The cost of using Singpost…

I guess the incident with SingPost I am about to relate below would never have happened in Bhutan, the place with the highest GNH (gross national happiness) on earth!

This is because in Bhutan, no one would dream of posting something to someone living perhaps 20 km or less away, assuming always there’s a similar postal service in operation in that happy-ever-after land.

Not so in Singapore, where we blighted unhappy creatures believe in the hype about the efficiency of all our services, postal included, that we happily put things into the post box even if the recipient is just a hop, skip and jump away.

Our time is so precious that we outsource everything that people whose time is less valuable would gladly do for themselves — always assuming that they have the infrasstructure to outsource to but prefer to do it themselves.

With this preamble and without much ado, let me proceed to my friend AE’s experience with SingPost which at minimum wasted her more times than if she had delivered the thumb drives holding precious memories of a special event herself instead of posting them to two friends. One arrived; the other went MIA.

Are you sitting comfortably? Then let AE begin her saga:

“I don’t know whether to be amused or angry with SingPost. I will list chronologically excerpts of correspondence between SingPost Customer Service and me …

“I went online on 16 Oct to check how to lodge my complaint and wrote to ‘Enquiry’ at Customer Care Contact. I rec’d a response that same day from SingPost Customer Service Team that a Case ID#83768 had been created for me.

“17 Oct – ABC of Customer Service wrote to ask for feedback on the quality of her service by asking me to go to Survey.Singpost.com to complete the survey. I am asked to give feedback even before SingPost has done anything?

“18 Oct – XYZ wrote: For Non registered/ordinary mail we are unable to track it nor maintain records of it. However, we can liase to the relevant department in manually searching for the item. To start the investigation kindly email us back the following information.

* Sender’s Name
* Sender’s Address
* Addressee’s name
* Addressee’s Address
* Contact #
* Posting Date
* Item Description 

“19 Oct – DEF wrote: We regret to inform you that there are limitations in the things that we can do with regards to ordinary mail. Ordinary mail do not have tracking number and is not recorded in our tracking system. We apologise for the inconvenience, kindly coordinate with the sender as undelivered mail will be return back to the sender provided there is a return address.

 “22 Oct – I wrote the following response:

Dear DEF
 
Please explain why I was told by XYZ, a Customer Service Officer, in your Contact Centre, the following:  ‘that for Non registered/ordinary mail we are unable to track it nor maintain records of it. However, we can liase to the relevant department in manually searching for the item. To start the investigation kindly email us back the following information.
 
* Sender’s Name
* Sender’s Address
* Addressee’s name
* Addressee’s Address
* Contact #
* Posting Date
* Item Description
 
Why was I asked to waste my time giving the above information, that I had already given when I first wrote SingPost, when the following standard reply was going to come from you ? –‘ ‘We regret to inform you that there are limitations in the things that we can do with regards to ordinary mail. Ordinary mail do not have tracking number and is not recorded in our tracking system. We apologise for the inconvenience, kindly coordinate with the sender as undelivered mail will be return back to the sender provided there is a return address.’

“You obviously do not read your mail well, because you are asking me to coordinate with myself when I had stated that I was the sender? This is not an oversight on your part but a careless error.
 
“I would like to state that when mail is put into post boxes the onus is on your postal service to ensure its safe delivery as no one, other than the staff of the service, can access nor pilfer mail in post boxes. The public, like myself, place our faith and trust in your service and system. Thus, it is a misnomer to use the phrase ‘lost in the post’. Non delivery can only occur when an incorrect address is given but when a return address is given, the undelivered mail/article should be returned to the sender.
 
“Please provide me with an explanation as how one article can be safely delivered and the other, similar in content, cannot? Also, as a return address was given, why have I not, to date, received the undelivered mail, as to quote you, ‘undelivered mail will be return back to the sender provided there is a return address.’?
 
“I will pursue the matter until a satisfactory explanation is offered or my article is returned me, as it is likely that the matter will be swept under the carpet and put to rest and you will simply apologise for any inconvenience caused.

“Further, I am also amazed that your ABC asked me to complete a feedback survey on the quality of your service. Is your contact centre expecting bouquets because I have nothing but brickbats to give. You should investigate or look into the matter first before asking for feedback. I will complete the feedback survey when my case is resolved.

 “24 Oct – Reply from DEF: We apologise for the inconvenience it had caused you on the process. We had forwarded your additional information to the relevant department and they will further investigate. We hope for your understanding and wish to set your expectations that we cannot guarantee.

“25 Oct – Another reply from DEF: We regret to inform you that we had worked with our best effort and we are unable to locate your mail. We are very sorry that there in no trace at the (RLU) Return Letter Unit. We hope for your understanding.

“Now hear this. The “missing” item actually reached its destination on 24 Oct, as the recipient called me with the good news. It was intact and untampered with but took two weeks to reach her! I am somewhat relieved and wonder whether I should inform SingPost of the delivery, even though they informed me ‘we are unable to locate your mail.’?

My advice to AE: why bother? SingPost couldn’t have really investigated or its people won’t have come back with a cock and bull story that the mail couldn’t be located when in fact it had arrived!

The moral of this story? Tai Chi from service providers always riles us. Perhaps if  we live a simpler life, with few to nil services, we would have fewer occasions to be riled and therefore become more happy?

Only kidding. Let me have more services and damn the unhappiness brought on by the occasional glitches.

As for SingPost, it should at least be open enough to put warning stickers on its post boxes and signs at its post offices that customers use ordinary mail at their own risk. Very much like car park operators  have signs to warn that car owners park at their own risk.

That way, when a customer posts a letter, he’s reminded and forewarned in no uncertain terms that ordinary post doesn’t guarantee delivery. And so could choose to pay more for certainty via registered post!

And if more people are alerted to the non-delivery possibility, and choose registered post, SingPost’s profits might actually receive a booster! Win-win 🙄

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6 thoughts on “The cost of using Singpost…

  1. This happened to me about 20 years back and tell You a secret; me never made any complain or report.
    It was kind of funny, me sent a letter of protest to a bank for it’s poor service. It made up for it by sending me a pair of pens as an apology and goodwill. When me opened the envelope(large one about 6X8 inches), it contained only documents including the letter of apology and a note that a pair of pens was sent in the same envelope, however, the pens were nowhere to be found. There was a small tear when me took out the envelope from the letterbox but it appeared liked it was accidental damage and not an intended pilferage attempt.

    Me kept the incident secret until now.

    patriot

  2. Haha Patriot, r u deliberately trying to write bad England? Anyway, u r probably better off without those give-away pens! Anything with a company logo, esp if I have to pay for the stuff, isn’t worth having! 😆

  3. Singapore mail service sucks!.
    i am waiting since 10 days to see an action on my registered mail. if it its important to you, then stay away from singpost!

  4. I sent an important document using Speedpost EMS Paya Lebar on 10th March 2014. They charged me $33 plus dollars and the promised delivery time was 3 to 8 days.
    The documents never arrived and the tracking says that it was handed to the airline on 11 th March.
    Now its is 29th of march and the Tracking still remains at ‘handed to airline’.
    From the 17th onwards, I had been calling their ‘customer phoneline’ and the helpdesk person ‘raised an investigation’ on the document for me. Since then I have not heard one word from them.

  5. Exact same messages. I think they just copy and paste the email to everyone. Damn annoying how they say “We seek your kind understanding in bringing this matter to a close.” and the fact that their website only has a “compliment” section but not a complain one. *roll eyes*

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