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Post Office price rises blocked

Sorting mail in Biel: postage costs for standard letters have been frozen Keystone

The communications ministry has blocked an attempt by the Post Office to raise prices for sending first and second class letters. The ministry said the standard letter post was profitable and prices did not need to be increased.

This content was published on July 21, 2000 - 13:05

The government veto on price rises did not extend to other mail, and the Post Office was given the go-ahead to hike prices for heavier letters, packages and bulk deliveries.

The communications minister, Moritz Leuenberger, said on Friday that the increase would boost revenues by SFr120 million, once the new prices come into force next year.

The price ombudsman welcomed the price freeze on normal letters, which can weigh up to 100 grammes. Ninety-nine per cent of all post sent by private households and small and medium-sized companies falls into this category.

The ombudsman's office added that, given the deficit in the packets sector, it did not oppose the other increases.

However, the watchdog, Consumer Forum, criticised the "substantial" price rises. The director, Heide Köppel, accused the Post Office of being responsible for the deficits and said they should not be passed on to customers.

The Post Office deplored the decision to block an increase in the price of letters, but said the increases in the packages sector would allow it to provide new and better services.

swissinfo with agencies

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