I wanted to send a stack of forms to someone locally. Normally I would do it by courier but today I wanted to explore options. I went to a Post Office and asked the person to tell me how much stamps I must affix for the letter. She asked me “which place?”. Surprised that she should ask that, I said ‘Chennai only” and she said “Rs.45”. I thought I didn’t hear her properly and told her “I don’t want speed post or registered post. Just ordinary post”. She looked at me as if I was bitten by a mad dog and retorted “Rs.45 for ordinary post only. Registered post will cost Rs.17 extra”. Chastened, I left the post office with the thought that prices have escalated so much
In fact, i was wondering how much the couriers would charge and with a great deal of trepidation, I approached a collection centre. The person there was more concerned about the contents than the weight or the cost and when I showed him that it was a set of harmless forms, he said “That will be Rs.15 and change please”. Lest I dig my own grave by asking him again, I handed over the exact change and left with the receipt.
Now this is really strange!! For a delivery of an article without any commitment of time or guaranteed delivery, the post office is asking me to pay thrice the amount that the courier charges for delivering it the next day (actually the day after because tomorrow being Christmas is a holiday) and I know it will be delivered for sure.
The irony is “our post offices being run by Government are not-for-profit while the couriers are only-for-profit”.
Are we missing something?