Trouble with parcels and letters

More and more consumers vent their displeasure with lost parcels or incorrectly posted letters. The Federal Network Agency received more than twice as many complaints by mid-May as in the same period of the previous year.

Parcels in a parcel center operated by Deutsche Post and DHL in Berlin

WEither lost parcels or incorrectly posted letters, significantly more consumers turn to the Federal Network Agency. By mid-May, 1512 applications for arbitration proceedings between consumers and service providers had been received, the Bonn authority announced on request. In the same period of the previous year there were only 680 applications and in the whole of 2020 only 1861.

However, it is not clear from the figures that consumer displeasure has increased. Rather, the main reason for the increase in applications is that all postal and parcel service providers have had to take part in the arbitration process since mid-March. Before this was voluntary, most companies refused to participate. As a result, there was little motivation among consumers to even try the authority. A higher awareness of the possibility of complaints and the increasing number of parcels due to the online boom could be further reasons that have led to the increase in procedural requests.

Above all, it is about the loss of shipments or damage to them. In the vast majority of cases, they are parcels, and the proportion of registered and ordinary letters is low. The arbitration proceedings deal with shipments that are posted at the counter or at a parcel station. It’s not about packages that come from online retailers. Because the seller bears the risk of damage during shipping anyway – the “transfer of risk” only takes place at the front door.

However, consumers are not only venturing their annoyance about lost or damaged letters and parcels at the Federal Network Agency. There are numerous photos and videos of unsuccessful delivery attempts and demolished parcels on social media. The video of a Hermes parcel delivery man trying to throw a parcel from the roof of his van onto a balcony on the second floor of a residential building became famous. The first two attempts are unsuccessful: the package bounces off the ballustrade and lands on the sidewalk. Only after the third attempt does the messenger manage to “deliver” the parcel on the balcony.