Squamish postal woes

One thing I don’t like about Squamish is mail.

It seems that there is always something trivial that makes me tick, no matter where I live. In Whistler, it was the parking (don’t get me started). In Squamish, it’s the mail.

My issue with mail started before I even moved here. I was trying to set things up like home insurance and a BC Hydro account, which required inputting my address. I was stumped on the postal code: the property title, MLS listing sheet, and Canada Post website each gave me different postal codes. Curious.

Once we moved into our complex, it dawned on me that I didn’t know where the mail would physically arrive. I e-mailed our property manager, who informed me that there were no mailboxes. I’d have to set up a PO Box.

No mailboxes?!

So I set up a PO Box and asked the clerk at the post office what would happen to any mail that had been sent to my regular address. She said that it would get returned to the sender. Not ideal.

(Incidentally, we later received a postcard in our PO Box that was addressed only to our house address and didn’t include the PO Box info. The Canada Post folks are good and willing to go the extra mile!)

Despite looming threats of strikes, all mail that has been sent via regular Canada Post has been a breeze to deal with (minus the fact that I have to go to the post office to retrieve it, but that’s no big deal).

Since we’ve been here, these are a few of the mail-related annoyances I’ve encountered:

  • I thought I lived in Squamish, but apparently I live in Garibaldi Highlands. That’s what my mail has to say.
  • When it came time to fill out the census a few months back, I was concerned that I did not receive anything in the mail (especially with the whole PO Box versus normal address thing). I phoned to clarify things and was told about protocol since I lived in a “remote rural area”. I laughed. I would describe my living situation as urban to extremely urban.
  • Similarly, I had to phone in to the municipality to make sure that my property taxes got to me. You know, seeing as they can’t just send it to my property.
  • When it comes to private courier services:
    • FedEx has got it figured out. Props to those guys.
    • UPS is okay and they have an office downtown Squamish. It was tough for me to get a piece of mail when I first moved here because I didn’t have anything with my address on it. A near crisis was averted, luckily.
    • Purolator — well, let’s just say it’s not my favourite. Unfortunately, it seems to be the courier of choice for so many. My best experiences with Purolator have involved a sticky note on the door telling me to pick up my parcel at the downtown post office. Two out of two times, the post office has told me that Purolator is several days behind on deliveries — once, I had to go to the post office THREE times before the parcel was there. This is after getting the sticky note and waiting 24 hours prior to picking it up. My worst experience with Purolator involved one of the top 3 most frustrating customer service calls of my life and lots of running in circles. It all eventually worked out, but I nearly had to take the ferry to Gibson to get my parcel!

I fully realize how trivial my mail drama is — but I imagine this might resonate with about Squamish person or two.

The real test will be in a few months, when my online Christmas shopping begins. Stay tuned…

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