No answers from the Guyana Post Office

Dear Editor,

I refer to the recent disappearance of international registered airmail letters being sent to three different addressees at three different addresses in Guyana. The two addressees and addresses are as follows: Miss Joan Sheppard, ‘Lot B,’ Mount Sinai, Angoy’s Avenue, West Canje, Berbice, Guyana, South America [and], Jon Doo or Jaundoo, No. 51 Village Berbice, Guyana, South America.

A further letter sent as international registered air mail, which remains unaccounted for was sent to Ms Gillian Thompson, National Library of Guyana, 76/77 Church & Main Street, Georgetown, Guyana, South America. While a fourth (sent from London) to Miss Joan Sheppard at Angoy’s Avenue, vanished like its predecessors sent earlier from Taipei, Taiwan in May-July 2013. Two other unregistered letters were also sent from Taipei to the two above addressees at Angoy’s Avenue and 51 Village, respectively, which also failed to reach their intended destinations in Guyana in May, 2013.

A letter of May, 25, 2012, captioned ‘Post office can track mail or packages sent express or registered’ from the Post Office takes another turn. According to both the Taiwan Postal Corporation and the British Royal Mail retail service outlets, the Guyana Post Office Corporation has “not” been a signatory to specific international postal service agreements to enable it to “track and trace” international registered airmail entering the country from overseas. Once the mail lands in Guyana, it is, for all intents and purposes, on its own. Delivery confirmation using an international tracking reference number from the country of origin cannot be completed.

The then PRO of the GPOC was not entirely accurate when she solemnly advised Mr Kissoon-Geer concerning the “track and trace” capabilities within Guyana and international registered airmail post.

On Wednesday, June 19, 2013, an article appeared in the Guyana Chronicle online, concerning a Berbice-based GPOC employee, who was discovered allegedly stealing post from the delivery system and retaining it at his private dwelling house in Timmers Dam, Mount Sinai. The article, written by Jeune Bailey Vankeric, indicated a “postal delivery irregularity” in New Amsterdam Guyana, at around the same time as the various registered international airmail letters discussed in this correspondence apparently vanished into thin air.

So what is taking place within the GPOC? Contacting the Georgetown offices from overseas, does not generally produce fast and efficient problem resolution.  Email messages are not “routinely and systematically” answered on receipt, if they are indeed ever delivered. Email delivery problems are consistent. Email messages are left unanswered for weeks or months, generally not being answered at all.

Turning to fax contact to the Post Master General’s Office, Georgetown, a total of three fax transmissions have been sent to fax number 00592-226-4370, during the course of the last three weeks.  The Post Master General and his secretary were both contacted in person by telephone (00592-226-9836) to confirm both receipt and “readability” of the transmissions. The fax machine in the Post Master General’s office was said to have some transmission resolution difficulties, since it appears it cannot “legibly” print a page of A4 paper showing bold, 9 point type.

(I frequently receive faxes of this print type from a number of different geographical locations, more remote than Guyana, which I can read very clearly. So format is not at issue here but rather  resolution and print-out quality.)

The email address,  was given to me by the Post Master General’s secretary.  The only difficulty with this email address concerns delivery and replies.  Out of thirty-seven emails sent with a PDF attachment addressed to the Post Master General, Guyana, none was received, or rather none was confirmed as having been received as requested.

So an extreme lack of reliable and effective two-way professional communication is an ongoing difficulty in overseas customer relations at the GPOC Georgetown today.

Let’s move on to international inter-postal services communication , post master to post master.

On July 17, 2013, the Taiwanese Postal Services emailed the Guyanese Postal Services international airmail unit to request a “CN33” log. On August 9, 2013, and owing to Guyana’s lack of response” [?], Taiwan filed a paper request for the same.  On October 28, 2013, Taiwan requested the Guyanese postal authority to compensate directly.

So far, no explanation has been provided by the Post Master General’s office, Guyana, to clarify why the GPOC international airmail unit has failed to respond to the official requests from the Taiwan Postal Corporation’s export mail investigation service for a “CN33 Transmission Log.”

Everybody overseas (New York, London, Berlin, Argentina and Australia) is quite baffled by the genuine lack of motivation and responsiveness from the GPOC customer and professional relations offices in this case.

False public relations reassurances from the GPOC cannot compensate for a proven lack of consistent service reliability, flexibility and professional communication.

Mr Kissoon-Geer is one case, (largely symbolic), but highly representative of the ongoing realities encountered with the GPOC administration today in Guyana. My ancient Guyanese ancestors are turning in their graves to realize the Guyana Postal Services of yesteryear have descended into a quagmire of professional inefficiency.

Ms Joan Sheppard and Mr Jaundoo are both direct family relatives, of the late Abraham Renville Sheppard of 51 Village, Berbice, and his previously London-based Anglo-Guyanese family, now living overseas. The Sheppard and Garnett families have been in the 51 Village vicinity since its earliest beginnings, and within the county of Berbice, since the first Anglo-Dutch and the later Napoleonic wars.


Yours faithfully,

Bastien le Strange


 Editor’s note

We are sending a copy of this letter to the Guyana Post Office Corporation for any comment they might wish to make.

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