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TALK BACK: Readers agree, Postal Service liable for loss

Sherrylyn A. Toppin

TALK BACK: Readers agree, Postal Service liable for loss

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In the midst of coming job cuts, cutbacks, possible charges against a journalist, another defeat for the West Indies and a win for Alexandra in schools’ cricket, one issue which engaged the attention of online readers was customer service.
Almost two years after she reportedly paid to have a registered letter sent via the General Post Office to England, 68-year-old Cleopatra Devonish is still trying to find out what happened to that package.
It contained the original copy of her late husband’s will which was being sent to England for probate.
When NATION associate editor Maria Bradshaw contacted the Postmaster General, he said: “I can’t discuss that matter at this moment.”
Online readers were appalled by the lack of proper customer service. They began telling their own stories of mail which disappeared, turned up years or months later in a damaged state, and even packages which had been opened.
One reader said it was probably faster to walk the mail to its recipient.
Following are some of the responses:
• Sandrea Butcher: Oh dear, you should have had a certified copy done here. So what does your lawyer want to do next, because this cannot be the end?
• Leonard B: Who/what does the Postmaster General think that he is? A law unto himself? A man with no boss? Accountable to no one? For goodness sake, sir, you are a public servant, and you do have a boss.
• I.H.: I am glad this woman did not accept the refund and hope she will continue her legal action. We need to start suing more here so people would take us serious[ly] as customers. The only problem is that it will take so many years to sort out.
• David Hall: Is that all he can say? If the circumstances are correct and any loss of benefit is occasioned on account of the loss of the registered mail, then the Post Office should be liable and responsible for all such loss. If they feel that this may make people claim for what they never had, then make it a rule to verify what the customer claims to be sending, but at least ensure that the packet and its contents reach the destination.
• Cheriene Greene: Typical Bajan customer service. If she was [a] tourist, I bet it would be a different situation all now.
• Debbie Jay: It’s unfortunate but it actually happens all the time, from which end I don’t know. When I first moved here to the United States, my mum sent me a letter and up to this day I never got it. That was almost nine years ago.
• Shaunette Babb: I wouldn’t blame Barbados Postal Service totally. They can only put the mail on the aeroplane. It’s the receiving mail service that sorts and distributes it and where it’s more likely to be lost. Royal Mail isn’t a perfect service. They’ve lost many a letter/parcel in their time.
• Rawle Spooner: I’m sure if she was a well-heeled member of society she would have been treated very differently.
• Sherrylyn Toppin is The Nation’s Online Editor.