Slightly unusual situation at the Post Office

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by niuniu, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. niuniu macrumors 68020

    niuniu

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Location:
    A man of the people. The right sort of people.
    #1
    Well every day as part of the daily business goings on either myself or my partner will take a trip to the Post Office and unload our parcels. For months we used a couple of specific Post Offices and never had any issues. Our parcels are alway one of 3 weights and are sent nationally and internationally and everything is packaged and pre-paid before we take them to the PO..

    Anyway, it turns out there's a Post Office just around the corner from us (yes we're quite new to the area) so we've been taking them there the past couple of weeks. It's owned by an Indian or Pakistani family, the whole fam works in there, quite cute, and the younger generation guys are quite pleasant.

    It seems though they don't like this pre-paid idea, and have brought up several times that customers prefer not to pre pay and just make payment at the Post Office in case a mistake is made with the weight and it gets returned. Now today they brought it up again, and have taken to make me weight all my packages even though it's obvious they all contain the same goods and they're all checking out. Again the story is the same, it's best to pay at the Post Office, which, is really inconvenient as it eats up too much time, and these guys are Really slow..

    Do you think they just want the profit? Do they even get money from the stamps, I've no idea how Post Offices work.. maybe I'm just untrusting of them because they're Indian or PK.. I had some bad experiences with both those ethnicities when living in London years ago..
     
  2. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

    Staff Member

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    Location:
    The Black Country, England
    #2
    Give the Post Office Customer Services a call on 08457 22 33 44 and ask for their opinion.
     
  3. bartelby macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    #3
    I'd just pay at the PO and strike up a conversation with them as they're sorting your stuff out.
    You're obviously going to be in there a lot.
    I like using the PO round the corner from me for everything I can. It was listed to be closed a year or so back, but the whole community joined together and saved it.

    Having a chat and stuff is nice.
     
  4. nomad01 macrumors 68000

    nomad01

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2005
    Location:
    Birmingham, England
    #4
    I think they must get some kind of profit. My local post office are ALWAYS, without fail, trying to get me to pay for Special Delivery and if I need Special Delivery, they try to get me to pay for the 9am delivery.

    It's infuriating. I go in and specifically ask for the service I want but they still try to sell me something else. I've gotten quite sharp now with them.

    I probably post stuff 2 or 3 times a week at present so it's not like they're not used to seeing me.
     
  5. BoyBach macrumors 68040

    BoyBach

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #5

    I thought 'profit' was anathema to the Post Office!? :D

    Sounds like their trying to upsell. As Bartleby said, since you're going to be using them regularly just start a conversation and build a rapport.
     
  6. AppleMatt macrumors 68000

    AppleMatt

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    I usually think 'What's motivating X to say this?' I'd say profit is a pretty big motivator, so you're probably right. That said, their reasoning sounds spurious. Personally, I'd call them out on that and say (whilst smiling) something along the lines of 'well that's never been a problem for me and I've been sending these for xx years, what's the real reason you're saying this?'

    If that's true then the question is do you want to support them? I lost a Post Office that was right around the corner from me; really annoying that I now have to battle for a parking space and then queue for an eternity at the shopping centre.

    You might be able to come to an arrangement with them, a lot of eBay sellers near me used to - the Post Office had an 'eBay friendly' poster up and people just dropped off their bags of stuff, the Post Office staff did the weighing and stamping and then billed them. As you state that you know the quantity and weights of your packages, you'll know if they overcharge you. Just tell them that you've got some requirements, but you'd really like to support them, so could you come to a mutually beneficial arrangement?

    This would support the locals, preserve your relationship and cost you the same (or perhaps less) time.

    AppleMatt
    edit: I'd be careful about the Indian/Pakistan division (i.e. shut up as it can be deeply offensive to mistake them for eachother). If they're Pakistani then the general culture is to do business face-to-face, so it may be that they're not used to your dump and go strategy. If they’re Indian then tread politely when suggesting your proposal, as it's culturally offensive to suggest another 'businessman' should change their ways (especially if there is more than one present, as it's important that the more senior does not 'lose face' in front of the others).

    Preemptive strike: If anyone feels like quoting this and saying 'well we're in Britain blah blah, I'm not interested. The whole purpose is to maximise both parties outcomes, not to let personal feelings get in the way.
     
  7. mooblie macrumors 6502

    mooblie

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2009
    Location:
    The Highlands, Scotland
    #7
    In discussions with my local Post Office, they tell me they get NOTHING from home/office printed pre-paid mailing labels, even if you print a Proof of Posting certificate, which they have to countersign. (This last one is rubbing salt into that wound - they STILL get nothing even though they have to do something.)

    Pre-labelled stuff basically means they have to do work, and get nothing for it. So they're keen to encourage you to actually pay at the Post Office, not online.

    The threat for smaller Post Offices, is naturally, closure, as a result of little recorded traffic and hence profit. Use it or lose it.
     
  8. fireshot91 macrumors 601

    fireshot91

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Location:
    Northern VA
    #8
    At the UPS store where I work/family owns, when somebody comes in with a pre-paid label, we get a dollar. If they pay for it in store, we make more money....
    Like, lets say their shipping was $50. We'd pay UPS about $40 to ship it with them, and we pocket the $10.

    By pocket, I don't mean slide the $10 into MY pocket, I mean at the end of the day, that money goes into our bank account.
     
  9. niuniu thread starter macrumors 68020

    niuniu

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
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    A man of the people. The right sort of people.
    #9
    Thanks for the responses - I thought over what you guys were saying, and think I'll just stick to what I'm doing now. Before we started pre-paying we were spending 10-20 minutes a day at the Post Office. That might not sound like much, but its a lot of time over the year. All they have to do really is take the parcels and unload them into a sack which gets collected later. It takes seconds each day..

    I appreciate that they want the money from postage costs now, and although I'd like to support them, I was greeted happily at the other two Post Offices. They seemed to appreciate me pre-paying as it speeded things up.

    I'll see how it goes over the next couple of weeks, if they turn this into something so that it becomes weird at all, I'll just go back to the other places. I'm in business to keep myself in business, not them I'm afraid. Harsh but I'm not spending up to 20 minutes a day just so they can make a couple of quid.

    Is that bad? Have I taken a miserable turn? I'm not really the go and have a nice little chat in the Post Office sort.
     
  10. AppleMatt macrumors 68000

    AppleMatt

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    I think this is fair enough, although I'm sure you could get them to weigh everything, print the labels up and bill you - I've seen others do this, and it must be quicker than your method? Either way, I've been constantly surprised at just how much I've gotten from 'having a little chat', so personally I think the advice to that end given above is absolutely spot on.

    Maybe it will put pressure on them to pressure Royal Mail into being a little fairer - the current set up seems like Royal Mail are using the Post Offices as a distribution/collection but skimming the profits beforehand so they don't have to pay for that usage - the Post Office is not only working for free, but also offering free storage.

    AppleMatt
     
  11. niuniu thread starter macrumors 68020

    niuniu

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Location:
    A man of the people. The right sort of people.
    #11
    Our postage system is a matter of clicking a few buttons as the customers themselves input their address etc on the order form. It's so convenient, you really can't beat that..

    I can sympathise with their POV though, but maybe the Post Office is a bit behind the times of the modern small business practise. Large operations will have couriers collect (we haven't got big enough yet to get a good enough rate), and small businesses like to everything they can in-house - as everything is recorded and tidy and can be done out-of-hours which makes for a fast start up the next morning.

    All we need really is a large bag to dump our parcels in, which I know many bigger PO's offer (the parking at that one is too much to deal with during the day though).

    Ah well, I'll keep plugging on and hope to get friendly enough so they let me queue jump like the last couple of places :p
     
  12. fireshot91 macrumors 601

    fireshot91

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Location:
    Northern VA
    #12
    Also, what you can do (I don't know if AppleMatt is referring to this):


    Set up an account with that one Post Office. All you do is come in, drop the package off, and leave. Just like that, maybe say a few Hi's, etc, but not much. Then they can take their good ol' time to print the labels, etc, and they'll get more money than the actual Post Office system, then they send you a bill every two weeks, month, whatever they do.


    Wouldn't that be a faster alternative?
     
  13. niuniu thread starter macrumors 68020

    niuniu

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
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    A man of the people. The right sort of people.
    #13
    That does sound fast actually.. and would save printer costs too. Will enquire about that :)
     

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