What are the good/bad things about the post in your country/city?

Feel free to share: What are the good/bad things about the post in your country/city?

Here’s my opinion on Hong Kong post
Good:

  1. They deliver letters and packages pretty quick.
  2. You can always find a post office nearby your home/office.
  3. The staff are usually friendly.
  4. (How come I forgot this while posting!) Comparing to international posts, the fee is quite low. I think this is the biggest advantage.

Bad:

  1. The decline of stamp machines. Instead we’re kinda forced to buy labels from the new vending machines and use the labels, which have no design at all and are very boring. Now I order stamps from the website and try my best not to use the labels.
  2. Not many options of ordering stamps from foreign posts.
  3. The stamps issued, in my opinion, are sometimes not well-designed.
4 Likes

Here’s my opinion on german post

Good:

They deliver letters and packages pretty quick.
The staff in the remaining post offices are usually friendly.
reasonable prices for letter

Bad:

most post offices are closed and replaced by socalled in shop counters
some of these in shop counters deny cancelation
also many use the label instead of real stamps
in shop counter is handled as minor issue so i.e. in a videothek there is just one counter for post and two for video and those are handled prior to any post customer
no living people on stamps
no quick change of issue like now for covid none in Germany

and most annoying and disgusting:
you are not allowed to send good in a letter, you have to buy a parcel for around 16€ ( with no stamps of cause) to send a teabag

Woow many bads but they are fast and reasonable price
please add, if I forgot something :wink:

1 Like

Good:

  • Everything works relatively fast

  • They have good customer service, one time a letter for which I had used two international stamps (3 euros) got returned to me for no good reason. They sent me new stamps and an apology letter.

  • They issue some nice stamps each year, and there’s the option to order personalized stamps, also you don’t pay shipping costs when ordering from their site.

Bad:

  • Post offices don’t really exist, there’s usually like these assigned spots in certain shops and such, but it’s not the same.

  • The cancellations are boring, and you don’t have the option for a hand cancel. Sometimes when the machine cancellations miss some mail people will use a pen to cancel the stamps and it’s just not very nice.

  • If you want nicer stamps than definitives, you have to order them online, and it takes a long while for them to arrive.

There’s probably more stuff to mention, but these were the things that first came to mind.

4 Likes

I’m sure that people have widely varying experiences with the USPS locally, so I will mostly speak to my experience in places where I have lived.

Good

  1. The people! From the clerks behind the counter to the mail carriers themselves, I can’t remember having an unfriendly interaction with them. They are helpful, patient, and often interested or even excited about what I send. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:
  2. Reliability. Yes, delivery speed has been longer than normal recently, but everything arrives to its destination. I feel comfortable mailing things that have great sentimental value, and I think that speaks to the dependability of the mail.
  3. STAMPS! I love the variety of designs we have available at any given time, and the fact that ordering online is easy.
  4. Vote-by-mail. I am from Oregon and now live in Washington, two states that overwhelmingly elect their representatives through mail-in ballots. I have never had to stand in line waiting for a polling booth, and I hope I never have to!
  5. Online tools, like the Postal Explorer and Click-N-Ship, are wonderful features that have made my Postcrossing and other mailing experiences so much more convenient. I can even fill out and print customs forms and pay online for international packages.

Bad

  1. Sometimes the cancellations can be, um…intense. :laughing: And I have seen the dreaded ballpoint pen-cancellations more frequently (probably due to the higher volume/urgency of mail recently).
  2. This is a very minor complaint, but I wish I could leave international packages at my doorstep for pickup as well as domestic packages (I told you it was a very minor complaint). :sweat_smile:
1 Like

I used mostly UK postal services (Royal Mail :uk:) in recent years. My opinion:

Advantages:

  • In general, letters/postcards are delivered quite quickly. Before Covid-19, all 1st class mail would be delivered the following day.
  • I’d say postmen/women work quite efficiently and do the best they can.
  • They have good customer service if any issues arise and deal with them really well (I never had any problems myself that I complained about but some of my friends had).

Disadvantages:

  • There are very few post offices open nowadays. Most of the postal services are provided in small sections/counters available in bigger stationary or grocery/corner shops where the service can be extremely poor or not even available in the middle of the day.
  • Stamps are getting very expensive. They would usually increase prices once a year but we saw three price increases in the last 12 months already!
  • Stamps available in post offices are just plain queen heads. More interesting stamps are usually online only which are not always available for international post and also have additional costs to be delivered (in addition to already high stamp prices).
2 Likes

In the U.S. that is also true, and I think that is a good thing, even if it means we don’t get “cool” stamps of current actors or whatever. Can you imagine what the U.S. stamps would be like if living people had been allowed on them during the current Administration? I doubt Angela Merkel is particularly keen on having her own visage licked-and-sticked on every blessed envelope, but I do think that the ban on living people has a reason…

2 Likes

Good:

  • Posti still issues a great variety of stamps every year.
  • Despite the pandemic, delivery is quick to some countries.

Bad:

  • Posti rises stamp prices every year and even twice in a year.
  • 99,9 % of the post offices have been shut down and replaced by in-shop counters.
  • Those in-shop counters are manned by the shop staff who often have incomplete knowledge about stamps.
  • Mail items are not practically cancelled anymore.
  • We have practically a three-day-delivery.
  • The delivery takes longer and costs more than before.
  • Posti actually breaks the law, as the law requires a five-day-delivery, but they deliver on Mon., Wed., Thurs. (sometimes maybe on Fri.). However, the law is going to be changed, I guess.
1 Like

I agree with @ColorfulCourtney. I think we don’t have that many living people stamps because it is often very controversial to do so. Also, I think it is not “generic” enough and not many people will actually buy them unless they really like that person a lot. Imagine a Bill Gates stamp. I highly doubt that people will buy it :joy: If I were the Post, I would rather attract stamp collectors with something really interesting and well-representing. (Issuing a living person, esp politician sounds like something a totalitarian government will do? idk)

But for deceased people that are printed onto stamps, they’re usually well recognized and uncontroversial. Actually I would love to have a Chien-Shiung Wu stamp issued by the US post!

Good:

  • Correios Brasileiros still issues a good variety of stamps every year some of them are really nice and useful for international letters
  • Always hand cancelations this is nice because they treat gently my postcards.
  • The prices are still fair to send to all over the world at least for postcards.

Bad:

  • They are not really fast if is a common letter /postcard it can takes more than a month to reach even inside of Brazil
  • Post mail boxes are not reliable, I just use them when these boxes are inside of Correios agency
  • Hard to find stamps. If you do not want to pay a expensive shipping and will be hard to buy locally stamps. Some cities just have one agency and they do not have the variety that we have in philatelic agencies.
  • Agency’s of Correios are rare right now and they just open business hours weekdays so you need to do a planning if you need to go leave your postcards.
  • Rules are not the same in all agencies. This mean that the employees can complain with your stamps and invent rules to make you spend more money to put more stamps it’s totally nonsense because seems that they are not following the same criteria all the places.
4 Likes

This is not quite true. There were the Harry Potter stamps. As far as I know, the actors are still alive.

Let me write about Swiss Post… :slight_smile:

Good :

  • No price increase since I started (2017) !!!
    1 CHF domestic / 1.5 CHF Europe / 2 CHF World
  • Quick delivery : always 2-3 days to Germany
  • 1-day delivery in all of the country (even remote village to other remote village)
  • Delivery 6 days a week
  • I can mail cards as late as 7PM on weekdays and 5PM on Sundays. Extremely useful !
  • Mailboxes everywhere, I have 3 less than 500 m away

Bad (can’t think of many things) :

  • Not a big choice of stamps in post offices (but you can order online - free delivery)

By the way, I don’t understand the postal companies having delivery fees for their products. It’s not like they need to pay shipment !?

6 Likes

Yes, but they weren’t Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson or Tom Felton on the stamps. They were “Harry Potter”, “Hermione Granger” and “Draco Malfoy”. Just fictional persons.

In Germany we had only three times a living person on stamps: Helmut Kohl in 2012, Pope Benedict XVI in 2007 and Jean Monnet in 1977.

There’s just one exception possible: the acting head of state can be on a stamp. Further some times there are quite unknown living persons but they’re representing something and they’ll be alienated.

1 Like

My experience with China Post…

Good:

  • Their service does not cost so much. It only takes 3.5 yuan to send a postcard by sea / 5 yuan to send a postcard by air / 16 yuan (instead of 16 dollars lol) for international registered mail.

  • Their service is very stable and postcards rarely get lost. We can still send cards to almost anywhere in the world despite the pandemic.

  • They deliver items every day.

Bad:

  • International mails are super slow! I have to wait 3-6 weeks for a card to Western Europe, United States, and Japan to arrive. Cards to Russia frequently get expired.

  • The hand-cancelled postmarks are usually unclear.

  • They issue a huge amount of stamps - clearly exceeding the amount in need.

  • Some post office staff don’t know how to send an international postcard. Their knowledge about the rate is sometimes inaccurate.

2 Likes

Limited experience with PTT/Turkish Post:

Good:

  • Cool stamps! Lots of stamps!
  • PO Boxes are ridiculously cheap to rent
  • Not much has gotten lost so far

Bad:

  • No mailboxes in the entire city
  • Post offices don’t have stamps
  • People working in the post office don’t know how to rent a PO box to someone
  • It’s expensive to mail things

Briefly about other places:

US

Good: fast delivery, ridiculously cheap within the country, home pickup of outgoing mail
Bad: … ?

Poste Italiane

Good: You could buy stamps at tabaccherie (some of them don’t have many interesting stamps but our closest one did), decent number of mailboxes.

Bad: ordering stamps online took 5 weeks to arrive (!), things got lost with some regularity, so expensive!

Belgian Post

Good: lots of mailboxes, some interesting stamps (things like scratch & sniff, shiny, whatever), pretty fast

Bad: …?

Good

  • Despite of people saying they are not doing good work, they actually are doing pretty well.
  • Fast delivery, once the mail has arrived to country, it is at my place under 2 workdays.
  • Their app is fantastic!
  • Their webshop is easy to use, stamp orders arrive in 2 workdays, and there is no shipping fee for orders over 280kr (which is like three sheets)
  • They have placed mailboxes everywhere so even I who live in village with nothing can just drop mail off during an evening walk.
  • The customer service is very friendly and helpful
  • Postage is based on weight only so with some careful planning you can send even nicer items with lower postage

Bad

  • There are no post offices anymore (though I doubt I would visit one even if there were some)
  • They have very limited type of stamps available at time, usually under 10 different domestics and 1 or 2 international ones, so there isn’t so much to pick from.
  • stamp sheets are bit boring looking
  • They raise the postage every year, but thankfully they are allowed to raise only once per year and there are limits on amount raised.
  • They seems to be planning to move on 2-3 days per week delivery
  • They are brutal with the extra fees for underpaid postage
  • Once neighbor drove over the mailbox with a tractor and it took almost three weeks for the post to replace it, and I had to drive to the city to mail my post.

New Zealand post

Good.

Relatively cheap compared to some countries.
Reliable. I send a lot of mail, besides postcards and have had very few losses.
Great stamp designs and you can use stamps issued anywhere from 1967 to today.

Bad.

No more post offices. I’m spoiled as I live near the philatelic bureau, but going to a postal agency is confusing and you won’t get decent stamps. They also won’t hand cancel stamps anymore.
Mail often arrives uncanceled.
If you get a registered letter they stick stickers over any decent stamps
While I said above that it was reliable…compared to 10 years ago it is not as good as it used to be. I could send a parcel or letter during the day and it would arrive at its destination the next day. Now it is anywhere from 3-7 days.
Parcel post is way more complicated than it used to be.

I agree with it a lot. I have tried to send Christmas cards and postcards to mainland China several times and they failed to arrive. I don’t really know why even if I write Chinese address.

I will would like to add:

Good:

  • There are no limits as to which stamps can be used domestically/ internationally. If the stamps add up to the correct price, that’s all you need.
  • Voting by mail is easy and in many areas (like mine) free.
  • Very reliable
  • The Swiss Post will send underpaid post with a return address on without delays, then send you a form to attach the “penalty” payment to. Like this you 1) know your post will arrive on time anyway and 2) don’t have to stop by a physical post office to sort the matter out.
  • The B-Post (i.e. slower) is 0.85 CHF domestic / 1.40 CHF Europe / 1.70 CHF World. Even with this “slow” option, the Swiss Post still delivers as fast as some countries’ fast/express/etc. options.
  • New stamp designs four times a year
  • Free postage to and from people doing their military service, as well as for the seeing-impaired (for example braille media). This has an upper limit for weight, but it is very generous.

Bad:

  • While there are mailboxes everywhere, the number of proper post offices has been reduced significantly over the past few years. I’m lucky, I live reasonably close to a “big” one that likely won’t close any time soon. But still.
1 Like

The USPS usually does a good job of getting mail delivered reliably and cheaply (36 cents to mail a card from the US Virgin Islands to the remotest village in the Alaskan bush is nothing short of amazing).

On the bad side, the automated sorting machinery does a lot of damage to postcards and stamps, usually only affecting personal mail, while leaving bills and commercial mail in pristine condition.

Good

  • new pretty stamps issued every year
  • mailboxes everywhere so you don’t need to go to a post office with letters (which is great, see the bad)
  • postage is based on size and weight, it doesn’t matter if you use an envelope
  • letters are pretty quick and reliable

Bad

  • it is more and more expensive
  • packages can take long to be delivered
  • it is known to be a really bad employer
  • which may be why customer care tends to be very bad
  • and there are always long queues at post offices
1 Like