Around one billion letters are sent across Germany every month. But just in the last few months, cases of late or missing letters have increased – so much so that the Federal Network Agency is moving in to check. Here’s how to get a lost letter.
Wrong address, not enough stamps or illegible handwriting: If the letter does not come, there are many different reasons. But meanwhile it is not only related to the consumers: As the Federal Network Agency in Bonn informed the dpa, the number of complaints to the post office has increased, especially this summer.
The Federal Network Agency reported that around 6,500 postal complaints were received in July and August alone. The main concerns were late or lost letters. The figures from the Federal Network Agency show the high increase in the summer months, because: In the first half of the year, a total of 8900 complaints were received. This means that around two thirds fall in July and August alone.
Large cities such as Berlin, Nuremberg and Munich were affected, but also smaller cities such as Freudenstadt in Baden-Württemberg, Pfaffenhofen in Bavaria or Steinfurt in North Rhine-Westphalia. The regulatory authority therefore initiated 14 tests. She also asked Deutsche Post to rectify the defects.
These shortcomings include, above all, delays, losses or misses – i.e. putting the mail in the wrong mailbox and arriving late at the actual recipient. The tests of the Federal Network Agency can only help to a limited extent: They are only a kind of written warning. They are not a real means of pressure, since the regulatory authority cannot impose any sanctions – such as fines.
Deutsche Post justifies the allegations with the lack of skilled workers and with the fact that there is a high level of sickness due to the corona. “In addition, many of our employees have completed their summer vacation from July 2022,” said a company spokeswoman. In the meantime, the operational situation is “stable again”. However, the Federal Network Agency pointed out that the number of complaints was still high in September.
The FDP member of the Bundestag Reinhard Houben also criticized DHL’s reasoning. Corona-related personnel problems also had other companies in Germany without their service quality deteriorating so much, he told the dpa. “Should the quality of the letter services be permanently poor, the legislature should consider granting the Federal Network Agency sanction options and thus handing over a sharper sword,” says Houben.
The entire industry is affected by the failures – but since Deutsche Post and DHL are by far the market leaders, they account for most of the complaints. Surprisingly, for the first time it’s mainly letters – because it’s usually packages that get lost.
The Verdi union is also aware of the problems that corporations like Deutsche Post are struggling with. A spokesman for the employee organization said that the burden on the delivery staff at Deutsche Post and other companies was very high. More staff is needed, which will be hired on a permanent basis.
You can hardly prevent Deutsche Post and DHL from delivering your letter or parcel on time or not at all due to a lack of staff. But according to “Stiftung Warentest”, there are a few steps you can take to increase the chances of a flawless delivery:
If your letter has actually not arrived, this can have several reasons. Here’s what you can do to get your shipment: