1 in 5 'prior' letters arrives late

The Radio 2 consumers' programme 'De Inspecteur' has revealed that Bpost is not meeting its targets. 'De Inspecteur' did a test to check whether so-called prior letters (which are 5 percent more expensive) actually reach their destination one working day later, as the post company Bpost promises. This is not always the case, it turns out. 

If you choose to send a tangible letter, you have the choice between two stamps: a prior stamp or a normal one. The former will set you back 1 euro, the latter 95 cents (for normal letters, i.e. the normal size and below 50 grammes). 

Bpost promises that prior letters will reach their destination after 1 working day, while this is 3 days for other letters. "De Inspecteur" sent 100 letters of each category to see what happened, and this is the result:

100 prior letters:

  • after 1 working day (as promised): 82 letters
  • after 2  days: 8 letters
  • after 3 days: none

100 normal letters:

  • after 1 working day: 17 letters
  • after 2 days: 41
  • after 3 days (the last day they should arrive, says Bpost): 27 

Katelijne Exelmans, the ombudsperson for Bpost dealing with complaints, says the results are not good. "We should have a score of 93 percent for prior letters. For normal letters, we want 97 percent to be delivered after three days (this was agreed with the Belgian government). The figures in your experiment are a lot low lower (82 and 85 respectively). However, we are receiving fewer complaints about traditional letters, but maybe this is because fewer letters are being sent."