The Irish postal service is generally pretty good. Most of the time you can get next day delivery on the island of Ireland, or close to it.
And international mail generally works flawlessly.
In common with most modern postal services An Post offers a variety of “digital” options. So now when you want to send a parcel you can weigh it yourself and do all the other bits you need then print off the label at home and stick it on the package. I’ve done this a couple of times and it worked seamlessly. Within a couple of hours of dropping off the parcel I was able to track it online.
So what happened this week?
In short I have absolutely no idea, but either An Post were having a systemic issue or my parcel is cursed.
Last Sunday (10th) I prepared three items to post:
- a card for a friend in Cork so national stamp only
- a card for somebody in the US, so a standard international stamp with the “air mail” sticker
- a small parcel for the person in the US
For the first two I stuck the stamps on and put them in the post on Sunday while I was heading to the supermarket. There isn’t any collection on a Sunday so I knew they wouldn’t be picked up until Monday morning (11th) at the absolute earliest.
I also ordered and paid for the postage for the small parcel. I’ve done this before and it’s not complicated. The system takes both your address and that of the recipient as well as details of the parcel contents and value. When you print out the label the basic details are clearly visible on it, while I assume other details are linked to the various identifying codes that are printed.
The post office isn’t open on Sunday, so I dropped the parcel off on Monday (11th) morning. Later in the day I was able to see that it had been scanned and was in the An Post system.
At some point on Monday afternoon the parcel made its way from Carlow to Portlaoise. It’s been there since Monday evening. It’s now Friday afternoon and as far as I can see the parcel still hasn’t moved. I contacted An Post earlier today and was informed that their network was “busy” and they also couldn’t say when the parcel would actually move.
So since Monday morning the parcel has traveled about 40 km
Here let me show you what that looks like:
So it’s averaged a speed of about 8 km a day so far. Not exactly impressive.
And of course the tracking status is super “helpful”:
I’d have been better off using a courier!
And to think I paid extra for this!!
I’ve lodged a formal complaint with An Post, but obviously that’s not going to help with the existing delay:
Dear Sir / Madam
I paid for “Express post” for a delivery to the US. I dropped off the parcel on Monday 11th September around 9am in Carlow. It made it as far as Portlaoise on Monday and has been there ever since. Tracking ID xxxxxxxxxxx
When I queried the package status via Twitter today (15th September) I got a very unsatisfactory response and it is still unclear when the parcel will actually make it to the US. I paid for the “express” service as I expected An Post to deliver it within the advertised timeframe and I am very disappointed that you have failed to do so.
It’s so frustrating, as no matter what happens the parcel will not get to its destination until next week now!