An Post complaints include package sent to wrong hemisphere

Watchdog had to deal with issues ranging from missing mail to alleged stolen cash

  An Post office in Dublin. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

An Post office in Dublin. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

 

Stolen cash, missing mail, and parcels sent to the wrong hemisphere are just some of the issues which vex An Post customers.

In the last year and a half, communications watchdog Comreg has received many complaints about postal services, ranging from tirades about the price of stamps to serious allegations about hundreds of euro going missing from standard post.

Correspondence seen by The Irish Times suggests that the problem of missing money and gift cards appears to be particularly acute in the UK, with one person saying a staff member from An Post admitted “it happens a lot” to customers’ mail passing through London sorting offices.

Birthday money

A spokesman for An Post said no specific geographical area had been highlighted as being problematic as regards money going missing.

He added that the advice from An Post is never to send cash, cheques or valuable items by standard post.

Postal workers often have to decipher cryptic addresses in far-flung places, but some may need to brush up on their geography after one customer’s €900 package was sent to Australia instead of Austria.

In a more perplexing case, a bemused woman was left to wonder how a package intended for Lebanon ended up in New Zealand: “Obviously this was a surprise to me,” said the emailer who wanted to send items to her partner in the Army.

Other bizarre incidents include a case where a customer’s brother was almost arrested in Nigeria after he was given incorrect information about the arrival of a games console, and there was a close call for a Rathcoole parent who nearly missed out on the offer of a Gaelscoil place for her son because of confusion over mailing instructions in Irish.