After ages, disgruntled by the services provided by the courier companies, I thought of sending an important paper to my parents in Noida using our ‘ Indian Post ’. The process was simple, I reached my area post office one fine morning, and since it was still quite early the post office was literally empty. I asked for the Speed Post counter, and I was pointed to a counter being managed by a lady wearing a nice crisp summary sari. I walked up to the counter and gave her the envelope, she said told me the amount and then printed an acknowledgment slip with an EMS number, a time stamp and few other details like who has sent it and who should receive it. I asked her the expected time of delivery and she said within 2 days. I thanked her and proceeded thinking the work is done.
The post did not get delivered for next 4 days and I panicked, I was not sure what to do? Is it just the delay or would they have lost my letter. Can they trace the letter if it is lost? I was not sure what is the difference between speed post and registered post, later one I had an impression that it cannot be lost. I wanted to know if the Speed post is also registered as they charge more for it. While all these questions were kicking in my mind, I did a Google on Indian Post and it lead me to a working website, seemed quite updated. Right in the main menu it said ‘Speedpost Tracking’. I quickly took out the EMS receipt and fed in the no. there into the tracking query form. In a second or so it came with the details saying that the post has been delivered 2 days back. Now I was sure ‘I have lost it’. My parents were already telling me ‘What made you send it by post, you could have couriered it’.
The website kept me intrigued, so I just clicked some links around and read a bit about the all the services they offer, the mission, vision, right to information etc. There was a place to lodge the complaint with Indian Post where I duly registered my complaint, but with no hope of redressal. And then I landed up on a page that gave me phone nos. and e-mail Ids of Speedpost managers at all the post offices that offer this service. I quickly wrote a mail to Speedpost managers in both Bangalore and Noida. They answered immediately saying the post has been delivered two days back. I wrote back saying that it has not been delivered, and they said they will check and get back to me. That evening the post was delivered to my parents and I received a mail stating the same. The post master also wrote that he has spoken to Mr. Goyal ( my father) and he has confirmed that he has received the post. I was relieved and I wrote a thank you note to both the managers appreciating their fast response. I checked with my father and he said he received the letter at about 8 PM, which is definitely way beyond the regular post office timings.
Best part of the story came a day later when I got a call from Noida Speedpost manager to apologize for the delay and asking me for feedback on the service. This came as a total surprise to me and I am sure he could read a smile along with some awe in my voice. After all we are not used to this level of customer service. And this customer service was definitely better than the all the ‘Call Center’ enabled services where the person handling your call has no clue of what they are talking about and can only read what the system displays in front of them. Here the people involved knew their business, and they did not ask me ten thousand questions before answering ‘ We will get back to you’, ‘ Have a nice day’.
To summarize, there was a delay in the overall service as they were supposed to deliver the letter within 2-3 days, but at the same time the customer service was amazing. Now it could be because that I logged a complaint where it was traceable and transparency helps. May be mine was one of the few complaints that they received through their website. But I am optimistic, may be finally our postal department is waking up to the new world and is ready to take on its competition head on. With the kind of reach they have, they can be a tough competition for the rest of the industry.
Do check out Indian Post website , stamps gallery and some interesting worldwide postal links .