Dialogue with consumers
The objective is to favour the search for quality in products and services and improve conciliation procedures regarding consumer disputes. In particular, working with the Consumers’ Forum immediately led to the creation of work groups for defining a regulation for conciliation, which is now official and active.
Each representative of the Consumers' Associations can access a reserved part of the website in they have exclusive availability of documents, data and information material.
The responsibility of this task lies with the Institutional Relations function, which coordinates the areas into which the national territory was divided. In 2018, Poste Italiane and the representatives of 19 Consumers' Associations belonging to the Associations Commission renewed the Framework Agreement (originally signed in 2011) by means of which the objectives the Company undertakes to observe in relation to its customers are set out (increased quality of products and services; transparency and correctness of relations with customers; correctness of information). Furthermore, such agreement renews the initiative launched earlier in 2011 of the Consumers' Workshops, a permanent advisory round table between Company and Associations having the objective of constantly improving the quality of products and services offered to customers. A representative for each Association and Poste Italiane representatives attend the periodic meetings of the Consumers' Workshop. In particular, 7 round tables took place in 2017 in which various issues were discussed amongst which: the presentation of new products, regulations or procedures; signature on the conciliation regulation for the Invest Real Security (IRS) fund; focus on specific topics; new model for undelivered items (envisaging the progressive migration of undelivered items from the current delivery centres to Post Offices and therefore closer to the customer’s domicile with consequent improvement of the offered service).
The first conciliation procedures were developed in relation to Postal Services in 2001. In particular, the Postal Services Charters establish that if a Customer complaint has not been successfully resolved or no reply has been received within 45 days from when it was sent, the interested party may recur to the conciliation procedure within 12 months from submitting the complaint. Conciliation, which takes place at the local office and possibly with the assistance of the Consumers' Association, conclude within 60 days from receipt of the application, by means of drawing up a report which is sent to the user. If the conciliation procedure has been unsuccessful (namely the parties have failed to reach an agreement), within 90 days from its conclusion the interested party may contact AGCOM and send a request to settle the dispute by means of completing the “CP Form” available from the AGCOM website. In fact from 2015 onwards conciliations are part of the AGCOM dispute management system and are included in the list of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) procedures recognised by the law, also with regard to the European Union. Without prejudice, moreover, to the faculty to involve a Judicial Authority. Considering the special nature of the various segments of its clientele, Poste Italiane defined two specific regulations for the postal services offered to retail customers and for those offered to business customers respectively. So as to guarantee the rapid performance of both customer types, it established nine commissions at regional level (formed of a representative of Poste Italiane and one from the signee Associations of the regulation) who are responsible for agreeing on a solution that satisfies both parties. In 2017, the number of requests for conciliation concerning postal products made by retail customers equalled 1,072, recording an increase of 22% compared to 2016. The percentage of discussed applications increased by 19% compared to last year and in 84% of the cases an agreement was reached between the parties.
A similar trend was recorded in 2017 regarding conciliation procedures on postal products dedicated to business customers where, against over twice the amount of applications as 2016, the percentage of discussed applications changed from 88% to 96%. Apart from the conciliation procedures defined for postal services, the Company has progressively developed similar procedures for other products. In particular, in 2006 the procedure related to BancoPosta account services was developed having disputes concerning the BancoPosta current account (only natural persons) and Postepay card (only for disregard operations) within its scope of application. Furthermore the procedure for PosteMobile was devised in 2010, which applies to problems concerning the traditional services of electronic communication, disruptions in activation, sim/services functions, telephone top ups, credit/debit of telephone traffic, fixed line malfunction and post sales activities. A single national commission is competent for BancoPosta and PosteMobile conciliation. Customers can start a conciliation procedure every time that, after having submitted a complaint, they receive a response from the Company deemed as unsatisfactory, or they have not received a response within the foreseen term. The application can be submitted, for the PosteMobile procedure, exclusively through the Consumers' Associations adhering to the initiative, for the BancoPosta procedure also at the Post Office.
1 The Universal Postal Service (a service which, pursuant to Legislative Decree 261/99, must be provided in all areas of the national territory including the specific situations of smaller islands and rural and mountain regions, at prices affordable to the user) including the transborder service, includes: the collection, sorting and distribution of postal items up to 2 kg; the collection, transport, sorting and distribution of postal parcels up to 20 kg; services related to recorded deliveries
and insured items.
2 The Non Universal Postal Services include all services that Poste Italiane decides to offer freely under the regime of free market competition.