Deep Patel sent me more than 1,000 heartfelt words from his Post Office Local. I will have to summarise and hope I do it justice. At Paynters Lane End Local PO in Illogan, Cornwall, on 13 December, the printer stopped working out of the blue, and they couldn’t process any transactions, apart from selling stamps without a receipt.

Deep rang the Post Office support team. They confirmed they could identify the problem at their end and arranged an emergency engineer’s visit as it was so close to Christmas. They gave an estimated time of four to six working hours.

Long story short: this happened again and again. No engineer, then a denial that it had been reported, then a lie that the shop had been shut when it hadn’t. This went on for five days! You can imagine the flak from the villagers.

“I can’t begin to explain how disappointed, angry, annoyed and shocked I am about this disgraceful service. From the very first call, they admitted that the fault could be seen and was being treated as an emergency - some emergency hey!

“This is our first Christmas with the PO counter in the store, and our reputation has plummeted,” says Deep.

The PO sent me this response: “We were sorry to hear of Deep Patel’s recent experience and would like to apologise for the failure in our support service on this occasion, and the resulting inconvenience caused to him and his customers. We are reviewing what happened in order to improve the process for managing and prioritising requests. As soon as the matter was brought to our attention the problem was quickly resolved.”

Thing is, it shouldn’t need the press to bring it to their attention. Deep Patel did that.

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