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Customer boycotts Barnwood post office after staff ask questions about parcels

By Maryam_Qaiser  |  Posted: January 19, 2014

Gordon Meek

Gordon Meek

Comments (15)

Pensioner Gordon Meek is boycotting his local post office after 13 years – because staff there started asking him what was in his parcels.

Gordon has been using the post office in the Wotton Hall Social Club in Barnwood Road but recently found that staff there were questioning the contents of his packages.

He said: “The last few times I have taken my parcels in they have asked what is in there.

“Recently I posted some bits back for a torch to be repaired and the last time it was Avon cosmetics.

“When I have put the parcel on the scales to be weighed members of staff there have always found the need to ask me what is in there.

“But I believe this kind of information is confidential and they have no right to ask me what is in there.”

Gordon, from Hucclecote, now uses the post office in King’s Square, Gloucester.

He said: “I am really annoyed at the situation.

“I have never had any issues with the Barnwood post office but I am now using the one in King’s Square. This is inconvenient.

“The staff at King’s Square do not usually ask me about the contents of my parcels.

“It should be publicised somewhere if staff are going to ask people.”

Certain items are not allowed to be sent in the post, depending on which country the package is being sent to.

Each country has its own regulations.

Starting last month in the run up to Christmas, customers across the country are asked about the contents of their parcels.

A spokesman from the Post Office said: “Customers are asked about the contents of their parcels at the post office in order for us to comply with the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s instructions, which ensure necessary checks are carried out to transport mail safely.

“We are required to abide by this on behalf of the mail carrier, Royal Mail. Staff are trained to help identify items where it is not immediately obvious they could be hazardous or dangerous, because breaching these postal regulations runs the risk that items could be impounded. Staff can then ensure the items, if acceptable, are treated correctly and transported safely.

“Customers posting items overseas should note that the rules may be different for international post. Customers should always check whether or not an item is prohibited or restricted, and can find lists of prohibited or restricted items at www.postoffice.co. uk/prohibited-goods-UK .”

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15 comments

  • samash  |  January 20 2014, 6:57PM

    I don't see why they need to know what is in it. I sent 2 parcels from the Quedegely PO before xmas. One of the staff there asked all sorts of questions about the parcels even though I told there they complied with there policy. She still refused to take them until I told them. Then when I did they said they could not send it via parcel force because it was rapped in a black bag with brown tape. So had no choose but to pay more to sent it via normal mail. then watched as they throw them on the bags. I said to take care with my parcels and was told I was being stroppy. Well I was not surprised that the parcels have now been returned damaged. But no refund yet apart from 6 first class stamps. Not bad for £158 worth of kit. See there profits will go up again this year. I suggest try other couriers there are loads of better one and they cost less. Poor show Post office not even a poster stating the changes

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  • bg1980  |  January 20 2014, 4:08PM

    It's simple. Lie to the P.O... Now they are not owned by us the rules have changed, they dont need to know, and the typical corporate response just proves it.

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  • IsitJimKerr  |  January 20 2014, 11:13AM

    derekmd.............................while some operators are cheaper on certain services, the PO are often the cheapest, especially small parcels. Like most services, there are comparison websites, so I always check them, especially for a large d**gs shipment!

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  • Douglasknows  |  January 20 2014, 10:40AM

    Seems a bit stupid asking whats in the parcel anyway, if it's a fluffy bunny you'd tell them, if its drugs you'll tell them its a fluffy bunny.

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  • Lecorche  |  January 20 2014, 10:13AM

    Telling the counter staff what's in your parcel can save you money. In November last,I had a large parcel containing five books to go to Canada. I was asked what was in the package. When I told the teller what it held I was told it would be cheaper to make five parcels and post them separately.The difference being £60+ as a single package against £32 total for 5. Thank you,Quedgeley P O. All five arrived before Christmas.

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  • honslknjklyt  |  January 20 2014, 9:57AM

    What makes him so special that he thinks he shouldn't be asked? Because of his bombastic attitude and bleeting how he doesn't get asked in Gloucester centre, this could mean that the staff in Gloucester are now made to ask more than ever, thus making life a bit more difficult for everyone. If he looks that sour on being asked a question, imagine the face if he got a parking ticket for not displaying his blue badge.

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  • derekmd  |  January 20 2014, 8:52AM

    Do people still use the post office to send parcels now that we have cheaper and more reliable options ?

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  • Walker100d  |  January 20 2014, 8:41AM

    Post Offices are the subject of "Mystery Shoppers". These are shoppers employed to observe if regulations are being maintained and followed. If not the Sub-Post Master can be disciplined. It is not necessarily the person being served that is the mystery shopper. Obviously PO staff will know their regular customers. But often there will be unknown customers in the shop and these may be a mystery shopper. It makes no difference that the customer is known to the PO staff, if a mystery shopper observes PO staff not following the rules there will be trouble!

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  • ladygray  |  January 20 2014, 8:38AM

    Some people have nothing better to do, what is the problem in telling them what is in your package? Unless of course you have something to hide!!!!!!!

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  • NibNobs  |  January 20 2014, 8:29AM

    I suggest Mr Meek gets a hobby. All the staff at other local Post Offices will read this and support their colleagues at Barnwood by asking Mr Meek the same questions for the next parcel. Own goal Gordon!!

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