Post Office hit by computer glitch
Postal services across the UK were hit by a computer failure affecting the Post Office network.
Customers were told that staff could not deal with anything that required a computer, including posting parcels.
The problem began on Thursday morning but was resolved by late afternoon, a spokesman said.
"We are continuing to monitor the situation closely to make sure our services remain available as normal," he said.
"Post Office branches remained open and arrangements were put in place to ensure that special cash payments were made to pensioners and benefit claimants using the Post Office Card Account," the spokesman said.
"Post Offices across the network are again working normally after a computer problem which had earlier affected branches nationwide for several hours.
"We apologise to all our customers for the service problems experienced in our branches and the inconvenience this may have caused."
Post Office ATMs, Post & Go services and Paystation bill payment and e-topup transactions were unaffected by this problem, he said.
This was not the first time the network has suffered from computer issues.
"We are concerned that this is the fourth major service interruption in the Post Office's electronic systems in nine months," said Andy Burrows, of watchdog Consumer Focus.
"Most branches have only been able to accept cash payments and do manual transactions such as selling stamps. Customers need post office services, including the collection of benefits and pensions, to be reliable and resilient."
In July, a computer problem blocked access for 3.3 million customers with Post Office card accounts.