Johannesburg - Dierdre Allen was shocked to see a letter she posted returned to her as undeliverable this week, 12 years after she sent it.

Allen sent a brochure from Johannesburg to KwaZulu-Natal in 2002, advertising a workshop that she was hosting.

“This letter has been hanging around for the last 12 years and now it has come back to my postbox,” Allen said.

While the letter was not important, it raised concerns for Allen who still has not received as many as 14 Christmas cards from relatives overseas.

“My mother, who is 90, does not use e-mail. My husband did not get his birthday card in November, and I still haven’t received my Christmas cards.”

Allen has tried to complain to the post office, but has not received any response, despite numerous phone calls and e-mails.

Nobuhle Ngapha, Post Office spokesperson stated that a Post Office supervisor would monitor specific delivery routes if the company received complaints about non-receipt of mail.

“Our Customer Service Centre keeps detailed records of all feedback from customers and this is used to address operational issues,” Ngapha said.

Ngapha stressed that international mail could be affected by the erratic schedules of cargo ships, and as a result delayed by means out of their control.

Staff at the SA Post Office are monitored by CCTV, the scanning of bar-coded items, and physical searches.

Allen, however, is concerned that she may never receive her Christmas cards.

Saturday Star