The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) announced on Thursday (7 February) that it will impose a financial penalty of S$100,000 on Singapore Post (SingPost) for its failure to meet the delivery standards of local basic letters and registered mail on nine events in 2017.
The authority said that “this was not the first instance that SingPost failed to comply” with the Quality of Service (QoS) standard.
IMDA also noted that it also considered SingPost’s effort to redeliver the delayed mail which ensured late deliveries “were successfully redelivered within one week”.
Ms Aileen Chia, IMDA’s Deputy Chief Executive and Director-General (Telecoms & Post), said, “IMDA expects SingPost to deliver reliable public postal services to consumers and businesses, in compliance with its licence obligations. IMDA has been closely monitoring the performance of SingPost’s postal services, and will take firm action against SingPost for any breaches of the public postal licence requirements and QoS standards.”
Ms Chia added, “The recent service lapses by SingPost indicate gaps in SingPost’s processes and we require them to implement measures urgently to meet the public’s evolving postal needs.”
IMDA said it is assessing the postal company’s quality of service for last year and it will publish the outcome by the middle of this year.
Under the regulator’s Postal Quality of Service standards, SingPost is required to deliver between 98 and 99 per cent of local basic letters within one working day, and 100 per cent within two working days.
This is among several indicators that come under quarterly review by IMDA, and inability to achieve this can result in a fine up to S$50,000 a month for each indicator.
Notwithstanding the above, IMDA noted that it also considered SingPost’s efforts to redeliver the delayed mail, which ensured late deliveries were successfully redelivered within one week.
Having considered all factors, IMDA stated that it has imposed a financial penalty of $100,000 on SingPost for the nine incidents of non-compliance with IMDA’s QoS standards in the period from January to December 2017.
In response to IMDA’s decision, SingPost’s Group Chief Executive Officer Paul Coutts said in a statement: “We deeply apologise to our customers for our service failures. We have heard their complaints and feedback; we feel their frustrations and seek to win back their trust.”
He also revealed a series of measures to improve its service, such as hiring 100 addition postmen and extending mail delivery slots to weekday evenings and on Saturdays.
“The immediate measures we are announcing today will address the most pressing issues and provide improvement in service quality over the next three to six months,” he added.
Of late, the company has been seen making negative publicity, including the latest incident last month when a SingPost postman was arrested for allegedly discarding mail into a dustbin without delivering them in Ang Mo Kio.
On Thursday, the authority reiterated that it will be investigating this incident — separate from the police probe — and “firm action will be taken” against such behaviour which is an offence under the Postal Services Act.
Under the Act, it is an offence for “any officer, employee or agent of a postal licensee to destroy or throw away any postal article or anything contained therein”. If convicted, the offender can be fined up to S$10,000, jailed for not more than three years, or both.
Many went to mainstream medias comment section to question the amount of the fine.
Timothy Low wrote, “$100,000 is too cheap for them.”
Simon Shum wrote, “Don’t tickle them on their toes leh! $100,000 slap so itchy.”
Lynx Ng wrote, “$100,000 fine after $50 million profit.”
Jackson Xu wrote, “They haven’t talked about prepaid mail products such as (Smartpac and AM mails).. $100,000 fine doesn’t do anything to Singpost.”
Koo Hansen wrote, “SingPost CEO: ‘It has been an exceptional quarter’
$50 million net profit, $100k not even a peanut.”
Some also expressed their disappointment when using the company’s service.
Sumiah Buang wrote, “Dear Singpost, my parcel to Madagascar arrived almost 2 months later
after weeks of complaining of bad service. So it becomes a Chinese New Year 2019 parcel instead of Christmas 2018 parcel.”
Jaycee Llemos Santos wrote, “I paid $10 for shipping of my item, singpost didnt deliver it to my home address instead kept it in Thomson Post office. I only realized that i have a parcel after 10 days. Singpost returned it back to Japan when i was about to collect it.
Singpost you should compensate me as i have to ask them to resend my item which cost me $17 bucks!”
Wong Uripekepenak Tangganepanasatine wrote, “Oh no wonder my letter never come about 2 month from LTA until the LTA call me. Have you received my letter? I answer nope. Good if they fine. I hope government give tighter enforcement to Singapore Post. Last time I sent a package overseas but when my overseas family received it, the box was broken and some of the things were missing. Not honest!”
Karen Tan wrote, “For the pass 4 months, i didn’t receive my SingTel bill, I called SingTel and they told me the bill was sent a few weeks ago, so may i know what happen, SingPost?”
Paul Kin Lim wrote, “This is really bad and embarrassing. I sent a post card from Hanoi to a relative here in spore; it took 23 days to be delivered. And this via AirMail. Very keen to know when did SingPost received it and what was the turnaround duration in Singapore. Another time from KL, it took 5 weeks.”
Dennis Teo wrote, “I have not received some of my credit card statements since 2017 until now! And I had to pay the late penalty. SingPost are you going to pay me back?!”
Musetta Woo wrote, “For me, letter stamp 10/01/19, however I only received this on 17/01/19. For local mail need one week delivery. I did write to SingPost compliant delay, they reply was only that they will try the best.”
Cloud Red wrote, “SingPost, I was at home during delivery but the postman didn’t even bother to knock, I have to waste time travelling to cc to collect my parcel more than once.”
Edwin Tey wrote, “IMDA, you are talking rubbish, I had so many mail from 3 days to 1 month then received. There is no such thing as receiving the letter the next day.”
AlwaysreadyJoh Hiahui wrote, “Hmmm. Recently we had been receiving letters after 3 weeks. Higher fines for 2019?”
Kim Chi Na wrote, “I ever got a parcel from my sister from America but the parcel disappear and I never receive it many years ago.”
David Caled wrote, “It also happen in 2018,even regular mails were not delivered on time. It took 4-5 days for the base to process and send it over the next day which is after 1 week for a parcel that was already in Singapore.”
Maggie Tan wrote, “2018 too. My mails either never arrived or they were super late.”
IAn Lau wrote, “I was wondering why my bills always reach my mailbox on the due date itself. Initially, I thought because mine is a new estate. Haiz!”
Johann Low wrote, “Second working day? I rememebre the letters I got were one to two weeks late.”
Fion Lim wrote, “Hello. It’s not that you didn’t deliver mail on time. You DID NOT deliver at all! You know I kanna late fines few times (can’t waive) just because I didn’t receive those credit card bills or not?!”
Nicki Dhaliwal wrote, “Sometimes mail not delivered to the doorstep but delivery acknowledgement card is found in the mail box.”
Nicki Dhaliwal wrote, ” Yes, I didn’t even receive my parcel properly. It was mail with an empty opened box and items taken out. Frustrating!”
Brien Lee wrote, “I receive sms notification that my parcel is out for delivery 4 days ago but it has not arrived!”
Josephine Ong wrote, “4 ASOS parcels never arrive within a 3-month period. Call up to complain the reply was: they have no such complaints from other customers.”
A Sun Ducati wrote, “Nowadays, a normal letter take 3 days to deliver. If you don’t believe you can try to post letter to yourself and see it take how many day. The one thing the post box which state to deliver next working day need to change.”
Kelvin Lin wrote, “Not only that I saw the delivery van left the van engine running for more than 20 minutes while they collecting the mail from the branch.”
Annie Ong Siew Leng wrote, “Haiz my letters are always missing lor! It’s always in others letter box or never be seen. But my mom witness these aunties sitting at the void deck floor with letters all over. Too bad she didn’t have a phone with her otherwise can take pictures.”
Rashed Yb wrote, “I still received my neighbor’s letter residing above my unit. Many times, I send it myself but looks like why bother, definitely the letter will be send for, and best its insurance letter.”
SJ Misson wrote, “No wonder today, a postman knocked on the door for 30 seconds while I secured my dogs. I opened the door, he was about to take photo of my gate. I see. For proof. Ah I see.”
Imran Becks wrote, “Full of problems. Last year they didn’t deliver to my place because apparently they couldn’t locate my address when it’s written correctly and clearly on the package. Said so on the tracking that they couldn’t locate my address. Pathetic really. Had a stressful time talking to their customer service because of this. It was eventually delivered a couple of days later.
Also recently, a package was left inside my riser by my house without the postman letting me know. Tracking said it was delivered and signed but I didn’t receive anything. Thought it was sent to the wrong person. Found out the next day that the package was in the riser all these time.”