Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Slow service at SingPost

My friend May, who appreciates good service when she sees one being rendered, but can also be upset/irritated when she comes across inefficient or lazy service providers, sent me this email yesterday:

"WE WENT to the post office at Sixth Avenue this afternoon, just after 2 pm. There were 5 people in the queue ahead of me. One staff was seated at each of the 3 counters. In the middle position, I noticed the counter staff was doing something else instead of serving the customers in the queue. On the counter top was a sign which said, "Position closed".

"Okay, so it explains why she was not helping to clear the queue. But it is hardly a consolation for me, as all I wanted was to purchase stamp booklets, but I had to wait in the queue.

"And it was a long wait as everyone of the 5 people ahead of me, had transactions which took a long time. To illustrate, by the time I finally got served, the queue had built up to about 12 or 13 people.

"The middle counter finally decided to start serving the customers in the queue when I had moved into No. 2 position. When I was finally served by counter 3, this staff put up the "position closed" sign immediately after I bought my stamp booklets from her.

"So, the rest of the long queue would again be left with 2 staff serving them. Now, all this while, I noticed another staff (she appeared to be the supervisor) walking up and down, looking very busy but showing absolutely no interest in the fact that the customer queue was building up.

"If I were in her position, common sense would dictate that I chip in to help move the queue, and leave my other duties aside temporarily. But her attitude appeared to be that customers have no other choice but to wait for service at SingPost. How sad!

"I asked the counter staff where else I could get my stamp booklets so that I can avoid wasting time in a queue each time I needed to buy stamps. Her answer was not very useful. She said "some bookshops are agents and they will be able to sell me the stamp booklets". Exactly where these shops are is left to me to find out!"

SingPost gets a BOO-QUET for this. I will forward this post to the management and await its response. Meanwhile, stay connected.


  1. thanks for sharing! i think this is just the way Singpost operates. i have ever expireienced the exact same situation before and it can be sooo annoying.


  2. It's been five days since I sent a note to Singpost to alert them to my posting but to date I have not received a response or an acknowledgement. I guess its management and PR people must be very busy dealing with the "post-box graffiti" fallout. I will just have to be patient...

  3. This is one of the problem with privatisation. In the the good old days the Post Office only dealt with postal matters - selling stamps, accepting registered mail. Today it does so many other things - sells cameras, computers, softwares; collect payments for so many govt agencies that it is often very busy.
    Once I have to visit the Ghim Moh Post Office 3 times to replenish my stamps - the 1st 2 ocassions I gave up queuing because the line was hardly moving.
    Maybe SingPost could install stamp booklet dispenser outside their Post Offices.


  4. SingPost has finally replied to the feedback which my friend May wrote to me earlier this month and which I forwarded to Singpost.
    I am afraid the spokesperson did not reply to her point about the long wait she sometimes has to endure just to buy stamps.
    Below is the email that I received today (Jan 21).

    "We apologise for the less than satisfactory service rendered to you in the post office.

    Each counter will be required to close for about 30mins to 45mins to faciliate an afternoon mail collection ( including registered mail) around 2.30pm - 3pm. This would have appeared to the public there is only 1 counter opened.

    The Branch Manager always ensure there are more staff manning the counter during peak periods and he himself will assist also.

    Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience caused. Our business managers will continue to review on the current structure to better serve the customers.

    Yours sincerely

    Lu Siu Ching (Ms)
    Customer Service
    Business Division
    Singapore Post Limited"

  5. Well, there isn't any need to improve. There isn't any competition.

  6. Chanced upon your post when i googled on 'boo' service from singpost. Yours is just a single encounter, mine has been years long of disappointments and life shortening.

    Anyway, my latest 'boo' with them ...

    I have a parcel coming from japan via EMS. With the tracking number, i see that the parcel will be delivered today. But there is nobody home to receive it today so i called your speedpost line early AM to have it redelivered on sat morning instead. Save them a wasted trip right?

    But the hotline staff tells me the item will be sent out with the postman and she cant do anything. I think to myself, cant she call the postman?? Dont they have ways to communicate with field staff??

    And then even though we are both sure nobody will receive and it will be a failed delivery and i reiterated that unless i got ghost at home, she cannot make the redelivery request for me rightaway. She wants me to wait till the postman record as undeliverable at the end of the day, then i call in again tomorrow to make the same redelivery request. She say its a standard process O.o ... isnt this stupid and redundant? Why act on the problem tomorrow when we already know it now and can act now?

    Speedpost is so efficient right? Efficient in their standard processes which do not cater for exceptional handling nor recognise real situation needs first. And customers have to 'suit' them not the other way round.