Singapore Post (SingPost) received 91 complaints about misdelivered and lost mail last year, said Senior Minister of State at Ministry of Communications and Information, Sim Ann on Monday (11 February).
The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) received eight complaints last year pertaining to people receiving notices about mail that could not be delivered to them even when there was someone at home, compared with seven complaints in 2017, said Sim, who was speaking in Parliament.
On this issue, SingPost was unable to give a specific number of complaints that it had received, Sim added.
The minister was responding to questions filed by MP for Nee Soon GRC Lee Bee Wah about SingPost’s recent lapses in delivery service.
Last Thursday (7 February), IMDA announced that it had imposed a $100,000 fine on SingPost for not meeting the regulator’s service standards for delivering basic letters and registered mail in 2017.
Separately, a SingPost postman was arrested last month after after a resident said she found unopened mail in a rubbish bin in Ang Mo Kio.
SingPost has since announced a slew of measures to improve service quality in the coming months. These include hiring 100 additional postmen and extending mail delivery slots to weekday evenings and on Saturdays.
Sim Ann reiterated that SingPost is required to deliver 99 per cent of local letters to addresses within the Central Business District (CBD) and 98 per cent of local letters to destinations outside of the CBD by the next working day under service standards set by IMDA.
Lee asked if more competition should be introduced to improve service standards of mail delivery in Singapore.
In response, Sim said that SingPost was not the sole provider of mail services in Singapore.
“Under our current framework, there is one public postal licensee, that is SingPost but they are not the only ones who are licensed to deliver basic letters, there are four in total,” said Sim, without elaborating.
SingPost has to provide other “universal services” such as maintaining postage boxes and issue stamps, said Sim.
“This does not mean that they have the monopoly on the delivery of basic services. This segment of the market has also been opened up as I explained,” she said.
The segment for parcel and door to door delivery services is also “open and competitive”, she said.
Lee questioned why SingPost was “only” fined $100,000. Sim replied that the quantum was determined by IMDA after it took into account “aggravating and mitigating factors” for SingPost’s service lapses.
When asked under what circumstances would SingPost’s license be revoked, Sim said that the company is the sole public postal licensee, adding that the recent lapses in service standards do not warrant removing its license.
The consumers’ complaints were also about services that were not covered by the service standards, Sim said. As such, IMDA is currently considering additional regulatory standards for SingPost to fulfill, including for delivery of parcels.