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China Post

This morning when I turned on my mobile I had two missed calls from a Shanghai local number. So I called the number back, and it turned out that it was a local post office. I asked why they called me, and gave them my address to make it easier for them to find it out. They checked and then said that they did not call me. I told them I had a call from them twice on my phone, so someone must have been trying to reach me. The person who had answered the phone bluntly told me I had called the wrong number and hang up on me.

Not very happy with this ‘service’, but curious to know why they called, I called back again. Same person on the phone. Once again he did not want to talk and hang up. One more try, and once again the same guy. This time he was kind enough to transfer me to a more patient colleague. I explained the story and he also said they did not call us. He said that his office was at Nanjing Dong Lu which is not Nandan Dong Lu where my house is, so I must be wrong.

Then I realized that maybe the translation of Nanjing and Nandan may have gone wrong: in China if you receive mail from abroad someone translates the address into Chinese characters, and that may have gone wrong. So I asked them to check. Reluctantly they did, but came back with the answer that there was no mail for me. They asked for my Chinese name, because they cannot handle foreign names, but I told them that I never use my Chinese name for mail. Not being able to help they hang up again.

A few minutes later I realized that the Nanjing Dong Lu post office area might also include my office address. So I called back once again. After some pushing they finally decided to look one more time, and Eureka: there was a mail for me at my office address. I can pick it up within 5 working days. Glad I insisted on calling them and looking for my mail, otherwise my mail would have not arrived. Maybe it’s an idea for them to be able to do a search on phone numbers as well? Great service China Post 🙁

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