Post Office Refusing To Accept PPI Mail.

By | June 18, 2013

The purpose of this post is to name and shame a Post Office.

Windmill Lane Sub Post Office.
697 Windmill Lane,
Dane Bank, Denton,
M34 2ET
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.

Post Office not accepting PPI mail

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.

Dane Bank Post Office

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 — we can’t accept those” 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 and had no intention of doing so.

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 uneasy. He was sweating profusely, had gone crimson and wouldn’t look me in the eye.

I asked him, “Is this how it is now? I think I understand what is going on here…..”

He shrugged.

Still looking sheepish, he then retreated back behind his glass before adding, “We don’t have to accept it you know!”

That was his final statement as I was leaving — still clutching my mail bag to find a normal Post Office to accept my mail.

He delivered that last line in such a snarky tone. I almost expected him to put his thumb to his nose, wiggle his fingers and blow me a raspberry. He looked so pleased with himself (or is that relieved to be back behind glass perhaps?).

I always find it illuminating when someone who seemed OK turns out to be a bit of a snake and 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 technically obliged to, and paid to do so 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.

6 thoughts on “Post Office Refusing To Accept PPI Mail.

  1. eBayer

    thanks for this. I never liked that place anyway coz they are too slow……. i wont go again. what a snide. Bet hes gutted if he has read this. Probably didnt expect to be outed. 😉

    They are too dear for small parcels anyway. You pay £4.88 with collect+ through and you can drop them off at dane bank stores on thornley lane south. Post office charges over a fiver. No daft size rubbish with collect either. Up to 2 kilos is ok too @ that money.

  2. Editor Post author

    The Post Office have concluded their investigation:

    Thank you for letting me know about your recent experience in our Windmill Lane Post Office® branch.

    I’m sorry that on visiting the above office to send PPI mail the Postmaster has refused to accept your items. I do appreciate the inconvenience and concern that this matter has caused you and please accept my sincere apologies for this.

    It may help if I explain Customers who have an account with Royal Mail can bring their mail items in bulk to any branch as long as there are no mail integrity issues.

    Please note: There is no need for the Branch Assistant to check any paperwork against the items received.

    I have phoned the Postmaster as part of my investigation and asked that he speak with the helpline available to him to ensure that he is fully aware of the counter procedure for PPI mail and he advised me that he would do this.

    I do hope that this helps to clarify our position on this matter and I trust that you will have no further cause for concern. We do rely on customer feedback to improve our service so please feel free to contact us if you have any further issues. As we record every complaint, you can simply quote **** and we can get your details quickly.

    Once again, I’m sorry for any distress caused by this incident.

    I haven’t had as similar issue with any other local Post office it must be noted. Every other local one – even those smaller than the one on Windmill Lane – accept PPI mail without a quibble.

    In fact, I found out from one that they do get paid for all Recorded Delivery, International Signed For and Special Delivery items you send. They need not even enter the address; they simply scan the barcodes from your book ten at at time and print one receipt. Like free money……..

    Hopefully, when Peter has digested the advice from his helpline, he may choose to be less petty and start to do the job they actually pay him to do.

    Update to follow………

  3. Roger

    We have had exatly the same problem with our local PO. They said not obliged, we contacted Royal Mail and they said they WERE obliged to take the bags. Went to local PO and told them they have to take. Now they dont talk to us and the ammount of damaged parcels has risen!! We tested this out by delivering to the Sorting office for one month and guess what, NO damaged parcels at all!!

    There are a lot of strange issues with our PO now, too many to list here, but the last thing we remember our postmatser saying was that ” we will stop dropping off at the local PO period”

  4. ali


    no post office is accepting ppi bag every post office is blaming to thenext close one post office where should i go now ????

  5. Editor Post author

    Complain to Royal Mail, the branch manager will get a phone call about it, and take the print out of the email that will say they are obliged to accept your mail at that branch with you. And stand there until they do. We had to do that at Gorton main post office in Manchester. We complained twice, now they grumpily accept it (after making you wait at the window for 10 minutes and then join the queue to get Recorded’s scanned). Sometimes we have to show the individual staff member the letter in order for them to accept it.

    However, for parcels, we are finding ipost and Hermes better. Cheaper than the Post Office, tracked, and they collect. Fewer cases of ‘item not received’ fraud now. And you can ship directly from interfaces on eBay and Amazon. We only use PPI now for Large Letters, Highlands and Islands and some overseas parcels.

  6. Giles

    I know this is old but thought I’d reply.

    I was once a sub-postmaster and I hated acceptting PPI mail, I always accepted it as I knew I had too, with my business now sold over 12 months ago (15 years was enough) my wife and I have started selling on ebay, our business expanded so I applied for an account, the savings are good enough to justify it and free postage labels etc also make it a bonus.

    Over the last 12 months I have used a couple of branches local to me (including my old branch, but it’s nit on my usual route so don’t tend to use it) their is one branch that WILL NOT accept PPI mail and the same branch also kicked up a stink when I went in to post pre-paid items.

    Having been a sub-postmaster, you get paid for accepting pre-paid (Click & Drop and ebay etc….) items and it’s easier now than ever with the introduction of 2D barcodes! PPI mail tho, you don’t get paid much for, but…. all you do if push 3 buttons and you get paid, no barcodes to scan or anything, simple, you could if you are behind the counter push the buttons several times a day and get paid for doing nothing, infact I would say it’s easier to accept it than to say no to the customer!

    Personally I don’t see what the issue with accepting it is, money for next to nothing.

    I do sympthaise with Peter from the branch above, I had a customer over the Christmas period once snatched off me by Royal Mail as we were processing 200/300 items a day! Great business for us, but the customer told us Royal Mail approached him to ask for his business, but I didn’t treat him like dirt afterwards, I understood his posistion.

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