Donington Post Office service out of action

Donington Post Office and off licence ANL-160609-175254009
Donington Post Office and off licence ANL-160609-175254009

Customers in Donington have been left frustrated after their Post Office has been out of action for almost two weeks.

Staff at the Post Office counter, which is situated inside Bargain Booze, on the High Street, have been unable to access the online Post Office network since August 27.

This has meant they cannot process pension payments, pay in bills or offer usual services.

The Post Office head office says the issue is down to ‘technical reasons relating to broadband connection’ – but ward councillor Jane King says the situation has become “farcical”.

Coun King (Independent), who represents the Donington, Quadring and Gosberton wards for South Holland District Council, said: “There have now been two Mondays where people cannot get their pensions and I have been contacted by a number of people about it.

“The nearest places for a different Post Office are Bicker, Quadring or Swineshead but we don’t have a great bus service here. Not everyone has a car. How are people going to do things if they can’t get hold of their pensions?

“There are people who still pay their electricity bill through the Post Office.

“People who use the Post Office like to be able to speak to someone and don’t always want to be going to a new place where they don’t know the staff.

“They might need something explaining to them which is why they prefer to go in person. You do build up a rapport with people you meet on a weekly basis. Then there are people who are disabled and can’t get out to another Post Office.

I know there is the Lloyd’s Bank and the cash machine at the Co-op in the village but for people who have a certain Post Office card, they can only use that at the Post Office.

“The fact that the issue has not been sorted out in nearly two weeks is farcical.

“I feel sorry for the Post Office staff in the shop because it is not their fault. There is no point people going in and having a go at them.

“I have spoken on several occasions to Bargain Booze customer services and the Post Office head office and have not had much of an answer. When I spoke to someone at the Post Office she seemed to think it was due to transfer of ownership. It is not good enough that this has not been sorted out.”

The store that the Donington Post Office is situated in was formerly Costcutter but has apparently been occupied by Bargain Booze since April this year.

When contacted by the Spalding Guardian, a spokesperson for the Post Office at its head office, said: “The Post Office has been closed since August 27 for technical reasons relating to broadband connection.

“We would like to apologise to customers for any inconvenience caused by the temporary closure of Donington Post Office. This is due to technical reasons. We are working hard to restore services to the area as soon as possible.

“In the meantime, customers can access Post Office services at any branch, with Bicker and Quadring Post Offices being the closest alternatives. ”

More than 1,000 Post Offices across the country have been moved into supermarkets, petrol stations and newsagents under the ‘modernisation’ of the Post Office.

The Post Office says that while changes are being made, the transformation is not ‘a closure programme’ and it is “committed to maintaining” its current network (of branches) at around 11,500.