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Blackburn man's anger over Post Office 'nosy parkers'
A DRIVER from Blackburn has spoken of his anger after he was turned away from a post office because he refused to tell staff what was in his parcel.
Steve Raphael went to the Whalley Banks branch to post a children’s toy he had sold on internet auction site eBay to the winning bidder.
But he was told nothing would be sent unless the clerk knew what was in the package.
Last month the Post Office tightened up restrictions on what could be sent by mail.
The 53-year-old said: “I was asked what was in my parcel and I said nothing prohibited. The girl dug her heels in and I dug in mine and the end result was I left with my parcel.
“I have been refused service because I did not want to tell them what was in the box. It’s wrong. We live in a democracy.”
Mr Raphael, who lives in Grafton Street, Hollins Bank, said he had never been asked before and had sent around 30 parcels in the past month, items he had sold on eBay.
He said: “I’m not a serial complainer but I’m seriously hacked off. It’s a disgrace.
“They are not entitled to ask what is in my parcel. It’s actually a small plastic garage for cars but it’s the principle. What will be next, ‘where are your papers?’.”
Mr Raphael said he later visited the main Post Office in the town centre and was shown a leaflet detailing prohibited and restricted items, which came into force on July 15 On its website, the Post Office said: “You are responsible for checking whether or not an item is prohibited or restricted.”
Mr Raphael said: “I’m going to use a courier who is subject to the same rules and regulations but would not have the audacity to ask me what’s in my mail. I’m also going to speak to Jack Straw about it.”
The branch manager at Whalley Banks declined to comment.
A spokesman for the Post Office said: “As part of our terms and conditions, we can’t accept any package without knowing what is inside.
“If the item is going abroad, there is further impact because if the contents are not described accurately the item will be returned by customs.”
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