Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Canada Post Parcel Delivery Remains Problematic

As I write the first draft of this post, I'm supposed to be resting not venting. Since April, I've been slogging through relentless medical treatments for my brain injury; the first week of September was my one break. But Canada Post thought I was being ridiculous expecting to stay at home, put my feet up, and snooze. They decided not to deliver the hefty textbook I’d ordered from Indigo for my upcoming course because "there was no safe place" to leave it at my front door. Courier after courier has no trouble immediately spotting the safe place at my door to leave boxes more visible than the one-book package Canada Post was tasked with delivering. But, you know, maybe that safe place, hidden from the public eye, really was not safe. Or maybe it was hidden from the unique eyes of the Canada Post employee. Or maybe the letter carrier thought the owner wouldn't know Canada Post leaves packages in the same place as all the couriers do. Better to force the package recipient to schlep to the local postal depot and pick it up. I mean, safety trumps service.

The only blog post of mine that still receives comments, seven years on, is on how Canada Post doesn't deliver packages. Back then, I would receive notices that since I wasn't at home, a package couldn't be delivered and to go pick it up. But I was at home. The whole day. And so I knew the Canada Post employee/contractor hadn't even attempted to deliver the package; they had simply mailed off cards stating where to go pick it up. That problem continues for too many.

For me, that problem pretty much ceased. Instead, I now have attempted-delivery-go-pick-it-up notices for packages that require no signature and should have been left at my front door while I was out.

The new excuse is "no safe place."

So I called to complain. The pert young thing on Canada Post’s complaints line was "ecstatic" that I have a place to express my views, when I mentioned to her my most popular blog post was on their terrible parcel delivery service. She "regretted" that delivery could not be made because one attempt had already been done. There are no second attempts with Canada Post, even when it's their fault. The depot manager, of course, would speak to the letter carrier. But let's not kid ourselves: there are no repercussions on any employee at Canada Post for failure of service.

The pert young thing probably gets danger pay to handle irate customers. It's her job not to respond but to remain polite to people wigging out on the phone. And yes, I broke my rule -- I went full bore at her. I have always found a polite or a well-controlled voice yields better results than yelling. Honey and flies and all that. But what results will I get from Canada Post, I asked myself, by being my usual polite self? Will the book be re-delivered? Will they offer to refund the shipping (to me or to Chapters, since it was free to me)? Will they go the extra mile? Nah. That's not the Canada Post way, I thought. They will "speak to" the letter carrier. But my book will not be delivered. Big whoop.

I got a call back. I was flabbergasted. Maybe blogging on Huffington Post Canada has its advantages. Maybe Canada Post is upping its service. The person was willing to go the extra mile for me because unlike the pert young thing, she really did sympathize with my situation. She emphasized the safety issue; packages have gone missing from front doors. I didn’t think to ask: didn’t Canada Post used to provide homeowners with a secure box to put packages into?

Polite or yelling, I still had to find someone to pick up the book for me that day, someone who had to come to my place first to get the delivery notice I had to sign to authorize them to pick up my parcel for me. I still had one less day to get a head start on my course reading. I wonder what seniors or disabled do when the parcels they depend on to be delivered aren't because there is "no safe place" or the letter carrier doesn’t try in the first place, when they have no one to pick up their parcels for them?

Canada Post is losing big bucks. People talk about doing away with front-door delivery and forget the stability a well-run parcel business provides. With companies forcing people on to e-bills and people mostly corresponding via email, Canada Post's main business is becoming parcels and ad mail. Their continuing attitude toward parcel delivery will be their undoing. As long as they use "no safe place" as an excuse for not delivering packages that require no signature or continue pretending they attempted delivery, Canada Post will watch their bottom line redden as customers march over to couriers for guaranteed delivery to their front doors.

The local post office gave me Canada Post's complaint number because funnily enough Canada Post no longer includes it on their delivery notice. The local office even told me what numbers to press so that I wouldn't have to sit through the interminable options:

1-800-267-1177

Step 1: Press 1

Step 2: Press 1

Step 3: Press 3

Step 4: When the automated voice starts talking, press 0 for a live person. Have the number on the delivery notice handy. That number will tell Canada Post who screwed up, and the depot manager will have a nice chat with him.

Then come back and comment here on your experience and if Canada Post changes those option numbers since I've now made them public.

I'm sure the pert young thing is ecstatic I gave my readers the instant 411 on how to reach her office quickly.

5 comments:

Michael Suddard said...

After reading this entry, I only have 1 question:

Did the Canada Post carrier find a safe place to put the admail that day?

We can't have that go missing now can we.

talk talk talk / Shireen said...

ROFL Michael!! Nope, can't have that!

David Chong said...

I experienced the same thing twice! They simply refused to deliver even the first time. I spent 2 days waiting at the door yet the tracking information says "attempted delivery". Post did not come on the scheduled delivery date on day 1. Day 2 they simply lied about having made an attempt. Thanks for the phone number I shall call them.

Mindy Munroe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paint Cities said...

Its very frustrating and service has gotten worse since the Canada Post announced the end of delivery. Initially I didnt like the news, but now I have no sympathy for the carriers. First, in January of this year I didnt get mail for a month. "snow an ice" was written on the pile when I did get it. My neighbors experienced the same thing and we all keep out walks clear. The problem wasnt our walks but that the road had too much snow and ice. Some important mail was in there too including an insurance increase for my home insurance and changes to the policy.

I made complaint. No response...

A few months later though when the weather got warmer, my mail carrier started cutting across the lawn early through more snow than was on the ground in January. But the weather was much warmer so this was acceptable.

It would have been ok if this was the only issue but its not. Parcels has been a pain the butt.

I didnt actually search the internet until todaywhen I took the afternoon off work to accept my replacement smartphone from Bell Canada.

I was home. The front door was left open so anyone that came up the steps would know that. But at some point my carrier managed to put the delivery notice in the mailbox and leave so quietly that it didnt even alert my dog.

And how about that delivery notice that had only a name and address. No time, no type (parcel or letter) or a completed back as to say what the delivery attempt was or should I say IS an xpress post item and the tracking has still not been updated as to where it is and I last called the post office at 8pm who said it wasnt there yet.

There is something wrong when an xpresspost package is accepted by Canada Post in Mississauga on July 14, is sorted and out for delivery in Calgary on July 16 and in the evening of July 17, is nlt at the post office. So that is the clerk at the post office who has looked up my item id three times that I have called. The complaints deportment who will no doubt give me a canned response, waste of paper coe the delivery notice. waste of gas for me to go find the parcel, plus the time I wasted waiting for the parcel just because the carrier didnt knock on the door.

Yes Canada Post carriers, there are valid reasons for you loosing your jobs. I imagine Canada Post will save a small fortune just in the reduction of carrier complaints alone.

Rant over, now I just want my $700 smartphone.