This afternoon while I was visiting the capital, I had a cheque that needed to be trusted to the servants of Her Majesty’s Posts. I visited the Post Office next to St James’s Park Underground Station and came across another ‘customer experience improvement scheme’.
Gone are the days of the good old British queue. Now we come in, press a button on a screen, be given a ticket with a number on it, and be asked to sit down on the ‘comfortable’ chairs to await service by one of the post office clerks. Upon being called by the machine to go to desk ‘number B’ (quite how a letter can be a number (other than in Greek of course!) is anybody’s guess!) I was asked for my ticket – the clerk wouldn’t even greet me until the aforementioned ticket had been produced and handed in.
I then said:
“I trust that that ticket is going to be recycled.”
I was told that he wasn’t sure that it was.
And I replied that it ought to be – as this is more unnecessary paper in the country when there is already tonnes of it being used daily.
Not just the Posts but the trains and buses too…
When talking about the post office tickets with a friend this evening, I remembered that now that Northern Ireland’s public transportation company, Translink, has been encouraging all of its customers to invest in a ‘smart card’ of some sort. This varies from the all inclusive “iLink card” through the weekly or monthly travelcard, the multi-journey travelcard, to the 60+/Senior Smart cards issued by the NI Department for Regional Development. The principle is simple, you place your card on the reader and it deducts/records your journey. But, unlike London’s Oyster card scheme, in Northern Ireland, you must receive a
And it gets madder. If you use one of the cards your ticket is longer than if you pay cash. Surely, there is a better way of doing this. If one does need a receipt/ticket on paper in London using Oyster, why do we need this in Belfast! Once again, I feel the need for a letter to Translink’s ticketing department. I wonder what the response will be.