Frustrated Royal Mail customers say they are fed up with long queues and delays at a Sheffield sorting office.
‘Awkward’ opening hours at Sheffield South Delivery Office and its increased business since the closure of the Ecclesall Road branch in July 2016 have some people branding their experience picking up mail a ‘nightmare’.
Some have reported almost hour-long waits in long lines of people – which are open to the elements.
Businesswoman Shauna Naylor, who owns Hypnotherapy in Sheffield, said she waited 47 minutes on Friday morning.
“It’s quite amusing how bad it’s got,” the 34-year-old said.
The delivery office on Woodseats Road is open six days per week, but customers say the hours are not long enough.
It is open from 7am to 12pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and 7am to 8pm on Wednesdays. On Saturday, the branch is open from 7am to 2pm.
Jenny Grimley, of Albert Road, Heeley, said queues started early morning.
“I went on Friday at 7am, and even when you turn up that early, there are still people queuing,” Mrs Grimley said.
“When you work, it’s very difficult to get there while it’s open.”
Another man who contacted The Star claimed the company did not attempt to deliver parcels to his property.
The man, who wished to remain anonymous, said Royal Mail staff did not check he was home before leaving the delivery slip in his postbox, forcing him to make the journey to the sorting office to collect parcels.
This is despite him taking time off work to stay home and collect the packages.
A local businessman, who also commented anonymously, urged people to buy shares in Royal Mail, attend the company’s annual general meeting and ‘ask some very difficult questions’.
“Like, why has the service dropped and why is the efficiency of the system failing,” he said.
“You can hold private organisations to account a lot more than public ones.”
A Royal Mail spokeswoman has apologised to customers over the delays.
“This has been due to an increase in the number of undelivered items received,” Morag Turnbull said.
“We have introduced a new duty structure to ensure there is adequate staffing in the enquiry office to resolve this issue and to maintain the high level of service that our customers expect and deserve.
“We would also remind customers about our alternative delivery options if we are unable to deliver mail to customers first time, because they are not at home when we attempt to deliver an item that needs a signature or is too large to fit through the letterbox, Royal Mail can leave these items with a neighbour or designated neighbour, except for special delivery items which require a signature.
“Alternatively, customers can arrange a redelivery free of charge on a day that is convenient for them.”
“This service can be arranged by calling the number on the card we leave or by visiting our website at www.royalmail.com/redelivery.”
She said the policy was to ‘endeavour to deliver the mail to customers first time.
“This also means postmen and women are not continuing to take items with them on their rounds and the ‘Something for you’ cards used correctly,” she said.
“Royal Mail constantly reinforces this policy and staff at Sheffield South delivery office will be reminded of this process.”
WHAT YOU'RE SAYING ONLINE
Jenny de Freitas: “It’s always terrible and even worse at Christmas – even turning up at 6.30am it still took an hour to get served. The office is far too small so you have to stand outside in the rain, and there is only one counter. Parking is a nightmare too.”
Eileen Barter: “Have collected from here without having a problem with queues...however on a really really hot day, with the (very tiny) indoor waiting area full, I stood propping the door open – and was asked by a member of staff to close the door!”
Christine Bridges: “I have to go into Pond Street for my parcels when Pitt Lane is less than five minutes walk away. Apparently because I live on the City Road side of the building my depot is Pond Street – absolutely ridiculous.”
Anna Richardson: “Half the time they try arguing you’ve got no/less parcels there too. Every time I’ve been down (which is at least once a week) there’s been an issue collecting, and it’s never ID/wrong name/wrong house etc.”
Dannii Mckeen: “Yodel is just as bad if not worse. Dumped parcels no knocks, and zero sorting complaints out, wish Argos would stop using them. At least Royal Mail they do try 75% of the time.”
Rosemary Wilks: “All other delivery companies leave parcels with my neighbours so why can’t the post office. Manor top depot is difficult to park as the car park says for post office vehicles only. Pain to collect from here.”
Steve Eyles: “I’ve had that. Card stuck through the door saying they couldn’t deliver but I WAS in. If they have a large round they tend to pre-prepare them so it doesn’t delay their finish.”
Simon Lee: “How’s about being in when you actually order something or even better have it delivered to your work – saves us postman and woman so much time! Just remember we have to deal with this every day and carrying extra junk ain’t easy.”
Susan Dewsnap-Goodall: “To be honest I’ve never had a problem maybe two people in front of me is the longest I’ve had to wait I must just go at the right times.”
Matthew Greer: “I just go first thing and wait no longer than 10 mins. If the queue is crazy big I just go home and get it re-delivered or go at a different time. Seems insane to me that this is a genuine complaint. People either have too much time on their hands or need to chill out.”
Paul Metcalf: “That’s privatisation/capitalism for you – longer waiting queues and a poorer service and goods as employees try and cut corners to make as much profit as possible...and charge you for it too.”
Richard Watson: “I have had the same experience a few times. They are so understaffed! I feel sorry for the poor guy running back and forth for parcels and coping with hundreds of disgruntled customers!”
Ashley Henshaw: “Should relocate it back to Hull and create more jobs. You lost something in Hull now it goes to Sheffield to be sorted then it comes back to Hull. Mad.”
Julie Brumhead: “I get mine delivered to local post office and it’s only I think 70p to collect.”
Leigh Birch-Garth: “To be honest as a decent normal citizen I have to work and if possible I get delivered to click and collect.”
Dawn Bell Proctor: “The one at Intake is the same and some of the staff are so rude!”
Deborah Martin: “If the postmen would give you time to get to the door...”