• Embarrasment at the Post Office

    1374246383
    SN [sign in to see picture]
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    First of all, I just want to say that this has NEVER happened before- so I dont want to discourage anyone who does need to return something or is using (or working in) the Post Office.

    Right. So I had a couple of things to return to LH, so I had them packaged up in a padded envelope with LH's pre-printed returns address on the front, and I went off to my local post office to send it off- primarilly to retain a proof of postage receipt, which you must do when returning anything to ANYBODY- top tip for using ebay too.

    Now, normally everything goes smoothly, they weigh the packet, type in the returns address, check with you that there isn't anything hazardous in there and print you off a receipt. But today... yeah. it went slightly differently. The lady asked me what was inside. And of course, that just stumped me. Because, in a crowded and overly hot little post office, what am I supposed to announce- 'I've got some lube and a sex-toy I'm returning to my favourite online sex-shop'? And of course, this lady kept on persisting that she needed to know. And I just couldn't come up with anything to say- I mean, what do I say which is close enough to the truth? She then tried helping with what seemed like a game of '20 questions'- 'is it clothing?'- no (it's heavier then a couple of T-shirts), 'it is books?'- no (it's not that heavy!). And I just.... I dont know what to do, what to say. She's still insisting that she needs to know. She then decides to hand me the poster of 'restricted and dangerous things' to check that there wasn't any of that in there. Nope, its perfectly safe, I just dont want to say it out loud in a crowded room. After a while she resists, at least knowing that it's not unsafe. I think she might have gotten the picture of what type of thing I was probably returning, because she started smirking. But... I've NEVER had an episode like that in the Post Office ever before.

    I'm just wondering, if anyone has encountered any similar problems at the post office, or being required to tell strangers (or not strangers) whats in those funny blank boxes you keep getting/returning?

    Also, does anyone have any suggestions what I could possibly say should I (or anyone else reading) be asked the same question- 'what is inside the box'? Thanks!

    1374246719
    K&J [sign in to see picture]
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    She has no right to ask you.

    she can ask if there is anything hazardous, dangerous or illegal in the package but that's it.

    id be fuming if that happened to me.

    1374247444
    ToxicJenni [sign in to see picture]
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    id personally make a complaint, she had no reason to ask you

    1374247608
    FrozenAngel [sign in to see picture]
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    I have been asked a few times what was in the package (Frankly I don't think it's any of their buisness) I just usually say an unwanted gift that's being returned.

    1374247655
    DavidB1986 [sign in to see picture]
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    Yeah, I would complain.

    I've sent many packages all of different shapes, sizes and weight and the only question I get asked is whether the item i'm sending is worth more than £50 or contains anything that could be deemed hazardous. I have never, in 10 years, have I ever been asked what I was sending.

    She had absolutely no right to ask you what was in there, and she doesn't NEED to know what was in there.

    1374247657
    SN [sign in to see picture]
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    I just... complete mind blank. And yeah, I was fuming. I just had no idea what to say. I did say, a couple of times that 'I don't want to say', but she actually insisted that they needed to know what were inside any parcels. I just... yeah, as you say, fuming, but so bloody deeply embarrased- because what the hell can I answer to her. You'll have to excuse me- this quite literally happened just one hour ago.

    No, you're right, they don't have have a right to ask- and it has always previously been just checking for dangerous or hazardous stuff. I honestly dont know where her questioning came from... It was also so hot in that post office, any brain-cells I had just weren't working either.

    1374247723
    Lovehoney - Alice [sign in to see picture]
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    SN wrote:

    First of all, I just want to say that this has NEVER happened before- so I dont want to discourage anyone who does need to return something or is using (or working in) the Post Office.

    Right. So I had a couple of things to return to LH, so I had them packaged up in a padded envelope with LH's pre-printed returns address on the front, and I went off to my local post office to send it off- primarilly to retain a proof of postage receipt, which you must do when returning anything to ANYBODY- top tip for using ebay too.

    Now, normally everything goes smoothly, they weigh the packet, type in the returns address, check with you that there isn't anything hazardous in there and print you off a receipt. But today... yeah. it went slightly differently. The lady asked me what was inside. And of course, that just stumped me. Because, in a crowded and overly hot little post office, what am I supposed to announce- 'I've got some lube and a sex-toy I'm returning to my favourite online sex-shop'? And of course, this lady kept on persisting that she needed to know. And I just couldn't come up with anything to say- I mean, what do I say which is close enough to the truth? She then tried helping with what seemed like a game of '20 questions'- 'is it clothing?'- no (it's heavier then a couple of T-shirts), 'it is books?'- no (it's not that heavy!). And I just.... I dont know what to do, what to say. She's still insisting that she needs to know. She then decides to hand me the poster of 'restricted and dangerous things' to check that there wasn't any of that in there. Nope, its perfectly safe, I just dont want to say it out loud in a crowded room. After a while she resists, at least knowing that it's not unsafe. I think she might have gotten the picture of what type of thing I was probably returning, because she started smirking. But... I've NEVER had an episode like that in the Post Office ever before.

    I'm just wondering, if anyone has encountered any similar problems at the post office, or being required to tell strangers (or not strangers) whats in those funny blank boxes you keep getting/returning?

    Also, does anyone have any suggestions what I could possibly say should I (or anyone else reading) be asked the same question- 'what is inside the box'? Thanks!

    Goodness, what horrible service. I'm really sorry that you had to go through that with someone who should have demonstated much better customer service.

    Seeing as I work at Lovehoney, I would have been tempted to say butt plugs :D. But more seriously, just "Electricals" might be the way to go? Could specify low value if they get concerned.

    1374247903
    DavidB1986 [sign in to see picture]
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    SN wrote:

    I just... complete mind blank. And yeah, I was fuming. I just had no idea what to say. I did say, a couple of times that 'I don't want to say', but she actually insisted that they needed to know what were inside any parcels. I just... yeah, as you say, fuming, but so bloody deeply embarrased- because what the hell can I answer to her. You'll have to excuse me- this quite literally happened just one hour ago.

    No, you're right, they don't have have a right to ask- and it has always previously been just checking for dangerous or hazardous stuff. I honestly dont know where her questioning came from... It was also so hot in that post office, any brain-cells I had just weren't working either.

    In future, i'd be tempted to package any return items in a non-descript box, rather than an envelope - it disguised any irregular shapes and you can make up absolutely anything as to whats in there.

    They maybe a little costlier than padded envelopes, but you're less likely to suffer any future embarassment, although hopefully this was just a one off with a rather indignant postal worker!

    1374247955
    myghost [sign in to see picture]
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    if it's a vibrator you are returning you could say it's an electrical item lubes you could just say are cosmetic items if the person behind the counter is so insistent on knowing other wise they shouldn't be asking about the exact contents when ever i have to post something i always get asked if my package is worth more than a certain value or has dangerous things i've never been asked what's in it

    1374248319
    SN [sign in to see picture]
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    Thanks guys- so many responses in just a few minutes, that is really helpful.

    Alice- yeah, on an ordinary non-heatwave day if it wasn't too busy I might also be tempted to say something like that! Goodness knows, double bluffing has worked with my family! But today it was just too hot and crowded. Thanks though for a really good suggestion (to 'myghost' too) of how to classify the package- because yeah, as people have been saying, they dont have a right to ask- but if and when they rudely do, its sometimes necessary to have an answer. And in this heat, my brain was just dribbling out of my ears!

    David B- it was a small vibe and a small lube, which I'd taped together and wrapped with some packing paper, to actually disguise any shaping. I do normally post things back in the LH boxes they come in- I have quite a few now ;) But with these two small items, it just seemed so wasted. But yeah, that might probably be a good thing to consider.

    Others- how do I file a complaint with the Post Office, and how would you go about it? I've had to put in for lost-postage compensation, but never had a reason to complain about the service before (why can't everyone be like LH in terms of customer service...)

    1374248386
    repliquant [sign in to see picture]
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    SN wrote:

    I'm just wondering, if anyone has encountered any similar problems at the post office, or being required to tell strangers (or not strangers) whats in those funny blank boxes you keep getting/returning?

    I had a similar incident that involved: the post office, the postal reps at the customs, and the customs themselves. See the gory details in this post:

    http://www.lovehoney.co.uk/community/forums/off-topic/306263-rant-alert/page-152/#p676738

    SN wrote:

    Also, does anyone have any suggestions what I could possibly say should I (or anyone else reading) be asked the same question- 'what is inside the box'? Thanks!

    I would say exactly what it is, and go into details. Surely they'll stop you very shortly, having heard enough. You may even get express service after that, they'll be so quick to get rid of you. Works the same way at the airport. It takes some effort to learn to turn these things around, but it's doable ;)

    1374249177
    rubysoho [sign in to see picture]
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    repliquant wrote:

    SN wrote:

    I'm just wondering, if anyone has encountered any similar problems at the post office, or being required to tell strangers (or not strangers) whats in those funny blank boxes you keep getting/returning?

    I had a similar incident that involved: the post office, the postal reps at the customs, and the customs themselves. See the gory details in this post:

    http://www.lovehoney.co.uk/community/forums/off-topic/306263-rant-alert/page-152/#p676738

    SN wrote:

    Also, does anyone have any suggestions what I could possibly say should I (or anyone else reading) be asked the same question- 'what is inside the box'? Thanks!

    I would say exactly what it is, and go into details. Surely they'll stop you very shortly, having heard enough. You may even get express service after that, they'll be so quick to get rid of you. Works the same way at the airport. It takes some effort to learn to turn these things around, but it's doable ;)

    oh.my word !!!!! what a bloody parlarva !!!!

    1374249245
    Stuburns [sign in to see picture]
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    Yeah I find if you say very large dildo or huge butt plug they tend to be more embarrassed. Then again I say that when I'm sending anything. Really the have no right to be nosey.

    1374249271
    ghostgirl [sign in to see picture]
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    K&J wrote:

    She has no right to ask you.

    she can ask if there is anything hazardous, dangerous or illegal in the package but that's it.

    id be fuming if that happened to me.

    Actually she does have that right, the rules about what you can send by post changed last month, newly prohibited goods include perfumes, lighters which may have been filled ( even if they are now empty) , batteries and nail varnish. I run a mail order business so am up to date with the regs.

    As frozenAngel said, just tell them it is an unwanted gift and doesn't contain any prohibited goods.

    xGGx

    1374249345
    repliquant [sign in to see picture]
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    rubysoho wrote:

    repliquant wrote:

    SN wrote:

    I'm just wondering, if anyone has encountered any similar problems at the post office, or being required to tell strangers (or not strangers) whats in those funny blank boxes you keep getting/returning?

    I had a similar incident that involved: the post office, the postal reps at the customs, and the customs themselves. See the gory details in this post:

    http://www.lovehoney.co.uk/community/forums/off-topic/306263-rant-alert/page-152/#p676738

    SN wrote:

    Also, does anyone have any suggestions what I could possibly say should I (or anyone else reading) be asked the same question- 'what is inside the box'? Thanks!

    I would say exactly what it is, and go into details. Surely they'll stop you very shortly, having heard enough. You may even get express service after that, they'll be so quick to get rid of you. Works the same way at the airport. It takes some effort to learn to turn these things around, but it's doable ;)

    oh.my word !!!!! what a bloody parlarva !!!!

    The post-scriptum to that story is that the package did include a piece of paper with the contents listed, inside, but still no value. Also, when i finally received the package, I had to go to the local post office and pay the import fees. And there, the list of contents was affixed to the top of the box by the customs folk, for all to see.

    No one blinked when i was picking this up, but I bet I'm now known as "the lemonade guy" over there ;)

    1374249719
    DavidB1986 [sign in to see picture]
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    SN wrote:

    David B- it was a small vibe and a small lube, which I'd taped together and wrapped with some packing paper, to actually disguise any shaping. I do normally post things back in the LH boxes they come in- I have quite a few now ;) But with these two small items, it just seemed so wasted. But yeah, that might probably be a good thing to consider.

    It's a fair point, but I always keep a selection of boxes to hand - Rymans usually have some smaller size boxes for sale at a decent price. I just find it so much easier, and i'm less likely to have any problems should I need to return anything (especially as a few times I did send something in an envelope, it ripped before reaching it's destination).

    1374251261
    rubysoho [sign in to see picture]
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    repliquant wrote:

    rubysoho wrote:

    repliquant wrote:

    SN wrote:

    I'm just wondering, if anyone has encountered any similar problems at the post office, or being required to tell strangers (or not strangers) whats in those funny blank boxes you keep getting/returning?

    I had a similar incident that involved: the post office, the postal reps at the customs, and the customs themselves. See the gory details in this post:

    http://www.lovehoney.co.uk/community/forums/off-topic/306263-rant-alert/page-152/#p676738

    SN wrote:

    Also, does anyone have any suggestions what I could possibly say should I (or anyone else reading) be asked the same question- 'what is inside the box'? Thanks!

    I would say exactly what it is, and go into details. Surely they'll stop you very shortly, having heard enough. You may even get express service after that, they'll be so quick to get rid of you. Works the same way at the airport. It takes some effort to learn to turn these things around, but it's doable ;)

    oh.my word !!!!! what a bloody parlarva !!!!

    The post-scriptum to that story is that the package did include a piece of paper with the contents listed, inside, but still no value. Also, when i finally received the package, I had to go to the local post office and pay the import fees. And there, the list of contents was affixed to the top of the box by the customs folk, for all to see.

    No one blinked when i was picking this up, but I bet I'm now known as "the lemonade guy" over there ;)

    hahah and to me too !!!!

    1374251349
    Fluffbags [sign in to see picture]
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    That is horrible. I agree with everyone else that she shouldnt ask you whats inside. Fair enough ask you if it fits into any of these dangerous items list and if not thats all she should require. Nosy woman! I knew I was going to get asked when I posted some toys to America this week. I already knew I was going to follow the lead of one of the american companies I work with and put "Silicone sculptre" (Couldnt exactly think of anything else to descibe it really and that sounded okay to me, seeing as thats what they label mine. Problem was, I almost forgot to tell my guy that they would ask at the post office (because its going overseas. Luckily I text him on the way and told him what to say because I can just imagine him now going bright red at the counter when they asked.

    1374251480
    Dali256 [sign in to see picture]
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    I would conplain too, they have no right to ask you whats inside.

    1374254017
    HappilyExperimenting [sign in to see picture]
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    That individual must have been having a bad day to give such awful customer service! Fair enough, ask if there are any hazardous items in the box, but on a day like that, when there's a heatwave and a long queue, why does she need to know what's in the envelope when it's none of her business? That not only makes you feel targeted, but people behind you are getting held up in the queue too! Silly woman!

    Make a formal complaint against her personally, not the general Post Office (well, as long as your Post Office is generally well-behaved normally) and say you felt victimised, pressured and made to feel silly in front of others due to her stupid insistent questions. Her customer service was obviously not up to scratch.

    I'm sorry this happened to you today - but it has given me some ideas as to what to say if someone ever asks me what is in my LH returns box! ;)

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