“Dire service” at Bath Post Office says Newseum follower.

I have been tasked with doing a bit of investigating on behalf of Bath Newseum follower Lyn Sykes.

She writes:

“I wonder if you would investigate the reason why there is such a dire service at our central Post Office in W H Smith in Bath.

When I visited on 21.6.21 at 12.20 there was a queue of 17 people waiting at the main desk and one person serving, while at the self-service points there were eight waiting and one assistant overseeing that section. 

Some twenty minutes later, as I finally sent my parcel off, there was a total of thirty one people queuing.  That was a lot of grumpy locals and tourists as well as several more elderly customers who were clearly uncomfortable standing so long.”

On your behalf l approached ‘the powers that be’ and this is the reply coming your way from a WH Smith spokesperson.

“Many thanks for getting in touch regarding the complaint from one of your followers and we would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused. 

Our store teams work hard to cover the operation of the store on a daily basis, however, on occasion, this may be interrupted by factors such as sickness, staff training and lower staffing due to the ongoing impact of Covid 19.

Please be assured that we have been in discussion with the Area Manager regarding the Post Office in Bath to ensure they receive the best possible support and we have more staff allocated to the Post Office this week.

 We will continue to review our processes and make improvements to ensure we can offer the best possible customer service and we look forward to serving our customers.”

Hope that helps.


  1. You’re right. We live in Petersfield (Hants) and luckily still have a real PO. But even in nearby Chichester (the county town of W Sussex) they have to make do with a PO/bookshop share, and my experience of that is pretty dire. I remember the good old days when Bath (and Chichester) had a PROPER PO!

  2. My wife has to post business related mail frequently, recorded and registered mail, and the ‘Main PO’ in WH Smith’s has become impossible to use for that due to poor staffing, and queues.
    If she has urgent mail I often stop off for her in Village PO’s around Bath – Rode, Hinton Charterhouse, Norton St Philip, etc., – on my cycle rides, where there are no queues and competent staff!

  3. Last time I was there there were 21 people queuing and one (later two) windows in use. The fact is that it is too small – even with every window in use it would have half the capacity of the old Crown PO. Presumably Smith’s pay Royal Mail for the privilege of having the post office in their store (located so users have to walk through the shop). My advice is to buy your postage online and drop your pre-paid parcels off at the sorting office in Railway Place.

    1. Sorry, not Royal Mail. That’s wholly private. It’s the (still, just) publicly-owned Post Office we have to thank for this penny-pinching.

  4. I was one who naively thought the reasonable (but not brilliant) service we got at the old Bath Post Office would remain similar when it moved to WH Smith and Son. Sadly it hasn’t. I have given up trying to send parcels from there and instead I drive to a small PO out of town which offers an inconsistent service but even on poor days it s better than the central PO.

  5. My experiences of this facility have been dire ever since it opened, so much so that I wrote to our MP in the hope that she might have influence with PO Management; it seems sadly not. I avoid using it if at all possible.

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