Better couriers, please

The National Telecommunications and Posts Commission (EETT) yesterday invited the public to contribute to improvements in the existing Charters of Obligations to Consumers (COC) of postal services and individual vouchers, the accompanying documents in courier services. «The participation of all interested parties in this process, with the submission of relevant comments and proposals until June 7, 2002, will contribute significantly to an improvement in postal services,» EETT said in a statement. Contributions may be made to its website (, which carries a draft plan and proposals for improvements. The commission said it aims to issue a series of directives and instructions to firms licensed to provide courier services on the minimum terms which vouchers should contain. EETT said the vouchers and COCs courier firms had submitted in order to be registered had been found to be seriously wanting, particularly with regard to safeguards for consumers. One of the most important findings was that most of the documents referred in full detail to the obligations of customers toward the firms but not vice-versa: They either contained no reference to the firms’ obligations or these were generally vague and without specific time limit. In most cases, firms did not compensate in due time and customers were not aware of the details of compensation. EETT said the term «same-day delivery» in Greece was not adequately defined and that by following day delivery abroad, the firms usually meant arrival of the item at the capital of the country of destination. In another development, the ministerial privatizations committee yesterday declared Sofipost, a subsidiary of France’s LaPoste, the preferred bidder in the tender for a 10-percent stake in Hellenic Post (ELTA) and a joint venture in courier services. Seeking to compete with the more conventional banks, the Postal Savings Bank has, in the meantime, taken steps to improve its range of products and upgrade its efficiency.