The users' rights laid down in the Postal Act concern services provided by postal undertakings. Postal undertaking refers to an undertaking providing postal services. A postal undertaking is required to submit a written notification to Traficom before launching operations.
The users' rights laid down in the Postal Act regarding parcel services concern only such Posti Ltd.'s parcel services paid in cash which it is obliged to provide on the basis of Traficom's decision.
Universal postal services guarantee the availability of basic letter and parcel services throughout Finland. The prices of these services must be reasonable and equal for all.
Secrecy of correspondence must be guaranteed
A postal undertaking must ensure the secrecy of a confidential message. This obligation also applies to postal agency shops providing services of postal undertakings. A person employed by a postal undertaking may not disclose any information on a customer or a customer’s affairs acquired in the course of his or her work if the disclosure of the information would violate the secrecy of a confidential message or a business or customer relationship.
Postal undertaking's duty to deliver an item to a recipient
A postal undertaking is obliged to deliver a letter or parcel to the address marked on the item. If the address is incomplete, the postal undertaking must, in principle, try to ascertain the correct address of the addressee. If the item cannot be delivered, the postal undertaking must return it to the sender. If this is not possible, either, the postal undertaking delivers the item to Traficom for processing.
Right to compensation for damage
In principle, a postal undertaking is liable for any damage incurred by the sender or recipient as a result of
- an item being delayed,
- lost, or
The liability of a postal undertaking is limited to a certain sum.
Damages must be claimed from the postal undertaking which advises the customer in making the complaint, if necessary.
A postal undertaking's liability for damages is laid down in Sections 49–52 of the Postal Act. (External link)
Postal undertakings must prepare and publish terms of delivery
A postal undertaking must draw up terms of delivery. The terms of delivery must be published on the undertaking’s website and, on request, also in paper form free of charge.
Any changes in the terms of delivery must be notified at least a month before the change. A universal service provider must also notify about changes in pricing at least a month before the change.
A postal undertaking may refuse to accept or convey items containing, for example, hazardous substances, objects or products, the delivery of which is prohibited by law or which pose a manifest danger for persons or property.
Traficom processes complaints regarding compliance with the Postal Act
Traficom solves complaints concerning delivery of letters and, in principle, also other violations of the Postal Act.
If problems arise, a customer should primarily make a complaint directly to the postal undertaking. If the problem persists, the customer may issue a complaint to Traficom or some other competent authority, depending on the nature of the issue.
Traficom does not monitor the delivery of unaddressed items or newspapers and periodicals.
Disputes over location of letter boxes are settled by the municipal building supervision authority.
Matters related to contractual relationships between a postal undertaking and a customer or the liability for compensation do not fall within Traficom's decision-making authority. Disputes over agreements on supplementary services made with a postal undertaking and compensations for damages may be referred to the Consumer Disputes Board. A binding decision in contract or compensation disputes requires, however, a decision from a general court of first instance.