Postal Service

EDITOR, Despite the fact that many people have written several times about the problems with the postal service, it seems that the problems are getting worse.

For example, I notice that sometimes no mail is delivered for weeks. Then suddenly I find a lot of letters, which were sent on different dates. A week ago, there were 7 letters from the tax authorities from the Netherlands in my mailbox. When I opened these the 1st letter was sent on 22 September, 2021 and the last letter on 3 October, 2021.

Same story last year. Letters sent on 16 and 23 September, 2020 by the Tax Authorities from the Netherlands, I received on 3 December, 2020. In the Netherlands you have 6 weeks to submit a notice of objection, if an assessment is incorrect. The late postal delivery means that there is no longer any right to respond, as the time has expired. I also received a default fine of €369, plus the interest of €56, from the same tax authorities, all because I was unable to respond in time. Much effort has already been made to undo this fine, but usually the tax authorities in the Netherlands, just like in Portugal, are unrelenting.

Because the CCT is not up to its task, this costs me a lot of annoyance and money. In the past I have also submitted a complaint via the complaints book. This was a Christmas package, I will spare the readers the misery this has entailed. After this bad experience, I asked my family and friends never to send a Christmas package again. The response I got to my letter of complaint was predictable. Sickness, holiday etc but the CCT would do their best to improve the service. Unfortunately I didn’t notice any of this. For example, a package was sent on 23 September, but I have not yet received it. This package contains phytotherapeutic medicines for a friend who recently had serious surgery. These drugs are desperately needed, but I suspect that this package, like so many others, will not be delivered. These medicines represented a value of more than €100.

This negligence also means that in recent years I have never even received a congratulatory card on my birthday. The 1st this year, arrived a month late. Of the 11 cards sent, I only received 5, the rest went wrong. The same goes for the Christmas cards, the last one I received was on 31 March, 2021. This was posted on 8 December, 2020. Every now and then I get a Christmas card via someone else, because it was delivered to them. I myself find 2 or 3 letters every month that are intended for someone else. My name is clearly stated on my letterbox. The letters that end up in my mailbox incorrectly, all have a correct address. I then deliver various letters to the people for whom the letter is intended. If I cannot find the address, I will return it to the Post Office in São Brás. But often I find these letters in my mailbox again after some time.

It is incomprehensible to me that this organisation, CCT does not realise how important it is if people simply get their mail delivered on time? Even worse is the fact that a lot of packages just disappear. After this umpteenth bad experience, I absolutely no longer dare to send a package from abroad to Portugal. The risk is simply too great!

Yvonne Koster, by email

Postal Service 2

EDITOR, Does anyone know why my letter was treated like this? We are here on holiday and an important letter sent to our UK address was popped in another envelope and sent to us here in Portugal, tracked/signed for, by our neighbour.

After a 3 day delay in the UK thanks to a strike it was finally on it’s way. After another 6 days it was being held by Portuguese customs! A letter weighing about 5 grams not a parcel. I had to seek help to try and resolve the issue. After 40 minutes it was established that we had to pay €6.38 at an ATM to release the letter. The letter was delivered today, 12 days after it was posted. Is this another Brexit benefit or is it a new way for Portugal to extract money from visitors?

Ian Jones, by email