ANACOM orders CTT to correct information given to postal service offices about complaint books

ANACOM has found that some CTT postal service offices have been giving incorrect information to customers of the postal service as regards complaint books, based on incorrect or unclear information received from CTT. After investigating this situation, ANACOM approved a draft decision ordering CTT to correct information on complaint books which it provides to the entities subcontracted to operate postal service offices. This incorrect information has led to situations of non-compliance with the legal regime applicable to complaint books.

ANACOM has ascertained, through enforcement actions and other investigative measures, that the information contained in some of the guidance issued by CTT to the postal service offices does not provide a correct interpretation of the obligations which are set out in the law applicable to complaint books - Decree-Law no. 156/2005 of 15 September, in its current version (Decree-Law no. 156/2005). In its guidance, CTT indicates that complaints about postal services not provided at the postal service office should not be recorded in the complaint book kept in the establishment where the office operates, and that this book should be made available only to customers wishing to complain about services provided at that particular postal service office.

Under the law, entities subcontracted by CTT for the provision of postal services at postal service offices are required to comply with the obligation to make complaint books available immediately. This means that the complaint book is to be made available to any consumer or user who requests it to submit a complaint concerning the provision of postal services, whether or not the complaint relates to a service provided at that particular postal service office.

Furthermore, in cases where postal services are provided through services and bodies of the Public Administration that have contact with the public, it is CTT's responsibility to ensure compliance with the obligations established in law as regards complaint books, specifically the availability of the book and the distribution of the originals, duplicates and triplicates of complaint sheets at the postal service offices that operate there. ANACOM ascertained that the information provided also included incorrect information in this regard.

Incorrect information provided as above has led, for example, to (i) a refusal to make the complaint book available at a postal service office, on the grounds that the complaint presented concerned postal services not provided at that postal service office and (ii) non-availability of the complaint book, as provided for in Decree-Law no. 156/2005, at a site of the Public Administration where a postal service office operates.

Accordingly, ANACOM approved a draft decision giving CTT a period of 30 working days from notification of the final decision to correct the information in question, making it clear that: (i) complaint books at postal service offices should be made available regardless of whether the complaints presented relate to postal services provided at that postal service office; and further (ii) that when the postal services are provided from the premises of the services and bodies of the public administration which have contact with the public, CTT is required to ensure the availability of complaint books as under Decree Law no. 156/2005 of 15 September (current version), as well as the fulfilment of the other obligations established in this Decree Law.

Following this period, CTT has 5 working days to send proof to ANACOM demonstrating that the information in question has been corrected.

The draft decision was submitted to a prior hearing of CTT.