Is Post Office Local The Way Forward?

New plans could see postal services available in shops and garages

New prices for postage stamps from April 2011:
1st Class 46p
2nd Class 36p

Confusion Over Future of Chiswick Post Office

Staffing, Stamps and Matters of Taste

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Chiswick has already lost two sub-post offices but could lose its others under moves to trial new ways of offering postal services, such as in shops and petrol stations.

According to a report by Consumer Focus, 'Post Office Local' offered benefits such as longer opening hours but could also lead to fewer services being available.

The consumer watchdog said a survey of 1,000 people showed most welcomed the convenience and extended opening hours, especially in the evening and at weekends. But half of those polled had to use another post office because services were not available, while a similar number said privacy was poor, especially for financial transactions. More than a third said the quality of service was average or poor and there were problems making cash and benefit withdrawals.

"It is vital that the Post Office delivers a model that meets its customer's needs, both now and in the future," said Consumer Focus' Andy Burrows said. "We recognise that the Post Office must change if it is to be successful in the future."

A Post Office spokesman said: "The Post Office Local concept is simply a way of providing post offices that offer more convenient opening hours to customers and enable the operator to make a good return on running the post office within his or her store."

April 7, 2011

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