2014: MCA Perceptions Survey - Postal Services - Small Businesses

The Malta Communications Authority (MCA) has today published the results of a survey that it carried out between June and July 2014, in order to evaluate business perceptions and satisfaction levels regarding postal services in Malta. The business survey, which follows a similar survey carried out with households in April 2014, was conducted via telephone interviews to randomly chosen respondents within a representative sample. A total of 403 businesses participated in this survey.

Results indicate that the majority of businesses claim to have received and sent, more or less, the same number of addressed letters over the previous 12 months.  Notwithstanding this, when compared to a similar survey carried out two years ago the decline in letter mail volumes continued to grow as more businesses resorted to other alternatives such as emails and online services. Moreover, the survey results suggest that businesses have high price elasticity with 64% of business respondents say that they would switch to non-postal alternatives, should the price of addressed letters increase by 5% to 10%.

On the other hand, results from this survey indicate that demand for parcel post services has grown. Indeed, in contrast to 51% in 2011, this time 63% of businesses confirmed that they had received a parcel during the last 12 months. Interestingly, 10% of businesses say they received a parcel only from an operator which was not MaltaPost while 22% of business respondents claim to have received parcels only from MaltaPost. Meanwhile, 31% of businesses say they received parcels both from MaltaPost and other operators.

The survey also shows that 30% of businesses sent a parcel over the past 12 months using MaltaPost. 40% of businesses that have used MaltaPost to send parcels perceive parcel tariffs to be reasonable – this however representing a drop of 17 percentage points over 2011 level. Furthermore, it results that businesses use alternative postal operators more than households to send their postal articles [20% businesses vs. 14% households]. The use of alternative postal operators by businesses to send postal articles slightly increased when compared to 2011 [20% in 2014 vs. 15% in 2011]. According to this survey, the majority of businesses using alternative operators do so for their express features.

With regards to the popularity of post offices in Malta, the survey shows that 72% of businesses have been to the post office during the last 12 months. The frequency with which businesses visit the post office, however, has fallen when compared to 2011. The most demanded services at the post office by businesses relate to parcels and purchase of stamps. In terms of satisfaction, 80% of businesses that have been to a post office say that they are satisfied with the level of services and facilities provided at the post office, down from 89% in 2011. Of the respondents that are not satisfied with the level of services provided at the post office, 53% blame it on queues, 14% complain about the lack of parking facilities while 12% complain about the opening / closing hours of the post offices. 

As for other services offered by MaltaPost, namely collection and delivery of parcels and collection and delivery of registered mail, the majority of businesses claim to be satisfied with these services. To this effect, 83% of businesses are satisfied with the overall quality of postal services provided by MaltaPost. 

On the other hand, the number of formal complaints with MaltaPost grew from 7% in 2011 to 10%. Moreover, only 35% of businesses which have made a formal complaint with MaltaPost were satisfied or highly satisfied with the way their complaint had been handled, down from 45% in 2011.

The survey also sheds some light on the expenditure patterns of businesses with regards to postal services. Accordingly, 43% of businesses claim to have spent more than €30 a year on addressed letters. In parallel, results from the survey also show that 50% of all business respondents are satisfied with MaltaPost's general price levels, down from 69% in 2011.

With respect to MaltaPost's website, the survey shows that the use of this site has increased over 2011, with 58% of businesses claiming to have accessed it. In the 2011 survey only 27% of businesses claimed to have used MaltaPost's website. It is also interesting to note that according to the survey results, 76% of businesses claim that they write down the post-code when sending a postal article.

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