SINGAPORE: Singapore Post (SingPost) has been fined S$100,000 for not meeting the service standards for delivering local basic letters and registered mail in 2017, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) said on Thursday (Feb 7).
Under IMDA standards, SingPost is required to deliver 99 per cent of local letters to addresses within the Central Business District (CBD) and 98 per cent of local letters to destinations outside of it by the next working day. IMDA said SingPost failed to meet that standard in May 2017.
The regulator added that SingPost also failed to meet the requirements to deliver all local basic letters by the second working day in January, April, May, October and November 2017.
SingPost also failed to meet the same requirements for registered mail in January, September and November 2017, IMDA said.
The authority noted it was not SingPost's first failure to meet with Quality of Service (QoS) standards, with the 2017's margin of failure being "significant" compared to previous instances.
However, IMDA said it considered SingPost's effort in ensuring all delayed mail were successfully redelivered within one week.
"Having considered all factors, IMDA has imposed a financial penalty of $100,000 on SingPost for the nine incidents of non-compliance with IMDA’s QoS standards in the period from January to December 2017," IMDA said.
Thursday's fine comes after a postman was arrested last month following reports of letters allegedly discarded in a bin. IMDA said after the incident that it had launched an investigation.
“IMDA expects SingPost to deliver reliable public postal services to consumers and businesses, in compliance with its licence obligations," said Ms Aileen Chia, deputy chief executive and director-general (Telecoms & Post) at IMDA.
"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,” she added.
"WE DEEPLY APOLOGISE"
SingPost said in a statement on Thursday that it accepts IMDA's fine and will work to improve its service.
“We deeply apologise to our customers for our service failures," said SingPost CEO Paul Coutts in a statement. "We have heard their complaints and feedback; we feel their frustrations and seek to win back their trust."
He also announced a raft of measures to improve its service, such as hiring 100 additional postmen and extending mail delivery slots to weekday evenings and on Saturdays.
"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," he said.
IMDA said it is currently assessing SingPost's service standard for 2018 and will publish the findings by the middle of this year.
Earlier in the year, SingPost apologised to its customers for the "service deterioration" that occurred over the "tremendously busy" November-December period. "It would be fair to state that we have failed to live up to expectations in recent times," it wrote online.
The apology came after complaints on social media about subpar service including undelivered letters, as well as forged signatures for packages.
Last February, a SingPost postman was fired after he threw away returned letters and direct mail at a condominium. The incident came to light when a video surfaced of a member of the public confronting the postman, who admitted to throwing the mail away.