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Monthly Archives: June 2013
The purpose of this post is to name and shame a grotty little Post Office.
Windmill Lane Sub Post Office.
697 Windmill Lane,
Dane Bank, Denton,
0161 336 3810
The branch is run by a nervous looking chap called Peter, together with another middle aged lady and an elderly lady.
This was one of the Post Offices we used to use each day to send business mail. My spend was between £20 and £100 per day there. I have been using them on and off for years.
When one spends at that kind of level in the Post Office, the time has way passed to move onto what is called PPI. That means you get a Royal Mail business account, pay online and get to use these things.
This is not only significantly cheaper, with no silly size restrictions, but saves you oodles of time too as the plan is you can simply drop off your sealed bags at the nearest Post Office.
No more queuing up behind twenty pensioners who forgot their PIN number to get their pensions. Just stroll to the front and dump your bags. Good eh?
Well, its good unless you want to drop your mail off at Windmill Lane Post Office in Dane Bank.
Not that they have to actually do anything with it other than hand it to the next Royal Mail driver who comes in. They come in several times a day.
A few days ago, I mentioned to Peter in conversation at Windmill Lane Post Office in Dane Bank that we would shortly be moving over to PPI. I didn’t get a reply. Was that a tinge of an attitude I detected? Time would tell.
Yesterday was our first crack at PPI. All duly done, bag sealed and correctly labelled up. I swanned into Windmill Lane Post Office in Dane Bank with it and left it near their inner door and asked if that was OK. The middle aged woman looked a little flustered (which isn’t unusual in there), and asked me what it was.
I explained it was PPI, and she just looked blank. “All you need to do is hand it to the collection driver” I helpfully added. While she was ruminating on that seemingly complicated prospect, I thanked her and left.
Today I strolled in with my bag and the elderly woman was behind the counter.
She suddenly started shouting “Wait! You cant leave those here” over and over and hysterically gesticulating.
When asked why not, “no space!” was the reply.
It took a few moments for the penny to drop that if I wasn’t paying them directly, they didn’t want to take my mail.
Googling tells me that ‘no space’ or ‘health and safety’ is the only excuse they can use to justify this. And they are not alone in doing this. Some other Post Offices try to pull this gag with small businesses too.
Clearly absurd, because if I had been paying them for the mail as usual, there would be space. This is one sack remember — not twenty. I could see into the back room – there was ample space.
Out through the door trundles the bespectacled Peter to reinforce the statement they were not going to accept mail on behalf of Royal Mail, at a Post Office, that Royal Mail pays them a salary to run, and er…….. collect mail.
As I had been a customer so long, and am twice his size, he was understandably looking a little worried. He was sweating profusely, had gone crimson and wouldn’t look me in the eye.
I asked him, “Is this how it is now?”
He looked sheepish, then retreated back behind his glass before adding “We don’t have to accept it you know!”
That was his final ‘Yah Boo’ statement as I was leaving. Delivered in a snarky tone. I almost expected him to blow me a raspberry he looked so pleased with himself (or is that relieved to be back behind glass?)
I always find it illuminating when someone who turns out to be a bit of a snake shows you their other face in this way.
They were all just fine and smiley at the prospect of taking money from me each day for several years. I am fortunate to the degree that our business has grown enough that I need not stand for forty minutes any more while they tediously print labels. And invariably make many mistakes along the way, causing much sighing and peeling them off again — because they don’t listen.
Why not be honest and tell me the truth?
Why not just say “Thank you for giving us tens of thousands of pounds of your money the last four years — but now you can get stuffed mate”.
I would have preferred that honesty rather than watch Peter squirming and sweating with a crimson face making up stories about no space.
What perspiring Peter actually meant, is that he doesn’t support local business.
He doesn’t support local British business by refusing to accept their mail — despite being obliged to, and paid to do by Royal Mail – with one get out clause for the disingenuous: claim lack of space.
Yet, I expect he would be the first to ask for the support of the local community when Windmill Lane Post Office in Dane Bank is earmarked for closure in the near future; which it surely will be, as there is a more efficient Asian-owned one very nearby on a main road. Closing Windmill Lane Post Office in Dane Bank will be a no-brainer for Royal Mail.
I don’t generally support local Post Office closures, but I will support the closure of Windmill Lane Post Office in Dane Bank. Simply on the grounds that they are not fit for purpose. If they wont accept business PPI mail (and are dishonest in their motives for not doing so), they have breached their contract of trust with Royal Mail and the public. Royal Mail hopefully doesn’t want to keep open dishonest Post Offices who lie to customers and fail to facilitate the RM revenue steam.
Well, hopefully they wont when my official complaint reaches the CEO.
Royal Mail listen up: Windmill Lane Post Office in Dane Bank is tucked away serving one estate only. Oak Drive Post Office at 655 Manchester Road, Denton, M34 2NA is only 0.8 miles away and on a main A road. Why have two so close?
Close down Dane Bank as it is no longer fit for purpose. It is a Post Office that doesn’t accept post!
A Post Office should be the backbone of the community in the same way that small business is the backbone of the economy. A Post Office is funded — sometimes at a loss by Royal Mail — to serve the community in which it resides. The Post Office is a public service.
One of the core raison d’etre for a Post Office to exist is as an entry point for mail into the Royal Mail network.
When a single Post Office decides it doesn’t want to collect mail any more then it is no longer fit for purpose.
If a Post Office is no longer fit for purpose — then logic dictates it should be closed.
Your comments are — as always — welcome in the box below. You can also use the social media buttons to link this article elsewhere. Continue reading
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What exactly did happen to anonymity online? And do we really need it?
I think that people were generally more likely to use pseudonyms or post anonymously back in the 1990’s; yet nowadays it seems everyone’s almost too open about themselves.
Just look at older interactive site or forum, and about 90% of them are run by staff going under usernames related to the topic in a generally anonymous way. And many of the members are a bit more secretive than people online now.
But then when you look on any more ‘modern’ website, it seems like hardly anyone is writing things pseudonymously (is that a word?) any more. Everyone gives their real name and photo, half the people there basically just use their Facebook or Twitter profiles rather than an actual forum profile, why?
When did anonymity become seen as a bad thing? Web 2.0 time? And why is this? Did the audience online change significantly enough that it attracted the types of people who wanted the internet to perfectly mirror the real world?
Some say “Blame reality TV shows………”
Maybe it is our expectation that everything on the internet should be free?
When you don’t pay for a service, you’re the merchandise being sold to the highest bidders, and that doesn’t work too well unless service providers pry away as much data they can from you.
We can also lay the blame at the door of Facebook, Twitter, Connect then Google+ (its easier to push people and sites to use its login system than it is to independently require their real names every time).
Some suggest that you’re perfectly anonymous all the time except when you explicitly decide to disclose your identity to select people every single time, or you know the people you address.
It still makes me wonder why people don’t just use fake names or whatever. It’s not exactly easy to verify for a free service like Facebook is it?
I guess login systems make it easier to have people use their real names, but why does it seem more authors and writers online in general seem to have dropped the anonymity and/or pseudonymity too?
When did just about every site become a blog?
Nobody after credibility will deny themselves the gains of getting their commentary validated and cited; especially in the mainstream press.
Building a reputation as a credible author is difficult behind anonymity, as its mostly used as a disposable/ephemeral persona meant to favour free expression safe from retaliation or persecution. This is not a concern for regular authors, who may still use pseudonyms either for privacy or due to pre-established fame.
Big data is now big business. They (Facebook, Google+ etc.) are doing everything they can to get you to disclose as much as they can about you.
Not only is the data on your very valuable but also the ability to track you, your lifestyle, and your commercial interests across the web and target ads at you.
Why does it seem like anonymity is going away? Because there is a billion dollar industry out there being born and people are working to make it seem that way so you’ll be more inclined to willingly give up your personal data to every site you encounter.
What are your thoughts about anonymity online, the information big sites demand of you and personal data protection? Tell us using the comment box below.