Angry Post Office customers have slammed the service as “shambolic” and “a joke” after the operation faced a chaotic first week following its move to WH Smith’s.
Chesterfield Crown Post Office shut down last Wednesday and moved its service from Market Place to a new home in The Pavements.
Bosses say feedback has so far been positive but the Derbyshire Times has been inundated with furious customers claiming they were facing queues of up to one hour.
Jane Thiele, 41, of Somersall Lane said: “It’s become a joke.
“The idea to move the shop here was definitely not thought through properly.”
Customer Tyler Shortland, 28, of Linden Avenue, added: “It’s a nightmare. You can’t just nip out on your lunch break to send a letter any more, its impossible with the amount of people waiting.”
Mum-of-three Sarah Johnson, 36, was also queuing.
She said: “People shouldn’t have to wait this long just to buy a stamp. It’s a waste of my time. At least at the last Post Office there was somewhere to sit, but now I’m having to juggle my bags and the kids squashed in this line.”
Chesterfield was one of about 70 Crown Post Offices earmarked for franchise to ensure branch was sustainable and no longer reliable on Government funding. Only one member of staff transferred to WH Smith but the Post Office said there had been no compulsory redundancies.
Derbyshire Times Facebook friends have also criticised the controversial move.
Laura Anne Batterham said: “I went on opening day and I spoke to a few elderly customers who were in great discomfort at standing for extended periods of time .
“It’s so much smaller than the old place which being in a retail store I understand but for a main town centre post office this is nothing short of shambolic.”
Louise Evill added: “Had to queue out of the door on Monday, hardly any seats for the elderly so they have to stand in a very long queue.”
India Jay Tromans said: “Stupid idea. Far too small for the amount of customers.
“My mum had to queue for an hour the other day just to withdraw money as there’s no longer a post office cash machine.”
But the Post Office has hit back at criticism saying the move promises extended opening hours and access seven-days-a-week.
A spokesman said: “We have been pleased with customers’ overall reaction to the service.
“We have had positive feedback on the look and layout with many people telling us that they are surprised that the Post Office area has so much space in WH Smith.”
He added the service experienced minor technical issue with one of the counters on Monday, meaning it could not be used.
“We would like to apologise to any customers who had to wait longer than usual because of this fault, but also wish to assure them that we are confident that the service at the new branch is of high quality and will meet their expectations,” he said.