Evaluation of Postal Service for the elderly and disabled people living in rural areas

Summary of Evaluation of Postal Service for the elderly and disabled people living in rural areas - a qualitative survey of how the service corresponds to the needs to the users

The Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS) is tasked with analysing and describing the postal market’s development and monitoring that the postal services meet society’s needs. The Authority therefore regularly conducts surveys for the purpose of mapping the postal service needs of its users and ensure that these needs are met by the universal postal service. PTS is also tasked with ensuring that important services are available in the postal area for people with disabilities. As a result, the authority procures inclusive services for people with disabilities where the market does not provide the services on its own initiative, such as postage-free carriage of Braille consignments and postal services for the elderly over 80 years of age and persons with disabilities in rural areas.

In this survey, PTS has studied how the service procured by the authority, Postal Service for the elderly and people with disabilities living in rural areas corresponds to the needs of users. The service means that persons who, due to age or disability, are unable to get to the regular drop-off points, who live outside urban areas and who would also normally have their mail distributed at a certain distance from their home, will instead have postal services provided in connection with their home, on the boundary of their property or at the door. An increasing proportion of the population is over the age of 80, which may affect the need for it. The service includes the collection and delivery of postal items including the delivery of stamps and is currently provided by Postnord. The survey was conducted through 40 qualitative in-depth interviews and 300 telephone interviews with people from the target group.

The results of the survey show that most people who use the service (99 percent) value it highly and find that it works very well. In their experience, the service is seamlessly integrated in Postnord’s rural mail delivery service and that is provides for their needs.

Some users feel that there are shortcomings in information regarding the service, e.g. about the possibility of being able to send and receive parcels / goods within the framework of the service. Very few of the respondents in the survey who do not use the service (seven percent) have heard of it, which indicates that PTS and Postnord could provide more information about it. Few users are digitally active, but instead prefer to receive information by letter or phone. A quarter of non-users have replied that they would benefit from the service if they had it.

PTS will incorporate the results of the survey on the importance of the service in the ongoing work on reviewing regulation in the postal sector. The authority will also review the need to provide further information on the service.