Christmas mail misery

Dear Editor,

We have had a pretty miserable Christmas due to the fact that we have not received any of the Christmas cards from UK. All of our family, who reside in different areas of UK, tell us that they have posted their cards etc. in plenty of time (many during the first week of December) and not one has reached us. We received a card from a friend in the Lincolnshire area that was posted on November 29 – this was delivered December 22. Incidentally, there is no problem with mail being delivered to us from within Portugal.

Has anyone else had the same experience and, if so, does anyone know the reason for this and is the hold-up UK end or are they all lost in the Portuguese system and are we never to receive them?

On a different note, we are also having a very bad experience with delivery of a parcel (Christmas gifts) via Chronopost. Our son paid for a four-day guaranteed delivery on December 12 that arrived at the depot in Faro on Monday 19th as seen on the tracking system.

We were informed by e-mail to expect delivery that morning. No delivery arrived and then we received an email in our junk folder to state “the address provided does not allow delivery – you can pick up parcel at depot”.

We were unable to go to pick up the parcel as both my husband and I were, and still are, ill and unable to drive. To cut a long story short, several emails to DPD courier UK and telephone calls to Chronopost Portugal verifying that the address was correct, verifying our telephone numbers, and explicit directions to our house (which is very easy to find and on a main road) resulted in another rescheduled delivery for Monday 26th.

Lo and behold exactly the same scenario happened as last week (identical e-mails “the address provided does not allow delivery – you can pick up parcel at depot), so to date we have still not had our parcel delivered.

As I stated in my email to DPD in UK on both occasions of expected delivery, the driver has not telephoned us to ask us for directions if he was in the area and couldn’t find us. It appears Chronopost have no intention of delivering this parcel and expect us to go and pick it up from their depot. Pretty good going for a four-day guaranteed delivery.

Has anyone else had the same experience or are we just unlucky?

Sylvia Softley, by email