back to article Amazon eyes wander as Royal Mail strike looms

Online retail giant Amazon is mulling "contingency measures" to deal with a looming national strike at the Royal Mail, but it has insisted that no "long-term contracts" had been cancelled with the UK’s largest postal carrier. The Guardian reported yesterday that Amazon had ended its contract with the Royal Mail to deliver …

COMMENTS

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  1. The BigYin
    Thumb Down

    The biggest threat to British jobs?

    Unions.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    No tip for the postie this Christmas...

    The selfish bastards can eat tinned ham on Christmas day for all I care.

    At a time when everyone is feeling the pinch and having to make do with less those militant wankers want to hold the entire naton to ransom???

    Maybe if they learned to read and stopped stealing from my mail I'd be a bit less angry, (but still not sympathetic).

    Fuck 'em

    AC - only because I don't want EVEN MORE of my mail delivered to an empty house 3 streets away...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Grenade

    Let 'em do it...

    Unions are great, in third world nations and places with very dodgy governments, allow people to get shafted left right and centre, but in the first world, just recovering from economic downturn? Do me a favour! Most of us have no protection of a union so we are a little more careful to ensure we keep our jobs, a little more diligent and don't skive off when the job gets a little bit tough!

    Unions and cheap foreign imports killed all our other industries, it's going to kill RM. It's going to happen and there's nothing anyone will do about it until it's too late!

    Strike and seal your fate!

  4. Bilgepipe
    Unhappy

    Doomed

    The Unions will be the death of the Royal Mail. Those fools are playing right into the hands of a Government desperate to get rid of it.

  5. VespertineStar
    FAIL

    When will it dawn on them?

    If RM staff keep going on strike about low pay they will lose larger customers and eventually they will have lost too many significant customers to sustain themselves and then everyone at RM will be out of a job and I'd rather take low pay than no job any day.

    I wonder how much money would be lost if Amazon did "end long term contracts" with RM?

    Also, if RM staff strike for more pay then the money has got to come from somewhere and that will either be increasing their debt of laying off more staff.

  6. Neil Spellings

    HDN

    All my Amazon stuff arrives via "Home Delivery Network" which appears to be a network of home-workers who act as couriers in their local area. My stuff gets dropped off by someone in a old Volvo...but at least it arrives unlike the farce that is Royal Mail.

  7. adrianww
    Unhappy

    The thing is...

    ...who else can Amazon (or anyone else) use for "normal" postal deliveries? The plain fact is that most of the contract courier/mail providers (UKMail, whoever else) still just hand the whole shooting match over to Royal Mail for final delivery. Unless you're actually paying for the full courier service on something (which will simply be too expensive for some consignments) or only happen to be doing business in a small number of limited areas (e.g. some of the big cities), most of your letters and small packets are going to end up in Royal Mail hands anyway. So what happens to those items during the strike? Do the sorting office and delivery workers suddenly pause their strike to deliver the third-party postbags, or does it just get stacked up in a different part of the sorting office until the strike is over?

    I mean, I'm not hugely impressed by the Royal Mail's management, but I'm no more impressed by hidebound unions that still believe they're living in the 70's. And I'm least impressed by the decades of general Government, Civil Service and regulatory cocked-up-ness that has led to the current dire state of affairs in the UK in areas such as postal services, telecommunications, transport, basic utilities, etc.

    And, yes, when it comes to things like this, I freely confess to being a grumpy old man.

  8. Jerome 2
    Grenade

    Down with the Royal Mail!

    Give me gold old reliable City Link any day of the week. Well, not any day, of course and often not the day they say but they'll leave you a card if you're out, maybe, and they usually won't 'sign' for it in your name and take the goods for themselves. So that's nice.

  9. Will 12

    Again?

    This seems to happen every couple of years.

    I wouldn't mind so much if they managed to actually deliver my mail on time.

  10. Hollerith 1

    Not the wisest move

    When we are all feeling the Sword of Doom hanging over our heads, the news of posities going on strike won't make us feel warmly to them. I support unions, as even in the first world, legislation does not protect the average worker, as we can see by looking at the USA. I know much of the Royal Mail's duff service is due to posties being over-working and undermined, but it's Royal mMail who has to sort out how closing branches and lowering service levels is not helping them be a business that staff can support and that the public uses. Every time a strike or walk-out making my mail disappear forever, I turn to couriers and to online, until finally I won't need RM at all, and all the industrial action in the world won't help, as there will be no place to work. The strike is a symptom of failings. RM was hobbled when it was 'de-regulated' inthe 1980s and has nevr been able to catch up. It is a monopoly, but a failing monopoly, trying to make a profit in a world that needs it less. I feel for it and the posties themselves, but they are on a path to nowhere right now.

  11. Matt 21

    Strikes

    I'm pretty sure that these days they don't just go on strike for fun, unless you read the Daily Mail. I also think we need unions. Otherwise management will keep on braking agreements whenever they feel the need to make a name for themselves.

    It's also worth noting that the unions are seen as a positive force in a lot of our neighboring countries.

  12. Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face

    Roy Mayall wrote...

    http://www.lrb.co.uk/v31/n18/maya01_.html

    Best analysis of the situation I've read so far. The unions aren't the problem - ministers' eagerness to implement EU directives which prohibit subsidy and subject the RM to competition are.

    That might be OK - I'm all for free markets and competition - but the RM retains the obligation of a universal service, and no way to pay for it except by breaking the backs of your local postie. Meanwhile the profitable bits of the service are picked off by other companies who ride on the Royal Mail's infrastructure.

    I think in some cases (the road network, for instance) there is an argument for key facets of our national infrastructure to be run in the national interest, rather than for masses of profit (which postal services generally don't do). I think I'm right in saying that, even in the US, that most free market of nations, the postal service is a national company. That has to tell you something.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Megaphone

    Unions?

    It's always been THE MAN who shafts the worker.

    Do you get:

    A fair pay?

    Holidays?

    Sick leave?

    Safe work environment?

    Yes?

    One word: Unions...

  14. Stef 4
    Thumb Down

    Strike? So what?

    I hear a lot about local Royal Mail strikes, but to be honest, I've not noticed any difference in Royal Mail's performance in years. I still get mail addressed to people in different countries because the envelopes are stuck together. My neighbours still get my mail. Sometimes 3 or 4 days go by without any mail, and then suddenly it all arrives on a Friday. And this is all BEFORE the recent strikes. brightly coloured birthday cards still go amiss (I must learn to send them in plain envelopes to stop the thieving employees from taking them, despite the fact there is no money in the card).

    Oh, union bosses, can you please teach your members to understand the phrase "Do Not Bend", it would be of great benefit, and might actually earn your members a little more support from the customers.

  15. Joe K
    Coat

    The online stores achilles heel

    I've cancelled a couple of pre-orders (Uncharted 2 and Brutal Legend, woo!) cos the backlog means there'd be no chance i'll get them within a week of launch.

    So to the shops i will go, just like the old days.

  16. Adam Trickett
    FAIL

    Don't blame the unions

    The problem is that the management is useless and the company has been terribly run for years. The union doesn't help but they are not the root cause.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Look at the Facts not the Government Spin

    If the morons that commented above had bothered to look into the issues they would see that the main issue is not about greedy unions wanting more pay. It is about the RM management wanting more work for less pay and the fact that this will lead to a much worse service to us the customers. I fully agree that a strike will probably be playing into the governments hands as they are looking a for any excuse to off load the RM and that big business will want to hive off what few profitable bits that are left and leave the tax payer with picking up the bill as always. The RM bosses are deliberately provoking this for just this reason.

  18. Shaun 2

    What ever happened to...........

    What ever happened to tampering with the royal mail being a capital offence punishable by beheading??????

    Bring it back - that'll sort the men from the whingy girls..............

  19. Anonymous John

    @ Let 'em do it

    "in third world nations and places with very dodgy governments"

    That's the UK you're describing, isn't it?

  20. Roger Garner

    Don't tar them all with the same brush...

    Posties that deliver here to work are a friendly bunch who made it quite clear they wouldn't vote for or even support strike action. They knew it only harmed themselves!

    Its very much a 'shoot yourself in the foot' reaction...

  21. Lloyd
    Stop

    To be fair

    My postie's a nice bloke and not on strike, he'll be getting a pressie this Chrimbo.

    Although I thought Amazon had already ditched RM? Everything of mine comes via HDN.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who will deliver?

    Amazon tried to send my last package via HDN who consistently lied about having "tried to deliver" even though I was in the property each time they said they tried. In the end the order was cancelled, I guess HDN cant keep up with the work!

    Hopefully they let RM go bust so we dont have to pay the £10bn pension deficit, its called the unions cutting their own throats.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ill-informed

    The CWU has already agreed that there will have to be job cuts for RM to remain competitive but RM management refuse to say how many redundancies there will be and how they will be handled so I think the postal workers are perfectly entitled to use the only leverage they have.

    This isn't a strike about more pay, but ill-informed responses seem to be ever more the norm here these days.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    @BigYin

    The biggest threat to Royal Mail is...Royal Mail.

    Sunday collections? Gone due to "lack of need" after a "consultation exercise". Speaking as someone who works for himself and used this service, I guess the people whom I used to regularly see were just a mirage.

    Second post? Bollocks.. Your post will come once in the afternoon and you will just have to get used to it.

    Stamps? Oh, yes. We have a nice simple system for you now with tiered rates that you can only be sure that you have the right postage in a post office - which is now closed. Oh, but there is an upside. You'll probably just put the maximum postage on anyway and if you don't, we can charge disproportionately for the recipient to get it.

    Bad old unions!

  25. Ian 25
    FAIL

    Sod the posties

    Good on Amazon - just cancel the contract, make your customers happy.

    Service from Royal Mail is more and more expensive and less and less reliable every year.

    Calling an all-out strike for a largely unskilled workforce during a recession, threatening strikes over Christmas when that's when their biggest corporate customers need guaranteed delivery and can easily move elsewhere doesn't make them look like the sharpest knives in the drawer.

    I'm off to buy some UPS shares....

  26. adam payne
    Stop

    Unions

    Royal Mail is a dinosaur left over from the days when everybody communicated by letter. Doesn't the union understand that Royal Mail simply can not continue to operate as it's always operated.

    Profit margins have gotten smaller so Royal Mail needs to be modernised / streamlined so that they can compete with the other companies in the market and make a decent profit, profit that could go into filling that pension black hole they've got.

    If they go ahead with the strike they are just going to put even more financial pressure on Royal Mail, severely affect businesses/individuals and lose even more of the public's faith (if there's any left). People are simply getting sick and tired of it!

  27. K
    FAIL

    lol ..

    Posties are real magicians, watch them turn a picket line into a line for the dole queue, amazing!

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Already a memory

    We used to send all of our stuff out by RM until the threatened strike action a few years ago. We couldn't have parcels getting delayed so we kicked them into touch. Really increases your companies business when you strike, idiots!

  29. P.Nutt

    Pure Genius!

    Several times I have heard the mailman deliver mail only to find a card saying noone was home to deliver a package. They must run because by the time I get outside they have drove off. And whats worst is...I WAS HOME!

    And then there was the time when someone else's mail was dropped in my slot I ran after to let the mail man know...and he got angry with me!

    People (THE CUSTOMERS) are pissed off with the strikes, companies are and will leave you due to the strike and I am pretty sure theyre will be a hell of a lot more job losses due the strike rather than sitting down and agreeing working hours and pay.

    Good luck finding new jobs as you have pretty much fucked yourself in the ass on this one following the unions "advice".

  30. Bassey

    Hope they don't lose Amazon

    The main reason I use Amazon is because of the Royal Mail. Living on an offshore-Island, the Royal Mail are the only ones who charge the "normal" postage rate to delivery stuff here. As a result, the Amazon price I see is what I pay. Unlike thousands of other website who will frequently add-on a £10 or more "Offshore surcharge" at checkout.

    If Amazon kick the Royal Mail into touch (and you could hardly blame them) I'm going to have to dig around for another site that uses the RM - if the RM survive. My understanding is that Amazon is a massive percentage of their business and they'd be unlikely to survive the loss of the contract in anything like their current form.

  31. spam 1

    Death wish

    In a mail market shrinking due to email and paper-free and with stiff competition from private companies to deliver larger items the last thing the post office needs is to provide a shitter than normal service.

    I stopped using parcel farce years ago when they took longer to deliver an important package than it would have taken me to crawl 160 miles on my hand and knees pushing the parcel with my nose. Compensation available for this abysmal service? nothing not even a refund of the postage.

    Recently they delivered a sorry you were out postcard instead of a parcel, must have been really careful with the letter box so we didn't hear it never mind the doorbell they didn't ring. Trying to complain about this was a complete waste of time, their service will never improve when they ignore customers taking the trouble to tell them how it is shit.

  32. Cazzo Enorme

    @ Matt 21

    Oh they certainly go on strike for the fun of it - at least in Oxford and Abingdon, a notoriously militant area as far as postal workers go. I even overheard two sorting office workers on the bus having a laugh about it a couple of years back, saying that they had all walked out in support of a colleague caught thieving who they wanted reinstated.

    I'm all for responsible unions who use industrial action where appropriate, but the postal workers are up there with the fscking London Underground drivers when it comes to taking the piss out of their customers.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Tecnicalities? Joe public doesnt care!

    At the end of the day, joe public sees letters mashed, lost, misdelivered, parcels left in the rain, bulk mail delivieries because somoene save up all weeks mail. This doent make them feel warm and fuzzy about RM.

    Businesses get the same but lost mail to a business is money.

    All these people see is the posties striking, they dont need to know, or indeed care about management issues. Money and a letter goes in, a letter should go out, in the promised timescale and the same shape it went in. Thats all joe public cares about.

    For a strike to work it needs support, there epears to be very little now after nearly 3 years of shocking service and tbh, its getting harder to notice if they are on strike or having a crap day.

    I think you'll find, they could be striking about the flavour of jelly in the canteen, management issues, hell even summary execution as a threat if somone refuses to be voluntarilly be made redundant, people just dont care now.

    SO yes, a lot of the people on here are barking up the wrong tree but by and large, no one cares.

  34. MinionZero
    Big Brother

    OMG what is it going to take to wake some people up!

    @The BigYin: "The biggest threat to British jobs" "Unions”

    In our area the post men & women are being treated like utter dirt by their management. They are now forcing 2 people to do the work of 3, yet for less money than they were on before. WHICH IS WHY THEY ARE STRIKING!

    So its not about Unions.

    Also yes some unions were corrupt a few decades ago, but that doesn't change the fact why we originally needed the unions, because the bosses were arrogant and corrupt and treated workers with contempt. The workers then formed unions which allowed them to stand up to and stop the bosses being such utter bastards to their workers.

    It seems now we have some sheeple falling for the rich and powerful line that all unions must be considered bad. The thing about a union is that its a group of people standing together against rich and powerful peoples very common attutude of arrogant self centered greed and contempt.

    The usual stupid reply to this if you don't like the job, then leave. That's totally ignorant of the fact that the vast majority of companies end up treating workers the same way. So there will be no where to go where you can be treated that well if we didn't have people to apply pressure to get the rich and powerful to consider us.

    If people without any power in this world are to get anything in their lives, they are going to need to stand together so they can stand up to the people with the money and power. (Money is power over people who need money). Of course that means the people with power will do everything they can to divide up the groups of people who potentially what to stand against them. Its divide and conquer tactics. Sow division. Make everyone feel alone in this world, powerless to do or say anything against the ever increasing suppression of us all. Powerless. When people stand together they can finally argue for some fairness in this world, because without it, many of the people in power don't care about us. They don't have empathy the way normal people do. They are predominantly Narcissistic in their behavior towards everyone else. (Narcissistic as in Narcissistic personality disorder). That goes for many bosses as well as politicians.

    It seems in the UK, the sheeple outnumber the people with a spine. Or is that what we are all made to believe, in which case it becomes a self fulling prophecy so to speak. Make everyone feel alone and poison their views of any group that stands together, like unions, or G20 protesters (they are all a bunch of out of work trouble makers, is the usual government sponsored meme ... no they are standing against the same greedy arrogant Narcissism in society, the ones who are treating people with utter contempt just so they can get even richer and more powerful). The Narcissistics in power all want us to be subservient. To be quite to let the them, our ruling elite do what they want and we cannot complain. (Many bosses and politicians are the same kind of person). So are we to be seen and not heard?. Is that our lot in life? ... when will some sheeple wake up? ... When they start taking hundreds of billions of our tax payers money and then allowing millions of that to be taken by their rich friends? ... what is it going to take to wake some people up?

    If you don't believe many bosses have arrogant contempt for people (behind their false charismatic act), then go to the government site http://www.companieshouse.gov.uk/ and look up the details on what your boss really earns (if you can dig through the mess of accounting they so often hide behind). See exactly how much your boss earns. I bet in many cases it'll shock you. It'll be way more than you imagine possible. It will be the best investment you will ever make because it'll finally open your eyes to the way you are really being treated. It takes being at work for a few years before the differences between what many bosses say and do start to come to your attention. But give it time. You'll see as so many workers have seen over the decades and centuries. Most bosses don't pay you what you are worth, they pay you want they can get away with paying you and so often they want that to be as low as they can get away with, while getting as much work as they can out of you for their money, but then they would never say all that to your face.

    Remember, “A man is no less a slave because he is allowed to choose a new master once in a term of years.” ... that applies as much for choosing your boss as it does for choosing your government. Changing bosses or governments doesn't prevent them treating us with contempt and ripping us all off. Power building against them is the only thing they listen to as its the thing they most fear. People standing together against them. So they do everything they can to twist our thinking to prevent us thinking of standing together against them.

  35. Keith 21

    So if Royal Mail go on strike...

    ...how exactly will we be able to tell the difference?

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Cazza Enorme

    Postmen don't have to put up with the results of suicidal people throwing themselves in front of their little trolleys...........

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Oh well....

    ...that'll be one delivery of twenty letters a week instead of one delivery of 15 leaflets and one delivery of letters per week. No it won't sorry it'll be one delivery of 15 leaflets a week. The letters wil remain unsorted.

    Oh and at least my lawn will not have a strip worn right across it, because he can't be arsed to use that thing called a footpath.

  38. Reg Wells
    WTF?

    Not a Reduction in Amount of Mail

    It is interesting if you actually look at how the figures for amount of mail delivered by RM is calculated you will find that the major reason for the alleged reduction is that the RM management changed how the figure was calculated.

    It is calculated based on the average content of a standard box of letters which was calculated at over 200 items per box and this was then recalculated by the management to around 165 a box, while actual sampling of the box content puts the average at nearer 260.

    Also if you think about, while email may have eaten into the personal letter writing numbers all the on-line activity has in fact lead to an increase in the number of items being sent through the post, not to mention all the catalogues for mail order and web based companies.

    So the so called reduction in numbers of items being sent by mail is just another lie by a bunch of incompetents who ran out of fingers and toes when try to do the maths.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    RM Alternative - HDN

    I ordered from Amazon for the first time in a while recently and so have now experienced the joy of being a customer of HDN - to say that they're utterly, utterly useless would be an insult to utterly, utterly useless people. As Ian said above - the consistent lying (in my case they are apparently unable to find a property that has stood on a main road since at least the 1950s) seems to be a key feature of their "service".

    RM staff deserve a fair crack of thw whip because quite honestly compared to the competition they do an excellent job. If RM management are trying to cut costs at the expense of jobs then it can only be a matter of time before we end up suffering from this standard of "service" all the time.

    Anonymous because I still haven't had my delivery, though I doubt HDN staff have the nous to use t'interweb

  40. Alex 66
    Badgers

    HDNL

    HDNL are actually decent where I live, they use proper livered vans + uniforms too.

    They probably don't have enough capacity in some areas yet, hence why they are out-sourcing it, even DHL do that sometimes.

    Royal Mail staff really just need to wake up, some jobs need to go now or most will end up going.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @MinionZero

    I think you need a double dose of reality.

    Yep, for the bulk of the worlds population, life is pretty shit. Yep, big corporates walk all over people. Yep, governments walk all over people.

    Thing is, that's what humans do. You can see it on a small scale in any social setting - there's always one or two people who shout, force, cajole, cheat and lie thier way into power.

    If you can think of a better way, that people may actually listen to, you'll probably be hung-drawn and quartered.

    Besides, I really really doubt that postal workers have it as tough as you make out - really, you make it sound like some Dickensian nightmare. We've got it so damn easy in this country in comparison to others.

    Life is damn tough for everyone right now, so most of us have ZERO sympathy for Postal workers who strike, with probably 3 million unemployed, people downgrading jobs just to pay the rent etc. - it's a very selfish action in our current enviroment, that could mean the end of many small businesses.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    @MinionZero

    Whoa there! Take a chill pill. Now put your brain in gear and think things through.

    Why might the bosses say only 2 people are required to do the work of 3 previously? What might have changed? Anything? Ok, I'll help. The number of letters is decreasing by 10%, year on year. Has been doing so for ages, will continue to do so. Blame emails, blame competition, blame the fact nobody writes love letters anymore. The simple fact is we need fewer posties to deliver fewer letters.

    As for your rant about bosses getting paid more than the workers, then I think you've been looking at far too many tabloids. Yes there are a percentage of arrogant tossers who show utter contempt to their workers, but the vast majority of company owners know how important it is to retain staff - not just because of some empity with humanity, but simply because it costs a fortune to recruit and train new workers. Speaking as a boss I can quite legitimately pay myself more than all of my 9-5 workers simply because I never get to leave work for the day. None of my staff wake up at 3am with the voices of doom in their head. Nobody else has to grovel to the bank manager. Nobody else worries about the fate of their staff and families if it all goes wrong.

    However, as you've obviously not experienced the joys of running your own business (nor are you ever likely to for even more obvious reasons) I suspect you think all bosses behave like the ones in ITV dramas. Here, in the real world, we are very different.

    Oh, and I tried looking at companies house for my salary and couldn't find it there. Is that because I've hidden it in a mess of accounting? No, it's because it doesn't have to be declared in my accounts. I think you'll find it's only the largest of firms that have to disclose their 'director's emoluments' and frankly they represent a minority of the employers out there (c.f. arrogant tosssers previously mentioned).

    My advice to you is try and look at both sides of the argument. Try to understand what needs to be done. The Royal Mail is going the way of the CRT display. They need to adapt or die.

    What would you do?

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RM Staff being unreasonable - wanting pay for hours they've not worked

    One of the reasons for the strike:

    Royal Mail workers are paid for an 8 hour day. They currently work maybe 6 hours, then go home when their round is done. RM would like them to work the full 8 hour day that they're paid for.

    I don't call that one unreasonable management.

  44. gerryg
    Grenade

    Government consistency...left and right hand

    @Alex 66

    HDNL?

    tick - parcel order from Amazon two days ago, arrived this morning mid phone call, courier politely held gadget for signature as I had phone in other hand

    Royal Mail?

    @Stef 4:

    Brightly coloured envelopes going missing?

    tick - I cannot send separate birthday cards to my friend's twins. It's a competition as to which one won't arrive.

    Neighbours get my mail?

    tick - or at least I get regular deliveries of my neighbours' mail

    Parcel posted 23rd Sept arrived yesterday

    Private Eye, despite correct address and 1st Class post now arriving six days late. So I will be canceling my subscription because it isn't funny and I am disgusted.

    Government?

    Even they think RM is rubbish. So they gave the mail contract to someone else

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2007/jan/08/immigrationpolicy.post

    which no doubt increases the subsidy required

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    good god

    The readership of the Reg make it look more and more like the Daily Fail every day. I just hope that the content doesn't go the same way too, or it will be indistinguishable from The Inquirer.

    (Andrew "afraid of feedback" Orlowski aside of course)

    The article is fine, the comments.. less so.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    It takes two to tango...

    ....or make a dispute!

    Have actually signed up just to say I'm horrified at the tone of so many of these comments!

    As a long time reader of El Reg I had basked in the assumption that most other readers were above the level of the Daily Mail, and had some brains of their own to filter the cr*p that that particular rag, and the others of it's ilk, serve up.

    Am just saddened to have had my eyes opened!!

  47. NobbyD
    WTF?

    The Reality Check's in the Post

    Why do public sector workers whine and whinge so much about pay and conditions. Okay they tend to get lower pay than the private sector but perks like 30 days annual leave and pension deals far outweigh those given in private industry. I've work in both sectors, so have some experience in this - and as for private sector BIG payrises? ALL employees in our small privately owned company have received a total of 2% in the last 4 years, I can't imagine the public sector putting up with that!

  48. David Mullen
    Alert

    Amazon

    If amazon's delivery gets taken back to the depot and I have to go and collect it how is this mail order? Atleast when RM (or is that consigniere) take it back I can walk to the sorting office, the amazon package I have to collect tomorrow will invovlve a 30 mile drive I wouldn't otherwise make. So that becomes a purchase I won't make.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Yellow Bellied Brits

    Ahh its so nice too see the unison and thought for your fellow workers that you UK people show here. No wonder you envy the French so much. At least they are willing to fight for there rights.

  50. seanj
    FAIL

    Re: Yellow Bellied Brits

    ... writes the "Anonymous Coward". Oh the irony.

  51. Adam T
    Go

    Good opportunity for enterprising posties

    ...to set up their own Postal Service.

    Why work for someone at all if they treat you like shit?

  52. Whitefort
    Thumb Down

    Oh God, no, PLEASE not more Citylink!!!!

    My recent Amazon deliveries have arrived via Citylink, and the service has been utterly, UTTERLY crap. Even though I know they haven't been within miles of my home (I would see them from my workroom window) deliveries NEVER arrive on the day that their tracking website promises. Instead, they post a message that 'delivery was attempted but there was no-one there to receive the package'

  53. Amazon Wageslave
    FAIL

    RM going downhill fast

    Our General Manager said that when we opened, 95% of our deliveries were carried out by RM. It's now significantly less than 50% and dropping fast. The last time the posties threw a strop we used other carriers on a temporary basis. They did such a good job that we renewed their contract and told RM to get to.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Twunts

    I had a note through the door to pick up a parcel last week and went to the collection office the next morning before work.

    Had to queue in a line of ten punters.

    Four RM staff standing chatting about "professional standards" they must adhere to - not serving anyone.

    One RM staff sitting by a phone - phone rings "I can't help you Sir, there are clients in the office who must take priority", puts phone down, does nothing, waits, phone rings "I can't help.....".

    Only ONE of six RM staff actually doing any work. Five doing nothing but talking about it.

    I get to the front of the queue - guy looks art my card and without looking for the parcel "You can't collect that yet - it's not been 24 hours"; I reply "it's been about 23 hours, please look, the package may be here"; response, "no sir, I'm not looking, you have to wait 24 hours".

    Me..."OK, I'll come back tomorrow". RM staff "No Sir, we're on strike tomorrow".

    Took me almost a week to get my parcel.

  55. Jay 2
    FAIL

    Deliveries, or lack therof

    At the moment in my bit of sunny London we're still suffering from all the previous RM messing about over the past few weeks. In the past 4 weeks I've only got one copy of Autosport and that wasn't even the oldest one. I calculate that we're still running at least a week behind. And if that isn't bad enough, we only seem to get post every other day. Though something strange is afoot as last Sunday there was a delivery!

    Had problems with ShittyLink before. One day they tried to deliver something and I wasn't in, so they left a card. The next day they tried again and left a card, though this time I was in! So then I called and said I'd pick it up from the depot the next day (Saturday). So off I went to pick it up from the depot... and was told it was on the van. So I waited around a few hours at home until I was pretty sure their delivery slot was up (1pm) and went out. Got back to find a card again.

    So then waited in all day, and saw a van go past with the driver giving my side of the street a bare glance. That was then described by the online tracking as an attempted delivery. So I called up and asked how someone can attempt a delivery without even slowing down, as their excuse was that the driver couldn't find the doorbell. Well no-one else has ever had that problem. So a few hours later said driver shows up with the parcel, but feigns ignorance when I congratulated him on learning how to use a doorbell.

  56. MailHater
    Thumb Up

    New Forum - Anti RM

    If you (like me) have suffered at the hands of Royal Mail - come join us on http://www.rubbishroyalmail.co.uk

    My business has been all but ruined by the Royal Mail strikes - I deal heavily in low value items that can't easily (or cheaply!) be couriered.

    It's a new forum, so posting is encouraged - there are no ads also. I won't make a penny of of this!

    See you there,

    MailHater

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Why Not Hermes (Parcelnet)

    Why dont amazon go to hermes they use self employed couriers who leave a card with there own number on for re-delivery, they also will not leave on doorstep in veiw of everyone !!!!!!!!!!!

  58. astroboy

    A pox on both their houses

    When I moved to the UK from New Zealand I was initially excited because I could finally order from a local Amazon and not pay international shipping charges.

    My Amazon packages used to always arrived half open, but I thought nothing of it. I never had a TV, but when the rugby world cup rolled around, decided to order a TV card from Amazon, but it never arrived. I contacted Amazon, but they said I had to keep waiting, because sometimes orders get lost in the system, but eventually arrive. They also said to visit the local RM HQ for returned packages. They had nothing.

    Well, the World Cup started and I started missing the games. In the end, I wrote a letter to the head of Amazon UK, and surprise, someone phoned me and said another card would be sent straight away. Well, it never arrived either. And I worked from home at the time, and rarely ventured outside during the working day, so I would most likely had been at home if the cards were delivered.

    Well, I contacted Royal Mail's helpdesk, and the woman I poke to said that there were known problems with deliveries in my area disappearing into the ether, and I should try to get my packages sent somewhere else. This explained my previous half-opened packages. My computer geek books and my wife's art books obviously held little attraction to the local RM, but the TV cards did. I gave up on the cards in the end, and was so fed up, I couldn't even be bothered asking Amazon for a refund.

    And to add to the frustrations, Amazon told the licensing people that we now had a TV, even though we didn't. And convincing the TV bureaucrats that we had no such device was an other pain in the arse that I didn't need....

    Basically, I have no sympathy for Amazon or Royal Mail, and if both disappeared off the face of the earth, I wouldn't mourn their passing….

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @astroboy

    If you buy a TV card then the seller MUST inform the TV licencing authority, it's the law. Don't blame Amazon in this case, blame the Big Brother nanny state which demands shops report to the government what you have purchased.

    To be honest, you were gonna get hassled anyway, it was only a matter of time. I had no TV for about 5 years and the licensing authority would not believe that in this day and age someone would live without a telly. They sent me dozens of letters, visited the house 1/2 dozen times, and insinuated I was a liar whenever I said I had no TV (which I didn't). Their tone was threatening and litigous and I could imagine a more meek person feeling quite harassed.

    I agree with you on the Royal Mail and would sack the lot. I've had poor experiences and lost mail and if they can't be bothered to deliver mail then what use are they? Any other business that had should shoddy service and contempt for it's clients would have gone bust years ago; the unions (whom I generally support) have got it way wrong on this one. If they can't/won't deliver then get shot and get someone who can/will. The unions will say it's not the workers but the business is being mis-managed; I know a few posties and they are luddites that resist any notion of upgrading the service or working an 8 hour day to which they're contracted and paid for. The business is technically bust with the pension liability exceeding the value of the business and without government prop-up the receivers would already be on-site. And the unions want to start a fight?!?!?!

  60. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Oh for f*** sake

    We post men (sorry persons) are not striking over pay if we were going to do that we would have done so months ago when we were told that we were having a pay freeze which funnily happened at the same time that managers were getting bonuses between four and nine thousand depending on their grade.

    We are striking to protect the service which due to insane cost cutting exercises and chaos management is gradually going down hill. This is Royal Mails modernisation, the staff and the union want proper modernisation which includes equipment that works, not the scooters, rickshaws (yes really) and huge trolleys (what happens when a push chair comes the other way) that some idiot who has never done the job before has designed and wasted thousands on.

    Our office has just gone through some modernisation using a computer system that changes all of the walks and cuts some out (you get the result you want depending on the information you put in). This system is supposed to make our walks to full capacity so no one has spare time (no one has anyway) yet, we have already had our saving figures for next year meaning more job hours cut from the office. If we have already been cut to the bone who does the extra work?!?

    As for delayed mail building up in offices around the country this is strike mail, now the staff want to get it out as soon as possible but unfortunately the management view point is leave it there we have already been fined for that so no rush.

    All any postie wants to do is go out get the job done and have one day without fiddled figures harrasment and ignorant press and people commenting on something that they really have no clue about.

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