Bypass Delivery Restrictions and Save on Postage with Parcel Motel

One of the annoying things about living in Ireland is not being able to get things delivered easily and cheaply.

parcel-motel-logoOnline shopping from the likes of eBay or Amazon can bag you some great bargains, until you realise that the seller won’t ship to Ireland, or will charge you a fortune in international postage.

Parcel Motel is a great way to get around these problems. They give you a legitimate UK address to use (in Newtownabbey just north of Belfast in Northern Ireland) from which they will forward parcels for a reasonable fee to any of their pick-up points in Ireland.

How it works

When you register with the service you are allocated a Parcel Motel ID (format PM99999) that forms the first line of your address. Then, whenever you order anything, simply use the following delivery address:

<Your Name>
<Your Parcel Motel ID>
Parcel Motel
1A McKinney Road
Newtownabbey
Antrim
BT36 4PE

The staff at Parcel Motel will accept and sign for the parcel on your behalf. They then scan it into their own system, and you can track where it is by logging into your My Parcel Motel online account.

You need to make sure your Name and your Parcel Model ID are correct in the delivery address of the parcel, because if they don’t match, the package may be rejected.

Collecting your parcel

Within 24 hours of delivery Parcel Motel will then forward the item from their Antrim depot to your pre-defined pick-up location. There are around 100 different locations of Parcel Motel lockers around the Republic, and you can choose whichever one suits you the most.

The parcels are delivered to the secure lockers, and you get notified by text message and email as soon as it’s ready for collection. The lockers are accessible 24 hours a day, and when you turn up it’s just a question of typing in your mobile number and the PIN supplied, and your locker opens.

Restricted delivery

I’ve used Parcel Motel a number of times to buy products that just aren’t available in Ireland, such as the Nexus 4 phone. In the past I’ve used family and friends based in the UK to accept parcels and forward them on – but it seems that Parcel Motel are cheaper and quicker.

Returns

The Parcel Motel service can also be used to return items to certain retailers free of charge. The process works in reverse, in that you drop off the package you want to return to a Parcel Motel locker, and they will forward on direct to retailer.

It’s a much easier and cheaper process than going to the Post Office or calling up a courier to arrange the return of items.

UPC Upgrades

It’s no more than a month since my NTL (UPC) broadband speed was doubled from 3 megabits to 6 megabits, and now I read that from July onwards the they’re increasing the downloads bandwidths again to 20 megabits for the €40 package, and 10 megabits for the €30 package; the one I have (see news item: UPC announces 20Mbps broadband for €40 a month)
At long last we’re achieving reasonable download speeds in Ireland, comparable with other countries in western Europe. Shame that they continue to restrict the related upload speeds so much.
However, they have announced that they’re going to abolish the data caps on their new 20 and 10 megabit packages, so I shouldn’t moan too much, as they now seem to have the best offering on the Irish market

EdFringe systems failure

It’s red faces all round in the Edinburgh Fringe office, as their box office sales are still suspended. They were due to begin selling tickets for this August’s festival shows at 10.00am on Monday (9th June), but because of technical problems with their new box office software, tickets will not be available until next Monday (16th) at the very earliest.
Early reports from the start of the week stated that the software problems were only affecting online sales on the edfringe.com website. However, the continuing downtime has forced the Fringe Society to suspect all ticket sales (including those in person and on the phone) until the problems are resolved.

I have broadband

Joy of joys! I now have broadband, and can waste time at a much faster speed than before.
For the last six or seven months I’ve been making do with different wireless internet connections – all of which have been pretty flaky. With slow download speeds and dropped connections, its kind-of criminal that they sell these wireless services as ‘broadband’. They’re maybe okay for the very occasional web user – someone who checks their email a couple of times a week – but not for me.
Back in Edinburgh I used to have broadband internet over cable (Telewest), and had very few problems with them. In fact, over the 5 years I was a subscriber, I think I only ever had to call the tech support line about three times. And so I decided to go for the same thing here – or more specifically, I am now connected up to UPC Ireland – Broadband Express, giving me a 3 megabit connection.