National postal operator Posti has reacted angrily to the latest changes made by the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority (FCRA) regarding the universal mail service agreement.
The post stressed its concerns over the sustainability of a 99.8% quality level in the five-day delivery of letters, claiming that the new levels would be impossible to reach due to human factors such as employee sickness and mechanical equipment failures. Posti also stated that its current service levels already exceed 99% and that the imposition of a 100,000 (US$109,000) fine is unreasonable given the fact that its competitors can freely deliver letters without any obligations. It also stated that to meet the requirements, the company would need to spend millions of dollars each year. This would have a knock-on effect on customer costs given that Posti is a publicly owned company and receives no subsidies.
Kaj Kulp, vice president – mail services, Posti, said, “In reality, the 99.8% quality requirement is very tight, in fact impossible. A supply of almost 100% means that we should have a stand-by deputy for each employee available immediately upon call. This would increase mail delivery costs considerably, by as much as tens of millions of euros each year.
“A disruption in delivery is often due to unexpected sick leave. The fact is that a 100% quality level cannot be sustainably achieved in any industrial operations. The work is done by people, not machines.
“Internationally, the quality requirements for postal operations have been established. The obligation is not defined as a numerical value, but quality is monitored with a survey measuring item delivery speed. According to the survey, Posti’s delivery services meet the quality requirements set for universal service letters.
“We understand that the FCRA is only doing its job. However, the timing is unusual, because the obligations of universal service are currently being reformed.”
November 9, 2016