Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Hate Mail

A letter arrives from the Royal Mail - sorry, I mean Consignia - no, I mean the Royal Mail.

Dear Customer,

I recently wrote to you concerning Mail Deliveries to your premises on a Saturday.

So far so good. Except those egregious capital letters - what are they doing there? - but OK, I can understand what is being said.

As no reply has been received I would be grateful if you would confirm that you want your mail ever retained and delivered on Monday or delivered on a Saturday.

Confirm? Ever? What?

The same could be said about festive holidays when firms shut, mail will be delivered on the next working day.

You've lost me. Was that a question?

If however you want something on a mid / long term permanent basis then you will need to apply for our Business Keepsafe service.

*Anything* on a mid / long term permanent basis? Like a house? Or a pet? Or a boyfriend? Can the Royal Mail provide them all? And can we define permanent in this context? Doesn't 'mid term' imply temporary? What is mid term anyway? I thought it was something to do with Presidents.

OK, so I do understand what this letter is trying to say - just about - but this kind of poor English just makes me furious. Surely a communications firm should hire someone who can actually communicate?

Royal Mail, usually I charge 25p per word for this kind of thing but you can have this for free:

Please could you let us know whether you would like your mail delivered on a Saturday or if you would prefer it to be held and delivered on Monday morning. Similarly, whether on public holidays you would prefer your mail to be delivered on the next working day. Note that should you require any long-term storage of your post, you will need to apply for our Business Keepsafe facility.

Twenty seconds' work. And I thank you.


  1. What are you doing frittering your time away selling books when I need you as a copy editor and the government needs you as a gobbledegook-translator.?

  2. Don't go there, Marie. That way lies a career in Marketing (with capital M of course). But at least the person who wrote it probably had a "marketing qualification".