Complaints against Germany’s postal sector soar in first half of 2020

The number of complaints against the postal service in Germany soared above 10,000 in the first half of the year, new figures show.

Complaints against Germany's postal sector soar in first half of 2020
Archive picture shows a DHL employee sorting packets. Photo: DPA

Whether it's letters arriving late or a parcel going missing, it can be frustrating when the postal service doesn't work properly.

And new figures show that in the first half of 2020 many more customers have been complaining about Deutsche Post, Germany's primary postal delivery service, and its competitors in the mail sector.

By the end of June, the Federal Network Agency had received more than 10,000 written complaints, the agency reported on request to FAZ newspaper. In 2019, there were around 8,700 complaints in the same period.

Around half of the reports related to parcels, with delivery problems being the most frequent topic. It comes even though according to parcel service providers, delivery to private households worked better during the height of the coronavirus crisis compared to other periods, because people spent much more time at home.

A total of 35 percent of the complaints were related to letters. In contrast to the parcel sector, the vast majority of complaints here are likely to relate only to the service provided by Deutsche Post, which has a market share in letter delivery of more than 80 percent.

READ ALSO: Why parcel delivery price hikes in Germany are set to be reversed

The rest of the complaints concerned various other problems, such as issues with post offices or letterboxes.

Anyone in Germany who has issues receiving letters or parcels can report it to the Federal Network Agency, which is the regulatory authority responsible for the postal and parcel sector.

However, it remains to be seen whether the increase in the number of complaints will lead to a change in the quality of service.

As The Local reported last year, the country's Economics Ministry “announced a comprehensive revision of the postal law framework” in a bid to improve the service.

The Ministry said that the speed and effectiveness of delivery would be optimized, with possible penalties to the Deutsche Post when these conditions aren't met.

According to its own figures, Deutsche Post delivers about 57 million letters in Germany every working day.


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REVEALED: The most commonly asked questions about Germans and Germany

Ever wondered what the world is asking about Germany and the Germans? We looked at Google’s most searched results to find out – and help clear some of these queries up.

Hasan Salihamidzic, the sports director of FC Bayern, arrives with his wife at Oktoberfest in full traditional dress. Photo: picture alliance/dpa |

According to popular searches, Germany is the go-to place for good coffee and bread (although only if you like the hard kind) and the place to avoid if what you’re looking for is good food, good internet connection and low taxes. Of course, this is subjective; some people will travel long stretches to get a fresh, hot pretzel or a juicy Bratwurst, while others will take a hard pass.

When it comes to the question on the bad Internet – there is some truth to this. German is known for being behind other rich nations when it comes to connectivity. And from personal experience, the internet connection can seem a little medieval. The incoming German coalition government has, however, vowed to improve internet connectivity as part of their plans to modernise the country.

There are also frequent questions on learning the German language, and people pointing out that it is hard and complicated. This is probably due to the long compound words and its extensive grammar rules, however, as both English and German are Germanic languages with similar words in common, it’s not impossible to learn as an English-speaker.

Here’s a look at some of those questions…

Why is German called Deutsch? Whereas ‘German’ comes from the Latin, ‘Deutsch’ instead derives itself from the Indo-European root “þeudō”, meaning “people”. This slowly became “Deutsch” as we know it today. It can be a bit confusing to English-speakers, who are right to think it sounds a little more like “Dutch”, however the two languages do have the same roots which may explain it.

And why is Germany so boring? Again, probably a generalisation, especially given that Germany has a landmass of over 350,000 km² with areas ranging from high rise, industrial cities to traditional old town villages and even mountain ranges, so you’re sure to find a place that doesn’t bore you to tears.

Perhaps it is a question that comes from the stereotype that Germans are obsessed with strict about rules, organised and analytical. Or that they have no sense of humour – all of these things being not the most exciting traits. 

Either way, from my experience I can confirm that, even though there is truth to German society enjoying order and rules, the vast majority of people are not boring, and I’m sure if you come to Germany you’ll meet many interesting, funny and exciting people. 

READ ALSO: 12 mistakes foreigners make when moving to Germany

When it comes to the German weather, most people assume a cold and cloudy climate, however this isn’t entirely true. While the autumn and winter, especially in the north, comes with grey skies and sub-zero temperatures, Germany can have some beautiful summers, with temperatures frequently rising above 30C in some places.

Unsurprisingly, the power and wealth of the German nation is mentioned – Germany is the largest economy in Europe after all, with a GDP of 3.8 trillion dollars. This could be due to strong industry sectors in the country, including vehicle constructions (I was a little surprised to find no questions posed on German cars), chemical and electrical industry and engineering. There are also many strong economic cities in Germany, most notably Munich, Frankfurt am Main and Hamburg.

READ ALSO: Eight unique words and phrases that tell us something about Germany

Smart and tall?

Why are Germans so tall? They are indeed taller than many other nations, with the average German measuring a good 172.87cm (or 5 feet 8.06 inches), however this may be a question better posed to the Dutch, who make up the tallest people in the world.

Why are Germans so smart? While this is again a generalisation – as individuals have different levels of intelligence in all countries – this question may stem from Germany’s free higher education system or their seemingly efficient work ethic. Plus there does seem to be some scientific research behind this question, with a study done in 2006 finding that Germans had the highest IQ in Europe.

So, while many of the questions posed about Germany and Germans on Google stem from stereotypes, we can confirm that some aren’t entirely made up. If you’re looking to debunk some frequently asked questions about France and the French, check out this article by our sister site HERE.