Current Issues in Consumer Law 7/2009
Post office changed its delivery methods – customer service must be monitored
The storage times of All-in-One Parcels and letters will be decreased by one week and in future there will be only one notice of receipt. The Consumer Agency expects that Itella will inform its customers and monitors the effects on its customer services. The service procedures must be developed further, if the amount of uncollected letters and parcels increases, for example.
The target for Itella and distance selling companies has been to speed up the circulation of letters and parcels. For the consumer this means that parcels and letters must be collected more promptly than before.
In future there will be only one notification of receipt. Itella has promised to include in the notification information about how long the item is stored and on which date it will be returned to the sender if it remains uncollected. The Consumer Agency considers it necessary to also include the said reference in the delivery terms and conditions.
More flexibility to parcel collections during holiday season
Holiday season, especially in summer, may make the parcel collection more difficult within the specified time. The Consumer Agency suggests that the Post Office will send a notice of the received item to the consumer with a text message. The consumer should also notify the Post Office that the item will be collected after the holiday. The delivery terms and procedures regarding the deliveries for holiday residents should also be explained in the delivery terms and conditions. Overall, the Post Office delivery terms and conditions with service appendixes are a rather complex entity. The consumer should therefore be offered easy-to-understand information about the more essential Post Office practices in local post offices and over the Internet.
For distance selling customers the Post Office offers a service where the circulation of items is even faster – the storage time may be reduced to 10-14 days. The consumer receives a notification about a received parcel and the latest collection date on his/her mobile phone.
The Consumer Agency and Itella Oyj started negotiations about the amended delivery terms and conditions in November 2008. According to the Postal Services Act the Communications Department will ultimately decide on the Post Office contract terms after receiving a recommendation from the Consumer ombudsman.
Itella: Delivery, contract and product terms.