Royal Mail must sort Sorting Office opening times

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Photo on 12-02-2015 at 15.32

I missed a Royal Mail parcel last week. This happens millions of times a month probably all over the country. It was an Amazon delivery and I just wasn’t in.

But I was surprised to note, when I considered the card, that on only one day a week is it possible for anyone down my way (the sorting office in question is Hove) to collect their parcel after 2pm. So it’s good news if you’re about up until 8 on a Wednesday. But not so much if you’re busy until 2pm on a Saturday. And heaven forbid you might want to collect on a Sunday.

These timings, I reflected, are a hangover of days gone by. The hours aren’t suited to busy shoppers but to the traditional timings of postal workers of yesteryear.

I opted to have my package redelivered to my local post office (just up the road) and all was tickety-boo. After I paid my 75p.

But it must be said that Royal Mail does seem to be lagging here in the 24/7 delivery and collection culture that is now considered the norm for ecommerce customers. Where is the flexibility? Where are the lockers and the extended times we were promised? Isn’t it time this particular and potentially very attractive aspect of Royal Mail’s infrastructure was put to good use? It could be an amazing commercial advantage.

It seems that Royal Mail has been granted the commercial flexibility they asked for with privatisation but remains sluggish to adapt and make use of its unique market position.

11 Responses

  1. They’re better than our times. Closes at 12.30pm on weekdays and only open until 10am on Saturdays.

    To make things even worse, we are no longer allowed to park in the car park for “Health & Safety Reasons”! Double yellow lines on the streets all around.

  2. Do we really want everything to become a 7 day business. I know it is going that way, but really shouldn’t Sundays be about time off and spending that with the family – the more people demand Sunday opening hours the more people have to work on a Sunday. Are things really that important ?

  3. It is punishment for being out when they first called.

    Local ‘managers’ are under much pressure to cut costs. This is seen as an easy option.

    Here in Norwich the enquiry office associated with the sorting office (not the delivery office) seems to be coming under scrutiny with a view to perhaps be open for far less time.

    It is currently open 7am-7.30pm Weekdays plus Saturday mornings and is a superb facility for mail drop-off for micro and fledgling businesses where you CAN park (and they sell stamps too).

  4. You have a lot more options than we have here in London Dan. Ours in Forest Gate opens at 7am & closes at 12.00 mon to fri & 7am till 1pm on Saturdays. It used to be 7am to 1pm weekdays but they slashed an hour off last year. So it’s getting worse. Royal Mail will continue to cut costs until they have nothing left while Hermes & Collect+ steal all their business. RM continue to deliver unwanted mail even though I joined MPS 5 months ago. Royal Mail need to focus on what people actually want instead of delivering junk mail!

  5. Even worse than restricted opening times is the fact that you have to wait 48 hours here before you can go and collect (or rearrange delivery).

  6. Well, at least you received a notice! Shipping to the UK is a crap-shoot every time..I ship to The UK about 8 times or more a week..sometimes they do not even let the recipient know there is a parcel or where it is and after a week or so they ship it back,,then who knows if it is returned..Be thank full that you have a notice..

  7. My “local” delivery office is open reasonable hours. Unfortunately it is a 3 mile drive (or 2 buses each way) to get there.

    This is a city delivery office, however due to the strange postcode district I live in (has a hill in the middle) and having the delivery office just outside the district on the far side of the hill results in an inconvenient location to pick up items.

  8. Sometimes, a courier can go too far…

    Last night we received a phone call at 2245 from an Amazon courier to say he was outside our house with an Amazon Prime delivery.

    Luckily I was still awake, but I’m sure he got some grief from other people.

    Do Amazon couriers get penalised for missing a Prime delivery slot or something similar?



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