SingPost fined $100K for 2017 Performance & They Apologise Again

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It hasn’t been a good period for SingPost recently, what with the numerous reports about postmen delivering collection slips instead of parcels and postmen throwing away letters and kena fired.

But it turns out that the trouble apparently started in 2017, as IMDA announced that they’ve imposed a financial penalty of $100,000 on SingPost for not meeting the Quality of Service (QoS) standards on delivery of local basic letters and registered mail in 2017.

Well, $100,000 might not seem much to you, but it’s a start.

SingPost’s Problem in 2017

Under IMDA’s Postal QoS framework, SingPost is required to deliver 99% of local basic letters to an address within the Central Business District (CBD) and 98% of local basic letters to destinations outside the CBD areas by the next working day. Bet you didn’t know that, eh?

SingPost managed to achieve that except in May 2017, when it failed to meet the QoS standard for 99% delivery of local basic letters within the CBD by the next working day.

In other words, they’ve only failed in the CBD area.

But that’s not all.

Because they’re not supposed to lose that 1% or 2% of letters. They just have one more working day to deliver them.

Delivery of ALL Letters and Registered Mails by Second Working Day

The framework also requires SingPost to achieve deliver all local basic letters and registered mail by the second working day.

SingPost failed to deliver all local basic letters by the second working day in January, April, May, October and November 2017, and the delivery of registered mail for January, September and November 2017.

So you can see that January and November seem to be SingPost’s Achilles’ heel.

How Did  IMDA Decide the Fine?

IMDA took into consideration that this was not the first instance that SingPost failed to comply with the QoS standards. Also, the margin of failure in 2017 was significant compared to SingPost’s previous instances of non-compliance with the QoS standards.

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In other words, they’ve got worse lah.

SingPost, however, made the effort to redeliver the delayed mail. This ensured that 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…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.”

How About 2018?

IMDA is assessing SingPost’s QoS for 2018 currently and will publish the results in the middle of this year. But let’s just say that with the national courier appearing in so many headlines for all the wrong reasons last year, it’s not going to be pretty #justsaying

In addition, IMDA is also investigating the 29 January 2019 incident of a postman discarding mail in Ang Mo Kio.

SingPost Says “Sorry” (Again)

SingPost said that they’ve accepted IMDA’s fine. The CEO added, “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.”

In addition, they’re looking at adding weekday evenings and Saturday deliveries.

Here’s a list of solutions they’ve come out with to tackle the problem:

  • Hire more postmen (100 more) and redeploy 35 staff to become postmen (i.e. more postmen)
  • Provide incentives to postmen when trackable items are delivered (thanks, Andy Lau! You did make a difference!)
  • Provide OT pay for postmen who volunteer to deliver on weekday evenings and Saturday
  • Increase staff and counters for parcel collection (oh, yes, this)
  • Reduce non-core mail business such as the direct flyer business

According to the CEO, “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.”

Well, let’s see whether we’ll still be receiving collection slips on July 2019.