Monday, August 25, 2008

Postage and Bankers...

We often heckle a certain gaming friend about the hours of bankers. It always seems like they're fewer of them available during lunch then other times of day. The reason we bug him is that the lunch hour tends to be when most employed people get a chance to do banking without interfering with their job. (Of course, I'm writing this during business hours... heh.. bad me) So if you go to the bank to do something requiring human contact, there is usually only one or two people at the wickets available for the 20-30 people in line.

He'll argue that bankers need to eat too and we'll always counter it with, "Yeah, so set up the lunch break schedule to have people off at 11am and 1pm for their lunch break." (I await a posting from Ken)

Now, Banks seem to have gotten a clue so they're open a little later - at least my branch is.

So what does this have to do with post? Well, it seems post offices aren't open very long during the week which makes it difficult to get to the one near my house which apparently has my Stargate: SG-1 Season 10 DVD collection.

I'm extra annoyed by this because the apparently delivered during the day* and the Postperson either forgot to put a pick-up slip or it got misplaced because I didn't see any sign of one.

I only discovered it was there when I went online and checked the tracking number. Argh..

*So this gets me ranting about day time deliveries of items that require someone to sign for them. Much like bankers taking their lunch break at lunch time when that's when most people try to do their banking, it just doesn't make sense to do parcel delivery that requires a signature when most people are going to be at work.

I think it is time that Canada Post stepped forward into this century and realized that most people aren't at home during the week day so they should offer later shifts for package delivery.

Notice I said "offer". I say this because some people are home during the day, work from home, have shift work, are stay at home moms/dads or what ever. With the way information is passed around, it shouldn't be difficult to ask that your shipment, requiring a signature, comes in the evening (after 7pm) or day time when you ask for something to be delivered so that someone will be around to actually sign for the thing.

Analyze the service you're providing and change the way you provide it as the needs of the people you're providing it for change.

(The wife is off work this week so she's going to go get it. With my luck, they'll ask her for the delivery slip and not release the package to her. Argh...)


KRJM said...

(I might as well do as requested and put my reply in and rise to meet the troll ;-) )

A few things:

1 - You need to proof-read your posts: "always seems like they're fewer of them available" should be "always seems like there are fewer of them available", and "annoyed by this because the apparently delivered" should be "annoyed by this because they apparently delivered".

2 - There are apparently labour laws that prevent people from taking a late lunch if they start early in the day. So the 8:30am - 5pm employee can't take lunch at 2pm because that supposedly violates some labour law. At least that's what I've heard in the past; the laws could be different now.

3 - There is virtually nothing these days that requires you to visit a branch in person. Unless you require something specialized like foreign currency or money orders, you can do everything via telephone, internet or bank machine. If you do need to visit a branch, and it's truly important, you should schedule an appointment in the evening or weekend so you're not rushed during your lunch hour.

4 - For packages I use my work address because I know I'll be there during the day.

There - how's that for a reply? ;-)

SmakenDahed said...

1 - Did you see the part where I said I was writing this when I should be working? Yeah... let me take a little extra time to proof read it. :P

2 - Like we keep saying, schedule someone for a 10am start and have them finish at 6pm. They could then take their lunch at 1pm. Start some people at 8am and they could take their lunches at 11am. What is it that Scott always says with a chuckle and snort? Oh yeah, "McDonald's had this figured out a loooong time ago." :P

3 - So banks take virtual signatures now? They deliver cheques to your door right away? They also handle all transaction issues through the automated teller or online?

Sometimes people need to talk to people to solve their issue, whether it could be done online or not... don't forget, not everyone has access to the internet.

4 - Good plan that and it's probably something I should start doing when I can figure out when something will need a signature or not. (I've had larger packages with books delivered without requiring a signature) :(

KRJM said...

2 - We do have shift work - but it depends on the branch and its overall operating hours. Some branches may not be open until 6pm.

3 - Technically, yes we do. Your "signature" is your bank card and your telephone/online banking password. They should be able to handle almost all your concerns - if they can't, then they forward the request to a branch and the branch contacts you. If you MUST go into a branch to resolve an issue, then it would be a very complicated issue that the telephone rep couldn't resolve. Having internet access is not required - all you need is a phone. And I know of no one who doesn't have a phone.

SmakenDahed said...

What about cashing a cheque? Getting a money order? Or like you said, converting currency?

Good thing you can FAX people there money.

(Yes, I used 'there' incorrectly on purpose because I know it will irritate the heck out of you) :P

Evolving Squid said...

>>3 - There is virtually nothing
>>these days that requires you to
>>visit a branch in person.

Yes, there is.

Every time I have to pay a fee, it makes me want to make a face-to-face visit to the bank so they can earn it. Since I don't go every time, it works out.

In fact, I'll go one further. For the money I pay the bank each month in assorted fees, I not only expect a teller to be there, ready to rock when I need one... I expect the teller to be very knowledgeable and professional. I don't want some summer student drone, and I don't want some out-sourced monkey following a script. I want a well-trained hottie in a skirt, or a sharp looking lad in a suit who an understand my issue, answer my questions and get me on my way with the minimum amount of waiting and hassle.

When I can't get that, I start to ask questions like "why do I patronize a full service bank when PC bank and MBNA will have me go do everything online for less fees?" I pay the fees, and I REQUIRE, not just expect, the service.

I'm pretty sure there is no labour law that specifies a lunch time. There is nothing I can think of that prevents a late starting employee from getting lunch at 1 PM and an early-starting employee from getting lunch at 11 AM.

And Scott is right. Pretty much every business that has a direct customer face has figured this out ages ago except banking, government, and the post office. Gov and Post Office probably have union rules that prevent work when customers are present.

>>you should schedule an
>>appointment in the evening or
>>weekend so you're not rushed
>>during your lunch hour

No customer should have to take time off work or make an appointment to deal with issues that an on-duty teller could handle.

This is one of the areas where banks have, historically, really looked like dicks to the public where a few really simple changes could make them look like customer service gods without substantially impacting the work environment of the bank employees. Somewhere along the way, banks lost track of the idea that they are supposed to serve the customer - the customer does not serve the bank.

(although, if you hear a swiss bank tell it, they would prefer that the customer serve the bank).