Monday, 3 September 2012

Royal Mail's position on mail re-delivery ridiculous

I have today slammed Royal Mail’s position on mail re-deliveries in the West End.  It follows a request made by myself and West End Community Council to allow residents who have a DD2 postcode to have their undelivered mail and parcels to be picked up at the Perth Road Post Office should they wish.    

I have previously criticised Royal Mail for closing its well-used and very accessible Collection Office in Crichton Street.      Mail and parcels that are undelivered are now redirected to the Edward Street Sorting Office for DD1 customers and Baird Avenue for DD2 and DD3 customers.    As Baird Avenue is not near the West End and is very inaccessible by public transport, West End Community Council and I asked Royal Mail to have West End DD2 customers’ mail sorted at Edward Street rather than Baird Avenue, as Edward Street is a much better location.   However, addressing a West End Community Council meeting in April, the then Scottish Affairs Manager at Royal Mail said that Royal Mail would not use the Edward Street facility for the sorting of its DD2 customers’ mail.

The then Scottish Affairs Manager at Royal Mail rejected the requests made by the Community Council, myself and local residents to keep the Crichton Street facility open or use their much more accessible Edward Street Sorting Office for all West End mail rather than having people have to find their way to the remote Baird Avenue facility.    However, at the meeting, the Royal Mail representative did say he would look into the viability of allowing DD2 residents of the West End to request that their undelivered mail be picked up by them at the Perth Road Post Office.    At the moment, as the Perth Road Post Office is in the DD1 area by just a matter of yards, only mail and packages that are for DD1 households can be collected there.

The Perth Road Post Office is a well-used Post Office, accessible and also very close to the start of DD2 households to the immediate west and north of the Post Office.    It strikes me that, although we would have much rather seen the retention of the Crichton Street office, at least allowing all West End residents the opportunity to pick up parcels and undelivered mail at the Perth Road Post Office would of some help.

However, having contacted Julie Pirone, Director of Communications Scotland at Royal Mail recently about another constituent’s complaint about Royal Mail’s unwillingness to redirect their parcel to the Perth Road Post Office because the resident lives “over the Postcode boundary” into DD2, I have received the following response from Ms Pirone:

“I am sorry for the problems your constituent had when attempting to arrange redelivery of her item.   We always do our best to resolve any problems our customers may have with the delivery of their mail and I apologies again that we failed on this occasion.

Whilst I would agree that there have been a number of issues around the caller's office move from Crichton Street to Baird Avenue I want to reassure you that our main objective is to ensure the continued provision of postal service in the community.

As you are aware Perth Road Post Office is outside the DD2 delivery area and mail is delivered by Dundee Central delivery office (DD1).   As we do not redeliver mail outside of the intended recipients' postcode area this may inconvenience some customers more than others.    However, we have no plans at the current time to change this practice.”

I think Royal Mail’s position is ridiculous and shows a real lack of good customer relations.    There are properties in – for example, Step Row and Hawkhill – that are in DD2 but are literally a stone’s throw from the Perth Road Post Office but they can’t collect their undelivered mail from their local Post Office, according to Royal Mail.     

I have asked the Director of Communications Scotland at Royal Mail for a rethink on the matter.