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La Poste Ends Second Class International Service

Tuesday 17 May 2011

The French post office is to end the second class international delivery of small packages.

It is a service that is not widely known about by La Poste customers, and the low level of usage is being used as main justification for getting rid of it.

The service, called ‘économique internationale’, is up to 40% cheaper than the first class ‘prioritaire internationale’ service.

Using this service it is possible to send a 1kg package anywhere in the EU for €5.65. The cost of the first class prioritaire service is €8.75.

A 2kg package costs €8.57 using the service économique, but €12.60 using prioritaire.

The second class service will end on 1st July.

The regulatory authority Arceps has agreed to the change, mainly it seems on the basis that few customers use the cheaper service.

However, La Poste has a very confusing tariff structure, of which counter staff are frequently not fully aware, and there is very little publicity about this service.

Indeed, many customers are also unaware of the small package service itself (whether first or second class), and are frequently directed by counter staff to the much more expensive ‘Colissimo International’ parcel service.

The cost of sending a 1kg package to another country in the EU using Colissimo is currently a whopping €16.15, while a 2kg package costs €17.85.

With this price you are supposed to obtain signed receipt of delivery, but there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that this does not always occur.

For delivery within France, the same issue arises, for while most customers are directed to Colissimo for packages, in fact there is a service called Mini Max which is far cheaper.

Ah, qu'elle est belle La France!

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