Almost half the users of postal services are satisfied with the quality of service

Almost half the users of postal services in Portugal (about 46.6%) are satisfied or very satisfied with the quality of service evolution of posts in the last twelve months. Only 3.1% of inquired users are not satisfied with the quality evolution of posts, according to the results of a survey on postal service use carried out by ANACOM in January.

The most used postal service is normal mail, with 68% of those interviewed saying that they use this service. Priority mail is used by 57.4% of those interviewed.

According to the survey, each interviewed person receives per month 14,7 ''letters, direct mail'' and a mail order.

Most of those interviewed, 98.6%, say that mail delivery in their area, regardless of the region, is made on a daily basis. In the northern region, 97.5% of those interviewed say that delivery is made every day, a value that is 98.5% in Alentejo, 97% in Algarve, 99% in the Lisbon area and 100% in the Centre region. In the Azores, 100% of those interviewed also state that delivery is made daily, while in Madeira this rate falls to 94.7%.

The ''no non-addressed advertising here, please'' sticker is placed on 15.9% of mail boxes, 3.6 per cent more than in June 2005. The sticker is respected in 53.9% of the cases.

In post offices, sending normal correspondence is the most used service (mentioned by 86.4% of those interviewed), followed by the payment of services, with 23.1% of answers; receiving registered mail, for 21.3% of those interviewed; and buying stamps, with 20.6% of the answers. Sending packages is made by 17.6% of those interviewed, while 0.5% goes to post offices to access the Internet.

Post offices are used mainly close to home (71.2% of those interviewed). Postal agencies have a more dispersed use, with 41.1% of those interviewed using them close to home and 25.5% close to work.

The three most important items in post offices are the efficiency of staff, for 23.6% of those interviewed; followed by the time waiting to be attended, for 21.4% of the answers; and the opening hours, 19.5%.

In postal agencies efficiency is also the most important item, for 21.1% of those interviewed; but location and opening hours are ahead of the time waiting to be attended, which is one of the main items in post offices. In fact, waiting time is the item that mostly leads to lack of satisfaction within the users of in post offices. About 17.8% say that they are poorly satisfied or not satisfied with the waiting time at post offices.

The average waiting time in post offices is 15 minutes, falling to 12 minutes at postal agencies. However 54.6% of those interviewed state that they wait for 10 minutes or less, while this rate rises to 61% in postal agencies.

The replacement of some post offices by postal agencies is known by 36.2% of those interviewed, 17.1 per cent more than a year ago.

Regarding complaints, 9.7% of those interviewed have already filed a complaint at post offices, against 6.7% six months before. The main reasons for complaint are delivery at wrong address, delay in delivery, and loss of object. The average time for the answer to the complaint fell from 11 days, in June 2005, to six days, in January this year.

The survey also shows that those using the Internet receive in average one more mail parcel per month than non users. Regarding letters, the difference is one more letter for those who use the Internet.

The universe defined for this survey, carried out in January this year, was made up of users of at least one postal service in Mainland Portugal and in the autonomous regions of Madeira and the Azores.

The sample size was defined in order to assure a maximum error margin of 3.5%, for the main results, for a confidence level of 95%. 920 face-to-face and direct interviews were made, in addition to a telephone collection of 320 observations to assess the usage rate of postal services.

The field work took place between 9 and 26 January and was carried out by Consulmark.