Post Office announces big price rises

The Post Office has announced a sharp increase in the cost of sending letters and parcels. The price hikes, some of which are as high as 85 per cent, will take effect in July.

This content was published on January 11, 2000 - 21:36

The Post Office has announced a sharp increase in the cost of sending letters and parcels. The price hikes, some of which are as high as 85 per cent, will take effect in July.

The changes, which come a day after the unexpected resignation of Post Office boss Reto Braun, will particularly affect the price of letters. The Post Office intends to scrap the single rate for letters weighing less than 250 grammes, and replace it with three new charges.

A first-class letter sent within Switzerland could then cost as much as 1.50, instead of the current flat rate of 90 centimes. The cheapest first-class rate will now be one franc for a normal letter weighing less than 50 grammes.
The cost of a second-class letter will now vary from 80 centimes to 1.30, instead of the current 70 centimes.

The price rises range from 11 to 85 per cent. The Post Office says this will bring Switzerland in line with neighbouring countries.

"Until now, the Swiss post was too cheap in comparison with other countries," spokesman Etienne Habegger says. "In the European Union, charges according to weight have been in existence for a long time."

However, the Post Office says it will adapt the way it gives reductions to small- and medium-sized businesses. Instead of being based on the number of transactions, these will now be calculated according to the amount of business the firm brings to the postal service.

This rebate could be as high as eight per cent for business worth over 10,000 francs a month.

The proposed changes, which need to be approved by the Communications Ministry, would come into effect on July 1st.

Habegger says the price rises, along with new products and cost cutting, are part of the Post Office's three-year plan to achieve financial independence.

"These changes will allow the Post Office to fulfill its mandate. That is, to be competitive and profitable, and to guarantee the public service," he said.

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