Paris, 21 October 2011
On 1 October 2011, La Poste launched a new product called the "green letter" with a guideline transmission time of two days, which positions it between the priority letter (with a guideline transmission time of one day) and the economy letter (transmission time upwards of two days).
ARCEP noted the creation of this new product in its Opinion No. 2011-0416 of 7 April 2011, at the same time recalling that it is mandatory for the universal service to include a next-day delivery service for letters, as being at the core of universal service. Thus, the new product is acceptable only if it does not erode the accessibility and quality of service of the priority letter.
In more general terms, ARCEP sets great store by allowing consumers a free choice among the various products offered by La Poste.
However, observations made since the launch of the "green letter" reveal a risk of reduced consumer access to the priority letter, for instance through discontinuation of priority stamp-booklet sales at vending machines, curtailment of their availability at post-office counters etc.
Therefore, in compliance with article L. 5-9 of the Postal and Telecommunications Code, ARCEP is to conduct a public inquiry to collect all data on how letter products (priority, "green" and economy letters) are marketed to the general public and small businesses. In particular, the inquiry will cover the accessibility of these different products throughout the marketing circuit and the quality of the information provided to consumers about the choices available to them.
ARCEP decision n° 2011-1246 (pdf - 211 Ko) (in French only)