The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has released a new draft regulation aimed at improving service to post offices across the country.
In an explanatory statement, Icasa adviser Dr Charley Lewis said the settlements are being proposed in direct response to complaints received about the postal sector.
“There are a number of complaints or issues that require the attention of authorities in the postal service industry. It is therefore important that we undertake this process in order to ensure better levels of service, as well as to set deadlines for handling complaints, ”he said.
Lewis added that the post office serves the poorest and most vulnerable sectors of the population, particularly communities in rural areas, where service may differ from that provided in urban areas.
“It is therefore required of the postal services licensee to provide good quality services to all communities, regardless of their social status, location, languages they speak or any disabilities they may have.” , did he declare.
Along with administrative changes such as the correct display of opening hours and post codes, regulations also state that queues should be drastically reduced at post offices across the country.
“Customer service time should not exceed seven minutes for postal services ”, specifies the draft regulation. “In the event that the wait time exceeds seven minutes, the license holder, or the person delegated by the license holder, must intervene to resolve the problem in the interest of the customers.”
Other proposed changes include:
- The post office must set up an electronic payment system for postal services;
- In the event that the post office needs to relocate or permanently close, the permit holder must post such notice to customers at least 60 days prior to such closure or relocation;
- The post office relocation or closure notice must include the location of the nearest post office;
- A post office must communicate with its customers in English and any other dominant official language in the region where the post office is located;
- The post office must collect and submit quarterly reports on customer complaints it receives;
- The staff of all post offices have in-depth and precise knowledge of their related products and services;
- Staff must wear corporate clothing and name badges;
- A client’s personal information must be treated in accordance with the requirements set out in the Privacy Act;
- Customers should be informed of the insurance possibilities for lost or damaged letters or parcels when concluding postal service transactions.
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