Deutsche Post slacking off, customers complain

Germany’s main mail carrier Deutsche Post has its customers hot under the collar this summer as it uses the seasonal slowdown to cut back on their letter delivery service.

Deutsche Post slacking off, customers complain
Photo: DPA

Complaints against the privatised firm based in Bonn are on the rise as delivery is delayed on account of the typical 20 percent drop in demand for postal services in July and August.

Deutsche Post spokeswoman Barbara Scheil told the German daily Berliner Zeitung that only regional mail is being sorted on Sundays and most letters dropped off on the weekend would not be delivered until Tuesday at the earliest.

Scheil also admitted that one shift in each of the 15 mail sorting centres are being cut back on Mondays.

Customers are taking their complaints also to the federal communications regulator (Bundesnetzagentur) about the cutbacks.

“We’ve been registering slightly more complaints over the drop in post service,” a Bundesnetzagentur spokeswoman told the paper. “However, as long as Deutsche Post provides universal service – and it does – we have no reason to file a complaint with them.”

As Germany’s universal postal service provider, Deutsche Post must meet an average of one-day delivery on 80 percent of the letters and parcels it receives. Ninety-five percent must be delivered within two days. If complaints made to the Bundesnetzagentur continue to increase, however, it could result in the former national postal monopoly losing its value added tax (VAT) exempt status.

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PostNord to continue Danish deliveries until 2023

The Danish arm of Swedish-Danish post distribution company PostNord is to continue delivering the country’s post until at least 2023 after a new deal was agreed with the government.

PostNord to continue Danish deliveries until 2023
PostNord will deliver Denmark's letters until at least 2023. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Post Danmark – the Danish subsidiary of PostNord – extended its contract to deliver post in the country with the government and its allied left wing parties, the transport ministry confirmed in a statement on Monday.

“Distributions of post is an important societal task which every sitting government must take responsibility for,” transport minister Benny Engelbrecht said in the statement.

A “large proportion” of people in Denmark still “do not receive their post digitally and therefore need to receive their post at their home address,” Engelbrecht said.

“It must be possible to receive a letter from your family and to write to your family, regardless of where in the country you live.

“That’s why the deal with Post Danmark has been extended, so Danes can be reassured that post will get through while political work to secure a new, long-term postal agreement continues,” the minister said.

The Danish government owns 40 percent of PostNord, with 60 percent owned by its counterpart in Stockholm.

The company has faced sharp criticism on several occasions since it began announcing losses in 2012. The Danish state has spent to keep the Danish side of the company afloat. Inefficient mail distribution and poor financial management have been among the criticisms.

PostNord was established in 2009 via a merger of the formerly-national Post Danmark and Sweden’s Posten.