Forget Computers Pos Malaysia, just improve existing services

IT is a laudable attempt by Pos Malaysia to venture into the business of selling personal computers to customers who obtain EPF computer loans. Unfortunately, judging from the present level of service it is providing to its customers, it will become a typical case of "the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak".

Many complaints have been highlighted in our local newspapers about the services in many of our post offices. My personal experiences with Pos Malaysia in recent years all point to an urgent need for them to improve their services.

Since my retirement more than five years ago, I have to go to post offices at least once a month to purchase stamps or to pay utility bills. All these years I could not remember a single occasion when I did not have to join the queue before I could be served.

Most times there was only a single counter opened for sale of stamps, dealing with registered mail, Pos Laju and parcel services. On one occasion, after I had queued for about five minutes to reach the stamp counter to purchase some 30 sen stamps, I was told that there was none left. And that was in the mid-moming!

The queue for payment of utility bills could be longer even though two or three counters are open. Payment by cheque is accepted, but each is only valid for payment of a maximum of five bills. However, there is no notice of this limitation to be found in most post offices.

There was another unpleasant encounter I had with one post office in Petaling Jaya. After queuing for nearly half an hour, my turn came and I presented a cheque for payment of some utility bills. I was taken aback when the counter clerk told me that the computer could only accept cash but not cheques for payment that morning and advised me to go to another post office.

When I asked him why no notice was posted to inform the customers, he simply shrugged his shoulders and said, "next"! Some days later, I met a postmaster from another post office in Petaling Jaya and he told me that if the computer could accept cash for payment it should also accept cheques.

Many times, instead of receiving registered letters direct from the postman, I received post cards informing me to collect my registered mail from the post office. This was in spite of the fact that most of the time somebody would be in the house and there is a bell installed just beside the letterbox.

Now, it has been reported that the postmen will also be trained to install computers purchased by customers. It is no wonder that the postman in my area now comes less regularly than before.

With all the shortcomings in the present set-up, the current unsatisfactory service will further deteriorate if post offices were to take on an additional responsibility of selling personal computers and postmen were diverted to install computers.

It is therefore imperative that the management should first improve the present set-up and improve the postal services. Don't try to run before you can walk properly! 2008