Posts Tagged ‘Emirates Post’
You’d think renewing a PO Box that you’ve held for several years would be easy, wouldn’t you? Given that my mail box is screwed onto the side of my house and I have deliveries and collections three times a week, a good way to do it might be for the Post Office to send a letter to me; I could tick “renew”, enclose the fee and pop it back in the mail box for the postie to collect.
Or, failing that, I could pay online, with a credit card?
Anyway, the back of the renewal form said you had to go to the Post Office with the form filled out (name, address, phone, mobile, email, work email, company name, company website, passport number, passport expiry, visa number, visa expiry, National ID number, National ID expiry) and the supporting documents – tenancy contract, or first page of sales agreement – as proof of address.
Remember, this is a renewal. And the box is screwed onto my house – they know where I live. They know it’s my house because they took all the paperwork last year. And they know I haven’t moved because they visit three times a week to deliver the mail.
So, I gathered everything all together and re-routed the school run to go via the mysterious Al Quoz Post Office as I now know where that is. I got there; I waited for the counter clerk to come back from lunch. I waited for three people ahead of me to do their business – and then I realised that I didn’t have enough cash on me.
“Do you take card payments?”
“Is there a cash machine near here?”
Okay, so I couldn’t blame anyone but myself for this. I decided to consider it a dry run, and I went home (road was closed – long detour).
That night, I may have ranted a little to DH about what a bloody waste of time the whole thing was.
“Why don’t you pay online?” he said. “You always used to be able to?”
So the next day I located the PO website and tried to log in. I had to re-request a password set up by DH in about 1989, and they emailed it to him. I asked DH to forward it to me. I logged in. Success! I clicked “renew existing PO Box”. I chose to pay online. I paid! Hurrah!
Five minutes later, DH forwarded me the emailed payment receipt. After the bit where it said “thank you for your payment”, it said, and I quote directly: “Please submit the following documents at any of our post offices: 2 Passport photo, Passport copy and residence visa page for non UAE national and copy of National ID card.”
As the saying goes: You couldn’t make it up.
I live in a compound where, since January, it’s been possible to have mail delivered to your door. Stop sniggering at the back – it’s a big thing here. Up until then, doorstop postal delivery simply hasn’t existed in the UAE.
Instead, we all have Post Office Boxes – while that might not sound like a trauma, consider that, at one point, ours was so far from home we were driving a 75km round trip just to pick up the electricity bill.
So when Emirates Post announced this wonderful new breakthrough of door-to-door postal delivery I signed up. And it’s been great. We now have a post box stuck to the side of our house and it has a little red/green indicator to show if there’s any mail.
Only I think they forgot to teach the postmen what red and green mean.
I imagined that red might be “you’ve got mail” and green might mean “empty”. But sometimes I have a look inside when it’s on green and there’s a letter going crispy in the heat. So I slide the indicator to red to show I’ve got the post. The postman then slides it to green but when I next look, there’s nothing there.
So it’s taken me four months of experimenting to figure out what the colours mean, and it’s far more basic than “mail” and “no mail”: A change of colour simply means the postman’s been. He’s just making sure that I know he’s doing his job by visiting my house three times a week and it’s absolutely not his fault I’m a Molly-no-mail. Doh.