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Lousy service from Royal Mail

(34 Posts)
geekesse Wed 30-Dec-20 22:49:19

Early in December, I posted my daughter-in-law’s birthday card five days before her birthday to be sure it arrived on time. It arrived two days after, having taken a full week to get from a south-east town to a Yorkshire city.

Yesterday was my eldest granddaughter’s 18th. I wasn’t going to miss that one, so I stumped up £6.70 for Special Delivery guaranteed next day delivery by 1pm. There’s a note on the Royal Mail website which says that because of Covid, deliveries for this service may be up to 4pm, but I really, really wanted it to arrive on her birthday.

It was odd that I didn’t get my usual WhatsApp message from my granddaughter (she always sends a photo of her holding my card and gift) so I checked the Royal Mail track site, and it hasn’t yet been delivered. If it is delivered tomorrow it will be two days late - if not, who knows when it will get there.

And I can’t even claim back the postage until it has been delivered.

I am jolly fed up. I can’t visit, I can’t deliver gifts and cards in person, and I can’t rely on the post. This is just a warning to other Grans that they may want to post cards for birthdays very, very early.

Parsley3 Wed 30-Dec-20 23:05:00

I am also not pleased with the Royal Mail. I paid £4 to post a small, light parcel first class to a friend who lives locally. It took seven days to deliver it and this was early December. By contrast, I sent two large cartons of Christmas presents to England by courier. They cost less than £6 each and arrived in thee days with a door to door service. The RM parcel service is not getting my custom again.

GrandmasueUK Wed 30-Dec-20 23:16:17

I sent 3 very large parcels last month to Lisbon for the same price as one delivered by Royal Mail. They were picked up from the house and delivered to my son’s door in six days. A couple of weeks ago I sent another slightly smaller parcel. I’d chosen to have it delivered five days later. It was picked up at 2.30 from me near Manchester and it was delivered at 11.00 am the following day via FedEx to Lisbon. Way cheaper than Royal Mail again and incredibly quick.

Teacheranne Wed 30-Dec-20 23:27:21

I saw some photos of all the parcels stacked up in a huge Royal Mail warehouse in mid December and am not surprised some parcels were delayed.

At our local sorting office at the same time, well over half the staff off with Covid or were self isolating so the other staff were working seven days a week and very long hours to try to clear the back log and empty postboxes. I felt vert sorry for a young postwoman I spoke to who had worked ten days without a day off. Our deliveries were very disrupted, I only got a couple a week and even one on a Sunday.

But no one round me was complaining as it was not the fault of the hard working local posties, they were doing their best under very difficult circumstances. However, if you paid extra for special deliveries, then I can understand your frustration. I too have used couriers to deliver large heavy parcels as they often collect from the house and are cheaper, particularly for overseas.

nadateturbe Wed 30-Dec-20 23:39:20

Royal mail is usually very good where my daughter lives in the SE. If I post something from NI at 5pm she normally gets it next day. But her birthday card was posted a week before her birthday recently and she got it 4 days after it. I think it just can't be helped at the minute. People will understand.

fevertree Thu 31-Dec-20 07:35:09

I have also experienced delays during December with RM standard services, so I paid £7.50 for their guaranteed overnight delivery so that my grandson's gift got to him in time.

Am I allowed to ask which courier companies others have used? Thanks in advance.

Oldwoman70 Thu 31-Dec-20 08:13:22

Let's have some sympathy for the hard working posties. I spoke to my postman the other day and he looked exhausted but still managed a smile and cheery word. Christmas is a busy time any year but this year even more so with people posting more - how many of us had to wait in long queues to get into the post office?

I have family in Australia - cards and letter which normally take around a week are now taking anything up to 6 weeks to get to them!

Retiredwell Thu 31-Dec-20 08:32:29

The Royal Mail are saying their problems are being caused by the Covid crisis. However, all carrier companies are facing those same problems and restrictions and virtually all others are without doubt performing much better.

We ordered a new toaster on 1st of December and it arrived on the 21st via Royal Mail which was the very day we had warned the supplier that should it not arrive we would have to cancel and physically go to the shops and buy one, something we were reluctant to do in the current crisis.

The Royal Fail would a better name for the organisation at this time I feel.

devonnanny Thu 31-Dec-20 08:43:06

I agree Royal Mail are not the cheapest but my family and I sent guaranteed 24 and 48 hour deliveries all over the country in Christmas week so that presents would be received in time for Christmas. I was sceptical they would arrive but all were delivered in their promised timeframe. The most outstanding service was from the Parcelforce division who collected a large parcel in London during the afternoon of the 23rd and delivered it to rural Devon at 8.30am on the 24th. I thanked the driver for their excellent service and appreciate all the workers who contribute to our deliveries during these difficult times. They are going out to work and potentially exposing themselves to infection by Covid whilst we can stay safe and warm at home. Their pay has not increased to reflect the increased volume of work or risk involved and I appreciate the service provided both by Royal Mail and other delivery services at this time.

FindingNemo15 Thu 31-Dec-20 08:46:20

I recently had to submit a claim for a lost parcel sent to France. I filled in the lengthy form and attached relevant receipts etc., only to have it returned after approx. 3 weeks because I had been given a slightly out of date form at our local PO. The new form is almost identical to the original form and in a letter they stated that these forms are often out of date as they change them. What for I ask myself?

Apparently it can take up to 90 days to possibly get a refund.

Maggiemaybe Thu 31-Dec-20 08:47:53

These are unprecedented times and all delivery services are under pressure as never before. As others have said, they’re understaffed and many who are still on duty are working very long hours. I think most people understand the situation and wouldn’t be upset about a delay, though I agree it’s very annoying if you pay so much for a special service and don’t get it.

I did a Christmas post round as a student and have had the utmost respect for postal delivery people ever since. And things are so much more difficult for them now when we’re buying such a lot online.

From all the complaints on social media about deliveries, it’s not just Royal Mail who are struggling. Our Hermes man is up and down this street so often DH actually thought he’d moved in. smile

FindingNemo15 Thu 31-Dec-20 08:48:27

A friend has just told me that she would have to have paid £36 to send their family Christmas presents via Royal Mail. In the end she sent them via Hermes for £11 and they collected them from her house!

Sparklefizz Thu 31-Dec-20 09:19:42


Let's have some sympathy for the hard working posties. I spoke to my postman the other day and he looked exhausted but still managed a smile and cheery word. Christmas is a busy time any year but this year even more so with people posting more - how many of us had to wait in long queues to get into the post office?

I have family in Australia - cards and letter which normally take around a week are now taking anything up to 6 weeks to get to them!

I agree. My postie has been working 12 hour shifts as so many of his colleagues are off sick or having to isolate.

Marmight Thu 31-Dec-20 09:21:10

I booked a delivery with Parcel Force, via Interparcel, on line on Monday. 2 big parcels were collected at 2pm on Tuesday and delivered to my daughter’s address in Devon before mid day yesterday, Wednesday, and I watched my family opening their presents on Facetime at 2pm. Really impressed with the service and worth paying for. I was able to track their progress & amazed to see they went via Basingstoke which is considerably east of where I live! (I had hoped to have delivered them in person before Christmas, but ‘events’ overtook me......🙄)
Oldwoman70. My DD tells me that since Covid, all Australian post is delivered to a hub in Melbourne and then sent on, eventually, to the rest of Australia which is why it is taking so long

Harris27 Thu 31-Dec-20 09:29:15

It’s been a very trying time for all. However I’ve only been getting mail abiut twice a week if I’m lucky. When it dies come I can see from the dates on stuff they’ve been stockpiled till there was quite a bundle. Magazines that have been weekly delivered come in twos and threes but I am grateful to them for all their efforts. However Amazon has been amazing and I will continue to use them in the future for presents.

tickingbird Thu 31-Dec-20 09:39:59

I’m not exactly enthralled by RM either. Someone posted an item to me on Tuesday and paid for guaranteed next day delivery and it still hasn’t arrived. My postman that delivers the parcels is a nightmare. He doesn’t seem to knock or maybe taps lightly. I’m constantly finding ‘we tried to deliver’ cards in the hallway after he’s been when I’m at home. I’m fed up of having to go to the delivery office to pick things up and there’s nowhere to park and double yellows everywhere.

A couple of weeks ago I went 3 days running and I’d been home on each occasion when he called. The man in the office gave me a number to call to complain as he said he must be doing it because he can’t be bothered to wait for me to answer the door. It never happens with DPD, Hermes or the other carriers. I’m not deaf or disabled so I think he writes the card out before he gets here! I’ve just returned from picking up yet another package and I was in when he pushed the card through.

I haven’t rang to complain yet - season of goodwill and all that but I will if he keeps doing it.

MawBe Thu 31-Dec-20 10:00:59

I used the Royal Mail Click and Drop collection service which was very efficient and the last-minute cancellation of my Christmas meant I had to send children’s presents by Next Day Special Delivery - did all the paperwork on line (paying, printing labels etc) and just dropped them at the Parcel Office (no queues)
No problems.

Hetty58 Thu 31-Dec-20 10:07:17

Is this a joke geekesse?

They are doing their very best - but we're in a massive pandemic (or hadn't you noticed?) with a huge death toll.

'Normal' service really can't be expected or achieved right now!

B9exchange Thu 31-Dec-20 10:24:55

I don't use RM for parcels, I don't want to have to spend ages risking infection queuing in a post office, and they are more expensive, plus I don't want an interrogation in front if everyone else on what is in the parcel. With a few clicks on the laptop I can pay and print out a label for a national courier, then drop it off at my local Budgen, where there is no queue. When Christmas was cancelled, they got the large, heavy box of presents from London to Scotland in less than 24 hours, and I could track it all the way.

NotAGran55 Thu 31-Dec-20 10:25:06

Don’t forget we had a thread recently about the grave danger ⚠️ we are all in from licking envelopes!!!

Perhaps the posties around the world are all succumbing ....

Give them a break for goodness sake . We are in a pandemic.

Christmas and birthdays don’t come as a surprise .
Get yourselves organised in good time or make other arrangements to send gifts and good wishes . There are plenty of alternatives these days . Life is different now , move with the times.

Rant over .

dragonfly46 Thu 31-Dec-20 10:27:13

I use DPD next day delivery but Parcels2go will give you the best price as they compare senders.

PamelaJ1 Thu 31-Dec-20 10:28:57

Our postal service is wonderful in my neck of the woods
Our postman is so helpful, our deliveries come at about 8am when we are usually in but if we get a parcel he leaves it somewhere and pops a note through the door.
I can’t remember any parcel or letter going astray or taking ages to arrive.

timetogo2016 Thu 31-Dec-20 10:32:55

Thankfully i haven`t had a single problem with the post but if i had it would be covids fault.
Our postie is working like crazy bless him,as i`m sure they all are.

geekesse Thu 31-Dec-20 14:45:42


Is this a joke geekesse?

They are doing their very best - but we're in a massive pandemic (or hadn't you noticed?) with a huge death toll.

'Normal' service really can't be expected or achieved right now!

No, it’s not a joke, and I’m perfectly aware of the pandemic. I’m not blaming an individual postman or postal worker. My gripe is with the organisation.

If RM know they can’t fulfil a guarantee to deliver in a particular time frame because of Covid 19, they should say so and not sell that particular service. I checked online before paying extra for special delivery to make sure the service was still running, and that next day delivery was still guaranteed. It is dishonest to sell a service that is not available.

EllanVannin Thu 31-Dec-20 14:55:27

The beginning of December was fine, then it tailed off and stuff was a week late so I for one reckon that I had to wait until the Christmas break was over until receiving presents that should have been delivered before Christmas. No trouble with other deliveries.