Friday, October 31, 2008

Deutsche Post: WHY CZERNYRING?

Why, why, why?

There are so many lovely things about the Deutsche Post. They get mail to the US fast. They have cool things like the Packstation. The offices are clean and non-sketchy. One of the bigger downsides is that they're more expensive than any other postal service I've ever used. But the biggest of all is that they still insist, if we are not home to receive a package which has been addressed to our street address and is too big or requires signature, to tell us to pick it up after 4pm the next day at their Czernyring location!!! WHY?!

For a while, they had gotten better and were putting things we weren't here to properly receive in Packstations that are more conveniently located. That was just wonderful because the locations are not great but better, and we can pick them up at any time because the Packstations are automatic and therefore 24/7. But now it's back to Czernyring. There are at least 3 post offices I can think of that are closer to our address than Czernyring, and probably more I don't know about. I can bike to Czernyring and back in probably only 45 minutes, but that's a big chunk of time! (I haven't done it yet because my bike helmet is broken so I need a new one. I know everyone else in Heidelberg rides without a helmet, but I live on a major road and when it comes to head injury I'm pretty risk-averse, so I won't do it.) If I want to take a tram over there, it will take 15-20 minutes to walk to the stop, probably 10-15 to ride over there, another 15-20 to walk to the post office, 5 to pick up the package, then I do the rest back in the other direction all over again. That's an hour and a half not including tram wait times. According to Google Maps, that's about how long it would take me to walk there - and Google Maps has a big yellow warning that the route is missing sidewalks and pedestrian paths. Yes, it is. It is located in an area that is really only friendly by car.

I thought I'd wait until Saturday morning to do it so at least Damon can come with me and I will have someone to talk to on the long journey, but surprise! Saturday is a holiday so the entire state will be completely shut down both Saturday and Sunday this weekend. No wonder Heidelberg is having a long shopping night tonight.

I do want to hand it to Deutsche Post for having an alternative to this disaster, which is to have a Packstation address. We do have one. This means packages can be delivered directly to a PO-Box type of location, skipping the step of coming to our street address, and we can pick them up 24/7. But, remembering to use a separate address for us for packages vs. regular mail is a pain in the butt for friends and relatives so I don't blame them for not doing it. I guess the alternative to that is to have ALL our mail sent to a Packstation and not give people the street address, but that is quite inconvenient as we are 15-20 minutes from our Packstation location, and we don't get packages that often.

In short, if you have sent something to our street address and are wondering why we haven't acknowledged it, please allow us some time to make the journey down to Czernyring to pick it up! It is very far away! And please....don't worry about requiring a signature!


  1. I read somewhere that the only country with more expensive postage is Japan. What galls me more than the expense and how they make you go so far to pick up packages is having to wait in line behind people who are actually only there to do their banking! Why don't they have separate queues for these 19th-century relics? I haven't spoken to a bank teller in ages.

  2. In the case of items being dispatched to destinations in Germany, you can choose a second delivery attempt on the notification card left by the deliverer. You simply tick the second delivery attempt and send the card back to the preprinted address by the date indicated.



    That`s not all. You can appoint someone from your neighbourhood who receives your paket when you are not at home.


    Hope it helps!

  3. Why don't they have separate queues for these 19th-century relics?

    On the other hand, most people in the U.S. not up to their eyeballs in debt still move money around WITH PAPER.

    I guess every culture's got its own annoying banking artifact.

  4. It's not really [i]that[/i] hard to get to Czernyring by public transport.
    I think you're on the north Neckar shore? Bus 34 to Bismarckplatz, tram 26 to Montpellierbrücke. 15 mins, tops, something like 7 mins from Bismarckplatz. Problem is just getting from on top of the bridge to below the bridge...

    Btw, you can go shopping in Hessen today, e.g. in the Rhein-Neckar-Zentrum mall in Viernheim, right on the line 5 tram. Like about another half a million people every year on Allerheiligen - the day is prime shopping every year.

  5. I'm not sure where you live but I agree with kato, you should be able to get closer by public transport so you don't have to walk so much once you're there.
    Thankfully, apparently the post office that is ours (according to my roomie) is at Betriebshof/Hauptbahnhof, and not only is that only three stops on the bus but I also pass it on the bus every day.

  6. Meh, they closed my own post office (in HD-Rohrbach) last year.
    Now have to use the one by HBf too, which actually dares to have a 2-hour siesta every day. Seriously, is this Spain now?

    The one at Czernyring is basically the local DHL center. Just like all local Fedex stuff is distributed from Mannheim-Friedrichsfeld ;-)

  7. I walked to Czernyring once from the vicinity of the Marriott ... it really sucks. Therefore it meets the criteria of DP. In our case, packages get banished to a little store that closes long before we can ever get to it, leaving Saturday as the only day we can get packages before they are sent back to the sender. Typisch DP.

  8. Ian: So that's why the lines are always so long...

    Michael: Thanks for the tip! I hadn't even noticed that on the other side and I think I will try it. Of course, it doesn't prevent them from trying to deliver while I'm in the shower....;)

    Cliff: On front of you in line at the grocery store...and all you wanted was a gallon of milk...and they didn't start writing anything on the check until everything had been rung up....

    Kato: Hey, I didn't realize Viernheim was in Hessen. Didn't really need anything Saturday, though...just the post office. ;) I still think getting to Czernyring is a bit much to ask when there are so many closer post offices. It's a real ass-haul over there!

    Viviane: The post office of which you speak is closer to me than having that as your local post may not save you from having to pick things up at Czernyring!

    Kato: And why do they have that siesta anyway!?

    Mike B: I don't see why they don't have package pickup at one's local post office...local meaning the neighborhood one! DP certainly must be making enough money to handle this.

  9. Using the Packstation isn't the solution for such problems.
    I let parcels send to my packstation address in Sophienstraße. But it happens more often now, that the packstation is full and then the parcel is re-directed to a post office where I can pick it up then (only during opening hours of course). And instead of using a post office nearby, like the one in Sophienstraße itself, it is redirected to Czernyring post office with all the problems mentionned to pick it up there!!!


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