If you have been living in Prague for some time, you understand what I mean just from the title of this article. It’s a real struggle, folks.
First off, if you’re new in the city, I must break the ice and let you know that the Czech Postal Service is one of the most unreliable systems that this country has to offer (if you are a foreigner) — in line with many other bureaucratic policies but that’s another story for another time.
To put it simply, if you order something online and want to have it delivered to your place, you may often not get it. It will come into the country, sure, but you may never get notified that it reaches your door when and if it does.
There were many instances after ordering anything online, I’d get emails saying that it has been sent back because of a failure to deliver. I’ve lived in 6 different places in the city and it has remained true for each place.
For the most part, the Czech postman is supposed to leave you an official written slip inside your mailbox saying that you have a package that needs to be picked up from the post office (if its too large to fit inside your mailbox). It seems that the Czech postmen have agreed to bypass this step more and more often, leaving you completely clueless as to when you’re supposed to go and make a trip to the post office other than referring your vague tracking information online.
It wouldn’t be so bad if the physical post offices were efficient, you see. Then none of us would have any problem making the trip and simply asking the staff if our package is there. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like this and all Czech post offices seem to have a line with a wait time of at least 20 minutes. Usually the staff do not speak English so it’s best that you brush up on your Czech skills or have a translator in hand ready to go.
This not only happens to me, but a good amount of other fellow expats as well. Not sure if its some sort of small rebellion against foreigners from the postal service, but it’s still a pain to deal with and the mail is always a gamble – sometimes you’ll get it but often times it’s been lost somewhere or sent back.
Just a fair warning and something to be aware about while in Prague.