- Singapore Press Holdings
SingPost has come under unwanted spotlight these past few years – it’s been facing heavy backlash on social media regarding its postal service and on Thursday (Feb 7), the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) fined the company S$100,000 (US$73,724) for failing to meet delivery standards on nine instances in 2017.
IMDA said that in May 2017, SingPost failed to deliver 99 per cent of local basic letters within the Central Business District (CBD) by the next working day, which is a requirement under IMDA’s Postal QoS framework.
Also, under the framework, SingPost was supposed to deliver all local basic letters and registered mail by the second working day – both of which it failed to achieve for five months and three months respectively.
IMDA said factors taken into consideration included how it was not the first time SingPost failed to comply with QoS standards; that SingPost’s “margin of failure” for 2017 was “significantly” higher compared with previous instances; and that the postal service company had still ensured late deliveries were redelivered successfully within a week.
On the same day the verdict was announced, SingPost issued a statement saying that it had accepted IMDA’s financial penalty and also unveiled a slew of measures “to improve service quality”.
These include alleviating the workload of its postmen, expanding its workforce, extending mail delivery slots to weekday evenings and on Saturdays, and enhancing postmen’s remuneration with incentives for successful deliveries of trackable items to the doorstep.
But the postal service provider’s woes are not contained to the year 2017.
In recent years, SingPost has faced more scrutiny as netizens took to social media to air their grievances and share their encounters with the lacklustre service they allegedly encountered.
Here’s a recap of some of the issues highlighted online so far:
Discarded and abandoned mail
In January this year, a 29-year-old SingPost postman – who was serving 17 Housing Board blocks in Ang Mo Kio – was arrested for discarding unopened letters and packages in the bin, said SingPost in a Facebook post.
The case was brought to light on Jan 28 by Facebook user Alyce Kathlyn, who shared eight images of discarded letters in the bin.
A similar case occurred in February last year as well, when SingPost dismissed one of its postmen after he was spotted discarding returned letters and direct mail. A YouTube video uploaded on Feb 9, 2018, showed the confrontation the postman had with a member of the public.
The postman said in Mandarin that he had over 2,600 letterboxes to cover daily, and that he wanted to see a doctor that day as his leg was hurting. He eventually apologised to the man who confronted him.
In July 2017, another postman – who had joined SingPost five weeks prior – was disciplined for leaving a bundle of mail at a Jurong East void deck, SingPost told The Straits Times (ST).
Four-month delivery delay
While some letters did not get delivered at all, some that did get delivered took longer than expected.
A co-owner of a beer stall identified as Daniel Goh recently took to Facebook to say that he received a police letter on renewing the stall’s alcohol licence four months late.
His post on Feb 1 read: “This essentially means we have been selling alcohol illegally for the past month without even knowing. We could be shut down any time if the police come checking.”
According to ST, SingPost said on Feb 3 that it was working with Goh to investigate the matter and offer assistance.
Delivery man “ran off” after leaving delivery notification
Another controversial case occurred in December last year when a member of the public criticised SingPost on Facebook, and complained that a delivery man left without waiting for him to answer the door.
The Facebook user who goes by the name Andy Lau said on Dec 26 that a SingPost delivery man left a delivery notification and “ran off” without waiting for him to open the door. Upon confrontation, the delivery man “couldn’t put his words together properly on how he waited for more than 20 minutes”.
Lau added in a comment: “And the item was in the back of the bike. So this means that, when he came knocking on my door, he didnt even carry the item up?”