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Correos : The Spanish Post Office

By Mr Grumpy - Mon 25th Jul 2011

The Spanish Postal Service, or 'Sociedad Estatal de Correos y Telégrafos' to give it it's full name (although everybody just calls it 'Correos') is massive. It has offered an (almost) daily service across the whole of mainland Spain for nearly 300 years.

They are by far Spain's biggest Employer, employing some 65'000 staff and operating a fleet of 13'000 vehicles in over 10'000 offices and warehouses across the country - 38'000 of who actually deliver 5.4 billion pieces of mail every year, or one-quarter of a million customers at the counter each and every day.

With 8112 municipalities in Spain, it means that almost every single Village has a post office branch, with many of the larger Towns, and all of the Cities having more than one.

In 2005 alone the Government invested 212 Million Euros - not including private investments - into improving the overall service of the Postal Service.

Impressive statistics, obviously, and you would have thought that with this kind of infrastructure and these kinds of resources, they would actually be able to offer a Postal 'Service'. So then, why is it that :

1.) The Post Office in my local town of 2'300 residents, which also serves as the Post Office for 5 smaller outlying villages, is only open for 1.1/2 Hours every day - and even then, seems to change their opening times every other week without notice (other than a scribbled note on the door put up the night before) ?

2.) Before you say in answer to the above that the other 7 working hours of the day is spent with the staff 'Making Deliveries' consider this : The Post Office will actually only deliver your mail to your door if you live within shouting distance of the Post Office itself. If your house involves Sr Correos having to push his trolley across a busy road, or being out of line of sight of a Bar, then you are deemed to be 'In the Campo', and as such ineligible to have your mail delivered. Around 98% of the Town falls into this category.

3.) As I live all of 800mts away from the village I am obviously ineligible for such a delivery service. How on earth could any sane person expect Sr Correos to use one of the 13'000 vehicles at his disposal to deliver a few letters. As they do in the UK, whose stamp prices are also considerably cheaper pro-rata.

4.) As such I can have my mail delivered to a Box at the bottom of my road. However, I must pay for the privilege of having this service - on top of the the cost of the stamp that anyone sending me a letter has had to pay. ( I did write a blog on the subject of how I had to pay my "Lifetime Fee" for this service on a number of occasions, but I won't bore you with it here. You can click Here if you would like to read it)

5.) Perhaps most distressingly of all is this : I took a number of letters to my local Post Office the other day that needed weighing so they could be issued with the appropriate stamp. They were duly weighed, the appropriate stamps were peeled off the sheet, attached to the mail and put in the sack for mailing. So far, so good. I also had a number of bog-standard letters I needed to send later and so asked to buy a book/ sheet of normal, first class stamps to take with me.

"I'm sorry," Sr Correos told me with a bewildered shrug, "Correos don't sell stamps, you will have to buy those from the Tobacos."

I swear, only in Spain would you have to buy stamps from the Tobacconists. I'm just grateful for e-mail.

Comment on this Blog

Here you go Colin, register your vote for "Spain's worst company" via the > HERE <
Tumbit - Admin - Sun, 18th Jan 2015
Taste this ---! Went 1000 Km away from my home address for Christmas. A parcel arrived for me in the meantime. My neighbour cares for my house and mail in my absence. Correos refused her collection of it without authorisation from me. She phoned me and I went out and had Passport/Driving Licnence/Residents form photocopied and posted them with a letter of authorisation. The posted letter took over 10 days to arrive and, despite being informed that I was sending authorisation by post, when she returned with my authorisation she was informed that the parcel had been at the post office for over 15 days and had therefore been returned to sender. What is the point of a complaint or denuncia when it is a 'fait accompli'! They win. Don't you just love beaurocracy?! Colin
Colin - Fri, 16th Jan 2015

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