Saturday 17 March 2018

An Post threat to terminate contracts over 'extra services'

A row is brewing between An Post and postmasters. Photo: Collins
A row is brewing between An Post and postmasters. Photo: Collins
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

AN POST bosses have threatened to terminate the contracts of postmasters found to be providing services outside their remit, the Irish Independent has learned.

The relationship between An Post and some postmasters continues to be fractious after the company warned against offering customers services such as phone top-ups and money transfers.

Many post offices provide services that are not within the remit laid down by the contract agreed with An Post.

This is particularly relevant to postmasters who also run another business on their premises such as a newsagent's.

However, An Post is moving to clamp down on the provision of such services which the company says represents a breach of contact.

In a letter to hundreds of postmasters, An Post retail operations manager John Daly said those found to be offering services outside their remit may have their contract terminated.

"It is unacceptable to the company that competing services would be allowed to be located on the same premises as the post office and in effect facilitate competitors in drawing business away from the Post Office," the letter states. "Such a situation will result in the location of the post office being deemed unsuitable for purpose."

A spokesperson for An Post confirmed last night that the letter had been sent.

Its details are revealed just days after An Post was forced to defend a letter the company sent to shops which detailed ways in which customers can "completely avoid" visiting their post office.

This correspondence was sent to 3,000 shop owners who operate the 'post point' outlets across the country.

The letter from An Post, seen by the Irish Independent, promotes a new service called 'PostPack' which has yet to be rolled out in post offices.

The letter prompted a furious response from postmasters and led to accusations from Independent TD Michael Healy Rae that An Post is trying to "cannibalise" the network.

Irish Independent

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