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

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  • jd87
    jd87 Posts: 2,345 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited 4 August 2009 at 11:47PM
    There is obviously the option of printing your own postage online, however it only really works for things that you wouldn't need to queue for anyway. For normal postage that you can just put a stamp on and put in a letterbox it works great and gives a professional look to the envelope, but if you do it for anything that is "signed for", special delivery or needs a certificate of postage then you still need to queue at the post office counter and have it logged into the computer anyway. Then there are the issues that someone else mentioned about your local post office not getting much money for processing pre-paid postage.

    In my local large post office the slowest people seem to be the ones who haven't addressed an envelope properly. A couple of tips for addressing envelopes are:

    1. ALWAYS use a postcode whenever you can - if sending recorded or special delivery this is absolutely essential; the counter staff need a postcode to put on the system and if you haven't got the right one it can take them ages to find it on their computer.
    2. If you are sending something abroad make sure you have the address written in English lettering and the country name written in capitals in English at the bottom of the address.
  • shaz22
    shaz22 Posts: 48 Forumite
    I sneak to the shop section in the main post office where they are ok about weighing and doing the postage for letters and parcels when the counters queue is massive. Best avoid lotto days Saturday and Wednesday for the shop section or kiosks in post offices popular with scratchcard purchasers.

    A good time is to get to a Sub post office about 10 to 5 minutes before it's due to open on a Saturday morning.

    But, on the whole, we're British and aren't we supposed to love queuing? It's an instituition. I take a library book with me:rotfl:
  • cally6008
    cally6008 Posts: 7,629 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    1 - If sending recorded delivery - have the stickers already on the parcel

    2 - Have your senders address already on the back of the parcel

    3 - MOST IMPORTANT - always always check that the address you are sending the parcel to matches the address on the royal mail website. If it doesnt match, 9 out of 10 times, post office will not accept it or will make such a fuss of "well which one is it".

    I just walk into either of the 2 post offices near me, put item on scales and say "first class recorded please, address has been checked etc" that way they know it just needs postage label on and me to pay
  • StaffsSW
    StaffsSW Posts: 5,788 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post First Anniversary
    A few people have mentioned about dropping off parcels and paying later - if the PO know you will be a regular, quite a few are receptive to the idea, especially if you leave the odd box of chocolates in with the parcels now and again.

    I drop off my parcels each morning, and then go back in the afternoon or following morning to pay and drop of the next batch. I also write the weight on the item, as well as having any recorded/special/customs/airmail stickers already attached.

    The smaller PO's are usually grateful for the extra revenue it brings as well.
    <--- Nothing to see here - move along --->
  • Ken68
    Ken68 Posts: 6,825 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Energy Saving Champion Home Insurance Hacker!
    I've had some good conversations in queues.
    Don't ,whatever you do ,start up a chant "Why are we waiting" LOL
  • mrcol1000
    mrcol1000 Posts: 4,789 Forumite
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    shaz22 wrote: »
    I sneak to the shop section in the main post office where they are ok about weighing and doing the postage for letters and parcels when the counters queue is massive. Best avoid lotto days Saturday and Wednesday for the shop section or kiosks in post offices popular with scratchcard purchasers.

    A good time is to get to a Sub post office about 10 to 5 minutes before it's due to open on a Saturday morning.

    But, on the whole, we're British and aren't we supposed to love queuing? It's an instituition. I take a library book with me:rotfl:


    Most only do two or three and won't touch anything that is recorded etc... Still if you only have one or two to post they should let you post it there
  • Our post office has just undergone a total refit - they now have an argos style "take a ticket and take a seat" system which has various different queues which they can tailor to what the staff need. There's a car tax queue, a passport check & send queue (most of the time) and everyone else gets bundled together in a massive 'counter services' group despite the options being available for special delivery, business services but these are hardly ever used! 9 times out of 10 i go to post a special delivery parcel for work, yet despite it being franked and ready to go, I still have to join the counter services queue - I can wait anything between 5 mins and 1 hour. There doesn't seem to be any good time to go because it's always busy! It's a stones throw from the jobcentre so i'm sure that most of the people in there are just cashing their giro cheque. My tip? Just get to know the post office staff, the waiting then doesn't seem so tedious!
  • jask86
    jask86 Posts: 9 Forumite
    Hi,

    I hardly ever write on here so please forgive me if this has already been mentioned.

    1. Paypal postage online is a god send for all ebayers.
    2. DO NOT buy you stamps over the post office counter, by them at Superdrug when they have the 5% off deal. (We did this for our wedding invites)
    3. Pay all bills online or through the post by cheque using your cheap stamps.
    4. I havent paid my car tax at the post office for about the last 2 years, doing it online cuts down time and it is a fast service (Well done DVLA)
    5. Dont get your travel insurance over the counter get it online where you can compare prices.
    6. Euros can be bought online or at Marks and Spencers.

    Hope this helps, for everything else unfortunately the proof of postage is a problem. I even tried my local sorting office once for sending back clothes to ASOS. I just needed it stamped to say they had sent it, but I had to go to the post office!!! about 11am is a good time, or 2pm or also using post offices that are close to each other (though unfortunately that doesnt happen very often)
    Also in Glasgow there is 1 that is open on a Sunday. There are also a couple that open at 7:30am these are really good to use there is never a queue. Also ones that open at 8:30am are also good for non queues early on.
  • I send the Mrs. Problem solved. :p
  • edinburgher
    edinburgher Posts: 13,458 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    A bit cheeky I know, but here's one for all of you people taking out prepaid debit cards etc. as recommended by MSE Martin :money: <<<--- that guy!

    If you're not averse to being a tiny bit sneaky, the bureau de change counter at the larger Post Offices are normally happy to let you pay on money etc. to these without having to wait in the main queue.

    This seems fair enough (after all, it will take all of 30 seconds to process), they're often less busy than their colleagues and I've been told to do this on multiple occasions by members of staff trying to manage the queue.

    £4 return flights to Switzerland next spring and it only took me 2 mins to load the money onto the card... :T
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