Quality of forwarding speed of items of correspondence

The Postal Act stipulates that, regardless of the speed of forwarding, at least 90% of ordinary letters using the domestic universal postal service must be forwarded to the recipient within the stipulated time. Thus, in one or three working days, respectively. In order to verify compliance with this requirement, the Postal Act stipulates that the universal postal service provider ensures that compliance is inspected by a person independent of the service provider. In addition to this, the Competition Authority has also from time to time carried out inspections on the speed of forwarding of domestic ordinary letters within the framework of exercising supervision.

The last time the Competition Authority inspected the forwarding of ordinary letters was in the fall of 2022. For this purpose, a total of 1,000 ordinary letters were posted in September and November. Based on the forecasts, it could be assumed that if a more affordable option appears nearly 90% of senders would choose this service. For about 10%, the speed of forwarding a letter is still important and they choose a more expensive service. Accordingly, 101 test letters were sent as priority (forwarding time of one working day) and 899 test letters were sent with standard forwarding time (three working days). Letters were posted in all counties, both in rural areas and towns. Posting took place through Eesti Post letterboxes, which are located outdoors in places accessible 24 hours a day. Only one letter was posted to each letterbox and the next emptying of the corresponding letterbox was noted. The emptying times were given on the letterbox. Then, recipients who participated in the inspection were waited on to provide information on when the letter arrived in their letterbox. The delivery time of the letter was counted as the time that remained between the date of emptying the letterbox following the posting of the letter and the date of receipt of the letter. Only working days were taken into account.

The inspection postings showed that out of 1,000 letters sent, 967 letters could be taken into account when reporting the results, as the date of delivery could not be determined for 21 letters and 12 letters were lost. 937 letters or 95.7% arrived on time. Of these, 83 or 85.6% of priority letters, and 854 or 96.8% of regular letters arrived on time. Out of all delays 73.3% lasted for one day. 12 letters, or 1.2%, out of all posted letters did not reach the recipients. These letters were considered lost.

The check postings carried out by the Competition Authority in September and November 2022 showed that the speed of forwarding of ordinary letters within the country meets the requirement established in the Postal Act only for the forwarding of regular letters. The requirement is at least 90%, but the result for priority letters was 85.6%, which is below the required result. The result for regular letters was 96.8%.