Monday, June 24, 2024

Change shortage in post offices: Customers suffer


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By Our Reporter

 SHILLONG: Returning small change is a big challenge for employees of the General Post Office (GPO) and other Sub-Post Offices in the city. Customers sending speed post, registered post or purchasing inland letters, envelopes, stamps and other postal products allege that the counter clerk selling these items do not return change on the pretext that they don’t have any. Sometimes customers are forced to purchase stamps or other products for the change amount.

Customers of speed post and registered post are the worst affected as they always had to shell out more than the actual amount. “I sent a registered letter and had to pay Rs 22 for stamps. I gave Rs 25 to the clerk but since there was no change the counter clerk kept the entire amount,” said an irate customer from GPO. Another customer in the queue said this is a common practice. At times the customer is rebuked for not tendering the exact change.

On Monday a customer who had to send a speed post to a local institution where she was applying for a job said she had an altercation with the GPO staff for pleading helplessness about not having change. “If they keep the change everyday from all customers think how much they must be accumulating,” the angry young lady barked. “Is it legal? Is it not corruption?” she asked. Many enraged customers said that the GPO always insists on right change from customers, which is ridiculous, as the GPO is very unfriendly with its customers in this regard, particularly.

The same scene is repeated in other post offices in the city. “I don’t understand why there is no change in these post offices since the majority of customers tender the exact amount of money,” said an elderly gentleman who is still used to sending snail mails. He believes that the post offices try to palm off inland letters, post cards and money order forms that have no takers, on unsuspecting customers, in lieu of change.

Another problem seen at the GPO is the non-availability of glue. Many first timers to the GPO have suffered for want of glue to stick their envelopes/documents. “The GPO is thronged by thousands of customers daily; the postal authorities should at least give a thought,” said a student who wants to send her applications for a competitive examination. Many customers said that they want to know as to what is preventing the GPO from providing glue to its customers.

Meanwhile, the Senior Superintendent of Post (SSP), GPO said, “We will arrange something in kinds,” regarding unavailability of changes. On non-availability of glue, the SSP said that there is a standing order from the Directorate that glue cannot be provided in GPO and Project Offices whereas the customers have to bring in their own glue when they visit them. He also said customers very often make the post office dirty with glue.


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