Tuesday, November 08, 2011


Spurred on with the Xmas wrapping and posting, a couple of calendars left these shores by surface mail, two days after the last posting date. 

My package for Western Europe was in good time - Halloween- and I requested surface mail for it from the orange headed wigged witch - cum - counter - clerk. After tapping her counter computer box, she informed me the rate was not available. She could not have written or read the enormous hand written last posting dates notices stuck on the counter windows. "Western Europe", I read, "last posting date 22nd November" .

She shook her head, and then there was light..."It's right at the end of the list" she stated

The cost was £5.40p......"Really...so, how much will airmail be?" I asked, incredulously. 8|

A bit more tapping around on the counter box; obviously happy, she had found Western Europe, Counter Witch triumphantly announced.....£4.60p.  It didn't take high level maths calculations to work out that airmail was a whole £1 sterling cheaper!! I refrained from asking if transit by broomstick might be more economic.

I asked her to check the surface mail cost again. Counter-witch's brow furrowed. A moment, and a few taps later....yes, she said, that's right. It doesn't make sense does it.

I opted for airmail, even if the package got to it's destination far too early, reminding counter witch to deduct the cost of the stamp I had already stuck on the package.  She forgot to do it.

Was I paying in cash...if so, the transaction data could be input and some plus and minus keys could be tapped out at the end of the sale. There was a quick explanation on how to do it from the manageress, which got muddled up. Patiently, I waited till counter-witch and I got the all-clear.


Vincent said...

I wonder why you pay more for surface mail? But it hardly surprises me. I spent a long time searching the Net last summer for ferries to Calais - as foot-passengers. I wouldn't want to go for a day trip to France with a car. P&O quoted double the price of a car when I rang them. Why? Because they have to take you to the ferry on a bus and sometimes tnere are very few foot-passengers if any.

I used to go across regularly as a foot-passenger when I worked for Eurotunnel in the early Nineties (before it was open!) No bus was needed then. You strolled on. But P&O aren't interested in my custom, even without knowing I once worked for their rival.

We shall continue to visit the Isle of Wight regularly, where they welcome foot passengers on the Red Funnel ferry.

ZACL said...

IOW ferries are always welcoming; does the hydrofoil still do the run?

Small islands with very small populations desire visits and encourage their transport providers to offer what customers would like, not entirely what suits the ferry business. They know that it is what brings business to them as well, of course. A bit of desire always works, (at some level).