me and I will be getting your name, the idiot left all traces and went walking back with my item, with an extremely happy grin on my face!

  69. One amusing part of our weekly postie is that he doesnt understand the term re deliver this item to the correct person.
    I have been getting the previous occupiers post, which I politely put the message on the front of every item of mail, does not live here anymore, please re deliver to:
    then put the new address down.
    Found it posted back through the door again.
    Tried doing so again. same thing happened.
    So I looked to see who it was the next day, by saying I would work from home because of some work needed doing to my new flat.
    Its the lazy arsed postman, so I said, on a small note above it clipped to it, you do realise your committing an offence by not doing what I have requested by delaying this persons mail and I could get the police involved?
    He then soon started re delivering the mail.
    All I say like with anything just takes a bit of brute force to get them to actually do something, I had the intention of actually reporting this to the police and have them look at the premises when he arrives to see if he actually is doing his job properly.
    JUst use a bit of assertiveness with them and they soon start paying attention!