Spill the beans... on cutting Post Office queues (revisited)

MSE_Jenny
MSE_Jenny Posts: 1,312
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MSE update 29 Nov 2011: Due to its popularity last time, we've re-opened this thread in our new Spill the beans format in the hope that MoneySavers have unearthed new methods to cut out those exasperating Post Office queues ...

Back to the original post ...

Endless Post Office queues can drive you barmy. So we want to tap MoneySavers to find ways to spend less time in the line. Do any employees have insider tips on the best days to go? Obviously lunchtimes are best avoided, but are queues longer on certain days of the month?

And what Post Office activities, eg, parcel posting and bill paying, can you do at home instead of going down in person.

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Comments

  • kissjenn
    kissjenn Posts: 2,358
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    Our Post Ofice cashes up on a Wednesday afternoon. It's a weekly activity that takes hours and they go down to one person serving. No idea if that's Post Office wide but they suggested I avoid it if at all possible.

    Also last day of month for Road Tax (and first day of month for oops I forgot to pay the Road Tax).

    Most people now get benefits directly into Bank Accounts but areas where people still use a lot of books and giros have queues out the door first thing Monday to Thursday.

    Businesses usually use 4:30pm-5:30pm slot to get their mail out for that day, so again very busy here.
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  • frivolous_fay
    frivolous_fay Posts: 13,302
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    I tend to avoid the PO on market day... but at my local, they do seem to put more staff on to cover market days. So the mahoosive queue does move faster. Maybe I've got it all wrong!

    Today it was just a mahoosive queue with only 5 people serving... probably several people on their lunch break too... ah well!
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  • mrcol1000
    mrcol1000 Posts: 4,787
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    I go to my local post office Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and its always very quiet. I think the smaller post offices are much better as long as you don't go early morning. Although I have found if you go about 9.30am on a Saturday to my local one its empty.
    A lot of people (especially elderly) on benefits still collect their money via Post Office so its still busy.
    Our main post office has self-service postage machines but getting proof of postage is an issue.
  • Premier_2
    Premier_2 Posts: 15,141
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    If they are anything like ours, avoid the major/crown post offices at all times... unless you have 30mins to an hour you like to queue up for.

    Try and find a smaller/rural post office and hope the time you go isn't when Doris happens to go in to collect her pension. Find out which day is early closing and remember not to go then either.
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  • soolin
    soolin Posts: 71,850
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    My sub has shorter queues but is reluctant to allow anything to go as a large letter, everything is a pocket. The crown one is busy, an average wait of 25 minutes but if I can get my item through the slot it is a large packet.

    So I judge which post office to use by the sort of items i have to post.
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  • jtaylor2008
    jtaylor2008 Posts: 120 Forumite
    Use sub and not Crown. Ever!

    What's the difference between a sub and Crown? :o Sorry I don't know how to tell the difference. (And no, not a wind up post!)
  • chja
    chja Posts: 913 Forumite
    edited 4 August 2009 at 3:11PM
    Almost all bills can be paid on line, or even better use Direct Debit then now work at all needed (ignore tha paranoia about people taking money out your account, it's the safest way to pay someone - guaranteed by the Banks - and you may even get a discount from the utility).

    Pre-complete customs/recorded/sd labels (the PO will give you a stock).

    Try to avoid lunch times (duh), and if the PO is near a school then about 20-30 mins before it ends.

    Ours does some form of reconcilliation at about 4pm, which takes one of the two staff off the till. Any shops that bank at the PO are likely to be in there sometime between 4-5 also.

    Pretty small windows of opportunity really.
  • mrcol1000
    mrcol1000 Posts: 4,787
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    What's the difference between a sub and Crown? :o Sorry I don't know how to tell the difference. (And no, not a wind up post!)


    Crown is your big one in the centre town. Sub is your little village one or one on the edge of town.
  • soolin wrote: »
    My sub has shorter queues but is reluctant to allow anything to go as a large letter, everything is a pocket. The crown one is busy, an average wait of 25 minutes but if I can get my item through the slot it is a large packet.

    So I judge which post office to use by the sort of items i have to post.

    My local sub knows everything I send is LLunless I tell them otherwise.

    The sub near work lets me tell them the weight and how I want them sent!

    The one near home are very, very quick and if busy I just drop my gear off and go and settle up later.

    Perks of living near a very good PO and using it every week for 6 years of ebaying!
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