Retail groups are opposed to PostPoint's proposition that in order to continue to sell stamps, retailers will also need to sell the full suite of PostPoint services
Apr 13 2012
Vincent Jennings, chief executive the CSNA believes that the reduction in margin on stamps is unfair to its members
A dispute is ongoing between two Irish retail groups and An Post subsidiary, Postpoint, over the company’s new rules regarding the retailing of stamps.
The Convenience Stores and Retailers Association (CSNA) and RDGATA are opposed to PostPoint’s new structures, which see commission on stamps reduced by 20%.
Vincent Jennings, chief executive of the CSNA, describes this as “an indication that retailers are considered a soft touch by suppliers attempting to reduce their costs”.
There is a further and more thorny issue afoot as PostPoint has advised retailers that in order to continue to retail stamps they will also need to sell the full suite of PostPoint services including mobile top ups, toll and parking services through the use of the PostPoint terminal. Since the beginning of March, stamps have only been available to shops which have an electronic terminal provided by PostPoint.
Jennings said: “We fail to see any link between a physical postage stamp and an electronic terminal. We cannot see why it is deemed necessary for retailers to give their mobile top-up business to a company merely to continue to acquire postage stamps for resale.
“Retailers who wish to continue to sell stamps must sell top-ups from PostPoint, you must take toll/parking solutions even though in your geographic location, there is no consumer demand for it, and you must accept the new payment regime which requires the clearance of a direct debit prior to the forwarding of the stamps, causing a gap between ordering and receipt of up to seven days.”
RGDATA, the group representing 4,000 family owned grocery stores said many of its retailers already had similar terminals provided by rival operators such as Payzone.
Tara Buckley, RGDATA director general, said An Post’s new policy was causing major inconvenience to shop owners and customers seeking to buy stamps. “It is disgraceful a state-owned company, that is supposed to have a social and community dimension to its operations, should operate in such a high-handed and appalling manner,” she said.
She added RGDATA had lodged formal complaints about the issue with the Competition Authority, ComReg, and Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte.