Red e-letter: when dematerialization is less effective

The removal of La Poste’s red stamp in favor of the red E-letter, on January 1, 2023, extends mail delivery times. This is the finding of the consumer defense association UFC-Que Choisir, which tested the effectiveness of this new postal service.

The association sent 100 red e-letters to test the service. And even before the mail is sent, the time to complete the mail is pointed out. “If the procedure does not pose any particular problem for those who have a minimum of computer skills, it is endless. No less than 12 steps are necessary before finalizing the shipment!” mentions UFC-Que Choisirwhich specifies that at the end of the creation of the mail, in the absence of a La Poste account, one must be created.

And on the delivery time side, “only three quarters of the recipients received their mail the next day”, contrary to the promise of D+1, and this while the distribution rate of the physical red stamp was… 89%. The promise of a dematerialization that improves the service is therefore simply not kept.

“The later in the day the letter left, the more delays there were”

The red E-letter must be written or scanned in PDF format from the site, normally until 8:00 p.m. “The later the letter left in the day, the more numerous the delays” note however on this point the UFC-Que Choisir.

La Poste explains for its part that for the moment only about ten printing centers are operational, and that their rise in power should make it possible to ensure D +1. Because the delivery of mail with the red E-letter should normally be done the next day.

“The red letter as it exists today no longer corresponds to usage and, by requiring rapid transport sometimes including a plane trip, its energy balance is very heavy” justified the group in a press release last July.

The price of this service is €1.49, compared to €1.43 for the red stamp

It should be noted that the drafting of urgent letters or its digitization can also be carried out in a post office. In this case, it is the employees of La Poste who will be in charge of scanning this mail.

The price of this service is €1.49, compared to €1.43 for the red stamp, the cost of the paper and the envelope being included.

La Poste estimates that the end of the red stamp will allow it to save between 120 and 130 million euros in savings, in particular by reducing the number of rounds.

La Poste wants to invest 800 million euros over the next three years in its digital transformation and the modernization of its spaces. To facilitate online procedures, the group also intends to deploy new functionalities such as the scan function to avoid manually entering the tracking number for letters and registered letters. La Poste is also launching a tool for measuring objects and surfaces in augmented reality, making it possible to find the right packaging for parcels.

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Varun Kumar

Varun Kumar is a freelance writer working on news website. He contributes to Our Blog and more. Wise also works in higher ed sustainability and previously in stream restoration. He loves running, trees and hanging out with her family.

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