Consumer protectionAmount of arbitration requests for mail items continues to grow

Today, the Post Arbitration Board at the German Federal Network Agency published its activity report for 2020. According to the results, the number of arbitration requests increased by 28 percent compared to the previous year and also grew slightly at the beginning of 2021.

The Post Arbitration Board assists with extrajudicial dispute resolution between consumers and postal service providers when customer rights have been violated under the Postal Services Ordinance, such as in case of loss, theft or damage of mail items.

These are further details:

  • In 2020, the Post Arbitration Board received a total of 1,861 arbitration requests – an increase of 28 percent compared to 1,453 requests in 2019.
  • These requests related primarily to parcels (80 percent), then registered mail (seven percent), letters and small parcels (around five percent each).
  • The most frequently stated reasons for requests were loss (53 percent) or damage (25 percent) of mail items and shipment content.
  • Other reasons related to ambiguities regarding liability restrictions and limitations as well as questions about permissible shipment contents and postal service providers' refusal to participate.
  • The majority of requests originated from senders (67 percent); just around a third came from mail recipients (33 percent). 
  • The arbitration requests referred to the service providers of Deutsche Post DHL (77 percent), Hermes (17 percent), DPD (three percent), GLS (just under two percent) and UPS (well under one percent).

Jochen Homann, President of the Federal Network Agency, said: "Increasing parcel volumes lead to more arbitration cases. Consumers have a great interest in extrajudicial dispute resolution. We therefore welcome the legal initiative to oblige the postal companies to participate in an arbitration procedure with the amendment to the Postal Act."

Source: Federal Network Agency

Further information and the report