Perceptions on the postal service in Malta: What do local businesses and consumers think of this essential service?

The MCA has published the results of two surveys it carried out in November 2011, in order to gauge household and small business perceptions and satisfaction levels with regard to the postal service provided by MaltaPost Plc. 
Results indicate that the majority of customers (both households and small businesses) claim that the number of addressed letters sent has remained the same over the previous 12 months.  Notwithstanding this, 32% of households and 23% of small businesses claim to have reduced the number of addressed letters they sent and resorted to other alternatives, namely emails and eCommerce.
‘This comes as no surprise to us. Many people are resorting to other forms of communication to traditional postal services. One, however, must not underestimate the importance of this sector. Postal services have been and will remain an essential service to a nation. Although the traditional notion of a postal service is somewhat changing, it is strongly becoming the backbone to other industries such as eCommerce – an industry that has certainly thrived in the past years and one that is highly dependent on an efficient postal network,’ said Ing. Philip Micallef, Executive Chairman at the MCA. 
The survey also shows that post offices in Malta remain popular, with 72% of households and 64% of small businesses claiming to have visited post offices during the last 12 months. The most popular services provided by post offices to households relate to the payment of bills and the purchase of stamps. Small businesses, on the other hand, mostly visit the post office to purchase stamps and collect parcels. 
In terms of satisfaction, 90% of household respondents and 89% of small businesses say that they are satisfied with the level of services and facilities provided at the post office. As for other services offered by MaltaPost, namely collection and delivery of parcels and collection and delivery of registered mail, the majority of both households and small businesses claim to be satisfied with these services and confident that such postal articles are delivered safely. To this effect, 87% of households and 91% of small businesses are satisfied with the overall quality of postal services provided by MaltaPost.
The surveys also shed some light on the expenditure patterns of households and small businesses with regards to postal services. The majority of households (62%) have been found to spend between €0 - €10 a year on postal articles, whilst 35% of small businesses claimed to have spent more than €30 during the last 12 months.
With regard to the use of alternative operators, the surveys show that only 3% of households used alternative operators to send postal articles. In comparison, small businesses use alternative operators more, with 15% claiming to have used other providers besides MaltaPost to send their postal articles.  
‘With the full liberalisation of this sector just round the corner , one expects that the postal sector will follow trends witnessed in other communications markets. Opening up the market is expected to result in greater choice and value for money for consumers,’ said Ing. Philip Micallef. 
In the coming weeks the MCA will also be carrying out a survey to assess the perception of postal services used by large business mailers.  The results will also be published.
Maltese version of the above text is available in the document attached below.