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Going postal

There are few certainties in life, but one is that as long as the Bermuda Post Office continues its self-destructive refusal to deliver mail when one digit is incorrect in a mailing address it will ensure, letters, or more likely, e-mails, to the Editor protesting this mad policy.

The fact that this policy is a disaster for all concerned should be obvious, but the fact that it was enacted in the first place and has been allowed to continue ever since demonstrates that it is not obvious to all. So here are four reasons why this policy needs to be scrapped now:

First, it is a nonsense for people living overseas who may not know about their acquaintances’ postal codes or other minor details. The time and expense to send this mail back around the world must defeat the purpose.

Second, Governments, businesses and other institutions must be mightily inconvenienced when important mail is rejected and returned. At a time when Bermuda’s economy is at risk, this is a massive deterrent for doing business in Bermuda and puts jobs at risk.

Third, in general, Bermuda should be falling over itself to provide quality service. In all aspects of life, we should be saying: “We go the extra mile to serve you better.” Instead we are saying: “We won’t do anything to serve you better unless you follow our rules to the letter.”

Bermuda is the ultimate service economy. It is all we sell. And yet we act as if we are doing our customers a favour by providing the service they have already paid for.

Fourth, the traditional Post Office is dying. E-mail, courier services and private postal services are easier to use, cheaper and faster. But the Post Office can still have a role. But it won’t when it fails to serve its customers. All that will do is hasten its demise because its customers are voting with their feet.

This does not even include the madness of a system where a letter posted in Somerset has to be taken to the Airport to be sorted before being delivered in Southampton days later.

Surely the Post Office’s management and staff can see that these kinds of actions are killing the Post Office and their jobs. For the sake of the employees’ jobs, if nothing else, this policy should be changed now.

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Published August 18, 2011 at 2:00 am (Updated August 18, 2011 at 10:01 am)

Going postal

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