MCA Consumer Perception Survey - Postal Services

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.

Complaint Handling

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).

Website Usage

31% of respondents report to have used MaltaPost’s website. The majority use MaltaPost’s website for tracking parcels, followed by searching for postcodes and product information.

 For a more comprehensive picture of the survey, a presentation of the main findings is available here.


Background to the survey function at the MCA

As regulator for postal services, the Malta Communications Authority (MCA) carries out market research on a regular basis. The aim of this market research is to guide the Authority’s decisions, the effects of which are felt by consumers and businesses alike, by providing an additional source of information for such decisions. 

This survey forms part of a series of surveys examining households, businesses and bulk mailers use of postal services and is intended to assess the extent of satisfaction amongst households with the services provided by MaltaPost, as well as to monitor a number of aspects related to the sustainability of postal services (such as price levels, quality and access). 

Methodology and Fieldwork 

The MCA Postal Perceptions Survey addressed to households was carried out by EMCS Consulting on behalf of the MCA via the use of Telephone Computer-assisted interviewing (CATI). Each questionnaire lasted around 20 minutes to complete. 

500 respondents over the age of 18 were chosen randomly in order to create a representative sample, with each respondent identified as being the person mainly responsible for the mail in their household. Respondents’ identities are anonymous, and all relevant information will be presented in aggregate.