On my love/hate relationship with Canada Post

A lot of people have negative things to say about Canada Post. Generally, I don't. In fact, I think Canada Post is the most reliable, inexpensive way of shipping letter mail and parcels across Canada and from Canada around the world. I much prefer it as a shipping option for packages to UPS, FedEx etc. My old mail carrier (who retired) was awesome, I've made good friends with the staff at postal outlets and I have at least one friend currently who delivers mail currently. Even when I get completely different postal delivery folks, the Canada Post ones are often the most friendly and definitely the most honest/realistic when it comes to damaged packages etc.

And I get a lot of mail: packages, correspondence, gifts, things I may have purchased online, unexpected contest wins, and the like. I find days when I don't get any mail at all unusual, and I live in a No Junk Mail building. So I should know my preferences when it comes to the mail. I have had issues where my mail has been damaged (for example when the mailbox I used was egged, or an envelope got caught in a sorting machine, or a package got roughly handled etc.) and I know that things do go missing in the mail (mail theft happens) but Canada Post has always handled this well enough for my happiness. For example when I dealt with a rude Canada Post employee (this has happened ONCE ever!), Canada Post bent over backward to resolve my complaint and the employee definitely apologized. I didn't expect that much of a response to my Tweet in frustration at the time, but I know that Canada Post has staff that try to help resolve issues.

When I first moved to my home 13+ years ago now, my postal outlet was a mere block from my house. It provide full service postal services which was great and when I needed to pick up a package I didn't have far to travel. Later it (and the business it was housed in) moved down the street where it was about 5 blocks away, which was still reasonable. Sure there's occasionally long lines for package pickup or for purchasing postal services, but this is on a good bus route, it's easy to get to and is near my work. The sidewalks to walk there are always taken care of and the business has reasonably long hours. I mailed a letter there this morning, in fact. It's a great postal outlet, and I loved picking up my packages there. Note the past tense. My packages are no longer delivered to this wonderful full-service postal outlet. And this kind of irks me a bit.

But I wouldn't be so frustrated if a) the new package pick up location also provided full-service postal services b) if it were the same distance from my house or even closer c) if it didn't take forever for their staff to find packages that were indeed delivered there d) if the packages were actually where the delivery card said that they were supposed to be. I cannot say that any of this is true. I've had 4 packages now delivered to this new package pickup location, and the first few visits were frustrating: I had to wait a long time to get my packages, I couldn't multitask and buy postage for other parcels or lettermail or other mailing tools etc. and the walk was very much out of my way in an area where there is no good bus routes taking me close by. This change happened in December where it's icy and cold (today in particular it is super cold, I got home nearly 20 minutes ago from my failed attempt to pick up my package and I'm still really cold), and December is also one of the most busy package delivery times of the year. But still on these first few visits I got my packages, so all was reasonably well: sure I was frustrated, but I could rationalize the fact that I had to walk further (this package pickup location which has no postal services otherwise is further from my house than my normal postal outlet that actually offers good service) by the fact that even if I have to walk farther, others are probably finding it more convenient, and certainly, I was getting exercise. The exercise argument no longer holds any weight if it's THIS cold or if I were to slip on the ice and injure myself (I caught myself in time so I didn't fall on this most recent walk). And it certainly doesn't work if I don't actually get my package.

Because although my package delivery card clearly said that my package would be at this package pickup point today after 1pm, packages are apparently not delivered to this location on Saturdays at all (so why provide me this inaccurate information? It would be easy enough to state on the card that the package wouldn't be there until Monday, so I wouldn't walk to the package pickup point for no reason at 7pm only to learn that my package didn't make it there). Not only do I leave the location empty handed (and I was really looking forward to this package, whatever it was [it could be a number of things]) but I'm going to have to trek out that way again sometime in the coming week to find it. So yeah I'm frustrated. I want to know what the logic was behind Canada Post's choice of this location as a package pickup location and why it reallocated where my packages would have to be picked up when I'm not home to receive them in person. I want to know why the delivery person clearly (great penmanship actually! I was impressed this time) wrote that my package would be available after 1pm today when the truck wouldn't actually bring my package to this location until Monday perhaps. I mean I'm a pretty loyal customer of Canada Post and I do mail numerous packages, letters, etc. each month, and I want a clear answer. Maybe I'll be happier then. A best case scenario would be return to the old package pickup location that I use as a postal outlet anyway, or at least having cards that indicate when a package would ACTUALLY be available for pickup.

So yeah, while I attempt to unthaw from my 45 minutes of walking in this frigid weather (which wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't for the wind that managed to get through my scarf etc.), and long for whatever it was in my package, I remain frustrated by this change. Most people complain about the change in postal rates (which I don't see as completely unreasonable) or about the move to community mailboxes (which doesn't affect me as I'm an apartment dweller) but I really do care about my experiences with mail in my day to day life.