Selective changes to services and prices
Swiss Post will be introducing selective changes to its service offering as of 1 April 2012. This will affect various additional services and international shipping services as well as services associated with the receipt of mail. The changes will see some prices increase as well as price decreases. Swiss Post is introducing the changes in a bid to reinforce customer focus with regard to the respective services, and to improve cost-effectiveness and competitiveness. Most of the services affected are provided by Swiss Post in competition with third parties. Certain measures affect the monopoly segment and must first be approved by the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC). Prices for individual letters (A and B Mail) and domestic parcels will remain the same.
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Swiss Post regularly inspects its service offering and makes adjustments every year. It will be implementing selective changes to its additional services, international mailings and services associated with the receipt of mail (also known as recipient services) as of 1 April 2012.
Some adjustments will specifically affect services for private customers. Swiss Post will be offering private customers the "Track & Trace" additional service for A Mail letters. For a surcharge, customers can track a consignment from the moment it is mailed at the counter through to delivery. Until now, this has only been possible for registered letters and for parcels. Furthermore, Swiss Post plans to standardize the prices of its "registered", "personal delivery" and "return receipt" additional services for both domestic and international consignments. The "cash on delivery" additional service will become more expensive and will only be offered for "registered" mail. Zones will be simplified for international parcels, leading to price adjustments.
The price for the "Signature" additional service will be increased for domestic parcels and Express consignments in the business customer offering. The introduction of an additional price zone will lead to reduced prices for international parcels and URGENT Business courier items. ECONOMY bulk letter mailings to Germany will be significantly less expensive and thus more competitive. Sales-based discounts for bulk letter mailings will be adjusted accordingly.
For both private and business customers the prices for the carbon neutral transport of postal consignments ("pro clima dispatch") are going to be reduced. In Spring 2012, when the compensation projects have been selected, and when the then valid CO2 compensation market prices are known, the Swiss Post will inform its customers in detail.
Improvements and new prices for mail recipients
Services associated with the receipt of mail (recipient services for private and business customers) will also be available online in future. As such, mail recipients can choose whether to manage their forwarding orders, powers of attorney, P.O. box services and sub-addresses independently online around the clock, or receive advice and support at the post office counter. Depending on the type of service, customers will either pay a "counter price" or a comparatively reduced "online price".
Swiss Post aims to cover costs of some current loss-making recipient services through price adjustments. The current attractive prices for forwarding orders – e.g. when moving home – will better reflect the actual costs by bringing them into line with the duration of the order and the number of adults per household. This will result in price increases or reductions, depending on the duration of the order. Prices will also remain attractive by international comparison. The "powers of attorney" service will be further improved. In future, customers will have an up-to-date and complete overview of who is authorized to perform postal transactions on their behalf. The powers of attorney can be opened or cancelled at any post office counter as well as online. This will be possible as Swiss Post will process all powers of attorney electronically and manage them on a centralized basis. A fee will be introduced for this improved service. Specific customer requests such as second or third P.O. boxes will now be offered as fee-based additional services for P.O. box deliveries. However, P.O. box deliveries will remain free of charge for more than 95% of current customers as they have a P.O. box in the regular mail delivery catchment area. Prices for the "sub-addresses" service will be raised to better reflect the actual costs.
More customer-friendly and economical
By introducing these adjustments to its range, Swiss Post is continuing to pursue its strategy to make its services as simple and customer-friendly as possible, and to better align its prices to the actual costs, which vary according to the processing method and customer segment. What's more, the price adjustments to loss-making services serve to better cover costs and offset cumulative additional costs. Swiss Post thus embodies the principle, which is also enshrined in law, of providing its services cost-efficiently. Most of the measures affect services that Swiss Post provides in competition with third parties. Certain measures affect the monopoly segment and must be approved by the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC). This applies to adjustments to additional services for domestic letters under 50 grams.
Prices for A and B Mail remain stable
The prices for letters and domestic parcels within the basic service will remain unchanged in 2012. The prices for mailing A and B Mail standard letters within Switzerland have remained stable since 2004. Studies show that Swiss Post's letter and parcel prices are low in comparison to other countries.