Editorial: Whatever happened to fast service?

By Linda Hall

4 comments


Lately I find myself spending a lot of time in queues - particularly at PostShop and the supermarket.

Not so long ago when I wanted to pay my phone or power bill I would go to the friendly PostShop in Mahora. Sometimes I'd have to wait but never for long. That closed about the same time they took the post box from my street.

Okay, I thought, I'll go and pay my bills at the PostShop in Take Note next to Kmart. Friendly people, sometimes a bit of a wait but not too bad.

That closed. What now? PostShop in Heretaunga St where there is always a queue, sometimes out the door. In fact the staff, automatically it seems, say thank you for waiting.

Well I don't have a choice: I have to wait if I want to post something to my family in Australia. Yes, I can pay my bills online but I don't want to pay everything online.

I rang NZ Post and asked where I could pay bills in Hastings. The reply: Flaxmere - too far; Stortford Lodge - why should I drive all that way? and Hastings Paper Plus.

Sorry, NZ Post, you can't pay bills at Paper Plus: It offers postal services only.

As for the supermarket queue, don't get me started. I'm not an impatient person. However, spending 20 to 30 minutes in a line at the weekend, with just two checkout operators on while supervisors stand about with their hands behind their backs waiting for bells to ring makes me mad as hell. It seems since self-service checkouts were introduced any other service has gone out the door. When I finally got to the checkout, the operator told me there had been staff cutbacks and only so many checkouts would be open at certain times of the day.

A supermarket is a place we all go, a place we spend a good deal of our income. We wouldn't wait 20 minutes to be served in any other shop. It makes me mad that those people who are happy to take my money think my time is unimportant.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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