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

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  • loftx
    loftx Posts: 9 Forumite
    Found out while reading this thread that you don't even need to go into a post office to post packages and things as long as they will fit in the slot in your postbox.

    Royal Mail now seem to have a print postage online option (see their site - I can't post links) which lets you pay for and print out postage labels for things if you know the price.

    I had to send a DVD I sold on Amazon Marketplace to Germany earlier and after weighing it (they give a few example weights) it only took about 5 minutes to choose the postage, pay for it and print out the label. Then 5 more to walk to my postbox and back.

    Only downside seems to be no proof of postage, but they let you print out this form too then you need to take it along to a postoffice.

    Assuming the DVD gets there in one piece I will definitely be using this again.
  • Hiya

    SO SORRY MARTIN

    On-line postage etc & road tax is killing the PO's left open !!!
    They even offer competitions to get on-line business as well.
    TV Licence has gone to the dogs already.
    We have so many customers still coming to us, still.

    The government is doing their best to kill the PO.
    Use your Post Office..............PLEASE
    You have got queues because they have shut so many !!!

    In the country..........find a rural Post Office, if you live in a town,
    please drive out a little way. This will stop the stress of you waiting &
    you will get a far better detailed personal service.

    Just trying to stop even more PO's being closed.

    Just an employee in a lovely PO in Somerset
    XXX
  • thisisace
    thisisace Posts: 109 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    fgjdoll wrote: »
    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! ...

    Our new main post office is laid out like this BUT the computer system is cleverer than you think:

    There IS a position for Business and another for Foreign Exchange. If you take a Business ticket or an FE ticket from the machine, they will deal with you next.

    However, when there are no Business or FE people waiting, the system will allocate the next person in the main queue to them, rather than them just standing there doing nothing, while they wait for the next B or FE customer. Until the next B or FE person comes in, and then they return to their special role again.

    Clever, eh ? :T
  • Matilda
    Matilda Posts: 16 Forumite
    My Post Office is always jammed - 65% of its customers use it for bill paying, pension drawing etc. Some people don't have bank accounts or computers, and aren't keen to.

    I keep a selection of stamps at home, take the letter/parcel to the PO, pass the 50 people queueing, go straight to an unused scale to weigh it accurately, and then leave, posting the item outside. Everyone in line looks desperate and envious. Noggin's right, kitchen scales don't work well, especially for airmail which goes up in 10g increments.

    I send items over 2 Kg by Parcelforce - you pay online, and they pick up from home. They include higher compensation than the PO does. You can use kitchen or bathroom scales for this just fine.

    If I have to queue, after 5 is indeed often best - but you can never be sure at my PO. I have been known to bike a couple of miles away to another one rather than lose my mind, as many in the queue do (in my neighbourhood). I really feel for the staff.

    I've suggested to the manager that they designate one window out of the 10 for postal services only, which in downtimes (if there ever are any)could be used for all services. It can drive you potty to wait 45 minutes to buy an airmail stamp, while others do complicated transactions which take ages. She said it was a good idea - but there's no sign of movement yet!
    If you're posting a parcel and don't want to queue for ages, you can weigh it at home and find out the postage online. Of course you'll need to have enough stamps of various denominations ready. Once you've got the postage on, even if your parcel won't fit into the postbox, most post offices have a sack near the till that you can just put your parcel into rather than queue. I would suggest erring on the safe side if you're weighing your own parcel using ordinary kitchen scales as they're probably not that accurate - if you're close to the weight where it might cost a bit extra, I'd pay that rather than risk the recipient having to pay a penalty at the other end.

    Also, if you're selling something on Ebay, they have a facility where you can pay online for a postage label including postage, again avoiding the post office.
  • Hiya

    SO SORRY MARTIN

    On-line postage etc & road tax is killing the PO's left open !!!
    They even offer competitions to get on-line business as well.
    TV Licence has gone to the dogs already.
    We have so many customers still coming to us, still.

    The government is doing their best to kill the PO.
    Use your Post Office..............PLEASE
    You have got queues because they have shut so many !!!

    In the country..........find a rural Post Office, if you live in a town,
    please drive out a little way. This will stop the stress of you waiting &
    you will get a far better detailed personal service.

    Just trying to stop even more PO's being closed.

    Just an employee in a lovely PO in Somerset
    XXX

    If the little post offices don't offer the service then there's not much incentive to support them.

    My village post office does not deal with car tax.

    In the time it takes me to walk to the end of the road I can buy it on line - which I now do.
  • Where I work, all mail is franked - franked mail prices are cheaper than stamps. So I send a lot of my mail through work - it's all above board, the post room staff do the weighing and franking and tell us how much we owe, which we settle in cash. I pay franked mail prices and avoid having to queue at the post office for half an hour with two bored, whinging toddlers in tow! :j
  • I think the simplest way to cut queuing is to make the new post office cards (the ones you use to draw your money out instead of paper giros) a chip and pin card. I know we have to put in a pin number at the till anyway but why not make them so we can use them in a cash machine at any banks-not just a post office cash machine. That should cut down on queues on pension day as well. Though I do find at my local post office, Saturday morning is the quietest time-and Im not telling you where it is cos you'll ruin it for me or rob me on the way out-lol.
    When there's a knock at the door, why do dogs always think its for them?
  • The ground has been covered with so many options so my contribution is to say, whenever possible, I will try and use the post office, as within reason I will use a real shop with goods I can actually see on the shelves. Yes I internet for things I can not readily obtain otherwise or where the price savings just has to be considered.

    We all need employment and it is an inescapable fact that internet and overseas call centres replace someones wages - no I'm not a ludite, just realistic.

    My nearest sub PO a couple of miles away has a rather miserable, 'can't do that', assistant so I go a little further to a village one. There, with a smile and friendly banter, they indulge my request for different value, special issues and similar which I stick all over the parcels so my Grandchildren can take them to 'show & tell' in Canada, I pay my car tax there - and can still use the web to enter the DVLC win a car competition, etc. etc. I keep a supply of custom ' douane' & 'par avion' labels, & recorded slips ready and always write the proper address in the correct places before hand. We know the village postie.

    A Sub PO's income may just help to keep a service going and keep a community a community, otherwise when we look for it we'll wonder why and when we lost it.

    :j we may know the price of something but do we always know its value ?
  • If some of the tips on this forum are followed then even more Post Office's will be closed due to lack of business which would be a great shame as they do offer a useful service and some excellent products.

    People have mentioned being 'sold' other services such as insurance, credit cards etc., but these are vital for the Post Office to stay in business, just relying on postage alone is not profitable. Also the services that are offered are excellent value and many customers are interested to find out what is available and support their local office and the staff that work there.

    If you are not interested in what is being offered - just say no thank you at the counter - please do not be abusive or rude to the staff as they are only trying to do their job and it takes a lot of courage to ask a customer about a product/service and does affect their confidence and mood for the rest of the customers that day.

    It can be frustrating standing in a queue, but we do it when we go to Sainsburys, Tesco's etc., even in the local banks we have to queue so why is it such an issue in the Post Office?

    If we lose our Post Offices we won't ever get them back and it's true what they say - you don't appreciate what you've got until it's gone.
  • Also, if you're selling something on Ebay, they have a facility where you can pay online for a postage label including postage, again avoiding the post office.

    Post Office's make very little when you use Paypal pre-paid postage, and apparently still need to go through the proof of posting process to get any credit. If we all did that we wouldn't have any local/sub post office's left.
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