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      24.02.2014 18:22

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      I sent a package by signed for 1st class Royal Mail on 6 February 2014. According to their website, they still have it in their system 18 days later. The receipt that I was issued with states "Royal Mail Signed for 1st class aims to deliver your letter the next working day"Now when I try to contact Royal Mail, the online email form asks various questions but I cannot answer the question "what date was the item delivered" because according to the site, it has not been. I have tried phoning and when I give the code, I am asked to give the full code - I am doing. It is impossible to speak to a human. We are at the mercy of this inefficent service.

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      11.10.2013 13:04
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      The end of a fine institution.

      So the Royal Mail workers are to strike over the privatization, 96% of those balloted agreeing for action. Yet 98.2% of the workforce has accepted the three grand's worth of free shares, likely to have their cake and eat it with industrial action next month. I think posties are voting against the privatization with a knee jerk strike as that's what they do now. They know the games up and their bags are getting lighter every year, the strike going to be held on Saturday so they can watch the football. Its clever stuff by Cameron to give them free shares as he can always point to that hypocrisy of selling up the 10% of control they still had, which could well have been the controlling share of the company. People don't send mail anymore and the junk stuff is moving online. The workers know RM is going to be sold off and broken up at some point so may as well cash in.

      Cameron has made the shares cheap to make sure they all sell at once, over subscribed by seven fold, trading at £4.90 one hour into trading today, a 40% under pricing. If the 3 billion pension debt was included in the sale then there would have been few trades. The sale to the treasury will clear most of that pension bill. The private smaller punter could not earn from the early bounce as they wouldn't receive confirmation from the government until next week. The big institutions could sell straight away for that immediate 40% mark up..

      The minimum offer to individuals was £750 pounds and the maximum up to £10,000. Two thirds of the shares are going to the public and one third to institutions. This is also deliberate. The one third knows Royal Mails fete as they will be steering it and so off-load those shares pretty quickly before they tank. And they will tank as Royal Mail lose 6% volume of mail every year. They are only making money because of Amazon deliveries and junk mail. Once sold off the company will be quickly snapped up by predator buyers like DHL and TNT, who already have downstream access to get their mail in posties bags, of which Royal Mail received little reward. The town center prime real estate depots will be sold off and the mail moved to those out of town DHL warehouses, classic economies of scale in action. It is possible the Royal Mail could buy them but that's not the plan you feel. Posties will be fired and the mail moves to a three day week for private households and businesses having to pay an annual fee to keep their daily post. People out in the sticks will have to pick up their mail rather than have it delivered; the same problem country folk have in getting decent broadband and services in general. Country folk are loss making out in the sticks to privatized Royal Mail so you can get stuffed. The general public won't care as they will simply get less junk on their doormat.

      Royal Mail has been well and truly fattened up for the sale and were trading at a decent profit, mainly because of the growth of the internet parcel shopping. The Parcels are the key and that's what TNT and DHL want to buy into. Stamp and parcel postage was inflated by 20% to help that fattening up and even Amazon could no longer offer free delivery to compete. Who would have thought mail order shopping would return with a vengeance, once the chosen delivery method for those 20X50 binoculars young guys bought out of the newspaper and ladies pleasure tools. Now you can get a TV in the mail!


      Shares trade at around £4.90 early on.

      Institutions and punters cash in for an immediate profit from under priced shares.

      Many other older punters foolishly hold onto those shares expecting them to keep value. The £750 minimum was aimed exactly at them.

      The price falls enough for DHL and co to move in two years from now.

      Companies merge with Royal Mail and the crown is finally scraped off the increasingly graffiti scrawled red post boxes and the last mile delivery neglected.

      The name royal Mail disappears and the minimum wage jobs all around or do one.



      As far as the service goes my mail is 'bills and no thrills', junk and pizza flyers. The days of pastille colored personal mail offering mystery and romance has long since gone. Every girl loves a hand written letter on their doorstep with a heart on it! If you want me to write you one let me know girls! But the romance of the post has well and truly gone.

      60p first-class is fair enough as we send few letters this way anyway and not much faster than second - class if we are honest. Jiffy and package prices are priced on size not weight now and so you can get around that by being smart. Don't forget that if a stamp isn't franked when it arrives on mail you can use it again. Even if it has a little nick of ink on the corner there are ways of means of re sending it. I do this a lot with Ebay.


      My brother trades on Ebay and so we get lots of parcels although no idea if they are late arriving or we spent too much sending them out. Most of the time people don't look forward to mail and so it is a service we are prepared to see privatized. Whether the service will improve when privatized is unclear but the profit to the eventual owners will be cutting staff and selling land. The uniformed stamp price is sure to go and sending letters abroad about to rocket. Christmas stamp price could well rise higher than gas prices this year!

      Post Office counters should be safe for a while but there is no way TNT, for example, would have an office in a small village and so why would the privatized Post Office do the same? Pensioners without cars and friends, like with expensive heating bills, are again the ones who will feel this cut the most.

      The Royal Mail posties are polite around our way and no longer the rampant lefties they were. Half are on temp contracts though. One negative with the Royal Mail is I am not happy with this obvious scam where posties claim they had a recorded or registered delivery for you and you weren't in and so you have to drive down to the depot and pay £1.50 to pick it up, with ID. They have made a pretty penny out of this in recent years.

      On the whole though we get mail around mid day and most of it goes in the recycling bin. If privatization brings an end to that then it has to be a good thing. I know junk mail is a huge earner in America and so they won't give it up easy but targeted online advertising is the future. Royal Mail is finished and those red boxes about to be scrapped and melted down, another loss of this fine countries regal identity to the corporate machine.

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        18.01.2013 01:36

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        I will avoid using Royal Mail whenever I can due to a vast number of incidents

        I think Royal Mail are absolutely awful. They have lost so many of my parcels over the years. Just recently a parcel worth £700 going to Germany, they sent it to Australia and it was never seen again. And the cherry on top was the compensation of only my postage fees. Then I have sent a parcel within London 3 days ago and one abroad (not Royal Mail). The parcel abroad has arrived while the first class item within the same town has still not been delivered. Customer service is useless after they lost a parcel and everyone knows it's been lost they force you to wait 21 days before they even start searching and when they start they have never found anything. I don't think they are really looking actually, they probably just hope it will show up somewhere eventually. And one is helpless, Royal Mail does not insure certain items and if they're are lost you are "pissed". After they lost your item they will send you a generic apology template, if you contact them via post you will continue to receive templates and if you do not chase them they will not pay you the already lousy compensation they offer. The only good service this company offers is Special Delivery. The rest including the International Services are disastrous. Parcels addressed to Austria also tend to show up in Australia and over the Christmas period one of my bubbled envelopes has been cut open, half of the contents stolen, resealed and then been delivered, unbelievable. I was waiting 1 entire week for a letter to arrive from Scotland to London. How can that be? Sending an item to mainland Europe takes 3-4 days. Do not use Royal Mail for International Items, valuable items, especially mobile phones, items that need to arrive fast unless you are using Special Delivery!

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        10.12.2012 17:20

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        Just about the worst service to customers I can think of

        I am sick and tired of the complete lack of service by what was a proud institution. For the last year or so I have had a constant supply of red cards through my door for failed deliveries. I have actually been in on a number of occasions, and in the 30 seconds or so it took me to answer the door, the card was written and dropped in. How is it UPS, DPD and other carriers always seem to manage to deliver, or at worst leave stuff with neighbors but the royal mail obviously cant be bothered.
        Second part of the sting is in going to my "local" collection office in Kingswood Bristol, (3 miles away) just to find a queue of at least 20 people all down the entrance alleyway, come rain or shine, waiting to pick up their "non deliveries. I mostly drive away and come back periodically to try and find a quiet time, however last week, I joined the queue, and was there for 40 minutes before being served by the one man serving.
        They deserve to go out of business for what is an absolute travesty of a service

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        14.03.2012 16:26

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        track and trace service gone wrong.

        I needed to send an important document to my son in Peru in order for him to start work there. I was recommended by the post office to use their 'track and trace' service. I duly paid the £6.90 to send it and was assured it would be arrive there in approx 2 weeks.

        I was given a receipt and told to use the website to check its status. I did this after a couple of weeks and was delighted to see the headline 'your parcel has arrived at its destination', unfortunally, the country it had arrived in was the Philippines and not Peru! I rang customer services and was told there had been a whole consignment of mail wrongly scanned but would be re-scanned in the next couple of days and would arrive there asap.

        This went on for another couple of weeks with no luck. I rang customer services a few times, but it was then suggested I put a complaint form in as it had not arrived, and they could not trace where it actually was anymore.

        To cut a long story short....i completed a form, sent it off and waited.

        My son rang after 5 weeks to say it had turned up. When I checked on the website, it looks like it is still in the Philippines.

        Not a very reliable service, and I would hesitate to use it again!

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        06.06.2011 15:38
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        Items missing, ripped open, not delivered properly, and the customer service is dreadful. Avoid!

        I never used to fault the Royal Mail. They seemed a reliable service, and my post would always arrive on time. However, in the past few months, I have seen a vast decline in their service. I thought I would come on here and share to you all the bad experiences that me and my Fiancé are currently undergoing with this service provider.

        Letters are arriving ripped open, and whilst I am lucky enough to find that the contents inside have not been stolen, it is still clear that somebody has read the letters, then tried to stuff it back inside the envelope and pretend that nothing has happened. What they fail to forget is that the side of the envelope has been forcibly ripped open, so of course someone has read it before I have!

        Not only this, but parcels that I have ordered have been ripped open. Again, nothing stolen, but somebody has definitely been interested enough in the contents to forcibly rip it open at the side. After some careful research, I found that other people in my flat are experiencing the same problem at this current time. To make matters worse, the local postman have a key to get into the flat block, where they can dispense each apartments letters through our individual letterboxes. However, the postman are not using these keys, they are instead dumping the entire flat block's letters through the letterbox on the main block door. This is not what they have been instructed to do, but clearly our postmen are too lazy to walk up two flights of stairs to reach each letterbox on our flat doors.

        In order to tackle this problem, I first rang our agency. They stressed to us that the postmen were given a key to the main entrance and they were instructed upon what time each day they have to deliver their mail to our flat block. My agency suggested that I got in touch with the Royal Mail complaints service to find out what exactly is going on. So, after listening to their advice, I did exactly that, and rang up the complaints line. After waiting in a queue for a good amount of time, I got put through to an advisor. Although he seemed polite enough, he stated that this is nothing to do with the Royal Mail, and instead passed me onto my local post room.

        Here, I was put through to the manager of the postroom who immediately spoke to me in a rude tone. He stated that I should "bother to get them a key sorted" as nobody has given them one. He then contradicted himself as he then told me that the postman cannot always use the key they are provided with, so of course they have a key. He then told me that the postman provide a reliable service, and how dare I accuse them of opening letters. I had not even accused our postman of opening them at this point, I had simply stated that somebody had been opening our letters, due to them being dumped in the hallway of our flat block instead of through our own letterboxes. The manager would not give me any apologies, and told me I should find myself a "decent agency" as they are clearly rubbish. Resorting to a sarky tone, he asked me if I would care for "special attention" seeing as our letters had been ripped open. I asked him to elaborate on what this means, and instead of answering my question, he shouted that I "am in a catch-22 with all this" and told me he'll have a look at it, before promptly hanging up.

        Now I am not sure what is happening. I know that tomorrow our post will continue to be dumped on the floor of our communial hallway, and letters will continue to be opened. Some people have had cheques go missing from it, I have lost a present I ordered at Christmas for a family member (the packaging was left behind-oh and this was one that made it through my actual letterbox!), and confidential letters will continue to be read, then stuffed back into the envelope.

        Due to this, my faith in Royal Mail has completely gone out of the window. I have been provided with a shoddy service ever since I moved into my flat in August 2010, and letters are never delivered properly. Post from not only me, but others in the flat has been ripped open, things have gone missing, things have never even arrived here, and the service I got from the management has been absolutely appalling, which I have been incredibly upset about, seeing as all I offered was politeness.

        I will strongly advise against using Royal Mail if you wish to have something sent to you in the post. It may cost a little more sending it via UPS or one of the other couriers, but at least you'll get a good service! I am now currently awaiting an answer over this whole fiasco in our flat block from the Royal Mail. Hopefully they'll come to their senses and understand their errors, and actually get our service up and running without any problems, but I am not counting on this happening for a long time. The sad thing is, there are probably some very reliable postmen under Royal Mail, and in certain areas the service is probably outstanding. Sadly incidences like this spoil it for the company in general.

        *This review is also on Ciao, under "MonsoonBaby88"*

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          21.03.2011 15:00

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          I am a expat Brit living in the Netherlands, last year we decided to get married back in the UK, here's a list of things which Royal Mail managed to loose. My husbands birth certificate.Wedding invites.My fathers waistcoat. Although that arrived the monday after the wedding....... too late.Thank you cards.other things include birthday cards and presents, stop smoking pack for my hubby, items ordered from the UK. I have have ordered things from Amazon and other companies in France and Germany and they arrived perfectly and on time. Royal Mail is absolute rubbish, nowerdays if I spend money buying a relative back in the UK a birthday present I always send it via UPS or DHL because althought it costs more at least we know it will get there. Needs to be taken over by TNT. Royal Fail!! Bunch of theives.

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          11.02.2011 12:34

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          Staff should be properly vetted.

          POSTING - Twice in a row in early January 2011 I have posted a letter 1st class recorded and 15 + days on they are still being 'processed in the system'. I wonder if they will ever arrive and where do these letters go? I have also posted various business letters from the same post office in Albemarle Street, W1, that have never reached their destination. A bit odd, always the same post office.

          RECEIVING - I ordered 7 items from ebay and 2 from Amazon on 31st Jan 2011/1 Feb 2011 and now on the 10th of Feb none of them have arrived. A bit odd seeing as they are all from all over the UK. The one thing they have in common is that they go through the Mandela Way sorting office in SE1. Is there a thief there? Or is it just incompetence?

          The one box that did arrive didn't fit through the letter box and I had a card saying to go to the Mandela Way sorting office to collect. This card was dated 1st Feb 2011 and now on the 10th Feb it still isn't here. I have been told it was re-posted by the postman, back to the sorting office, because he didn't want to walk 30 minutes to return the undeliverable packets properly. And now it is missing.

          Awful.

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          04.02.2011 22:07

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          Posted mail recorded delivery 15 Jan 2011. 4th February still not arrived. Tried the merry go round of different phone numbers and email to no avail, all lead back to the same place. Royal mail.com. One has to assume there is a empty customer service office with a massive answering device. DHL for me from now on.

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          31.12.2010 18:02

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          Royal Mail have just proven what a diabolical shambles they are!Posted letter with proof of posting on 3 December 2010 - letter lost in system.Reposted letter on 13 December 2010 by First Class Recorded Delivery - still not deliveredReposted letter on 30 December 2010 Special Next Day Delivery - failed to deliverIt's about time there was sufficient competition out there to force them to clean their act up, has to be the worst service i have had the displeasure to receive.

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          08.10.2010 20:32
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          Trying our best on the frontline!

          I'm currently a postman for the past few months but I won't say where but it's a small seaside town with about 50,000 residents.

          I feel I need to stick up for the Royal Mail as in most circumstances it's a bad few eggs that spoil it for the rest of us. There's good postmen/women & bad ones & as usual the bad ones will give RM or any company for that matter a bad impression.

          Post will get lost, it will get stolen by the unscrupulous few but logistically it's amazing that mail can be delivered from one end of the country to other for such little money & in relatively good condition.

          I read a review that said a postman walks maybe a few miles a day. If only that were true. Typical day starts at either 6 or 6.30am in the office & involved sorting all the mail,by hand, that has come into the delivery office into the walks (rounds) for the post person to then take & slot into their delivery frames.We're not just talking a handful of mail, we're talking tens of thousands of items to be sorted. Once that's done, which takes about 2-3 hours to do it's out on the round.

          My round in particular has just under 500 residences on it & on average it takes me approx 3-4 hours to deliver depending upon the weather & mail load. Using a pedometer it calculated on average I walk (while pushing a mail barrow that weighs upto 100kg) approximately 12-14 miles in all weathers.

          I enjoy my job & take pride that I try to deliver the mail as best I can in the circumstances & have a smile on my face while doing it. But you can be dragged down by the petty whinging from people who complain the mail isn't there when they want it to be, or we're attacked by dogs who's owners have no regards for our safety (I'm a dog owner myself) and moan that their mail is wet. Well sorry dear customer but we don't live in the most tropical country & delivering post when it's pissing it down or blowing a gale isn't fun for us either but we try our best.

          So just remember folks, the good postmen & women are trying to do the best job they can, whilst being asked to work harder & longer in all conditions and don't let the bad ones give the good ones a bad name.
          We're still human too.

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            14.06.2010 09:58
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            Couriers use RM for the final few miles so there really isn't any alternative service.

            If I believe my EBay buyers Royal mail has cost me about £50 over the last three years in lost packages. I know for a fact that an additional £20 has gone missing in the form of vouchers from ipoints.

            RM also falls down looking after fragile items, I worked for them as a Christmas temp and part of the job involves throwing parcels into different holes in a horizontal metal frame. Throwing them was necessary because no one can reach the post codes in the middle; we weren't just being carless it was a built in requirement of the system.

            There is more than enough room in the sorting office to put two stands side by side but that would slow the process down as employees would have to wander around instead of just lobbing. I imagine that Rm's chosen layout results in the same addresses continually receiving damaged orders.

            Whilst losing and smashing our possessions RM has steadily been raising prices to the point that I am now unable to sell some lower priced items at a profit and sending pretty much anything recorded is now out of the question.

            Despite these ferocious price raises Rm has still managed to turn a loss most years which is quite an achievement given the volume they handle and their monopoly status.

            Advertisers pay vast sums for lists of names and for the printing of flyers. This could be made a lot cheaper if all envelopes were to carry advertising on the front and back and, provided RM managed to keep charging advertisers similar prices, some of the difference could be passed on to reducing the cost of sending jiffy bags which are mostly used by businesses who simply won't post at all if the price is too high.

            This solution would work for recipients who would have less rubbish to throw out (envelopes instead of envelopes plus separate adverts) and it would guarantee advertisers that their literature would at least get picked up.

            Delivery times have been suffering recently, I can remember getting short lead times mentioned on my EBay feedback but it has been a long time since I last saw that and my last tax code arrived in June.

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              23.04.2010 18:27
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              Royal Mail is a part of our British culture and it (hopefully) is here to stay.

              There is nothing better than hearing the shuffle and thud of a good pile of post falling through the letterbox is there. And it's all delivered by Royal mail, a company that virtually every adult and many kids in the UK has used at some point. Pop something in an envelope, stick a stamp on it, address, and pop it in the postbox. From there on, we expect someone else to do all the work and rarely think about the item again except where a problem occurs.

              The thing is, if or should I say when, a problem does occur, we moan and get cross, forgetting all the other times when the items have safely reached their destination don't we. I think if I actually stop and really think about it, it's pretty amazing how few items actually get lost or damaged along the way especially when you stand in a queue in the post office and see how badly wrapped some items are when they get handed over to Royal Mail.

              I have to say, I really appreciate my postman. He's a lovely bloke, and someone who am happy to have a brief chat with of a morning. I don't envy him his job in the wintertime when it's wet, rainy, snowy, or just plain cold out there. In the summer, I think not too bad, apart from the early hours, the trudging around from house to house dealing with stroppy people who didn't want to be got out of bed for something that wouldn't fit through the letterbox or that needed a signature. Dealing with barking dogs, dogs in front gardens that one has to navigate around, and all the other pitfalls that might be encountered like biting letterboxes (I know some of them bite, I've never been a postman, but I have delivered leaflets in my time, and I've had a few bites from evil letterboxes I can tell you!).

              From the perspective of a user, Royal mail is brilliant when it works. The system isn't quite as simple as it used to be when it was just a matter of knowing the weight of the item, now you have to know which size category it fits within too, but to be honest that's not hard to find out really, and if you're uncertain a quick trip to a post office and the staff there will help you easily. Ordinary letter and large letter size stamps are available from lots of different places, and other denominations of stamp can be bought from the post office and kept at home ready for use. Post boxes are conveniently sited around the streets for smaller items too, and it's just so easy to use the system isn't it.

              The problem is that when it doesn't work, the system that's in place to solve the problem of a missing package or one that's got damaged in transit is a little archaic to be honest, and that's where most of the trouble occurs.

              First of all, one has to go to the post office and find a form (It used to be possible to print the form online, but last time I tried they'd removed the form - god only knows why! - It also used to be possible to report the problem by phone, but once again, this seems to not be something they will allow any more). Fill the form in - one form covers all possible problems, lost, damaged, missing contents and delayed. Tick all the relevant boxes, and provide all the relevant additional paperwork to go with it - not as simple as it sounds. I'm crap at keeping receipts, and to have one a month or more after I bought something, specially if the something was a gift for someone that I've posted off, well, yeah right, in this house you'll be lucky! So without the receipt find the value of the item, and somehow provide proof of what that value is. Try and remember how you packaged that item a month ago, did you use box, jiffy bag, brown paper? Heck this is hard going! Then... top it all off by putting your trust in the service that's just let you down by POSTING the form and all the additional paperwork to them. Errrr... Now, is it just me, or is there something inherently wrong with this concept?

              If you're lucky (or that could of course just be super organised), you've done everything right, and a few weeks later a cheque for a replacement item arrives. Now of course you have the problem that you've got to start all over again purchasing another item and posting it off on its journey. Sometimes I wonder why we bother, I really do!

              There are courier services available that one can use as an alternative to Royal mail, but they're not as simple to use, nor do they really do the job when all you want to do is pop a Birthday or Christmas card in the post. I know its possible to send these electronically these days, but I don't know many kids who aren't thrilled to get lots of cards on their birthday, and I think there are actually many adults who are secretly just as bad as the kids on this score too.

              Do I rate Royal Mail then? Well, yeah, even though I've been sat here this afternoon sorting out a claim form for a missing parcel, I do rate them. They do a good job, and I really don't look forward to the day when someone finds a way to get rid of the humble postie and all he stands for.

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                04.04.2010 19:32
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                don't ring them up. ever.

                Most of my life, I have taken Royal Mail for granted. A man came with post every day, and when I needed to I'd put letters in the postbox and trust that away they'd go, eventually getting to their destination. You expect the occasional delay or wrongly delivered parcel when you think of the sheer volume of mail they have to process every day, and that's fine. It's the kind of company that works well the vast majority of the time and therefore, when it works it's such an everyday occurrence that you don't think of writing a review complimenting it. This isn't a gripe at the postal service for losing a parcel but a review of their customer services department that most people have the good fortune never to ring up.

                My problems started when I moved house a few months ago and didn't get any post at all at my new address. Ringing Royal Mail's customer services is a very confusing experience, their automated menu is extremely complex and if you don't want something obvious it's hard to know which buttons to press. When you get through to a human being they are friendly and apologetic but they have a habit of fobbing you off with "Wait 72 hours and if you still haven't received any post, call back." Then of course, when you call back you speak to a completely different person and you have to go through all the obvious steps of "are you sure you're not an idiot who doesn't know their own address properly?" all over again.

                So after a few unsuccessful attempts at that I switched to emailing their customer services. I recommend this approach as not only does it save money by not calling their national rate number all the time, but using the reply function allows the person who reads your next email (again, invariably a different person every time) to see the steps you've already gone through and minimises those repetitive questions. However, it is a long-winded approach and takes patience as they can take up to a day to reply to each email you send.

                Eventually it transpired that somehow my address had been deleted from the national postcode database as someone clever thought it was a duplicate of another address up the road. Of course, they wouldn't just put it back on for me. I had to contact my council and get them in turn to contact Royal Mail to tell them to do it. Couldn't Royal Mail just contact the council themselves and sort it with one phonecall instead of two? No, of course they couldn't.

                The council were very helpful and contacted Royal Mail straight away, who promised to update the info within 48 hours. However, RM apparently don't have very good interdepartmental communication as the people the council spoke to never told the people I'd been talking to and so there was blanket denial of anyone knowing what was going on, and nothing happened. Then mysteriously two weeks (two WEEKS, not days like they'd promised!) later my address suddenly appeared back on the database with still no acknowledgement that anything had changed at all. But I still didn't get any post. Another week passed and I rang up again to find more lack of communication within the company was at fault- whoever had added the address hadn't bothered to tell the delivery office there was a new address to deliver to.

                I've lived here now for two months and I have only just intermittently started to receive post. I'll defend postmen vehemently for the tough job they have, walking miles with heavy bags in all weathers. It's lucky really that most people take the postal service for granted because it's only once you have to actually ring them up that you discover how much Royal Mail's inner workings- its customer services and complaints procedures- are a murky and impenetrable mess.

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                  26.03.2010 18:43
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                  not my favourate company

                  I almost don't think it's fair for me to write this review based on my experience of the Royal Mail because it has been so bad, but feel it's only fair to share my experiences with others. I will warn you though, if you are a fan of the Royal Mail and don't like it when people slat it, don't bother reading any more of this review!

                  Over my life, like most people, I have used the Royal Mail to send any letters such as bills, application forms and all the other day to day stuff we all send. I have used them for one reason, there was no other way. Sending letters I never really noticed any major problems, maybe just the odd few not arriving and getting lost or turning up later than they should.

                  My real problems with the royal mail started as I started to shop online and use eBay. I really can't believe how useless the royal mail are most of the time.

                  My first problem with them was when I ordered quite a lot of items from a shopping channel. I ordered a lot of cosmetics because I was going away for a while. I waited the usual 5-7 working days and none of them had turned up. I was getting a bit fed up by this point so I phoned the shopping channel. They told me they had been sent out ages ago and should have been with me by now. They then sent a load of forms for me to fill in and then send back. Then the Royal Mail sent me forms to fill in. Finally, after my holiday, they re-sent the items. A couple of weeks later they had a silver event and me and my mum ended up ordering quite a few bits, some for us, some for pressies. Again none of it turned up and we were waiting for ages. Again we contacted the shopping channel and had to fill in loads of forms. At this point the shopping channel started to get the hump a bit and said they wanted to send all our parcels by recorded delivery. As this was at no extra cost I was ok with it but it ended up being a problem because if we were out they got returned to the depot. I am pretty sure that someone at the Royal Mail was stealing all these items. We never heard anything else about it and are still left having to have all items sent via recorded delivery.

                  Other examples of bad service I have had with the Royal Mail are parcels not getting here or not turning up when I have sent them.

                  We currently have a decent postman who is polite and friendly. I think we deserve a nice one at last, we have had some really rude ones in the past. One of them didn't fill in the cards properly and another used to leave his rubber bands all over our path. I know I sound like a moaner but I just really haven't had very many good experiences with them.

                  At the end of the day I use the Royal Mail because they are the only service available to regular people like me who only send a few pieces of post. If I had a choice I wouldn't use them and think that they really need to work on the customer service amongst other things.

                  My 2 out of 5 star rating is based on the fact that at the moment we have a decent postman, so maybe it's not all bad, if we didn't, it would be 1 out of 5.

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