Under the European Communities (Postal Services) Regulations, 2002, S.I. 616 of 2002 (‘the Regulations’) and directions issued by the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg), An Post is required to publish in its annual report information relating to the Universal Service.
Requirements of the USO (Universal Service Obligation)
Under Regulation 4(2)(a) of the Regulations, An Post is designated as a universal service provider with the obligation to provide a universal postal service.
Under Regulation 4(3)(a), a universal service provider shall guarantee, on every working day and not less than 5 days a week, save in circumstances or geographical conditions deemed exceptional by ComReg, as a minimum:
i one clearance, and
ii one delivery to the home or premises of every natural or legal person or, by way of derogation, under conditions at the discretion of ComReg, one delivery to appropriate installations.
Under Regulation 4(4), universal service shall include the following minimum facilities:
a the clearance, sorting, transport and distribution of postal items up to 2 kgs;
b the clearance, sorting, transport and distribution of postal packages up to 20 kgs;
c services for registered items;
d services for insured items within the State and to and from all countries which, as signatories to the Convention of the Universal Postal Union, declare their willingness to admit such items whether reciprocally or in one direction only.
Under Regulation 4(6) the universal services shall cover both national and cross-border services.
Under Regulation 5, a universal service provider shall meet the following requirements with respect to the provision of the universal service:
a the service shall guarantee compliance with the essential requirements;
b an identical service shall be offered to users under comparable conditions;
c the service shall be made available without any form of discrimination whatsoever, especially without discrimination arising from political, religious or ideological considerations;
d the service shall not be interrupted or stopped except in cases of force majeure; and
e the service shall evolve in response to the technical, economic and social environment and to the needs of users.
Under Regulation 8, certain services are reserved for An Post as a universal service provider, namely the clearance, sorting, transport and delivery of items of domestic correspondence, cross-border correspondence and direct mail, whether by accelerated delivery or not, within both of the following weight and price limits (from 1 January 2006)
i the weight limit shall be 50 grams
ii these weight limits do not apply if the price is equal to or more than two and a half times
the public tariff for an item of correspondence in the first weight step of the fastest
The free postal service for blind and partially sighted persons is also reserved to An Post.
Access to Universal Services
An Post provides access to its services through its network of 61 Company post offices, 1,187 postmaster-operated post offices and 178 postal agents. In addition, some 2,714 retail premises sell postage stamps, as active licensed agents. To facilitate physical access to the service, approximately 4,800 post boxes are distributed widely throughout the State. There are 43 designated acceptance points for bulk mail services.
The following is a summary of the current prices for standard services. Full information on An Post products and services together with applicable tariffs is set out in the An Post Guide to Postal Services and the An Post Guide to Postal Rates.
|Ireland & NI
|| Letters (up to C5) (<100g)
||Large Envelopes (<100g)
54c if Ceadúnas or meter
|Registered Post *
* The fee payable for the basic registered service covers compensation up to a maximum of €320.
Further compensation up to a limit of €1,500 is available for €4 and up to a limit of €2,000 for €5 based on declared value at time of posting.
Letters (up to C5) (<100g)
Large Envelopes (<100g)
Registered Post *
* Availability of service dependent on postal administration in destination country. Compensation up to €320 in GB; €150 in Europe; €100 for parcels and €35 for letters outside Europe.
Quality of Service
The quality performance standard for the delivery of intra-Community cross-border mail was set by the European Commission and was transposed into Irish law under Regulation 12(2) of the Regulations and its Schedule. The quality standard for postal items of the fastest standard category is as follows:
D+3: 85% of items; D+5: 97% of items, where D refers to the day of posting.
The Regulations require ComReg to set a quality-of-service standard for the universal service and the standard set for domestic mail must be compatible with those for intra-Community cross-border services. ComReg have set a quality-of service target for domestic single piece priority mail as follows:
D+1: 94% D+3: 99.5%, where D refers to the day of posting.
Monitoring of the domestic quality of service is carried out by TNS mrbi on behalf of ComReg. Details of the most recent results are available from the ComReg website www.askcomreg.ie or from our website www.anpost.ie.
In 2008, there were 351,679 telephone calls made to An Post Customer Services. Most of these were routine or general enquiries rather than complaints. An Post is required to maintain records of customer complaints taking into account the relevant European standard IS: EN 14012:2003. The table provides, in relation to mail, a breakdown of written complaints received from customers during 2008. The total continues to represent a minute fraction of the entire mail traffic handled during the year.
|Written complaints received from customers:
|Items lost or substantially delayed
|Items arriving late
|Mail collection or delivery:
|Time of delivery
|Failure to make daily delivery to home or premises
|Collection times/Collection failures
|Access to customer service information
|Tariffs for single piece mail/discount schemes and conditions
|Change of address (Redirections)
|Behaviour and competence of postal personnel
|How complaints are treated
|Other (not included in above)
Included in the total figure are complaints about registered items, which number 5,559.
In 2008, An Post launched Getting it sorted – Resolving your complaints, which details the An Post Complaint and Dispute Resolution Procedures and which has been distributed nationwide.
Additional information in relation to services provided by An Post is available by phoning An Post Customer Services on CallSave 1850 57 58 59, by email at email@example.com, by visiting www.anpost.ie, or by calling into your local post office.