I’m starting a new series where I’ll be sharing about thoughts on things that perplex me, or injustices I come across that I found resolution for with tips I used or recommend to resolve annoying issues.
I’m sure we’ve all had our share of complaining to customer service centers over something or other through the years. I know I certainly have had my share of voicing my opinions when there’s a problem with a public or consumer service when we come across errors. And I’m sure we all know how frustrating the process can be trying to relay our issues to some rep who usually has no authority on helping and merely passes us or our message on to someone else after having to press several digits on the phone before even finding a human.
But today I’m going to share a little exchange that went on between myself and Canada Postal Service, to let you all know that there is always a way to get to the bottom of things but you have to learn to be resourceful and persistent spending some time Googling up sites where you can find the appropriate channels to direct your concerns to.
I don’t take lightly to my mail being put in the wrong box constantly, left on the mailroom floor, or parcel notices left in my mailbox stating they’ve tried to contact me for pickup when they haven’t and left with having to go to the post office to pick up my parcel when nobody had ever tried to contact me. And after my wonderful mailman left for another walk after a few years of great service, the nightmare began.
I live in a building complex where we have a mailroom to pick up our mail. The protocol is, if there is a parcel to be delivered, and if the mailman is kind and generous like my former one, he will bring it up to our door, but at the very least, he will buzz up to inform us they have a package for us, asking us to come down and get it. If we are not home and there is no answer, there is a parcel box with several locked compartments in our mailroom where the postman is to leave a key in our letter mailbox informing us there is a box to pick up. Now this sounds like a fairly smooth practice, until my wonderful mailman changed his route and we were given a temporary mailman who didn’t follow protocol.
As a writer who works at home, I don’t get out much, therefore I order many things: books, apparel, office supplies, online and have them delivered. I would say on average, I’ll have at least one parcel delivered per week. And I don’t have the time to keep running to the post office to pick up my parcels which I paid to have delivered to my home.
Enter, the new mailman. I’d go down to pick up my mail and listen to a cacophony of jibbering from other tenants about how many mail items were put in the wrong mail slot. I’d see numerous pieces of mail sitting on a bench from tenants who picked up their mail and found items that didn’t belong to their unit, mine included. And then I received mail pick up notices for parcels I was expecting, ticked off in the box that said ‘no answer’ when I was certainly home and no attempt was made to contact me, and consequently, my parcels were taken to the pick up facility. I was livid!
Nobody knocked on my door, nor buzzed me up asking me to pick up my parcels, and I was never left a key in my mailbox to pick it up from the parcel box in the mailroom. I was also concerned that I wouldn’t receive my new passport which I was expecting because it was coming as ‘registered mail’ from the government, meaning I had to sign for it. This prompted me to take action.
I Googled up Canada Post, looking for somewhere I could contact a higher up and discuss the new shabby state of our mail system in our building. After pressing several numbers and waiting for a rep, I relayed my complaint and was told that there was nothing they could do, except create a ‘service tag’. After grilling the rep, asking him if he could check who does that route now to inform them of proper protocol for their job or at least pass me on to a supervisor, I was told my message will be passed along. I was fuming!
I wasn’t about to wait till the twelfth of never until anybody bothered replying to my issue, and I continued to search around Canada Post sites to see if I could find any contacts to any higher up supervisory positioned person who could rectify the ongoing problem. All sites led back to the ‘contact us’ same ‘create a service ticket’ for issues. And after what I went through with the first rep, I wasn’t into the runaround again. I was told he’d pass the message, and I MADE SURE to get a case number I.D.
Still fuming and searching, unsatisfied that my complaint would quite possibly linger in the ethers of unanswered cyber grievances, I came across a site for the Ombudsman for Canada Post where I clicked on and filled out forms with my complaint and made mention of the previous case I.D. number I was given with not much else. And then I’d wait for their response.
While waiting, two days later, I went to clean out my mailbox and inside I found a notice telling me I had a registered letter to pick up. And not even two feet away from where I was standing in the mailroom, I noticed on the floor was another ‘pick up’ receipt addressed to my husband. THESE WERE OUR PASSPORTS THAT WERE SUPPOSED TO BE DELIVERED AND SIGNED FOR AT OUR DOOR. I immediately went upstairs in a rage and wrote a lengthy note to the mailman, telling him how to do his job, how to deliver mail and packages, and to STOP TAKING MY PARCELS BACK TO THE DEPOT without trying to contact me, or at the very least, instructing him to at least leave me a damned parcel box key. I taped it to the opposite side of my mail box where he must insert my mail from and would have to see it.
Ironically the next day I was to receive a parcel, as I get email notifications informing me when ‘it’s on its way’, and lo and behold I actually found a parcel box key in my box, and picked up my package barely one foot across from my mail slot. That same day I received a mail response from the Ombudsman’s reply after almost two weeks of hearing nothing back. There was a lot of mumbo jumbo, auto response stuff on it and quite frankly, it pissed me off more and I decided I surrender. I thought I was chasing my tail with trying to get someone else to help, considering it’s a government issue.
Three days later, I get a phone call from my lobby. The man introduces himself as a supervisor from Canada Post sent to investigate the problems I’d written about to the Ombudsman. At first I was a bit nervous and thought what are they doing at my door? But he asked to come up and talk to me and I buzzed him up.
The supervisor was holding copies of notes and summaries I’d sent to Canada Post complain center and summaries from the Ombudsman. He went over all of my concerns and asked if I had kept the evidence packaging from the registered letter (passports) I had to SIGN FOR and pick up at the depot, the notices that were left without trying to contact me with our passports, one in my mailbox and one on the floor. Ironically, I still had those envelopes from the new passports I picked up and clear as day it stated ‘registered mail’ which I must sign for. He assured me that what I’d endured is not how Canada Post operates, and although it’s up to the postman if he wants to be nice and bring up our packages, at the very least the mailman is to buzz up to us to ask us to come down to pick up a package, not write down ‘no answer’ without making any attempts, to contact us, adding that registered mail requires a signature and must be brought up to our condo to sign for. I was told the mailman would be reprimanded and assured there would be no more mix-ups and protocol would be taking effect immediately.
Moral of the story?
If we all just sit back and take the sloppy services we're given change is never going to happen… Click To Tweet
- Don’t just sit back and accept injustice because it’s a hassle to try and contact the right resources and it’s time-consuming and aggravating. If we all just sit back and take the sloppy services we’re given, change is never going to happen by not speaking up. We shouldn’t be complacent.
- Google is our best friend to get to the heart of the matters regarding contact numbers and addresses to relay injustices and getting them rectified. Don’t become a victim of having to take what’s being served by people who aren’t doing their jobs properly.
- Customer service in many fields needs to be informed of misconducts and if you feel you aren’t getting the proper resolution from first attempts, keep going until you reach the appropriate channels. There’s always a higher boss, in this case as in many other civil and governmental issues you can always contact an Ombudsman.