Sunday 19 November 2017

Martina Devlin: Watchdog without teeth won't be able to deliver

Martina Devlin

Martina Devlin

I WAS expecting a letter yesterday. It didn't seem unreasonable to hope it would arrive, since it had been posted during working hours the previous day, at a location eight miles away. But it didn't show up.

Was I taken aback? No, though I was disappointed. Most of us have learned not to depend on An Post for next-day delivery. That's why we rely increasingly on email, and sometimes send birthday texts instead of cards. Volumes of post are falling worldwide, partly because alternatives exist -- and partly because the service is patchy.

ComReg, the telecoms regulator, wouldn't have been surprised by my letter's no-show. It monitors An Post's track record, and is underwhelmed by its next-day delivery rates. Only 85pc of post arrives the following day, according to figures for the first quarter of 2012. ComReg says it should be hitting a 94pc target.

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