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Test results in post for three months

PUBLISHED: 15:25 05 September 2001 | UPDATED: 10:29 03 March 2010

AN elderly Felixstowe resident has been left angry after his hospital test results arrived three months after they were sent.

The 80-year-old did not want to be named but is disgusted at the service he received from the Royal Mail.

AN elderly Felixstowe resident has been left angry after his hospital test results arrived three months after they were sent.

The 80-year-old did not want to be named but is disgusted at the service he received from the Royal Mail.

His fury comes only a day after bosses at Consignia, the corporation which owns Royal Mail, admitted they were "deeply disappointed" with figures that show one first class letter in every five sent to an Ipswich post coded address arrives late.

The pensioner's test results contained important information that could have effected his health in the extreme if he had simply waited for the tests and not contacted the hospital again.

"These were extremely important blood tests and I was expecting them the next day. "The pathology department sent them out the afternoon after they were taken and three months later they arrived on my door-step."

The results were returned the same day by the pathology department in Ipswich Hospital and sent first class as is clear from the envelope. Yet it still took three months to travel the 15 miles from Ipswich to Felixstowe. The envelope is well marked and the address is clearly printed, there is even a return address if there is any difficulty.

It was not just the late arrival that angered the elderly gentleman but also the service he received when he reported it.

"I was met with indifference and knowing smiles when I reported this. I was told these things happen and they did not know where it was."

"What I want to know is where was the letter for thirteen weeks, there are no other post marks than Ipswich so I presume Royal Mail has a little hideaway for letters to hibernate until someone discovered them."

This is not the first time he has been the victim of Royal Mail's poor service.

"About two years ago I was waiting for some very important legal documents to be delivered. They were sent from my solicitor but never arrived, six months later they turned up."

"I even asked Mr John Gummer to intercede but to know avail- what amazes me is that they suddenly turn up many months later. I think it is a national problem. I was treated with indifference even though both times they have been documents of extreme importance."

This is just the latest in a long line of complaints the Star has received since launching Mail Watch. From mail simply going missing to a service described at atrocious, erratic and unreliable by our readers.

A spokeswoman from Royal Mail said: "This seems to be a extraordinary and unacceptable error and we can only apologise for it. If people do have problems we encourage them to contact our customer complaints line on 08457 740740."

"The Ipswich Delivery Office would very much like to look in to this matter as it is so rare and if the gentleman gave them the envelope in question they would be able to carry out further inquiries."

They have still not answered the many questions we have for them. What happens to the letters that "disappear" for weeks on end?

Earlier this year staff sickness was blamed for the poor service given to customers but surely this should have been rectified by now.

Why is a public service which is in part paid for by the public consistently letting people down?

These are some of the questions we will be putting to Royal Mail hopefully making them more accountable to the people they are supposed to serve.

N If you have a Mailwatch then telephone The Evening Star Newsdesk on 01473 282257.

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