Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Postal issues

Complaining about Canada Post is a regular sport in this country. And when you've spent most of your life having a father who also happens to be a letter carrier, lord knows you're more than aware of the flaws and faults of the organization. For example, I know the inherent risk of getting a magazine subscription. Let's put it this way, if you're getting a subscription to a magazine odds are you're not going to be the first person reading it. And the sheer volume of Playboys the likely have disappeared in the mail over the years can never be counted.

For the most part, I've been reasonably happy with Canada Post's service in Nunavut. Other courier companies, and UPS in particular, are as useless as tits on a bull. But Canada Post has been pretty reliable. However, for the last six months or so it feels like somebody at the organization has had a stroke and has managed to forget how to deliver mail in a timely fashion.

We're currently well into week #3 of waiting for packages from Chapters (books for Cathy) and Future Shop (a PS3/Blu-Ray player for me) that haven't arrived. No idea where they are or what the hang-up is. If it were Christmas, I'd understand. But as its May, I don't understand why it's taking about a week longer than normal to get these packages. Plus, it's not like these things are coming from the far ends of the earth. They're coming from Southern Ontario.

And then there's other weird stuff. We had new Visa cards arrive a few weeks ago, about three weeks after they were put in the mail. The cards were late being sent out anyway, so we were cutting it close in changing over the card information with our utilities (we just direct bill to the cards). Bell sent us two notices warning us our cards were about to expire. They were mailed 12 days apart, but both arrived on the same day.

And then are stories about people in Iqaluit putting a letter in the mail to an address in Iqaluit and that letter taking nine days to arrive at its destination.

Look, I don't know what's going on. I know it's not completely the fault of the Iqaluit post office. They can only process what Montreal sends them. And I suspect the plea that mail has a pretty big significance up here wouldn't fire up the spark or sympathy with them. It's not like we can pop to the nearest outlet mall if you want new books, clothes, movies or whatever. For some of this stuff, you have to order it in. Yes, our books and PS3 are not vital things, but damn it, you order the stuff you don't want to wait forever on it. Especially if you have a tracking number and see it's been sitting in a plant in Montreal for more than a week.

There have been times where I've almost felt like flying to Montreal, going to the postal factory/warehouse/whatever and asking for my package. It's not just that it shouldn't take this long, it's that I don't understand the very noticeable deterioration in quality of service in the last few months. I'm certainly not the only one who has noticed.

So can we get things straightened up, please. Can we not have basic letters take three or more weeks? Can we not have packages take the same amount of time? Can we not have magazine subscriptions arriving weeks after that edition has been on the stands in Iqaluit (which normally gets its magazines a solid 10 days or more later than down south)? Can we actually get our subscriptions, because Cathy is missing several copies of her Discover magazine.

The cheap shot is to say asking for competence and quality service from Canada Post is farcical. And I know people shit on them all the time. I just want the decent service we've been getting most of our time in Iqaluit back. I'd be perfectly happy with that. Thanks

Note A friend pointed out, after Cathy and I both ranted about this earlier on Facebook (I may have used more colourful language than she did) that Canada Post has an Ombudsman. Might be time to send a letter and see how long it takes for it to reach him, just to make a point.

Last Five
1. Lonely song - Ron Hynes*
2. Zero - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
3. Loves comes tumbling - U2
4. Your bruise - Death Cab For Cutie
5. I don't like you anymore - The Last of the Shadow Puppets


Robert said...

It's been really bad. I have a parcel that is sitting in Montreal and has been for 26 days now. There is no real excuse for this.

Morena said...

I hear you! Our stuff has been wierd for us too. Chapters never takes more than a week!

Ludik said...

I'm a recent arrival to Iqaluit. Found my first batch of mail in my post box yesterday. It seems the mail took between 1 and 2 weeks to arrive. A small parcel from Vancouver took 2 weeks. However, our stuff (movers) had been sitting in Ontario since the 20th (April) waiting for a ride into town (arrived on Sunday). Maybe there is a backlog in the cargo? Has this been affecting the FoodMail (which is also run by Canada Post)? I am thinking of placing my first order for meat. I would hate to receive the package after its been sitting in an ON hangar for over a week.
On a belated note, thank you for the FAQ. It was of immense assistance in our planning for the move here.

ViewPoint2010 said...

There are times when Canada Post is the best and other times when it is clearly the worst. Compared to postal services in some other countries, Canada Post is too expensive and too slow. It usually takes about two days to send a letter from Maine to California. The same exercise here (Newfoundland to BC) is a minimum week or 10 days. Forget it if you’re talking about a parcel unless you want to charter an aircraft to deliver it for you. Any organization is only as good as its employees and while you have some terrific people working for Canada Post, you have others who take a certain pleasure out of throwing around boxes clearly marked *fragile*. Regrettably, those jerks-on-the-job are protected by their union.

In Iqaluit said...

I had a parcel that online said it was in Montreal since April 12. But it was here. I called about it and they didn't even want my tracking number because they said it would just say Montreal. They said they had a lot of parcels and it should be sorted over the weekend. I finally got it on Monday, May 10. They don't scan the parcels until they are actually ready to put your parcel notice in your mail box. Arghh!

I think they assign staff based on per capita population. But northerns use the post office a heck of a lot more than southerns do.

I hate their service with a passion!!!

Whew, that felt good to bitch about them. Yes, definitely a favourite national past time.

SRD said...

We still get next day delivery here in the UK - despite all gov't attempts to destroy the mail service. But mail coming from Canada always takes longer than mail from the US.

In Iqaluit said...

Both the UK and the US have mail delivery on Saturdays. Mail utopia?

towniebastard said...

Just found out my Future Shop order arrived at a warehouse in Vancouver on April 24, was dropped off at the post office on April 26 and that's where it still is, according to the tracking website.