Customers condemn delays after Harpenden delivery office closure

ALLEGATIONS that around 3,000 packages were being held at a delivery office in Harpenden have triggered an outcry among residents who have vented their frustration at items of post not reaching them for several weeks.

Last week the Herts Advertiser reported that according to Royal Mail employees temporary staff had been brought in to help deal with a backlog of post while the relocation of delivery office to St Albans was completed.

Since then responses have poured in from residents who have spoken out about recent problems they have been experiencing with their local Royal Mail service.

They include Andrea Chapman, of Browning Road, who said: “I ordered a toy for my daughter’s birthday which should have been delivered on September 21. It has been sitting in St Albans delivery office since then without being sent out to me.

“I cannot speak to anyone in the delivery office as they do not accept incoming calls from personal customers. It absolutely belies belief that Harpenden delivery office could close down without a local alternative for collecting parcels.”

Other disappointed residents have blasted the mail delivery firm for failing to deal with complaints they have logged with their customer services team.

Miles Golding, of Tennyson Road, said he contacted the department after an important letter that was sent to him two weeks ago had not arrived. He was informed someone would get back to him but seven days later he still has not heard anything.

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Mr Golding commented: “When it is important things going missing they should really be jumping to it and explaining to customers what is going on and showing a bit of sympathy and concern.

“I hope they are only teething problems but I think they have had long enough to allow things to settle down. I don’t think they have been open with customers. I think in order to regain customers’ trust they have to be frank and honest.”

And it is not just homeowners that have been hit with several businesses claiming they are also suffering because of the alleged backlog.

Dan Hitchen, of Broadstone Road, who runs Cartridge King, relies on receiving a daily delivery of freepost labels and bags. But on two days last week he had no deliveries at all. He also spoke to his local postman who told him he had seen one of his mail sacks being held at the Harpenden delivery office.

Mr Hitchen explained: “It is particularly critical I receive mail every day. It is something I have taken for granted and now it has changed it sticks out like a sore thumb.

“It has been an irritation. I have had to change the way I have done my procedures and people coming in to do my sorting.”

The delivery office officially closed on Saturday, and now customers are being directed to Harpenden Post Office to pick up any uncollected mail.

Royal Mail spokesperson Sally Hopkins said: “We have recently relocated our Harpenden delivery operations to St Albans, as previously announced. These changes will require a period of adjustment for staff as the changes bed in.

“We apologise to customers who may not have received the service they deserve or expect from Royal Mail. Royal Mail is doing everything possible to maintain a high level of service to its customers, including using additional resources to ensure all mail for delivery goes out every day and is delivered every day to over 12,500 delivery points in the Harpenden area.

“We would like to reassure customers that there are no significant delays to mail deliveries in Harpenden.”

Customers with queries about specific items of mail should contact the customer service team with details on 08457 740 740 or visit Royal Mail said they are making “every effort” to answer all enquires as quickly as possible.