WIGAN folk are still getting Christmas cards through their letterboxes – three weeks after they should have arrived.
And in one instance it took an incredible 25 days for a first class-posted greeting to get just two miles across town.
The Royal Mail blames a backlog caused by the heavy snow and freezing temperatures.
But, with festive spirit a distant memory, angry customers say that is a poor excuse when the roads have been completely clear since before the turn of the year.
Carole King thought a friend had forgotton her when a card failed to drop through the letterbox before Christmas Eve.
But long after the decorations and other cards had been cleared away it arrived on Wednesday. And it had only been mailed from another part of Wigan, had a first class stamp on it and had been franked on December 18.
Carole, the co-owner of the Seven Stars Garage in Wigan’s Wallgate, said: “For a Christmas card sent first class to take 25 days to get from one side of Wigan to the other is just plain ridiculous.
“I always get a card from this friend but one didn’t arrive this time round and I wondered whether he had forgotten me. I’d taken all the others down by the time it finally arrived. I wasn’t sure what to do with it.”
More importantly the slow post has inconvenienced the garage’s business.
Carole added: “I posted out three cheques on December 6 but the people I sent them two said they never got there so I had to stop the cheques - costing me £10 apiece - and had to send out some new ones. My daughter sent her Christmas cards out with that same post as those first three cheques and they didn’t arrive at their destination either.
“It’s all very well saying there was a problem with snow and ice but that went ages ago.”
Carole is certainly not alone. David O’Brien from Kitt Green said: “I’ve so far had five Christmas cards since the new year began and wouldn’t be surprised if a few more had yet got here - there are certainly other folk we usually get cards from who haven’t been in touch this time.
“The latest one to arrive - on Tuesday - was posted from Kent on December 22. I accept that wasn’t in time for the guaranteed Christmas delivery deadline, but in spite of the bad weather back in December it should have got here long before a week after 12th Night!”
A Royal Mail spokesman said: “We apologise to customers in Wigan who may have experienced delays to mail deliveries recently though the vast majority of mail is being delivered on time.
“Management and staff are working hard to get service back on track as soon as possible. Special measures are being implemented including using managers to help sort mail for delivery.
“If a customer has a particular inquiry regarding their postal service, we would urge them to contact Royal Mail customer services on 08457 740740 or via the website at www.royalmail.com so that the matter can be logged and fully investigated.”
This is the second time Royal Mail has come under fire in Wigan this year. Customers have already complained about having to queue for long periods to collect undelivered parcels at the sorting offices in Wigan town centre only to find when they get to the front that the packages have not been there.