By Karlene Skretting
Westwind Weekly News
As of March 2, the retail service at the Raymond Post Office will see a reduction of seven-and-a-half hours per week because of a decrease in the use of services first thing in the morning and later in the day. Canada Post feels that the reduced hours will still be able to meet the needs of the current customer base.
Raymond Post Office postmaster Jacky Van Lent said that Canada Post conducted a review of customer traffic patterns in December and determined that the least amount of patrons visited the Post Office between 8 – 9 a.m. as well as between 5 – 6 p.m.
The review was based on computer system activity that can be broken down by days of the week or hours of the day. Canada Post can also see what the most common services are at particular locations.
In Raymond, most patrons picked up parcels and used the desk services during the day. As a result, the new hours will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, with the exception of Wednesdays being open an extra hour until 6 p.m.
“I think people will adapt. As usual we can’t always please everyone, but we are hoping with the one evening a week that we can still accommodate the needs of the community,” said Raymond Post Office postmaster Jacky Van Lent.
If individuals are not able to make it to the Post Office during the new hours they can fill out a Letter of Authorization to give anyone else permission to pick up their parcels during business hours.
“If they have kids or a another family member with ID that matches that box number, they are able to pick up parcels as well,” added Van Lent.
The lobby is open from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. seven days a week. And patrons have access to their postal box during that time; anyone with the key can pick up letter mail.
“Customers will continue to enjoy access to a full range of services and products at the Post Office,” reads a letter Canada Post sent to Raymond Mayor George Bohne on Jan. 28.
It went on to state that aside from the hour reduction, there will be no changes to the range of services offered at the Raymond Post Office. And point out that individuals can also purchase stamps, pay for and print shipping labels and access other postal services online at canadapost.ca
For the last few weeks the Post Office has had signs up and has been advising patrons who visit the facility early in the morning or later in the evening of the upcoming hour changes.
Van Lent noted that it tends to be the same people who frequent the Post Office during the hours of operation that will no longer be in affect come March 2, and that it will probably affect those who work out of town the most.
“It is the same people that always tend to come in between 5 and 6 p.m. that will be affected the most, but hopefully once people get to know the new hours, it won’t affect them and they will be able to adjust to the new hours.”
While there has been a decline in letter mail over the last few years online shopping has led to an increase in parcels that “seems to be balancing out.” The hour reduction is not because of a lack of use of the Post Office, but under use during certain hours.
The two full time staff member’s hours are not being affected by the hour reduction.
“We thank the community in advance for their understanding of the hour changes, but the services that they have received in the past will remain the same.