Communications Regulation (Postal Services) Act 2011

43.

Complaints and redress procedures.

43.— (1) Every postal service provider shall draw up and implement a code of practice setting out procedures, standards and policies with respect to the handling of complaints from postal service users, in particular, complaints relating to loss, theft, damage or quality of service, and such a code of practice shall make provision for the following matters—

( a) the first point of contact for complainants,

( b) a means of recording complaints,

( c) a time frame within which the postal service provider concerned shall respond to complaints,

( d) procedures for resolving disputes,

( e) remedies and redress, including reimbursement or compensation, or both, as appropriate,

( f) procedures for determining where responsibility lies in cases where more than one postal service provider is involved,

( g) retention of records of complaints for such period, of not less than one year, as the Commission may specify following the resolution of the complaint, including—

(i) copies of the complaint and any response thereto, and

(ii) any determination in respect of the complaint and any documentation considered in the course of such determination,

and

( h) any other matters the Commission considers necessary and appropriate to secure effective protection for postal service users.

(2) A postal service provider shall publish the code of practice drawn up under subsection (1) and, on a request being made for that purpose, make the code of practice available, on request, to postal service users free of charge.

(3) The Commission, or a person appointed by the Commission, possessing, in the opinion of the Commission, the requisite degree of independence from the postal service provider concerned, may, in accordance with procedures established and maintained by the Commission, resolve disputes which remain unresolved after due completion of all the procedures of a code of practice drawn up under subsection (1) and, in this regard, the Commission may issue directions to a postal service provider requiring the postal service provider to comply with such measures as it, or such person as may be appointed by the Commission under this subsection, may specify for the resolution of the dispute including payment of costs in the case where such a person is appointed, and reimbursement of payments or compensation, or both reimbursement of payments and compensation, as appropriate, in accordance with the provisions of the code of practice relating to the matters specified in subsection (1)(e).

(4) The Commission shall publish any procedures established by it pursuant to subsection (3) and any amendments thereto.

(5) The procedures referred to in subsections (1) and (3) shall be—

( a) transparent,

( b) simple,

( c) inexpensive, and

( d) enable disputes to be settled fairly and promptly.

(6) The Commission may give directions to a postal service provider to whom subsection (1) relates for the purposes of ensuring compliance with this section including directions as to—

( a) the form and manner in which a code of practice referred to in subsection (1) and information relating thereto shall be published, including information on the number of complaints made and the manner in which they have been dealt with, and

( b) the making of such alterations or additions to its code of practice as the Commission considers appropriate and specifies in the directions.

(7) A person may, where the dispute involves postal service providers in more than one Member State, request the Commission to co-ordinate its efforts with any relevant regulatory authority in another Member State with a view to bringing about a resolution of the dispute.

(8) Where the Commission is of the opinion that a postal service provider is failing, or has failed, to comply with any of the requirements of this section, the Commission may give a direction to the postal service provider concerned to ensure compliance with the requirement concerned.