Thursday 2 April 2020

UPDATE: will your post be coming today?

Will your post be coming today? Possibly? Probably? Who knows?
The Royal Mail website has a nice coronavirus page full of bland statements about continuing to provide "the best delivery service for you and protect the health of our people, and our customers" but not really answering the basic question. As you might imagine, like everyone else, some staff are either ill or self-isolating for protection or care of a family member, so the Universal Service Obligation has gone right out the window. Royal Mail has neglected to make any public statements about what is happening, though I saw a brief article on Friday saying they may have to cut back services, hidden on the business pages. So, yes, you will get post. Not every day, but duties are being rotated so every address gets their turn.

2nd April update:
The 'changes to services' page on the Royal Mail website is finally admitting the shit has hit the fan. Still no apparent statement to the press yet but time will tell (not sure what they are worried about the shares are rock bottom anyway). Apparently there was a walk-out in the office yesterday morning with people complaining about the office being too crowded for proper social distancing, but mostly people are carrying on with good humour and mutual support.

Customer Service Points are still open, but as of Sunday 5th April the times are being drastically cut back, mostly 7am to 9am only (some larger offices are opening 7am to 11am) and closed completely Wednesdays and Sundays. If you do need your packet urgently please bring your P739 card and ID and keep the required social distance when in the office. Don't use the local office information on the website, it has not been updated.

The message is that everyone, not just people who are isolating or vulnerable, should please use of the redelivery service if you do happen to miss your package. 
Use the website or call 03456 021 021 

New look P739 'Something For You' cards might help a bit, but we had several irate members of the public trying to get into the office by the back door when they found that the Customer Service Point was closed.

*We are now holding all packets for 30 days, not 18 as it states on the card.*

Special Delivery items will still arrive the next day but there is no longer a time guarantee on them.

If you are expecting an item you can check the tracking system to see where your package is. It will give you some idea though we are no longer scanning items into the office. Only items marked 'available for collection' can be picked up.

Businesses: If you are closing and have no delivery point (i.e. no accessible letterbox) please contact your local office or speak to your postie. If you are still at work but closed to the public please put a clear sign on the door so the postie knows to knock to make the delivery, or indicate where you would like the mail left. We are retaining mail for closed businesses. If you want to collect your mail please come to the Customer Service Point and bring ID that has your business name/address, such as a bill or bank card (business card is not ID). This is not normal practice but we are being flexible. If you would like your mail delivered somewhere else for the time being please set up an official redirection
Call 03457 950 950 to get advice or to arrange any of the above.

Students: Some halls of residence receptions have closed. We are retaining mail, some of which is personal items for students. If you are expecting something that has not arrived please bring your ID and the tracking number to the Customer Service Point and we will try and track it down for you.

While your mail is mostly handled by machine and there is little chance of it carrying virus I would recommend disposing of envelopes/packaging promptly and washing hands after handling anything arriving through the post.

Please be aware that the whole system is moving more slowly than usual and try to be patient. I am assuming that CV19 tests and medicine deliveries, mentioned on the website, will be prioritised. 

In this difficult isolating time perhaps people could revisit the notion of letters as a form of personal contact and reassurance for their friends and relatives. Send a card, just to say Hi and raise a smile. Post some of your kids drawings or a story to their grandparents. Stay on touch.

This advice/information is not an official Royal Mail statement but has been taken from their website and is based on what we are doing on our local office.

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