'Wrong kind of card' misses Christmas

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The "wrong shape of Christmas card" is likely to enter the catalogue of pathetic excuses, thanks to the Irish post office which was explaining yesterday the late delivery of up to a million Christmas cards.

The "wrong shape of Christmas card" is likely to enter the catalogue of pathetic excuses, thanks to the Irish post office which was explaining yesterday the late delivery of up to a million Christmas cards.

The cards and other items remained piled up in Dublin last night, with the authorities hoping to have them delivered over the next few days.

One of the reasons advanced for the backlog was that Christmas cards "come in lots of different shapes and colours". The phenomenon helped baffle some of the machines used by An Post, the mail service.

The problem arose not despite new technology but because of it. As part of a €90m (£59m) investment, the authorities have introduced a computerised sorting system. Until now, this has been described as sophisticated, but during the Christmas rush it turned out to have a weakness: it is business-oriented and is not designed to cope with envelopes that are of non- standard size and colour.

"We had a lot of square cards," a spokesman said ruefully, apologising for the delay. Other problems included handwritten cards, late posting, a 5 per cent rise in volume, and giving priority to franked rather than stamped mail.

The spokesman said: "It's true our new system is geared to deal with business mail. The fact that Christmas cards come in lots of shapes and colours did add to our difficulties."

Comments