Postal problems for UK parcels in Portugal


Postal problems for UK parcels in Portugal.

Parcel delivery is a highly profitable and fast growing line of business, and overeseas delivery can be tricky, but for your post to decide to hand your parcel in a foreign land to a private sector carrier, rather than the local Post, seems to us something they should tell you they are going to do.  And the regulator should be looking at the ability and quality of service of who your post hands the parcel to.   Here Royal Mail gives parcels to Portugal off to a private company there called GLS, better known as the company that killed Santa Claus in Norway a few years ago for Norwegians expecting packages from US relatives. They don’t deliver to residences when people are there, ie, evenings,  and their parcel storage is to hell-and-gone for people to get there, and only open during office hours.

In Portugal, GLS doesn’t deliver to PO Boxes, which is where many British expats get their mail.  ROYAL MAIL SHOULD KNOW THAT. DIDN’T THEY DO THEIR DUE DILIGENCE? DON’T THEY KNOW THE NATURE OF WHAT THEY ARE CARRYING?

And Royal Mail should tell customers in the UK that they can’t deliver packages in Portugal to PO Boxes, or, they should hand off the parcel to the Portuguese post.   Surely they can distinguish PO box addresses from street addresses?

This whole story screams of incompetence, business failure, regulatory failure, and disdain for the customer.  Shame.


Categories : Addressing, parcels


  1. Robert Hamilton says:

    The situation with GLS in Portugal is worse than that –
    We are awaiting a registered parcel from UK posted 11 days ago.

    GLS charge premium rates if you try and phone them.
    They take messages tel nos etc, assure you they will deliver, then nothing happens.
    You phone them again the next day and they have no record of your phone call the day before and claim “the named person” you spoke to does not work for them.
    Their quoted Fax number does not answer ( 10 faxes over 2 days)
    Their online form contact system seems to just dump your message in the bin.

    Common Royal Mail get this sorted out urgently.
    We regularly use Amazon and their couriers MRW are excellent and deliver to our address.
    CCT here did a great job on letters and parcels for us so why on earth Royal Mail handed the business over to GLS is amazing.

    Note that there ate two types of post boxes in Portugal –
    Apartado boxes in post offices
    Caixa Postal boxes at the roadside adjacent to houses.
    While I can understand why GLS cannot deliver to Apartados as they are on CTT property and CTT hace the keys. I see no reason why GLS cannot deliver to CAixa Postal boxes ?

    Robert Hamilton
    Very dissatisfied Royal Mail / GLS customer.

  2. Luís Barros says:

    Well, royal mail obviously handed the parcel business to GLS because GLS is a royal mail subsidiary, and a major one.

    Unfortunately money is more important than costumer satisfaction to Royal Mail corporate scum, $ is all they see.
    I’m Portuguese, I buy stuff from ebay from time to time and always been well served by the portuguese postal service, 4 or 5 days was what it took for my items to arrive..not anymore, and better yet, there is no information about this situation and royal mail still says you must contact your local postal service..FOR WHAT IF THEY HANDED THE PARCEL TO THEIR OWN GROUP COMPANY? I really don’t know how GLS operates in other countries, in portugal I don’t think we can even call it operating, it’s more like they just exist. This is a very sad situation, for royal mail because at a long term they will be held responsible for this..for seller’s because even if people don’t blame them, they will not buy as much, for costumers because of the waiting times, misdeliveries, false deliveries, returned packages.

  3. Anon. says:

    GLS are a complete nightmare company to deal with and the Roayal Mail are virtually the same…ISF letter sent 24th September to me in Madeira……track using their code and it updates at 8 am every morning to say stored at a suburb of Lisbon…after spending 5 Euros ringing the 707 number today…they finally say that they will get the agent on the island to deliver tomorrow…i will believe it when i see it…incidently ALL ISF and airsure etc letters and parcels go first to the hub in Germany……fortunately free UK calls otherwise it probably would have cost another 10GBP or so talking to the idiots at RM….it would have been quicker for me to fly over to the UK and back to collect it….disgracefull service by both Royal Mail and GLS.

  4. Ebay Vendor says:

    Royal Mail are using GLS to make their deliveries in Portugal.

    GLS has a stated clause that they “Will NOT deliver to “Apartados” addresses”, and that this mail will be considered as “returned”.

    After 40 days of waiting, a patient client contacted us, to let us know that a parcel was undelivered. They had followed the Royal Mail Track & Tace website information, and had contacted their local Postal Returns depot (who had no information on the item) on several occasions.
    Royal Mail state the item is now “Lost”, and the GLS contact Customer Service telephone system is a premium rate call.

    Good business if you can get it. Keeping lots of parcels (stated to be returned), and charging people money (in high rate call tariffs) for giving no information on an items whereabouts.

    Cheers Royal Mail (I wonder why the contract was awarded to GLS?).

    P.S. My business will no longer be able to offer items for sale to Portugal.

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