Annoying uncourtly babus, wastage of time, outdated infrastructure and buck-passing attitude is the typical picture when we think of any government office. It is enough to make us dread the visit and solicit other private options. But for a change, the government enterprise, India Post, has an appreciative feedback. It is not so disappointing, in fact, even exemplar in some ways.
Two months back, I sent an international courier through Speed Post. It was not a very important document so it was a trial for future use. They don’t have the “acknowledgement slip” option in this. Hence, I decided to track it online. The system did not show me any results. So, I gave up and left the courier to its destiny. There was the quintessential online complaint form too. I filled it up just for the sake of it, honestly, without any expectation of a response. This is a usual story.
But what happened later was simply unexpected. I was traveling and network connectivity was fluctuating. However, on halting, I saw three missed calls from a landline number. I called back and got to know they were from the Post Office. It is sort of surreal for a government department to take the pains to reach a customer so desperately (unless for pecuniary reasons of course)!! Not only this, but the person on call also impressed me by the way he handled the problem. I did not carry the receipt. Obviously, I never thought they’ll contact me so swiftly through the complaint. But, he POLITELY agreed to help me out when I was back!
Bad on my part, but I forgot to call later. I got to know from the receiving agency that my documents were received.
Two days ago, I visited the Post Office to send an international package again. A man came up to me and asked if I was the one who had submitted the complaint last time. He then lightly reproached me on why I didn’t call back. He was being held accountable by his seniors for the complaint and he didn’t know if my problem was sorted out. I flushed and apologised. But two things struck me: First, he remembered the issue – a big thing because, normally, the babus work mechanically. Secondly, someone was answerable in a government enterprise!!
Though the infrastructure is still not upped perfectly and employees are not so polished but India Post sure makes its mark in the public services arena! It is tremendously better than its inefficient counterparts. Have experienced this on many previous occasions.
The Speed Post service, without a doubt, is an exceptionally reliable and economical facility. But for parcels abroad, even Speed Post takes almost ten days. Much to my relief, India Post has recently introduced a faster international courier service too. This can deliver mail in four days.
Enhancing computer skills (especially data entry speeds) and also soft skills of employees working at the counters, expanding the online system and establishing more offices/ Speed Post centres will make Indian postal services even better. They can also broaden their business model by having stationery and photocopy shops in their campuses for the convenience of customers.
Assuming no long wait at queues, one returns back in good mood after the visit to a Post Office and hope it continues!