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Postal delivery problems

Posted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 5:10 pm
by Rej
Like many people here our postal address is a PO Box. During the last few months two items ordered on line from England have failed to arrive. On investigation we found that both had been returned to sender. In one case I was able to confirm the the parcel had been sent by "Royal Mail International Signed For". I suspect that this may be true in both cases.

When I asked Royal Mail why they had not completed the delivery I received the following reply.

"Thank you for contacting Royal Mail.

I note from your email you have a PO Box number as an address; please be aware that the International Signed service cannot be used to PO Box addresses outside of Africa and the Middle East. As such any items sent by this service will be returned to sender as undeliverable or incorrect address; the sender of these items will need to use the appropriate service for your address or you will need to provide a physical address.

I hope you find this information useful and if we can help again, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Regards "

Useful to know but a bit of a nuisance

(In both cases our 'phone numbers were on the address label.)

Posted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 5:28 pm
by Kilkis
"Royal Mail International Signed For" service uses GLS to ship across Europe to Athens and then ACS for delivery within Greece. If you put the Royal Mail number into the GLS tracking web site, it will tell you both the GLS tracking number and the ACS number. You can use the GLS number to track progress across Europe although it isn't very detailed. The ACS number will not work until the package has been handed over to ACS in Athens .

Make yourself known to your local ACS office and you shouldn't have a problem. Typically they will only phone mobile numbers.

Incidentally the last two packages I had delivered from Amazon were shipped by Asendia, a company I have never heard of before, with no tracking information. I contacted Asendia and asked who they used to complete delivery in Greece. They said that they didn't know but it was probably the post office. I must admit this did not inspire confidence but they were both delivered by ELTA about a week later than predicted.


Posted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 6:18 pm
by Rej
I have dealt quite successfully with couriers here in the past but the point is that in both the cases I refer to the parcels were deemed to be undeliverable by GLS in Athens and were returned to consignee from there. They were never passed to ACS and never came to Crete. In my experience this is a new and annoying situation which is clarified in the email from Royal Mail.

Posted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 6:42 pm
by scooby
I stopped putting "PO box" on anything a long time ago, pain in the what's it, not had any trouble since.

Posted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:10 pm
by john4d
I've just ordered some goods from SportsDirect, they use a third party for international orders.This third party normally use DHL, so instead of using my postal address which is a PO Box in Vamos Post Office I've just put the name of the village where I live, plus of course the mandatory mobile phone number. Delivery has been promised "in 5 days" so I am waiting with interest. Incidentally the delivery charge was only £6.66.


Posted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:34 pm
by Kilkis
So if Royal Mail know that it cannot be delivered with a PO Box number why did they accept it for delivery? Isn't taking payment for a service you know you cannot provide fraud?

If people are worried about leaving the PO Box number off why not simply put it as a number after the village name without the words "PO Box No.", e.g.

Mr F Smith
Vamos 57
Chania Crete
730 08

If it comes via ELTA the 730 08 will get it to Vamos post office where it should be pretty obvious that the number 57 is your box number. If it comes by international courier they will not know what the 57 means. For all they know Vamos 57 could be a street name and number so they should hand it off to the Greek courier. When it gets to the Greek courier they will probably know what it means but will look for a phone number anyway.

Incidentally the last parcel I had delivered by courier didn't come via ACS. The courier phoned me on my land-line which is a bit unusual. I asked him why he didn't use the mobile number that is after my name in the address. He said he didn't look at the address. He knew where Amazon put the phone number on their standard label so he just looked in that position which was my land-line number. Makes you wonder why we put addresses on at all?


Posted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 10:31 pm
by SatCure
You could type "Vamos 0upida 57". Locals will read "θυρίδα" as "PO Box".

(I typed that first letter as a zero. Some typefaces will put a bar across the zero, making it look more like the Greek letter theta.)

I didn't get where I am today without typing Greeklish! 8)

Posted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 2:10 am
by john4d
Warwick, Last year I asked my son to post me an important document to Crete by "Internationally signed for". He used my PO Box number on the address and the local post office refused to accept it as they would not deliver to a Box number. I told him to remove the Box number and try again. As I said earlier my PO Box is in Vamos post office. I told the post office I was expecting an Internationally signed for letter, without the Box number and everything worked out fine.


Posted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 7:36 am
by johnincrete
I expect 3 or 4 weeks delivery time from Amazon because packets go to Mournies post office. For some reason, the post office don't deliver and don't even leave a docket to say the parcel is at the post office.

Posted: Wed Nov 19, 2014 7:44 pm
by ScotinCrete
As Warwick said it is very uesful to get yourself known to ACS and also in the PO. A little Greeklish goes a long way :lol:
Only had one problem recently and that was with an Amazon delivery - sorted eventually and I think it was as much to do with the Amazon's 'disagreement' with their German workforce as most of their deliveries have been slower recently.