The Internet Post-Age

I recently sold some junk treasured possesions on the popular on-line aution site “ebay.”

Sending these items to their new home should be a reasonably easy task you’d think? Lets examine the 2 trips to the Post Office on 2 different days.

Now when the first item that sold needing packing and labeling, I said to Paul “Oh, look at this shiny new buy your postage online thing!”

However, we want to support our local Post Office as there are lot of these being closed, its only round the corner and its convenient for us. So I looked up the postage methods for the small packet I was sending and decided that, “Recorded first class small packet” was the best option. At the Post Office, I popped it on the scale and asked for this tariff. Only to be told that it could’nt go by that method. Cue 5 minutes of back and forth, yes it can, no it cant, yes it can etc and even the lady showing the buttons she was pressing on her screen etc. I said “why not try pressing that? It might be under that option?” She just said “No it is’nt that one.”
Finally I went to the shelf at the back of the shop and brought here a leaflet that proved she should be able to do it! Eventually her colleague said he would try, and sure enough he got it right first time, after pressing the option I suggested I might add.

Now consider 3-4 days later when faced with sending another parcel. I didnt hesitate to select the “buy postage through Paypal” option, printed off my own pre-paid mailing label and took it to the Post Office the next morning. I handed over the parcel, she stamped a receipt and that was it. She then said “Oh, thats so much easier than the other day isn’t it?”

I’m sure she completely missed the irony* that being easier, it was also doing her out of a job?

Obviously, I dont know the business model or how these little Post Office’s are paid for the different types of transaction. I’m guessing they make more if they make the sale than if I just hand over the pre-paid post. You can even buy normal letter postage online and you just stick it in a mailbox, by-passing the Post Office altogether.

So, in summary, I do want to help local shops and business but when they have poorly trained staff behind the counter they dont do themselves any favours.

*Is it ironic? never sure if I really understand irony that well.

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