Warning, Poste Restante and privitisation.

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Glandwr, Feb 19, 2016.

  1. Glandwr

    Glandwr Funster

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    For anyone who uses this service beware. I have used it occasionally for over 40 years all over the world without hassle until this week.

    It a system that has worked for well over a hundred years but would now appear broken since Royal Mail was privitised. You could get your mail sent to what was called a poste restante. If a letter was addressed to.

    Your Name
    Poste Restante (hold until collection)
    Central Post Office
    Any city
    Any country

    When you got to that city you would go to the central post office, show your passport and sign for and pick up your mail. Worked for me dozens and dozens of times. More often than not the service is free although I paid a small fee last time I picked something up in France last year.

    I am touring Greece at the moment and knew that I would be spending some time in Athens so arranged for my daughter to send some important mail there including my new credit cards to replace the ones running out this week.

    Have called in to PO here every other day for a week now, no mail! It should have arrived 3 weeks ago. Phone daughter digs out proof of postage and tracking number. Back to PO still no mail, will they look up proof of postage number? Eventually they did.

    Royal Mail, presumably to save pennies, had sent it by courier rather than national postal services across Europe. Eventually I found the courier office on an industrial estate. "We won't deliver to post offices, we will only deliver to the addressee personally and they alone can sign. So we have sent it all to our HQ in Germany for return to sender"

    It took all of my self control to smile and back slowly out of the door :)

    Dick
     
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  2. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

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    I don't think you've been able to do it here for quite a few years. Nothing to do with privatisation.

    I imagine that couriers would be quicker than national postal services as well as cheaper. Strange that they wouldn't deliver to the post office though if Greece still allows post restante.
     
  3. Glandwr

    Glandwr Funster

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  4. Glandwr

    Glandwr Funster

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    Duplicate
     
  5. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

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    I stand corrected then (y)
     
  6. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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  7. thehutchies

    thehutchies Funster

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    We have often used it in the UK over the last few years.
    It's a useful service for fulltimers (y)
     
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  8. Glandwr

    Glandwr Funster

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    :LOL:Maybe someone should tell the Greeks Graham. They have a special hatch dedicated to just that in the basement of the central post office in Athens. It actually says "poste restante" above it, I've stood at it 3 times this week and watched the woman leaf through mail from every country in the world (out of the pigeon hole with my initial) right in front of me.

    Dick
     
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  9. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

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    I think it's the courier that the issue is with here rather than either the Royal Mail or the Greek postal service.

    Which one was it Dick and have they had anything else to say for themselves?
     
  10. Glandwr

    Glandwr Funster

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    Company called ACS Nick they are adamant that ONLY the addressee can sign for mail before they will release it and that a PO employee cannot act as a proxy and that is the reason they do not deliver to POs.
     
  11. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

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    I guess if that's their policy then fair enough.

    It seems a strange choice for this type of job though. I wonder if they've just handled the local part on behalf of one of the big networks.

    It might be worth a conversation with the Royal Mail to see if they're aware of it.
     
  12. gus-lopez

    gus-lopez Funster

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    I think you'll find Royal Mail is using all sorts of old tat for foreign addressed postings as anything from HMRC takes 6 weeks to get here when they use ' Global post' ,only 3 weeks & 3 days using 'Prioritaire' ,obviously because I complained, & the letter that Hmrc sent on 24th January ,that requires an appeal within 30 days (23rd Feb) hasn't arrived yet .:LOL: But when I renewed my 'overseas voter' registration on friday 5th Feb , the letter from Mid Devon council was delivered here on Monday morning , the 8th. If they can do it why can't the others. Obviously because they are trying to get it done for a coupe of pence !

    The department of social security use something called 'MaltaPost' ,& yes it does go there, which they will tell you will take 2-4 weeks to arrive.
     
  13. Welsh girl

    Welsh girl Funster Life Member

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    We had the same in Portugal. They used a courier and they won't deliver to a post office.
    We waited weeks more than necessary because of this. Had to arrange a private address to get it sent to.
     
  14. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    They might have a special hatch but if that is not backed by an arrangement (which seems to be the case from the information in the link posted) than it ain't going to work is it? :)
     
  15. Glandwr

    Glandwr Funster

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    What don'the you understand Graham? It is an international system that has worked perfectly for over a hundred years. I have used it dozens of times over the last 40 years in places as diverse as Kabul, Perth and Carcarsonne. It is working as I said for seemingly every other country in the world this week in Athens. It worked for me in Thessilonica (Greece) 2 years ago. And the post office link below includes Greece in the list of countries.

    http://www.postoffice.co.uk/mail/international-confirmed

    This is an unintended consquence of Royal Mail privatisation I believe, and I wanted to warn others who also use the service and might be, as I was, seriously inconvenienced.

    I didn't want to get into an argument with you.

    Dick
     
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  16. sdc77

    sdc77 Funster

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    Thanks for the warning ..
    Never used it and will avoid it now.
    Seems like a consequence of companies such as the post office saving costs.
    (Which is fine)
    Acs are a big company .. you'd think they would be able to cope with something like this.
     
  17. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    The link is just to a Wikipedia page and it clearly isn't a very complete entry. Denmark aren't listed either but I suspect they know what it is.
     
  18. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    It may be a Wikipedia page but it is a page linked to from the (only) Poste Restante page on the Post Office web site, a page which was quoted as providing a description of what Poste Restante facilities are available.
    I do understand what Poste Restante is and I also understand that the page you now point us to is nothing to do with Poste Restante, so the fact that it includes Greece is immaterial.

    What I don't understand is why "This is an unintended consequence of Royal Mail privatisation" because I have seen no evidence put forward of that. Indeed, as explained here, the only responsibility that Royal Mail has for Poste Restante items is to deliver them to the nominated UK post office or (in common with any other outgoing international mail) to deliver items to a delivery service in the destination country. Is is actually the Post Office (which is not, of course, privatised) which is responsible for holding items.

    I would suggest that, rather than just making an assumption that the reason fits a preconception, the proper course of action would be to enquire of the Royal Mail and the Post Office as to what the current situation is and why it does not work as it did 2 years ago.
     
  19. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

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    This is true now I think about it.

    How can you sensibly blame Royal Mail, either before or after privatisation, for the actions of a Greek courier company? I wasn't aware that they are responsible for delivery in foreign countries.
     
  20. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    I think there is confusion between the Royal Mail and Post Office.

    The fault lies with the Post Office because they are using the courier for this service whose terms (apparently) state that they won't deliver to post offices in other countries, just to a specific person's address - as they PO are using them then they are at fault for not letting customers know this when 'contracting' to post mail to them.
     
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