Chiswick post “chaos” as Royal Mail struggles with Covid-19

Some Chiswick residents are facing long waits for their post, as Royal Mail battles with “challenging circumstances” brought on by Covid-19. The postal service have said some areas of the UK will see a reduced service, due to workers being off sick or self-isolating.

Local residents are complaining of a huge backlog of post which is in turn leading lengthy waiting times, sometimes over two weeks. One woman reported she had not received any post since before Christmas.

A Royal Mail spokesperson told The Chiswick Calendar:

“Across the UK, our people are working hard to deliver as comprehensive a service as possible to all our customers in challenging circumstances. Despite our best endeavours it is possible that some areas of the country may experience a reduction in service levels due to higher volumes of mail during the lockdown, the ongoing impact of Covid-related staff absences and necessary social distancing measures at local mail centres and delivery offices.

“Right from the start of this crisis, we have played a key role keeping the country connected. Every single letter and parcel is important to us. Like most organisations, we have a number of employees who are self-isolating in line with government guidance. This has a direct impact on our staffing levels, especially in areas where there are higher levels of local outbreaks. We are working hard to deliver as normal a service as we can, drawing in extra resource and offering additional overtime where possible.

“We remain grateful to all our customers in these areas for their patience and understanding as our dedicated workforce work hard to deliver these exceptional volumes, whilst also adhering to necessary social distancing measures. We always endeavour to keep our customers updated on any changes to our services. We have a dedicated section on our website. Throughout the pandemic, every decision we make puts the health of our people and customers first.”

Customers angry at long waits

Problems with deliveries over Christmas have prompted shoppers to complain on social media about parcels not arriving on time.

Lou Gardey from Glebe Estate said:

‘I’ve already written about the post box in the Glebe Estate being jammed full of post, and yesterday I went to post a letter there, and actually couldn’t get it through the slot, the box was so stuffed with mail. I walked down to the High Road, and posted it in a different box. I posted a parcel, at Turnham Green Post Office, as a return of an electrical item, before Christmas. It cost me £13.40, to be signed for and tracked, and 15 days later there was a knock on the door, and they’d delivered it back to me.

‘I stopped the Parcel Force guy, and told him it couldn’t have been more clearly marked as to the ‘TO’ address, and the ‘FROM’ address, and he said the ‘FROM’ address shouldn’t have been on the parcel, and scrubbed it out with his pen. I have NO idea why there’s all this chaos with our post – I haven’t had a delivery of mail forever either – but if there are so many postmen off because of Covid-19, then they need to recruit temporary staff, as they do for Christmas – or resolve the crisis in some other way.’

Farah Kay from Wendell Park said:

‘After a 40 min wait trying to get through to someone at ‘customer service’ I finally got through earlier this evening! After consulting my neighbours we appeared to not have received Mail since around the bank holiday Monday straight after Xmas. The lady contacted my local sorting office for W12 9DT whilst I stayed on the line and was told that they are under staffed! I mean seriously! You couldn’t make this up! That’s more than two weeks no post!’

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: All you might want to know about Covid in our area – Kelly O’Neill

See also: Chiswick Head Teacher “devastated” that exams have been cancelled

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