I just can’t understand why the Spanish Prime Minister would come out and say that Spain will be “better prepared” to receive foreign tourists by the end of the summer once 70% of the population has been vaccinated. If that’s the case speed up the vaccination programme to make sure it’s at that figure by at least May! Surely it’s better to stimulate the economy by getting people back to work as quickly as possible? I can’t believe the cost of the vaccine is more than having people furloughed or unemployed? This smacks of looking after the bigger autonomous regions first that don’t depend so much on Tourism. The whole of Spain’s tourism GDP is 12% but here it’s 44% and as much as 85% if you include third party suppliers. We need to get the vaccine out here as quickly as possible. The UK Government’s target is 350,000 a day which they are not far off of right now. So if you brought that here you’d be done in 3 days! Now I realise that’s unrealistic here but it shows what can be done if you put a plan together. Too much dithering for me and will leave us in a total mess if nothing is done.
Talking of a total mess. The Spanish postal service right now leaves a lot to be desired. My Mum, my Sister and my Mother in law all sent parcels for our kids in good time before Christmas. So far none of them have arrived. Well actually one apparently might have arrived as they said via the tracker they tried to deliver it last week but they said there was no one in. Although on the day there was at least one of us at home. We went to the Post Office this week, and they said they’d sent it back because the address was wrong! So how did you try and deliver it then? A shrug of the shoulders and there’s nothing we can do was the reply. This made we wonder if anyone else was experiencing the same problems. I asked on the radio and put a post on Facebook and was inundated with replies. Over 100 to be precise via Social media and telephone messages. Anyway enough for me to try and find out more information.
Correos is the largest provider of postal services in Spain and has been entrusted with the universal service obligation since 1998. It has more than 50,000 employees and annual revenues of around €2 billion. It is owned by the Sociedad Estatal de Participaciones Industriales (“SEPI”), a public-law entity which holds shareholdings in various companies on behalf of the State.
The Spanish postal service market was liberalised in 2011 in accordance with the European Postal Directive, which opened up the market to other suppliers and while Correos emanates from public administration, it now operates in full competition with other relevant postal service providers.
By the way, you did read the above correct, revenues of around €2 billion! But you have to dig a little deeper than that to look at the profit. Correos achieved a net profit of €14.8 million in 2019, giving the national postal service its first gain since 2014. Reversing its loss of €153 million in 2018. Which might give you more of an idea why they’re in a mess.
However it’s not just a Spanish problem apparently as you might be thinking it’s all about Brexit. Covid has also been a problem both with the handling of post, the rise in online purchases and the loss of staff to illness.
In the UK the Royal Mail posted on their website a statement saying “working hard to deliver the most comprehensive and high quality service we can to all our customers..but the combination of greatly increased uptake of online shopping, and the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, mean that all delivery companies are experiencing exceptionally high volumes.”
It might have been advisable to make the warnings earlier and clearer. Also if there was a problem with sorting because of sheer volume then employ more people. It might be only temporary but there’s a lot of people out there looking for work.
Royal Mail have appointed a new boss, Simon Thompson, a former Ocado executive who also ran the NHS Test and Trace app. The firm has admitted “failing to adapt” to the new reality and “holding on to outdated working practices and a delivery structure that no longer meets customer needs”. He will have been aware that just before Christmas the Royal Mail agreed what unions called a “landmark” deal to settle a long-running dispute over pay and conditions. Looks like he has his hands full.
When I researched “problemas con correos en España” in Google, the top search was from Trustpilot. They are an online consumer review website who post reviews of businesses Worldwide. With just under 1500 reviews, 94% of people rate Correos as very bad. The boss is called Juan Manel Serrano Quintana, a former advisor to Spanish President Pedro Sanchez and he earns just over 200,000€ a year. Looks like he has his work cut out too.
It’s too late for Christmas sadly for a lot of people but next time it might be advisable to look at all the alternatives and costs and decide what is best. Our family did also use Send My Bag which arrived on time and without a problem.
I’d like to leave you with some praise though this week. I picked up my eldest sons and my TIE resident card on Tuesday. After going before Christmas to discover the wording was wrong and we would have to reapply. This time we were met outside by the Policía Nacional who were checking everybody’s paperwork. He said that because of all the bad weather in Madrid there was a backlog of cards arriving but he said we should be ok. Sure enough within 10 minutes we were in and out without any hassle.
Also the new temporary MOT centre set up just outside Magaluf has been a success. Trying to deal with a backlog of MOT’s they seem to have got things moving. My Wife decided to forego her late January appointment elsewhere to try and get it done before. She went down very early one morning and was in, out and passed within an hour.
See with a bit of planning things can be done quicker.
Take care everyone and enjoy your weekend!
Richie presents the Radio One Mallorca Breakfast show Monday to Friday 07.30-11.00am on 93.8fm in Mallorca and 102fm in Calvià, online at www.radioonemallorca.com on mobile through their free App for IPhone & Android, The Tunein Radio App, iTunes, the Spanish TDT TV service and all smart speakers. If you can’t hear him on the radio then you’ll find him working at Pirates Adventure the islands number one night out and every now and again he may make an understudy appearance!
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