Hugh Prewett (May 27, It’d be cheaper by taxi) was advised to pay more than £5 by staff to send a few birthday cards from Stannington Post Office to guarantee next day delivery.
Royal Mail first class stamps cost 46p. Royal Mail quality of service for next day delivery is set at 93%. From the quality of service report to April 2011, Royal Mail first class next day delivery is 93.7% (ie although Royal Mail is going through rigorous restructuring and modernisation it is still above standards on first class next day delivery). In other words, if Hugh posted a card before the last collection time from a post office (generally around 5pm) it will normally be delivered anywhere in Great Britain the next day. At 46p, this is an absolute bargain!
This is where the attention turns to the Post Office counter staff. It is not so muc what they are trained to say as what they fail to go on to say. As Hugh said, the counter lady was just ‘doing her job’ in saying the birthday cards could not be guaranteed next day delivery using Royal Mail first class. The lady is not trained to go on to say is that the percentage is extremely high that it will be delivered.
I have been in the same situation at the same post office and had one of the staff full of embarrassment when I pointed out the statistics for next day delivery on a 46p stamp having been informed next day delivery could not be guaranteed.
Like all businesses, Post Office Counters staff are under tremendous pressure to ‘sell’ various services, ie every time you buy something you will be asked if you want a mobile top up or holiday insurance or holiday cash etc. The fact that Post Office Counters prefer to sell a £5 service instead of a 46p one is quite obvious.
The service Hugh’s wife purchased, Special Delivery, is excellent where you get a post office ‘proof of sending’ guarantee, your mail is dealt with as if it were the crown jewels, has to be signed for at every step of processing and again on receipt before 1 pm the next day.
I’ll leave you to make up your mind as to whether you need this extremely secure, excellent service or to put a 46p stamp on a birthday card and put it in the post box.
Gary Charlesworth, Stannington