A rough start to the year for SingPost as they fail to deliver their end of an agreement to distribute flyers for a local business owner.
On 10 Jan, a massage parlour owner said SingPost had failed to fulfil their end of a commercial agreement when they failed to deliver on the promised service of printing and distributing 65,000 flyers to homes and businesses around the island. The business owner had apparently paid $7,000 for SingPost’s printing and distributing service.
Not only did they fail to do the job, the owner, 32-year old Johnson Tan said that SingPost had even tried to fool him into thinking that the services had indeed been carried out when in fact it was not.
Linahe Wanbao reported that the issue started on 19 Nov 2018 when Mr Tan placed his order with SingPost to deliver flyers around Singapore, including Punggol and Sengkang. The delivery date was set to be 26 November.
However, Mr Tan was reportedly puzzled when he didn’t see any flyers in his mailbox that day – he lives in Sengkang. He then asked two of his staff who lived in Punggol whether they received any flyers. They had not either.
Subsequently, Mr Tan reached out to SingPost via email on 7th December to ask if the job had been done. In reply, SingPost send him photos of the flyers in letterboxes as proof that they were distributed. His doubts were allayed.
But then, one of Mr Tan’s relatives who also lives in Sengkang told him that they never saw the flyer either. Naturally, Mr Tan’s doubts resurfaced. He then took a closer look at the photos that SingPost had sent him earlier and realised that they looked iffy.
He told Wanbao, “When I checked the photos, I realised that the flyers in different letterboxes all had the number ‘2709’ handwritten on them. They also had the same markings, indicating that the flyers in different photos were actually the same.”
His suspicion growing, Mr Tan reached out to SingPost again to relay his concern, but this time he didn’t get a response. So he proceeded to lodge a police report over the matter. The police confirmed with Wanbao that they did receive Mr Tan’s report.
Wanbao reports that Mr Tan is unhappy with how things turned out, of course. He had initially wanted his friend to handle the project, but as his friend was no longer in the same trade, Mr Tan decided to engage SingPost’s services instead.
Mr Tan told Wanbao, “If the flyers had been distributed, there should have been some discarded [by the residents] in the dustbins, but I didn’t see a single flyer.”
He added that he hopes SingPost will be able to provide a reasonable explanation, and plans to get a full refund from the mail company.
After the incident was reported by Wanbao, SingPost said in a statement that they admit there were lapses in the initial investigation carried out by its staff and they’ve taken disciplinary action on those involved.
The said that they ran an initial investigation when Mr Tan reached out to them on 7th December. When Mr Tan came back to them with further concerns, they launched another investigations into his claims. With his help, they found that their ground team had been ‘negligent’ in the first round of investigations.
They added that they’ve taken action against the offenders and they thanked Mr Tan for his help.
Here is their statement in full:
“SingPost takes customer feedback seriously and a series of investigations was launched following the issues raised by Mr Johnson Tan.
The first round of investigations was launched when Mr Tan contacted SingPost on 7 December 2018. We had shared our findings with Mr Tan in mid-December. When Mr Tan had an extra round of concerns, SingPost launched another investigation into his claims. This time, acting on the pointers raised by Mr Tan, the findings indicated that our ground teams had indeed been negligent in the first round of investigations. We have since closed the loop on these gaps, including disciplinary action taken against offenders.
We thank Mr Tan for working closely with us and giving us the opportunity to improve on our processes. At the same time, SingPost will use this as another learning opportunity to better its processes. We thank Mr Tan and the public for their patience with us.”
They followed that up with an apology:
“SingPost would like to extend our sincerest apologies to Mr Tan for the incident, and have offered him a full refund. He has accepted the offer.”
Curiously, SingPost’s statement seems rather weak considering the severity of the incident. They failed to deliver on a commercial agreement and then attempted to cover up their failure before finally coming clean, only when pressured by the other party.
This is quite a step up from the problem they faced just last month when someone else took to social media to point out how the delivery man didn’t bother waiting for him to answer the door before walking away. This post was followed by a deluge of complaints from other customers who had experienced similar issues of postal officers not even attempting to deliver a parcel but just leaving a note to say that the delivery attempt was unsuccessful.
SingPost has not entered 2019 on the right foot and they’ll have to buck up if they want to have a better year ahead.