New Zealand Post has again apologised to Queenstown missing mail victims – this time for delays in the collection process.
Several locals were infuriated on Monday afternoon to find that when they went to pick up their mail from the NZ Post depot, a staff member in charge of issuing the mail had left for the day.
The postal service did a special delivery on Sunday to residents who have had mail allegedly stolen over the past two years. But those who weren’t at home were given a notice to collect their items from the Jock Boyd Place depot any time from 8am to 5pm, Monday-Friday.
Sunshine Bay resident Bob Leek arrived at the depot at 4.20pm on Monday to be told that the staff member who could check identification of mail owners and hand it over had left at 4pm.
“You would think anybody in that office would be able to get people to sign for what they were given and to check identities. But the people who were ‘good enough’ to do that had gone,” he says.
“We were pretty angry at the time. We thought somebody there could simply check your identity and sign for it.”
He phoned the 0800 number and spoke to an NZ Post operator. “They were apologetic; they didn’t know the people had gone.”
He was promised his long-lost mail would be delivered on Tuesday, which it was. Leek got five items returned this time – in the first special delivery he received 32 missing letters.
The same thing happened to Fernhill resident Mike Stone, who showed up at the depot on Monday at 4.15pm.
“It just goes on and on and on,” he says.
“I called their toll free number and after 14 minutes they came back and said, ‘Yes, you’re right, there’s nobody there’.”
NZ Post spokesman Michael Tull says human error is to blame for Monday’s balls-up.
“Someone misunderstood the approach we had adopted, and went home earlier than they should have. It was an honest mistake, and one which we can assure you has since been sorted.
“We genuinely regret any inconvenience to the handful of people who attempted to collect their mail from our Queenstown Delivery Branch after 4pm on Monday. They have our apologies, and an assurance that it won’t happen again.”
Queenstowner Philippa Lynette Lindsay, 32, is accused of stealing about 17,000 items of mail and stashing it in her Frankton Road house and an Arrowtown storage facility.
Lindsay was contracted to deliver the mail to Fernhill, Sunshine Bay, Arrowtown and Lake Hayes Estate.
She faces a representative charge of theft between September, 2010 and November, 2012 and has not yet entered a plea in Queenstown District Court.