Can't deliver, won't deliver.

Will you be watching Panorama’s “Can’t deliver, won’t deliver” on BBC One this evening? I have it bookmarked and shall watch with interest.

I enjoy sending and receiving cards and letters and go to special lengths to select an appropriate card for each recipient. Recently though, I have been dismayed that some of these cards have not reached their destination despite being properly addressed and having the correct postage stamps. Is it a coincidence that the cards that failed to arrive had unusual envelopes and were slightly fatter than a standard card? Have you had similar experiences with missing mail? If you have ever tried to complete a complaint form you will probably have been put off by the fact that you cannot prove that you sent the letter in the first place, so I suspect the problem is under reported.

Over the years I have enjoyed working with many greeting card companies, in fact, there have been times when this has been the only kind of work available to me and as a freelance artist, an outlet on which I have become to rely. If we loose confidence in our postal service we will look for alternatives, e-cards are looking like a more attractive alternative which will be bad news for the many people like me who make their living in the greeting card industries.

Our own regular postman is lovely, he goes out of his way to provide a good service but I fear that his job is being made very difficult by the volume of junk mail he is expected to carry and by other staffing problems.

There was a time, not so very long ago, when the post arrived first thing in the morning, when stamps did not cost an arm and a leg and we had two deliveries a day. Letters hardly ever went missing and first class post arrived the next day. I would like those days back again please dear Santa. I am becoming a grumpy old woman, sorry for the rant.


  1. I even got a package with nothing in it...It was stolen out of the envelope and I only got the envelope
    that was so weird...and my postcards not always reaches there adress,
    many people collect postcards so maybe the postmen too?

  2. I understand what you are going through. I have had alot of mail missing coming to me. I have complained with our main post office and still have problems.


  3. I have read advice to never send a card in a colored envelope, as they are assumed to be greetings cards with the potential of money inside.

    I hope e-cards don't become the norm. I still look forward to the arrival of the mail every day!

  4. Valerie, I have had a few episodes like those described here too. I am a artsy-paper-holic and would be heartbroken if it gets to the point of no return for artists like yourself to survive in the greeting card industry! Thought I like e-cards, they can never come close to the real thing! Thanks for this post that addresses the issue. Vicki

  5. I will watch this with interest. Like you I am very concerned about the deterioration and fragmentation of the post service and also about the closing of post offices. I realise in these days of modern communications like texting and e-mails that things have to change in some ways but there is nothing nicer than receiving a card or letter through the post not just for birthdays and Christmas but all through the year as well:)

  6. We are very lucky with our post here Valerie - we seem to know all the postmen and they are very nice. I did read that some cards this year are too fat to go through the ordinary price stamp guide and that they are therefore needing extra postage - could this have anything to do with it.

  7. Hi Weaver, no, the cards were not that fat! I had the correct postage. Our postmen and women are also very nice but there is something amiss somewhere in the system.

  8. I live in Maine..lets see, where to begin?
    Grandparents in the UK money sent by registered mail never turns up.
    Large packages stuffed in my small mailbox.
    My mail delivered to other houses just because they have the same number.
    Other peoples mail on a average of two a week.
    About the only times I use the mail is when I order online and have gifts sent straight to their house or Interflora.
    I love e-cards and use Jaquie Lawson's animated cards, a big hit with everyone.

  9. I think we've been lucky with our post, with no problems and it arrives before 10am - delivered with a cheery smile by a postman who knows everything about everybody ;-) Useful in a village where hardly any houses have numbers or visible post boxes!

    But did have my first bad parcel experience a few weeks ago - delivered by a courier. It was a package of clothes from a well known Swedish company - which was screwed up and stuffed through the letter box, the plastic packaging had been cut open and some of the items were missing!

    I have mixed feeling about cards - I'm thrilled people buy cards of my prints but maybe the days of posting dozens of cards at Christmas is coming to an end?


  10. Hello from Michigan,

    I love sending packages that are all fancy up with stickers and such. I take a allot of effort to send packages and cards. But this year has been dreadful. Two lovely note cards with fancy envelopes went missing and they were send to friends only a short distance away. The plain envelope made it. Strange, hey.

    Another 2 package to Australia sent in June still has not arrived. I have been sending package to this person for 11 years without a problem,what went wrong this year.

    I am very dismayed with our US Postal System. I even filled out there online "What do you think" for the first time ever. They really need to hear that they need to address lost mail problems or people will no longer use them. Sorry for the venting. LOL Hugs Judy Hey did you give the Dorset Buttons a go???? Merry Christmas.

  11. Hello dear Acornmoon!!! Your blog is very cool but now I want to say what you are seems like on me!!! :) Really, I like to send and received diferntlly post and postcard too!!( If you want, you can seen it in my blog's post!) :o)
    I am agree with you-that postman's work is very hard! Have a nice day, and Happy Holidays!!!

  12. Well..this is just about the most adorable thing i ever saw..your illustrations are WONDERFUL...You are so talented...what a delight..this was sure my lucky day to find you..i found you through Gigi at A Magpies Fancy...

    I can't wait to go and read your blog right now...

    and I am following along....

    I'll be back very soon....


  13. It is dreamlike works.
    Anyone may surely spend happy time here.

    From the Far East.

  14. It seems the letters with the most heart~ that we are most excited to send/receive are lost.
    Like you... I rely on the paper cards to hold value & for sweet letters to continue to travel the world. The cost of postage is not equaled by the quality of handling & delivery.
    On a different note~
    Are you able to purchase the Martha S. paper punches in England?
    If you are unable to... I can purchase a corner punch here and mail it to you, dear friend.
    Hope your holiday season is filled with great memories!

  15. I have had several things go missing in the post, very frustrating!

  16. Here in Oregon USA they have been telling us to have neighbors watch for package deliveries because thieves are following the delivery trucks...boo hoo.

    Stay Cozy, Carrie

  17. Oh it's an awful fact that the post is unreliable, but even so I think there will always be a market for lovely cards and yours are simply beautiful. An e-card means nothing to me x

  18. I couldn't agree with you more Valerie. The post office must get a massive revenue from delivering junk mail but they don't pay sufficient attention to what they are doing with our "paid for" post.

    We have a very similar feeder for our fat balls. We are going overboard feeding the birds in this snowy weather but I wish the squirrels wouldn't hog the bird tables.