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To get irritated by the post office lady demanding to know what's in my parcel?

(38 Posts)
ArgyMargy Mon 10-Feb-14 13:05:15

"For the purposes of the dangerous goods act can you tell me what's in it?"

Well why? If it was anthrax or a gun do you really think I would tell you? I've started to lie, but today I said "a toy" and she said "with batteries?" WTF? Am I not allowed to send batteries through the post? It's only going to London, not Afghanistan! Is there anyone who knows the law and can explain this to me?? Sorry for the rant. blush

ScrambledeggLDCcakeBOAK Mon 10-Feb-14 14:46:29

My sister works in a post office. She has been told she HAS to ask this or she can not take the parcel. (New rules)

She was telling me how mortified she is to ask as if it was her she wouldn't want to be asked, as she puts it just to post a bloody package :-)

Theodorous Mon 10-Feb-14 14:51:56

Post office ladies, like librarians have special powers like the police. At least they think they do. And doctors receptionists are medically competent. Power madness!

whoislester Mon 10-Feb-14 14:53:49

tell her its a puppy!

bodygoingsouth Mon 10-Feb-14 14:57:39

I always wanted to work in a post office or a library. had the sets at home as a kid and loved the feeling of authority with the stamp. you know the banging stamp.

don't have them in libraries any more.

CashmereMouse Mon 10-Feb-14 14:58:56

I did actually send a parcel full of vibrators through the post last week!

I was doing 'the big declutter' and decided that my, um, 'toy drawer' also needed a declutter but I didn't want to just chuck them away into landfill (bit of an eco freak). Legally retailers have to recycle old electricals for you and Love Honey (online 'toy' company) offer recycling as a service.

So I packaged them up (removed batteries because I knew about that!) and then chuckled to myself all the way to the post office because I knew they would have to ask me what was in my parcel! grin

I chickened out when the man asked me what was in my parcel though and told him it was a hairdryer!

But it really does bloody irritate me that they ask. It's the tone of voice when they enquire, so often as much as the actual asking.

GiveMeStrength2day Mon 10-Feb-14 15:02:48

A while ago I went to send a little girl in Ukraine a parcel of birthday bits and bobs. One of her presents was nail varnish. I'd sent her nail varnish on previous occasions but suddenly it became banned. I had to go home, unwrap the whole brown-papered parcel and go and buy a replacement present. If I'd had posted it a week earlier it would have been fine hmm

HollyMiamiFLA Mon 10-Feb-14 15:04:07

The only thing my Post Office seems to ask is if I want to buy any lottery tickets.

lynniep Mon 10-Feb-14 15:07:12

I was asked this a few weeks back and was very surprised that nail varnish had to be declared (was a birthday bundle for my niece) I was allowed to send it though (UK). TBH post office lady was quite embarrased to ask too, but its not her fault.

bigbluebus Mon 10-Feb-14 15:34:08

I was a bit taken aback when they started doing this last year. I thought it was just the village postmistress being nosey. I then posted something at the town Post Office and got asked the same thing and actually had a conversation about the new regulations.

My Mum was in hospital recently and had run out of clean pants. I wasn't able to get over and visit her, so went out and bought some & posted them too her in a jiffy envelope. The whole time I was wrapping them and walking up to the PO, I was chuckling to myself at the thought of saying "knickers" when the postmistress asked what was in my parcel. grin Childish - moi?

It is a bit daft though. Why can't they just display a list of banned items and ask you if the parcel contains any of those things - like they do at the airport check in desk. As others have said, if you want to send something illegal you will lie anyway.

EmmaBemma Mon 10-Feb-14 15:44:43

I think the only reason some of you are detecting an officious "tone" is that these workers must get an earful several times a day just because they're doing their jobs, so they're already on the defensive before you've had a chance to get shirty.

Personally, I don't mind being asked. Nothing I send is very interesting, and if it was something I felt secretive about, I would just lie.

liquidstate Mon 10-Feb-14 15:56:09

I usually give a childish answer. Quite fun really. But I only ever send books and clothes so not likely to explode en route. grin

tiggytape Mon 10-Feb-14 15:56:27

It isn't to catch out people sending anthrax and lying about it.
It is because the list of prohibited items is really long and covers things that aren't immediately obvious as "dangerous" items like little compressed gas cannisters, nail varnish or an empty lighter unless it is brand new and in original packaging.

And the list isn't exhaustive either - if they think it could be harmful they can refuse to carry it even if it isn't expressly on the list.

I don't mind being asked at all because the staff have no choice and the alternative is getting parcels opened or impounded.

Scuttlebutter Mon 10-Feb-14 16:06:48

I visit our PO at least once a day and often twice, as I send out parcels of dog coats from my business. The assistants are lovely and we both got fed up with them asking, so as soon as I go in, I usually announce that they are dog coats or they ask "The usual dog coats?" However, the manager told me that they get mystery shoppers in regularly checking to see if they ask, so sometimes she'll make a point of asking me quite loudly and giving me a wink while doing so, if there is a stranger behind me in the queue.

The form on parcels to USA is a pain though - usually too small for me to see without my glasses. blush

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