So what’s happening with the delivery of small packets and parcels at the Post Office in the Hyde, Greater Manchester (Tameside) area recently?
We know they like to go on strike quite often. And every strike is reason enough for delays and backlogs. Recently, they have had a new reason for backlog and delay: SNOW.
The Post Office is so useless the last few months that even eBay are recommending using alternative carriers. All manner of outfits will now deliver small parcels around and about the place for between £3 and £10 depending on size and weight. There are some new services springing up where you drop your parcel off at the local convenience store and your recipient collects it from their local convenience store. Not ideal, but cheap at least. The Post Office is losing its monopoly on parcels (letters are currently protected from serious competition by an act of parliament). Bloody good, I say! Let the Post Office compete in the market place and let people vote with their feet and quids!
The last few months I have tended toward using DHL as you can track the parcel (well, kind of – you feel warm and fuzzy inside thinking you know where it is anyway) and they quite often get it right (not all the time I grant you). Unfortunately, I live in an area serviced by DHL’s notorious Ashton Service Centre. That depot tends to slow DHL’s service down to almost near the Post Office speed.
I have a parcel (containing £100 worth of goods I need for my business I might add) sent from the Isle of Wight on the 4th January 1st Class. Today is the 15th January and it hasn’t arrived yet. WTF? I have another parcel from an eBay seller (I know he has sent it as he has a zillion positive feedbacks and was bugging me for feedback already). That was sent around the 4th January also. Neither of them have shown up. It seems mail, and especially parcels to Hyde, Godley, Denton, Dukinfield, Mottram, Ashton-Under-Lyne and other areas in Tameside are seriously delayed and sitting around in sorting offices gathering dust.
Last week, I dragged my arse into Hyde sorting office on Hamnett Street. I explained that ten days is more than long enough for a 1st class parcel, and asked them what was the chances of an actual parcel delivery in 2010 (Coz, I just know it is Hyde where the delay is – don’t ask me why, I just know!) as we hadn’t had one at all yet this year.
The tall bloke with the gigs (an affable and relaxed fellow) earnestly told me tall tales of delays, backlogs, snow and other tales of woe (I was tempted to whip my violin out). None of this hyperbole was getting my parcel to me with any greater sense of urgency though. I then described it exactly to him (as I get many the same – well I used to…….) and asked him to go and bloody look for it. He refused, citing huge volumes of parcels, backlogs, “needles in haystacks”, etc.
Hope momentarily glimmered from beyond the grey cloud though. I was told that 12 staff were being drafted in on the Sunday to clear the backlog of parcels. If it was in Hyde sorting office it would be delivered on Sunday. “Snow is no problem” he exclaimed, warming to his theme by now, “They will walk if necessary – the parcels will be delivered.” I actually believed this crap. Off I trundled to relay the good news to my wife. She laughed like a drain and wished me good luck waiting for the postman on a Sunday.
On Sunday, I joined an enthusiastic group of neighbours clearing snow from our street. (Naturally, the Socialist Borough of Tameside don’t want to waste Council Tax payers’ money on trivial matters like gritting the roads. Roy Oldham may not have enough cash left for his expenses, some left-handed, Albanian, lesbian Outreach workers and some stained glass windows.) Despite toiling in our street half the day, I did not catch sight of that rare breed, the lesser-spotted Hyde Postman clutching parcels! The buggers delivered nowt!
Here we are at the next weekend. The 15th January. Still no parcels. Still no delivery of goods posted 4th January. Still no eBay goods. They did manage to push handfuls of crap through the door though this week. I don’t know what they are. I am self-programmed not to read them on the way to the bin. Like all that crap you get in the free paper that falls out when you shake it over the bin before you read it.
Are you waiting for a parcel routed through Hyde Sorting Office? How long have you waited? What is your experience of mail and parcel delivery in Hyde and surrounding areas of Tameside? Tell us using the comments box below. I cannot be alone!