RESIDENTS in Glenmoor Road, Ferndown, who lost their postbox in October when it was damaged by a road traffic collision are still waiting for its replacement after a pre-Christmas period which saw them struggle to find anywhere to post their festive cards.
Mrs Dorothy Woods said she was beginning to lose patience after a series of correspondence with Royal Mail's customer service department in which first she was promised an early replacement for the box which had been "involved in a road collision" and was "no longer fit for purpose".
The adviser on 16th October said: "We have ordered a new post box and this will be replaced in due course. We have been working closely with the council as the groundwork needed to be repaired. We hope to get this box reinstated very soon."
Then, on 20th November, came the response that when requesting for a post-box to be installed they needed to liaise with the Highway Authority to obtain clearance for the proposed site, as well as contacting the utility companies to ensure that the proposed site does not interfere with existing pipes or cables, etc.
"This process can take a number of weeks to complete, but we are hopeful that we'll be able to install the post-box within the next few weeks”, said a second customer service adviser.
When she replied the same day saying such liaison should not be necessary since the letter box was there until someone knocking it over and had been there for a number of years, the reply the following day from a third customer service adviser was that the local collections manager had advised that their engineers had the box on order from the manufacturers and it would be replaced on receipt, and hopefully within two weeks.
But the week before Christmas came the further response to her third communication, from a fourth customer service adviser, saying they were unable to specify when the work would be completed.
This was the reply to her comment: "This is extremely irritating. Every time we need to post letters my neighbours and I have to drive around to find another box and, at this time of the year, large enough to take extra mail.
"We have now been without a box since early October and we are now at Christmas when everyone is need to post extra mail.
"Will you please follow this up and advise me of the latest timescales – we shall shortly be in 2014!"
The final reply on 18th December gave the assurance that Royal Mail were doing all they could to speed up the process and asked for her patience and understanding.
Mrs Woods said: "It is now the second week of January, and we are still without a replacement.
"Other boxes are situated at some distance, and many people in the neighbourhood are old, frail and without a car.
"Most of us are obliged to drive to find another, and the nearest, opposite the Citroen garage, is used by the garage, small in size, and often full."
Royal Mail have been contacted for a further response, and their reply is awaited.