Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The fight between local Post Offices and Paypal

I don't know if you've sold anything on eBay lately but, once you've been paid, a little menu on the right hand side of the screen suggests that you "print postage label".

So far, so innocuous.

You then get sent over to Paypal to pay for the postage and print the label. (You can't just print the address.) Nothing could, apparently, be simpler, except that you need to make sure you take it down to the local Post Office within 24 hours otherwise the label becomes invalid.

So. Lets assume that you're organised enough to get down to the Post Office within 24 hours.

What happens next is that the Post Office staff should weigh your package to make sure that the label is correct and then pop it into the bag where it will be collected later that afternoon and sent of to the buyer.

Except that the local Post Offices don't make a penny from this, and, boy oh boy, don't they let you know! If you take it to the main Hebden Bridge Post Office they will complain every time.

Apparently, the deal has been struck between Paypal and Royal Mail to offer this service but, according to our subpostmaster Satnam Singh, the local Post Offices have been completely cut out of the action.

Now, I'm not saying that this is connected, although the call centre operative at Parcel Force I spoke to earlier seemed to think so, when I dropped a parcel off last Friday at the Post Office in Holme Street it wasn't collected. It was given back to me today and I was told that the driver had refused it and that I should phone Parcel Force.

Needless to say, PF said this was not true and that the staff probably just didn't hand it over. (They are sending a van to collect it tomorrow by the way.)

All in all, the big corporations are fucking it up yet again for the little people, whether that's you, me or Satnam Singh.