ANACOM orders CTT to make changes which enhance the robustness and reliability of quality of service measurement

ANACOM - Autoridade Nacional de Comunicações has ordered CTT - Correios de Portugal to implement a set of amendments aimed at enhancing the robustness and reliability of the system used to measure the quality of service indicators of the universal postal service. This comes after it was concluded that the current system has multiple weaknesses.

ANACOM's decision follows the recommendations of an independent entity (Grant Thornton), contracted to audit CTT's system for measuring quality of service indicators in 2016 and 2017.

Based on the audit report, ANACOM concluded that the procedures used to measure Quality of Service Indicators do not guarantee anonymity of the panellists; this may mean that specific treatment is given to the test postage used in the sample to make measurements and that this treatment is more favourable than the treatment given to actual postage.

Furthermore, in the measurement of waiting times, the fact that the person contracted to carry out the measurement is easily recognisable may lead to CTT employees behaving differently when the measurement is being performed as compared to normal service.

As such, since the procedures implemented by CTT may not ensure that the values reported for the quality of service indicators properly correspond to the quality of the service that is actually provided, ANACOM decided to order a number of changes in order to ensure accuracy and comparability, for example:

  • the procedures for sending test objects to the panellists by the measuring entity must be carried out:
      • by that entity in large urban centres and through other providers, other than CTT, in other regions of the country;
      • by that entity or by other entities contracted for this purpose, other than the CTT, in various postal establishments and not always in the same establishments, providing a rotation of the establishments selected;
      • over several days of the week, not on a single predetermined day;
  • the test objects must not differ in appearance from actual postage items and must not be easily distinguishable from real postage items;
  • the use of test objects with electronic recognition devices (transponders) is prohibited except with ANACOM’s prior authorisation.

Also according to ANACOM's decision, the panellists and introduction and reception points that are or may have been part of the panel between October 2016 and December 2018 may not form part of the quality of service indicator measurement panel and may not be reincorporated into the panel for the next three years.

ANACOM also determined that no panellist, postage point or reception point may be part of the panel for more than four consecutive years.

With regard to Quality of Service Indicators on waiting times in postal establishments, a mystery shopper should be used (a person specifically contracted to perform this type of measurement who behaves like a normal customer and is not therefore easily recognisable) The same mystery shopper may not:

  • collect information more than three times in a year in the same postal establishment; and
  • may not collect information at the same establishment before at least four months have elapsed since the last occasion.

CTT is required to implement these measures no later than 1 July 2019 and is to inform ANACOM 30 days prior to the date of their implementation.

ANACOM's decision was preceded by a public consultation and prior hearing procedure which saw participation by a number of undertakings.

The auditing of quality of service indicators was organised by ANACOM under the terms of paragraph 5, article 13 of Lei Postal (Postal Law).

ANACOM also audited indicators on complaints and requests for information, within the scope of the universal postal service and as measured by CTT under paragraph 5 of article 41 of Lei Postal (Postal Law), publishing the results on its website. Meanwhile, ANACOM recommended that CTT adopt measures aimed at reducing subjectivity in the classification of the reasons given as causes of complaints and at reducing the occurrence of errors in the registration of information in the respective information system.