Over the last few years the job of the Correos postal service in Spain has been made considerably more difficult by the lack of revenue from postage stamps, which is an inevitable consequence of the widespread use of easily affordable modern technology such as mobile phones, emails, text messaging and What’s App.
An unfortunate consequence of this is that the delivery service offered is sometimes not as complete as it should be: last autumn residents of Mojácar in the province of Almería staged very vocal protests in which they complained that the failure to deliver mail had resulted in people losing payments, having vital services such as water cut off because bills had not been received and suffering other unmerited miscarriages of justice as mail was simply not being delivered.
In addition, Correos had increased the price of postboxes in the local Post office and the numbers of letters not being delivered, or mis-delivered had gone through the roof because Post Office workers were confused over the names of foreigners.
Spanish postal workers are aware that “Paco” is short for “Francisco”, or that “Mtz” is an abbreviation of “Martínez”, but are not necessarily able to deduce that “Dick” means “Richard”. Additional confusion can be caused by the sender of letters frequently confusing first names with surnames due to the assumption that we all have two surnames. With the new letter-box rules, therefore, if Richard Branson receives a letter addressed to Dick Branson, the post office assumes it is a different person who has not paid his 40 euros, and therefore fails to deliver the letter. Similarly, if John Patrick McEnroe receives correspondence addressed to Enroe Mac John Patrick, the same problem can occur.
Unfortunately, it seems that the residents of Orihuela Costa could be about to suffer a similar fate, following a decision made by the National Markets and Competition Commission which rules that Orihuela Costa is a “discontinuous urban nucleus”. In the Commission’s view the residents of this area, who according to the Padrón before it was revised last week outnumbered their neighbours in Orihuela city, live in developments which are not interconnected, and as a result Correos, by their own rules, are not under any obligation to deliver to individual addresses.
What this means, in real terms, is that deliveries to individual letter-boxes will be discontinued as of September, and residents in Campoamor, La Zenia,La Regia and Cabo Roig will be obliged to visit the Correos office in Playa Flamenca in order to pick up their mail.
As is to be expected those affected are far from happy, but at least they can count on the CLR-Claro local political party to fight their cause with vigour. Angered by what they call the Town Hall’s failure to protect the interests of taxpayers on the coast Claro are preparing to take up the cudgels once again, as they did in the past when taking their issues to the European Parliament in order to ensure that streets were named and signposted in order to make the postmen’s job easier.
Claro’s main raison d`être is to ensure that taxpayers on the coast are provided with adequate services, and they feel that this is a clear example of the opposite being the case. In addition, they view this latest decision as a direct result of the long-standing Town Hall policy of dividing Orihuela Costa into different districts instead of uniting them as one.
However, it must be said that the stance currently being taken by Correos is widespread and that residents in many rural areas of Spain are now being compelled to collect mail from central Post office points and take out postal boxes rather than mail being delivered to their homes.
Regardless of whatever the consequences of that may be…..
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