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Trying to speak to a human being at Royal Mail Customer Services
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# 1
madget
Old 11-05-2010, 12:47 PM
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Angry Trying to speak to a human being at Royal Mail Customer Services

Forgive me for this rant. If I don't get it out of my system, I do believe that my head will explode.

Usually, I have no problems at all with my posties - they're wonderful. However, a "Sorry, you were out" card was left through my door on Saturday morning as we weren't there to accept delivery of a parcel. I rang the redelivery number on Saturday lunchtime, asking for it to be redelivered on Monday (which has always worked perfectly before now).

No parcel arrived on Monday, so I rang at 4pm and asked for it to be redelivered the next day (today). As the parcel contains something I need for tomorrow, I had a bad feeling about it all and tried ringing the Royal Mail to see if they could ensure that it was actually on its way to me.

I don't know whether anyone here has tried to ring Royal Mail's customer services on 08457 740 740, but this is the gist of what I endured.

First of all, you hear the breezy voice of female, supposedly called "Sarah", who tells you how you can get an answer to practically all of your questions on the website. She even has her very own automatic "type your question in" thingummy. After a few minutes of this, she gives you 4 or 5 very long, complicated options from which to choose.

I chose one of the options and then had to sit through another few minutes of spiel about how I should go onto the website to have my query answered and was talked through the entire process of claiming for something I have posted which has not arrived. Completely irrelevant, so I'm forced to wait until I can choose another option.

Another 4 or 5 long,complicated options are given. I choose one. Now I have to wait for another few minutes whilst the process for chasing up a claim I may already have made for posting something which didn't arrive is described in great detail. Again, completely irrelevant, so I wait for my options.

And so it goes on. Each list of a gazillion, ridiculously complex list of options is followed by several minutes of being lectured about how I should go to the website for my answers and how to follow procedures which have no relevance at all to my question.

Then, finally, after over 10 minutes (I lost count of how long, could have been much, much longer) of being lectured by Sarah on an 0845 number, whilst growing increasingly furious, I'm put on hold to speak to a human being.

After several more minutes of apologies that I've had to hold so long because of the large volume of calls, someone alive and human actually answers. Hurray!

She rings my local redelivery office and finds out that the postie who tried to deliver my parcel on Saturday is off sick and, as is apparently normal procedure, he left my parcel at a post office somewhere. They have no idea which post office my parcel is at, but they hope that he will be back in to work tomorrow (no guarantees), and then they'll be able to find out. They've taken my phone number so, if I'm lucky, I might actually receive my parcel at some point in the future.

I think I've now lost the will to live.

Last edited by madget; 11-05-2010 at 12:49 PM.
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# 2
sagalout1954
Old 11-05-2010, 2:00 PM
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It's most likely the Post Office nearest to your home, can you pop there and ask (take the card).
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# 3
madget
Old 11-05-2010, 2:16 PM
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Unfortunately, it's not at my nearest post office - which is only about 15 minutes' walk away. According to the Royal Mail CS rep, the posties usually drop parcels off at the nearest Post Office at the end of their round - which could be one of quite a lot of others, none of which I can get to unless I take a taxi or a couple of buses plus a rather long walk (bus routes are crazy around here).

I'm more annoyed that nobody bothered to let me know until I actually rang them that, despite my 2 requests for redelivery, they don't know where my parcel is and can't redeliver it until the postie turns up again and tells them. They could at least have put a note through my door when the other postie came today.

But the really annoying thing was having to spend ages enduring the Royal Mail CS telephone system. It's the most infuriating I've ever come across.

As for the parcel, it's not the end of the world that I won't have it by tomorrow, but it is frustrating and, as it's a gift for someone I don't get to see very often, means I'll have to post it on to them at my own expense.
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# 4
custardy
Old 11-05-2010, 3:25 PM
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right heres the problem

Quote:
Usually, I have no problems at all with my posties - they're wonderful. However, a "Sorry, you were out" card was left through my door on Saturday morning as we weren't there to accept delivery of a parcel. I rang the redelivery number on Saturday lunchtime, asking for it to be redelivered on Monday (which has always worked perfectly before now).
attempted delivery on Saturday AM
foot postie finishes their delivery and 'pouches off' at a post office
however if they arrive after the last collection on saturday then that item wont be collected until Monday
remember no Sunday collections now
so straight away theres no way that can be delivered no Monday. your package is most likely back at the delivery office now or en route via the mail centre.

as for calling you back,just not gonna happen
in the delivery office you get pages of re deliveries every day
you go through the list and sort out the ones you can locate
the ones you cant you mark as such.
the person sorting the re deliveries will often be the person answering the phone,dealing with customer collections etc

the pouching off system used to work well when staff were finishing earlier and catching the more frequent collections
now theres less collections and staff finishing later.
RM CS dont really know the ins and outs of deliveries and i dint blame them as it often varies from office to office let alone area to area
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# 5
madget
Old 11-05-2010, 3:41 PM
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Thanks for explaining all of that, custardy.

I've had quite a few parcels redelivered on the following Monday after ringing up on Saturday just after lunch, but I must have been lucky with those. However, I would expect that they should be able to redeliver on the Tuesday - which they haven't in this case. Surely it shouldn't take from Saturday morning until Wednesday or later to arrive back at the depot - it never has in the past?

The CS woman rang the redelivery office and, apparently, they were the ones who told her about the postie being off sick and not letting them know which PO he'd left the parcel in. Do you reckon she was just fobbing me off?

I'm really worried now that they won't contact me to let me know what's happening and that the parcel has become lost in the system somewhere. I suspect that no matter how many times I ring the redelivery line and ask for it to be redelivered, it just won't turn up. I'll keep my fingers crossed that I'm wrong about that.

To make matters worse, it's so difficult to get through to talk to anyone about it, either at the redelivery office (recorded message only) or CS (15 or so minutes pressing buttons and listening to irrelevant instructions, then holding for ages).

I used to be such a big fan of and defender of the RM, but am rapidly changing my mind. It's just one big, chaotic mess these days. Nobody seems to know what the h*ll is going on.

ETA: Just checked on the "Sorry, you were out" card and it gives Monday as the day the parcel will be back at the delivery office.
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# 6
custardy
Old 11-05-2010, 3:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madget View Post
Thanks for explaining all of that, custardy.

I've had quite a few parcels redelivered on the following Monday after ringing up on Saturday just after lunch, but I must have been lucky with those. However, I would expect that they should be able to redeliver on the Tuesday - which they haven't in this case. Surely it shouldn't take from Saturday morning until Wednesday or later to arrive back at the depot - it never has in the past?

The CS woman rang the redelivery office and, apparently, they were the ones who told her about the postie being off sick and not letting them know which PO he'd left the parcel in. Do you reckon she was just fobbing me off?

I'm really worried now that they won't contact me to let me know what's happening and that the parcel has become lost in the system somewhere. I suspect that no matter how many times I ring the redelivery line and ask for it to be redelivered, it just won't turn up. I'll keep my fingers crossed that I'm wrong about that.

To make matters worse, it's so difficult to get through to talk to anyone about it, either at the redelivery office (recorded message only) or CS (15 or so minutes pressing buttons and listening to irrelevant instructions, then holding for ages).

I used to be such a big fan of and defender of the RM, but am rapidly changing my mind. It's just one big, chaotic mess these days. Nobody seems to know what the h*ll is going on.

ETA: Just checked on the "Sorry, you were out" card and it gives Monday as the day the parcel will be back at the delivery office.
being back for collection and back for redelivery are a bit different
eg to be ready for redelivery it needs to be sorted and back with the postie for say 8am
for collection at the desk you have more time
your previous packages could have been with a driver or a postie who returns to the office after delivery,so you then know its back at the office

pouching off has been in use large scale since they dropped the 2nd delivery
before staff always went back after 1st delivery
it works most of the time however as you find it can go wrong

as for whats going on,yup thats pretty true
theres very little interest in customer care
for example your postie on Saturday may have been a new start,they could have finished hours later than a regular
then they have to go traipsing looking for a post office open on a Saturday
it happens as ive seen it happen many times
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# 7
madget
Old 11-05-2010, 4:03 PM
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Such a damn shame, custardy. Royal Mail used to be so good, in my experience.

I just hope my parcel hasn't got lost and that it does turn up later this week. I'm not sure how to go about getting something done about it if not. The tracking says:

"Item *********** could not be delivered on 2010-05-08 (and no Safeplace option was specified by the addressee). It is being held at ********* DO pending instructions from addressee."

This makes it sound like my fault for not requesting a redelivery (even though I've done so twice), so I don't know where I'd stand with either the company I'd ordered the parcel from or with the PO if it never turns up.
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# 8
custardy
Old 11-05-2010, 4:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madget View Post
Such a damn shame, custardy. Royal Mail used to be so good, in my experience.

I just hope my parcel hasn't got lost and that it does turn up later this week. I'm not sure how to go about getting something done about it if not. The tracking says:

"Item *********** could not be delivered on 2010-05-08 (and no Safeplace option was specified by the addressee). It is being held at ********* DO pending instructions from addressee."

This makes it sound like my fault for not requesting a redelivery (even though I've done so twice), so I don't know where I'd stand with either the company I'd ordered the parcel from or with the PO if it never turns up.
that means its back at the delivery office for sure
that track is when its been scanned in as undelivered at the delivery office
i take it that its an RM tracked item
tracking code start with something like FD?
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# 9
Soubrette
Old 11-05-2010, 4:55 PM
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I once phoned royal mail customer service and kept going round and round in circles. I don't actually recall ever being offered a real person to speak to

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# 10
Crabman
Old 11-05-2010, 5:15 PM
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If you're on Twitter try giving RoyalMail a buzz, they are pretty good and in my experience far better than the buffoons who staff their customer service call centre
I'm a Board Guide on the Savings & Investments, ISAs & Tax-free Savings, Public Transport & Cycling, Motoring and Parking Fines, Tickets & Parking Boards which means I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly & I can move & merge posts there. Board Guides are not moderators & don't read every post. If you spot a contentious or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com

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# 11
madget
Old 11-05-2010, 5:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by custardy View Post
that means its back at the delivery office for sure
that track is when its been scanned in as undelivered at the delivery office
i take it that its an RM tracked item
tracking code start with something like FD?

Yes, it's an RM tracked item, custardy. That tracking message has been there since Monday, so I can't understand why it hasn't been delivered today.

If it's not here on Thursday, I think I'll ring them again (oh, joy) and really pressure them to do something about it.

Soubrette - Yes, I know exactly what you mean. The first 2 times I rang, I just got caught in a circle with no option to speak to anyone. I tried a different second option the third time I rang and eventually (after what seemed like a lifetime) managed to speak to someone. I think they do it on purpose so that people either just give up or die of old age whilst they're waiting!

Crabman - I'm not on Twitter, but I might consider joining specifically for this if I don't get any joy by Thursday. Thanks for the tip.
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# 12
jazabelle
Old 11-05-2010, 7:35 PM
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That happened to me too. All I wanted to know was what time my local sorting office closed. I went to the Royal Mail website, found the right page which said 'sorry, we don't have this information. Phone us and we will be able to help.'

Then phone lines kept saying 'this information will be on our website' and I couldn't get through to an actual person.

Even if it was online, not everyone HAS a computer, so all information should be available by phone too.
"There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something better tomorrow." - Orison Swett Marden
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# 13
madget
Old 12-05-2010, 10:52 AM
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jazabelle - Yes, that's exactly what I thought. A friend of mine hated technology and wouldn't have a computer if she was given one. It used to drive her mad that Royal Mail used to drone on about the Internet, and she was forced to sit there for ages and listen to their spiel before she could actually re-arrange a delivery or speak to someone.
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# 14
madget
Old 12-05-2010, 11:14 AM
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Anyway, there's been a development!

The lady at our local delivery office kept her promise and rang me first thing this morning to say that she'd found my parcel. There'd been a mix-up as she'd assumed it was ordinary post, rather than tracked. I had offered to give the CS rep the tracking number (just had to quickly look it up online) when she rang the delivery office yesterday, but she said that itwouldn't be necessary and obviously didn't even mention this to them - so the DO were looking in the wrong section.

The DO lady arranged for my parcel to be redelivered just after 8am this morning, so it has arrived just in time!

I have to say that I'm very impressed with the helpfulness of my local DO lady and the delivery man who popped around this morning, also my regular posties are fantastic.

However, I'm still very annoyed at whoever is responsible for that bl**dy awful Royal Mail telephone CS system. I registered a complaint about it when I rang yesterday and would advise anyone else to do the same. They really need to sort it out and make it actually usable.
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# 15
custardy
Old 12-05-2010, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madget View Post
Anyway, there's been a development!

The lady at our local delivery office kept her promise and rang me first thing this morning to say that she'd found my parcel. There'd been a mix-up as she'd assumed it was ordinary post, rather than tracked. I had offered to give the CS rep the tracking number (just had to quickly look it up online) when she rang the delivery office yesterday, but she said that itwouldn't be necessary and obviously didn't even mention this to them - so the DO were looking in the wrong section.

The DO lady arranged for my parcel to be redelivered just after 8am this morning, so it has arrived just in time!

I have to say that I'm very impressed with the helpfulness of my local DO lady and the delivery man who popped around this morning, also my regular posties are fantastic.

However, I'm still very annoyed at whoever is responsible for that bl**dy awful Royal Mail telephone CS system. I registered a complaint about it when I rang yesterday and would advise anyone else to do the same. They really need to sort it out and make it actually usable.
its one of these things
the storage system is very old school
it varys by office but most split recorded/tracked/special deliveries into their own sections
customs charges/underpaid items in another
then normal untracked packages in another

if somethings misfiled it can be a pain to find!

my old office covered 4 postcodes,so these had to be kept separate from each other
and segregated as a said before
i have et to see a delivery office with enough storage room for packets,less so now with later delivery times and the year on year rise in packet traffic
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# 16
madget
Old 12-05-2010, 5:52 PM
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They don't make it easy, custardy - must be a nightmare to work there!

At least my faith has now been restored in my local DO. It all would have been resolved so much more easily if I'd been able to speak direct to them in the first place. They went out of their way to sort it out in time for me. Can't say fairer than that.

I think RM would work so much better if they got rid of all of the decision-making idiots at the top!
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# 17
custardy
Old 12-05-2010, 5:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madget View Post
They don't make it easy, custardy - must be a nightmare to work there!

At least my faith has now been restored in my local DO. It all would have been resolved so much more easily if I'd been able to speak direct to them in the first place. They went out of their way to sort it out in time for me. Can't say fairer than that.

I think RM would work so much better if they got rid of all of the decision-making idiots at the top!
this is it though,very often complaints generate from silly little issues and errors
if the phones in the DO's were staffed then loads could be addressed (no pun)easily
however the fact is the phone is just another job for someone who has loads of other duties to do
in my old office with 4 postcodes to deal with the phone was very low on the priorities
the irony of a queue of people moaning they cant get through on the phone to the one person serving,as the phone rang constantly in the background seemed lost on them
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# 18
zeppellina
Old 12-12-2011, 12:14 PM
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Having exactly the same problem right now with Baird St. Sorting Office in Glasgow, who are fairly notorious here for rarely or almost never answering their phone. If you tap in Baird Street Sorting Office Glasgow into Google, a review site comes up, with endless complaints about them not answering their phone. You would think that Royal Mail would be only too well aware of all of these very frustrated complaints.
If you are able, and have the transport to actually get to Baird Street sorting Office, which is a bit off the beaten track, they are actually very nice to deal with.. but not everyone will have that ability, and therefore they need to phone.
But..it can take days of endless phoning before someone finally answers the phone. And by that time, your package may well have been sent back.
I have also tried the automated service today at customer services, and have felt at the end of my tether with the endless automated messages.
I have not got to speak to a human yet, and feel concerned about my recorded delivery package, and fell my chances of actually getting it delivered to me are getting smaller by the day.
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# 19
flora48
Old 12-12-2011, 12:22 PM
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I find the best way to book a redelivery is on line. Go to Royal Mail website and choose relivery. I have used this several times as our collection Post Office is 7 miles away with linited parking. No problems so far.
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# 20
zeppellina
Old 12-12-2011, 12:35 PM
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well... I finally got through to Baird Street.. despite having arranged with me to redeliver this morning...it is a Royal Mail Tracked package..it is still in the sorting office..which closes at 12,30 today.. they didn`t put it onto the vans for delivery this morning.
oh joy..tomorrow is another day.
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