30 November 2004
BRUSSELS – The Belgian post office damaged almost half the parcels it transported as part of a European wide test, it emerged on Tuesday.
The European Consumer Centre (ECC), which is subsidised by the European Commission, used national post offices across the EU to send 260 parcels to 13 destinations, La Derniere Heure reported.
All of the parcels weighed 2.5 kilograms and were sent on 14 September.
On average 13.6 percent of the packages arrived damaged at their destinations.
But those handled by the Belgian Post office had a much worse time.
A total of 46 percent – almost half – of the 24 parcels the post office had to process were damaged when they reached their destinations, the ECC found.
The Belgian Post office was quick to dismiss the findings as unrepresentative of its usual performance.
“Even the ECC admits that this study wasn’t at all scientific,” said spokeswoman Francois Dorrekens.
“The test was carried out on one day on 24 parcels in Belgium, even though La Poste deals with millions. For the whole of 2003, our services received 116 complaints for damaged parcels for the 300 million parcels that it sent internationally, ” she added.
Dorrekens also said that the study had failed to pinpoint where the parcels were damaged.
Belgium’s postal ombudsman Xavier Godefroid, though, added further criticism to the post office following the ECC report.
He said he had dealt with 283 complaints in 2003 for loss and theft of parcels.
“The disappearance of parcels or thefts from packages remains a black mark against La Poste,” he said.
[Copyright Expatica 2004]
Subject: Belgian news