Remember the Pony Express delivering mail decades ago? That was slow. However, in 2018, with all the various improvements and technological advances, mail in a developed country takes just two or three days. Trinidad and Tobago today’s mail delivery takes a month and sometimes more!
Our postal service is just horrible. It takes at least a month to get your utility bills and your credit card statements long after the due date and the banks then charge you fees for late payments. Many times your phone is put one way or even cut because of the laxity of the postal service.
My sister sent me a birthday card which she mailed in Washington DC on September 8. I received that card on October 8, some 11 days after my birthday. That is what the TT postal service calls SERVICE. Maybe a change of name is needed because this certainly is not service.
As a recipient of old-age pension, the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services sent me a letter requesting my presence to show I am still alive and should visit their offices during September 2018 for an interview.
The letter stated, “We urge you to visit the office during the month of September.” I got that request on October 8. Then in bold type the letter said, “Failure to respond to this may result in the suspension of your pension.” The missive was dated September 1. So, what am I supposed to do now?
The card my sister sent me from Washington DC on September 8 obviously got here quicker than my pension warning which was sent from the Tunapuna office to my St Augustine address. A ministry courier would have traversed the two miles or so faster. I call this ‘Snail Mail’, because that is exactly what our Postal Service has become.
But wait, that’s not all, in the 15 pieces of mail I received on October 8 there were utility bills and credit card statements on which I depend to make my payments, but they all come up “past due” and result in deprivation of the services and penalties for late payments. Thank God my wife keeps track of the payment dates!
Taking the cake however were two credit card statements from different banks. Would you believe I got both the August 16 statement and the September 16 on October 8? Payment date for the first was September 5 while the second payment date was October 6 and the payment date for the other was September 10. This is the sad state of affairs which occur every month due to our very poor postal service.
Next comes the T&TEC bill in which the statement registers the bill date as September 12, but that bill with a due date of September 27, was only received on October 8. That made the bill 11 days late. If they cut my electricity because of late payment, it’s purely the fault of the snail-mail system which operates in our postal service.
These are just a few examples of what residents go through monthly when trying to keep up with their various payments. Think about the poor people who depend on the postal service for so many other services. A reader of this column from Point Fortin wrote to me three weeks ago. I am still to receive that letter.
There are claims that we do have a good service. I would not like to see a bad one!
By Vernon Khelawan, firstname.lastname@example.org