Before Christmas, my friendly postman tried to deliver a parcel when no-one was home. Instead of leaving the parcel propped up by the front door to be buried under the falling snow, inviting passers-by to steal the potentially valuable item or slinging it into our dustbin, this time he helpfully left a note asking me to collect the package from the local sorting office or ‘request a redelivery’ on a subsequent date using a form on the Royal Mail web site.
As I am quite lazy, I went for the latter option, and requested redelivery for two days later. The Xmas parcel duly arrived on the prescribed date so that was fine. Well done to the Royal Mail for making the redelivery request option available online. Less work for me. A little more work for them. Everyone’s happy.
A full 10 days later, I was a little perplexed to receive the following email from Royal Mail. At first, I assumed it was a feedback request to ‘Please rate our service’ but no, it wasn’t.
Subject: Redelivery response
If you are now in receipt of your redelivered item, thank you for using our on-line redelivery service and please delete this email.
Ah OK so I can safely delete this email message as my parcel has been successfully redelivered but let’s read on just out of idle curiosity.
Dear Sir or Madam
Thank you for requesting redelivery of your item.
Your local delivery office received your request and after searching for your item was unable to locate it. This could be because you have either already collected the item from the delivery office or it has been redelivered.
If this is not the case may I firstly apologise for any inconvenience you have been caused and for information on what to do next please visit our website at www.royalmail.com or contact Customer Services on 08457 740 740
I had to read this correspondence three times before I was able to parse the words - ‘Your local delivery office received your request and after searching for your item was unable to locate it’. Eh ? But the local delivery office did receive my request and actioned it. The redelivery request had a number associated with it so why didn’t they update the status with ‘Redelivery scheduled for ‘19/12’ ?
The next sentence is also rather odd - ‘This could be because you have either already collected the item from the delivery office or it has been redelivered.’ Somehow this implication of the first statement is that this state of confusion may partially be my fault for having the temerity to visit the local sorting office as requested to collect my parcel. Again, it’s clear the Royal Mail has no idea what actually happened to this parcel. For all they know, it’s sitting at the bottom of my tall, black wheelie bin under two heavy sacks of Christmas rubbish imminently destined for landfill.
However, even though the Royal Mail has no idea what happened to my parcel, I can rest easy - ‘If this is not the case may I firstly apologise for any inconvenience you have been caused and for information on what to do next, please visit our website or contact Customer Services on 08457 740 740’.
So, if my parcel hadn’t been successfully re-delivered or I hadn’t collected it in person, this email from Royal Mail Customer Services hardly inspires confidence that they will inform me with any degree of certainty what to do next.