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



  • Caroline2CV
    Caroline2CV Posts: 118 Forumite
    There is a lovely P/T lady (am's) at the Red Lion Rd PO (opp Tolworth Hospital). She is so well thought of I have seen her customers remember her at Xmas with a wee card etc. A trip there is a joy - bit of social banter whilst in the Q - and a subsidised lunch when finished in the PO over the road in the hospital canteen!
  • bylromarha
    bylromarha Posts: 10,085 Forumite
    I've been Money Tipped!
    Become friends with the staff at your local sub and treat them like human beings!

    I have found the staff at mine invaluable and they treat their regulars well.

    i've seen different ebayers drop 2 ikea bags off ready to pay the next day-even handing over the counter whilst someone else is being served.
    Who made hogs and dogs and frogs?
  • Wagearner
    Wagearner Posts: 14 Forumite
    Probably a tip for city centres, but the PO near my office in central London is always quiet early in the day - they open early (I think at 8.00/8.30) and I whizz through on my way into the office, usually with no queue at all.

    If on the other hand I go there at lunchtime, I would be inclined to take sandwiches...
  • Rotti
    Rotti Posts: 232 Forumite
    Photogenic First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    The Main PO in Bath is appalling!!! It couldn't be in a more inaccessible place for driving with parcels, plus there is zero parking, and the queues are like a bad day at Alton Towers! :mad:

    Local POs are a lifeline for surrounding shops and when they close they take others down with them. Unfortunately that also happens with each service removed or transferred to banks. I used to have a local clothes shop next to our sub and did extremely well from the mums collecting their Family Allowances.....until some idiot decided banks were the best way. Many local shops benefited from the direct payment of cash to the mothers, and the same applied to pensions. It is a chicken and egg situation and very much a vicious circle. Queue up and give them the business or do as much as possible online to avoid the queues and they are not there when you need them.
    Our sub stopped doing Road Tax so I get that online now and also the TV Licence. I do send a lot of parcels from eBay sales, but having been overcharged a couple of times I have printed off the weights and charges table from the website and weigh them myself. I then write on the weight and the price, so they know I know! They have even told me in the past that their scales aren't always right so are probably overcharging others. If you want to test the humour of the staff, try landing a large box on the counter and saying "Large Letter please!" :rotfl:
  • Please use your local post office's or you will lose them!!

    Try afternoons and mid month they tend to be quietest at our local office, and sub post offices are much quieter and friendlier than the big crown offices!

    You can do most things you can do at the post office either online, by phone or at the bank. But if you don't use you're office then at the next lot of post office cuts, which is likely to happen sometime, it'll be your local office that will go!

    Even Post Office Ltd are destroying local offices by letting you buy their products online! It means they cut out the middle man and save themselves money! :eek:


    Or next time you need to go it won't be there!!
  • This is a real quandary. I avoid the Post Office like the plague because I haven't got half an hour to waste. But how is it that we accept such awful service? The government needs to get the message and stop selling the Post Office and us short.

    Where I work in the City of London most of the Post Offices have been closed and the wait is 30 mins minimum and the nearest one Eastcheap now has the awful meat counter ticket queue.

    When I need the Post Office I always try to use a local sub post office which is less busy and best of all if I am going to visit my Mum in Yorkshire (Barnsley) I have found the service excellent.

    Here is my tip. Go onto the Royal Mail site and check the opening hours for all the Post Offices near to you. I was surprised to find that many open early, are open on Saturday afternoons and even Sundays. They are often quiet then because most people don't know they are open. When I renewed my passport I went to my Mum's local sub post office on a Sunday morning - it offers the passport checking service. As it is also a newsagent it opens the Post Office counter from 5 am in the week. The staff are super and really friendly, a real pleasure. Needless to say the Post Office will probably want to close it down.

    By the way, I feel sorry for the Post Office staff who most of the time are doing the best to do a good job despite the appalling managers they have who foist really poor service on the public and put them on the front line.
  • zipman23
    zipman23 Posts: 291 Forumite
    Car Insurance Carver!
    edited 5 August 2009 at 6:56PM
    I'm a postman. Sure you can buy your car tax online but then you'd have to wait 3-5 working days for us to deliver it so especially for those who tend to "forget" or leave it until the last minute its the quickest option. At a Post Office you can get it there and then by showing the necessary documents (motor insurance policy etc) which you should have to hand anyway incase you have an accident.

    If you regularly send items via recorded delivery like me, ask for a few more so that you can fill in the address etc before you get to the PO which saves both you and them time. That way, the only thing left to do for them apart from scanning it is to stick it on the package.

    Avoiding pension days and lunchtimes etc. is also common sense.

    As for posting items, at the mail centre where I live, they have their own office which take parcels upto 7.30pm (I think) so that helps those who work 9-5 jobs. The only problem with that though is that you can only pay by cash but if you roughly know the price for the item having checked the Royal Mail website, you should roughly know how much money to take with you :)
    English by birth. GEORDIE by the grace of God.
  • Cougargb
    Cougargb Posts: 52 Forumite
    edited 5 August 2009 at 7:25PM
    I think most of my thoughts on Post Offices have been well stated!

    In Wellingborough I use the main Crown Office and the only other sub-post office.

    One thing not mentioned is the annoying practice in the Crown Office of selling everything other than postal services. The counter staff will spend 20 minutes explaining and trying to sell, all types of insurance, telephone services and credit cards, even when there are 20 people in a queue and there are only 2 others serving and one of those does foreign exchange!

    As for using online postage, which I love, it's great, the labels print easily and any amount can be put on a credit card.

    HOWEVER my local sub-post office refused to let me put pre-paid items into their sacks saying they HAD to check the weight and ensure the correct postage has been paid!

    You can't win!
  • LadyGrey
    LadyGrey Posts: 9 Forumite
    My top tips:

    - Pay car tax online.
    - Try to avoid Post Office towards the end of the month (when everyone else is paying their car tax).
    - Buy stamps at supermarkets.
    - Go to PO after 5pm.
  • jtaylor2008
    jtaylor2008 Posts: 120 Forumite
    Beat the Q ideas
    5. Keep a few of each of the following blank forms to complete before going to the counter:
    (a) Standard Parcels Certificate of Posting
    (b) Certificate of Posting
    (c) Recorded 'Signed for' - 1st and 2nd class
    (d) Special Delivery 'next day'
    (e) Despatch Certificate (if using Parcel Force)
    (f) Lost, damaged or delayed inland mail claims forms
    (g) Customer Care Manager (prepaid forms) Post Office Counters Ltd so you can fill in the Comments re time waited/staff politness etc

    NB Apologies if the Royal Mail has gone over to a different method but my stock of the above forms are still valid.

    If you use any of the forms always ask for a couple to take home for pre PO trip completion to save time

    How do you get 'Standard Parcels' COP forms?

    I have in the few occasions where PO staff have given me 'normal letter' COP detailing the 'items sent as parcels' ??? :confused::confused:
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