Paris, 17 January 2011
The Law of 9 February 2010 put the finishing touches to postal market liberalisation and introduced fresh guarantees for postal service users. In particular, as of 1 January 2011, users can submit complaints not satisfactorily dealt with by postal service providers' own procedures to ARCEP.
ARCEP ready to respond to applications from users
ARCEP drew up an organisational draft which was submitted to consumer protection associations and postal providers on 10 October 2010. This draft was discussed in the ARCEP Consumer Committee on 6 December, and La Poste's Ombudsman, Pierre Ségura, was heard by ARCEP's Executive Board on 6 January.
ARCEP revised its rules of procedure on 16 December 2010 to enable it to comply with Article L. 5-7-1 of the new Post and Electronic Communications Code and process user applications by the 1 January 2011 deadline.
Information about all these new provisions can be found in a special ARCEP website item, and postal providers will draw users' attention to it.
Procedure for applications submitted to ARCEP
Any private individuals or legal entities taking up postal services performed by a postal provider, whether as senders or addressees, can put their case to ARCEP. The new provisions do not, however, cover La Poste's financial services and express transport.
Before submitting their case to ARCEP, users must have exhausted all avenues of appeal offered by the postal service providers. In the case of La Poste, they must have submitted their complaint to the La Poste Ombudsman.
To be admissible, applications must be submitted to ARCEP within two months of notification to the complainants of the reply of the postal provider's final appeals body, or if no reply is received after two months have elapsed since submission of the complaint to the postal provider's final appeals body.
Applications and their attachments must be sent to ARCEP at the address given below by registered letter, with a request for an acknowledgement of receipt:
Consumer Relations Unit
Autorité de régulation des communications électroniques et des postes
7, square Max Hymans
75730 Paris Cedex 15
Complaint-processing applications must comprise the following information and supporting documents:
1) the complainant's surname, given name, occupation and postal address, and, where applicable, an e-mail address;
2) in the case of legal entities, the complainant's corporate name;
3) a copy of the complaint submitted to the postal provider and proof of such submission;
4) a copy of the postal provider's reply, if any;
5) a copy of the opinion of the La Poste Group's Ombudsman for complaints submitted to La Poste;
6) all letters and documents containing any information the complainant considers necessary for proper understanding of the complaint-processing application.
Once the application has been investigated, ARCEP's Executive Board pronounces an opinion which is notified to the complainant and to the postal service provider by registered letter, with a request for an acknowledgement of receipt. There is a one-month deadline for processing applications, except in particularly complex cases or those requiring specific investigation by ARCEP.