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St. John’s man waiting a month on coffee bean delivery stuck in Canada Post’s metro limbo

Richard Blenkinsopp ordered coffee beans that arrived in St. John's on Jan. 27, but still hadn't been delivered as of Wednesday. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
Richard Blenkinsopp ordered coffee beans that arrived in St. John's on Jan. 27, but still hadn't been delivered as of Wednesday. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Service standard not being met: customer

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. —

If Canada Post is almost through its Snowmageddon 2020 backlog in St. John’s, it’s a surprise to Richard Blenkinsopp, who is still waiting on fresh coffee beans that appear to have been stuck in a metro warehouse since late January.

“Canada Post updates the tracking almost daily with a statement that says, ‘Delivery may be delayed due to extreme weather conditions,’ but they never deliver,” said Blenkinsopp, who contacted The Telegram after reading about Rawlins Cross man William Pryse-Phillips, who got a letter on the weekend notifying him it was too dangerous for Canada Post to deliver his mail because of weather conditions.

Pryse-Phillips was puzzled how the Crown corporation managed to hand-deliver the notice.

Blenkinsopp was also struck by the notion, as well as Canada Post’s declaration it was getting through the backlog caused by the Jan. 17 blizzard and subsequent eight-day state of emergency, as well as other bad weather since then.

“(To) mail out a letter to say they can’t mail letters, it just highlights the ridiculousness of the whole thing,” Blenkinsopp said Wednesday.

He wrote a blog post about his frustrations with Canada Post and repeated incidents in which the expedited mail timeframe was missed since he began ordering fresh coffee beans from an Ontario retailer last November. The coffee lover ordered three pounds of Brazilian, Indonesian and Costa Rican beans on Jan. 21.

They apparently arrived in St. John’s on Jan. 27 and he has been told they are not lost, just stuck waiting to be sent out for delivery.

“They told me (Tuesday) and they told the shipper that basically all the stuff arrived about the same time after the state of emergency was lifted and it went to a warehouse and they are going through it bit by bit,” Blenkinsopp said.

“The frustrating thing is 11 days later I ordered some more coffee from the same place and I got that, and I am halfway through it. Clearly they are not doing things in order.”

As of Wednesday afternoon, he didn’t have the beans ordered on Jan. 21, and the Ontario vendor has offered to replace them, but Blenkinsopp doesn’t think that’s fair to them. He said retailers shouldn’t be on the hook for Canada Post snafus.

He’s got junk mail and other mail since then in his community mailbox.

Blenkinsopp said when he phones Canada Post, he just gets generic answers, telling him they have the same tracking information as customers and suggesting they don't know when the package will be delivered.

“There’s nothing they can do. I have just got to wait,” Blenkinsopp said.

“I’ve phoned them numerous times and am unable to get anywhere with them. They just say no one knows how long it will be, how long it will take them to eliminate the backlog. When I ask why they aren’t delivering in order — I’ve received two packages that arrived in St. John’s since the one in question, which have been delivered — they have no response.”

Blenkinsopp said either there needs to be a review of the staffing levels or the management structure in order to solve the problem of meeting service standards.

Blenkinsopp’s blog includes posts on topics related to photography and coffee tasting notes.

“Canada Post is driving me nuts this year,” he began Tuesday’s Post. “They’ve always been bad in St. John’s, but there used to be a time where you could get someone on the phone willing to call the local depot and follow up on a package that was overdue or missing. Now you can’t."

According to his post, of six orders — excluding the one that he has still not received — the parcels have languished in St. John’s for a period of two to 12 business days.

“(A package) goes 2,500 kilometres in a few days and it takes a week to get 10 kilometres,” Blenkinsopp told The Telegram.

UPDATE: After Telegram inquiries to Canada Post Wednesday, the beans were hand delivered to Blenkinsopp Thursday morning. 

Twitter: @BarbSweetTweets


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