The Malta Communications Authority (MCA) is publishing the results of a Household Perception Survey carried out between July and August 2018. The following are some of the main findings of the study, based on telephone interview responses of 500 households.
The survey results confirm the trend of declining demand for addressed letter mail resulting from e-substitution and substantial increases in packets and parcel volumes resulting from the growth in eCommerce. Whereas letter mail volume decline continues to drive changes, the growing e-commerce industry creates new opportunities and demands for the postal market to respond to and to minimise the negative impact of letter volume decline.
Overall Service Quality
74% of respondents report being satisfied with MaltaPost’s overall quality of postal service. A decrease from 94% in 2016.
42% of respondents report to have spent less than €5 on posting articles in the last twelve months as against 28% in 2016.
Sending and Receiving Letters
59% of respondents (58% in 2016) report that the number of addressed letters received per week remained the same over the past 12 months, 34% of respondents (32% in 2016) report a decrease, and only 6% (unchanged from 2016) report an increase in the number of letters received.
Meanwhile, 43% of households report not sending any mail, 31% report that the amount of mail sent remained the same, 24% report a decrease, and only 2% report an increase. The most common alternatives to sending letters are jointly email and voice communications.
Sending and Receiving Parcels
27% of respondents report an increase in the number of parcels received in the last 12 months, up from 18% two years earlier. MaltaPost and DHL were identified as the two operators that were most likely to deliver a parcel to a home address. Delivery of a parcel to a home address remains the preferred method of receipt for 93% of respondents.
14% of respondents report to have sent a parcel with MaltaPost in the last twelve months. Only 3% of all respondents used an operator other than MaltaPost to send a parcel.
Prices of Postal Services
43% of respondents would consider using an alternate service if the price of letter mail were to increase by 5-10%, with email being most commonly cited as a potential alternate service.
Respondents are likelier to find the price of a parcel sent overseas to be less reasonable than in 2016. 67% of respondents believe that registered mail prices are reasonable (a decrease from 72% in 2016).
Use of Postcodes
The number of respondents who claim to always write the postcode when sending a letters has fallen from 63% in 2016 to 45% in 2018. 63% of respondents claim to be unaware of MaltaPost’s online Post Code finder.
Speed of Delivery
66% of respondents report next day delivery (D+1) to be an acceptable lead-time, up from 58% in 2016. When asked to compare next day delivery (D+1) to deferred delivery (D+3) at a cheaper price, 43% of respondents would consider deferred delivery depending on the urgency of the postal article. However, another 41% of respondents answered that they would not opt for deferred delivery, irrespective of urgency.
Acceptability of a 5-day week
54% of respondents would find a 5-day week for the delivery of postal articles as acceptable, instead of the standard 6-day week. 15% would find a 5-day week to be a minor inconvenience whilst 18% would find a 5-day week to be inconvenient but workable. Only 13% would consider it to be a major inconvenience.
When asked on whether they could trade-off between delivery frequency and price, respondents were evenly split (51%-49%) between maintaining the 6-day service at a price increase and switching to a 5-day service at current prices.
Visiting the Post Office
73% of respondents claim to have visited a post office within the past 12 months, down from 84% in 2016. Respondents noted paying bills (42%) and collecting parcels (46%) as the main reasons for visiting the post office. 76% of respondents claim to be satisfied with the opening hours of MaltaPost’s post offices. However, only 15% report being very satisfied with waiting times, down from 43% in 2016.
45% of respondents who contacted MaltaPost did so in order to make a complaint. These complainants make up 7% of all the people surveyed (10% in 2016).
The most common complaints relate to loss of mail (46%) followed by delay (17%), with mis-delivery and failure to attempt delivery by a postal officer jointly at 14%. Of those respondents who claim to have filed a complaint, 54% were not satisfied with MaltaPost’s handling of their complaint (15% in 2016) whilst only 21% claim to have been satisfied (71% in 2016).