Post NL

Someone sent me a package. I have no idea who it was or what was in it because it’s never arrived.

Instead, I got a notice from Post NL that whoever had sent the package, hadn’t put on sufficient postage. The sender also hadn’t put on a return address. So it was up to me, the recipient, to pay up.

I received this notice the day I returned from my ski holiday, along with a pay of tights I had ordered. An expensive pair of tights, I might add, that I got a run in the first day I wore them. This is important later in the story.

I took my Post NL slip and logged in to the website, per their directions, to pay the postage. On the website, you can see a photo of the package you’re about to finance the delivery of, just to make sure that you want it. It was wrapped in white paper and had my name and address, and a smiley face, hand written across the front. There was no other information.

I asked around to family and friends to see if anyone had sent me anything and no one admitted to it. Seeing as I had no idea what it was, I debated not paying the six euros but my curiosity got the best of me. I forked over the money via Ideal (I could have affixed the amount in postage on the slip and posted it) and waited.

A few days later I got an email saying my package was on its way.

By now, I had told people the story of the mystery package and was getting semi-regular questions from my friends about whether the mystery had been solved. One Tuesday afternoon, I got an email from Post NL saying that they had attempted to deliver the package but I wasn’t at home. So it had been taken to my local Post NL drop off point.

When I arrived home that evening after work, I discovered they had also left a slip, with the information about where to pick up my package. I wasn’t the only one who had discovered this. My dog, assuming the packing slip was a new toy which magically appeared by the front door, had shredded the paper into a million bits. I picked up the bits, put them into a plastic bag and headed around the corner to retrieve the mystery package.

The very nice shop employee helped me sort out the pieces of the packing slip so he could get the number and retrieve my package. It took us ten minutes and a few hilarious comments from other store patrons, but eventually the information was obtained and he went off to get the goods.

He returned with a package of tights.

Remember who I mentioned earlier that I had ordered an expensive pair of tights? I told you this would be relevant.

I wore the tights to work the Monday after they arrived in the mail. Before lunch, a colleague pointed out that they had a run. Annoyed and feeling scammed by purchasing nearly fifty euro tights, I sent an email to the company asking for a replacement pair. While their tights may be rubbish, the customer service was excellent and an employee replied nearly immediately to confirm another pair of tights would be on their way soon.

That afternoon, I got an email from the tights company confirming they had been sent.

So, I took the new tights home and checked the tracking number on the tights against the one I had been sent via Post NL in the email. They matched.

There’s two problems with this. First, I got the notice about the insufficient postage before I knew I’d even be getting a second pair of tights. Two, the tights company printed their address label, including a return address and the package was lacking the distinctive smiley face from the photo on the Post NL website.

I sent all of this information to Post NL, wondering how this could have even been screwed up. Today, they emailed me back, informing me that the original package, the one I had paid the postage for, was sent by regular mail and thus couldn’t be traced. Instead, they offered to refund the postage I had paid.

So, if you’re out there, addressing your packages with smiley faces but leaving off a return address, please let me know.r

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