Eastbourne woman ‘devastated’ after missing funeral due to mail delay

An Eastbourne woman was left ‘devastated’ after discovering she had missed her friend’s funeral due to a delay in mail.

Christine Smith of Albion Road said she received an invitation to a friend’s funeral the day after it took place.

Mrs Smith said, “I didn’t get the information about the funeral until after. It was really distressing.

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“I was absolutely devastated. It is not just her, it is her family as well. I couldn’t give my condolences.”

Royal Mail. (Photo credit: ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images) PNL-191120-131231003

Along with being unable to attend the funeral, Mrs Smith’s husband almost missed a hospital appointment as the letter only arrived the day before – 13 days after the letter was addressed.

She said, “We only got the letter the day before. There must be a number of appointments being missed.

“It must cost the NHS money and staff. I think it is terrible.”

Emma Boyes of Bourne Street also experienced the delay in deliveries and said it has potentially cost her money.

Ms Boyes said her pet insurance offers were due to arrive in the mail so she could decide whether she wanted to renew.

The Eastbourne woman explained that she usually calls her insurer to get the price down before agreeing – but this year the statement did not arrive until after the automatic renewal date.

She said, “I probably would have renewed it anyway but it would have been nice to see it and not if I had wanted to.”

Ms Boyes, like Mrs Smith, raised concerns over hospital appointments that could be missed.

She said, “I am really concerned that people will be called into appointments with short notice and not know anything.

“I haven’t had a letter for an appointment. I still do not know the time and date.

“I do need to arrange transport so I do really need to know when it is.”

Ms Boyes said she also had a delay in medication, which was delivered a week late.

In response to the mail delays, she said, “Just sort it out please and stop pretending it is not an issue.”

Mrs Smith added, “They should see that they are having problems without us having to complain.

“We should be getting mail at least once a week.

“It is frustrating to say the least.”

A Royal Mail spokesperson said, “The health and safety of our colleagues and our customers is our number one priority.

“In a limited number of areas, we are experiencing some disruption to service due to covid-related absences.

“We aim to deliver to all addresses we have mail for, six days a week. If resourcing issues, associated self-isolation and safety measures prevent this, we’ll deliver at least every other day.

“It’s only in extreme cases – where offices are severely affected by absence levels - that this may not be possible”.