Online Stores in Hungary Must Soon Officially Offer Magyar Posta as Delivery Option

  • 21 Feb 2024 5:51 PM
  • Hungary Today
Online Stores in Hungary Must Soon Officially Offer Magyar Posta as Delivery Option
Magyar Posta (Hungarian Post) intends to make it mandatory for online stores operating in Hungary to indicate the possibility of delivery by MPL (Magyar Posta Logisztika) in addition to the other existing delivery options used by customers.

The Hungarian Post made this decision citing last year’s amendment to a 2012 government decree, albeit not without causing some inconvenience. According to their letter addressed to webshops and published on the site, MPL does not wish to monopolize its position but would still make it compulsory to list the state-owned company as a delivery option.

Taking into account the prices of other delivery services, the service offered by MPL is 400-500 HUF gross more expensive than other options, according to the price list published by Magyar Posta.

However, this decision marks just one aspect of the challenges facing the postal system. From March 28, if vendors do not sign a contract with MPL, they will be responsible for posting the parcels themselves. No courier will be dispatched to collect them from vendors without a contract.

The regulation will impose an additional logistical and financial burden on webshops without contracts with Magyar Posta, potentially leading to price or delivery fee increases.

The infrastructure for the increasingly widespread  automated pick-up points is a well-established network in the country.  According to the Economx article, there are currently 4,500 pick-up and drop-off kiosks in the country, of which 550 are managed by MPL; the rest belong to independent market delivery companies (Foxpost, GLS, etc.).

Number of pick-up points by operators:

GLS: 1280 units
Foxpost: 950 units
Packeta: 852 units
eMAG / Sameday: 700 units
Alza (Alzabox): 178 units

Source: Economx

Magyar Posta has recently been in financial difficulties, leading to the closure of offices.

By reducing the number of outlets providing postal services and increasing its tariffs, the public operator has still not been able to correct its market position and improve the efficiency of its services.

This recent move, unpopular with many retailers, could result in slower and more cumbersome postal services, rather than the anticipated improvements in service quality and efficiency in response to market pressure.

Arguments rage about whether the current intervention was intended to improve the situation of Magyar Posta, or whether it was designed to suppress other operators and possibly force them to introduce tariffs similar to MPL.

The Hungarian community forum (r/hungary) on Reddit regularly discusses the quality of various parcel delivery services, but most of the comments, many negative, are about MPL and Magyar Posta.

It is often the case that the postal service is not customer-oriented, bureaucratic, and employees are often rude to clients, as some of the comment below shows:

I was waiting for a letter (supposed to be the main job of the post office to deliver letters), the notice arrived, I went to the office, waited 40 minutes for 3 people to be served in front of me and was told to go back tomorrow because they close in 15 minutes and there was no time for me. I got frustrated,… then they graciously asked me why I was here. I showed them the notice and she could NOT find my letter and said it wasn’t here.

In another case, a commenter reported information and tracking failures and damage in a parcel from abroad.

The parcel arrived, but opened, incomplete (things were stolen). 250 EUR damage…No compensation, not even an apology. The webshop was terribly nice, they sent me a replacement for the stolen stuff.

Finally, a case of a parcel ordered to an MPL pick-up point, where the recipient was informed by the postal service that he had to pick up the parcel in person at a post office two kilometers from the pick-up point:

I’ve had several occasions where I’ve specifically asked for a parcel at an MPL machine, and then been told to go to the post office 2 kilometers away and queue up to pick it up.

Despite the outrage, Magyar Posta had argued that the measures are necessary in order to fulfill its legal obligations.

As they say in their statement: “Magyar Posta JSC. has a legal obligation to make postal services available and accessible to all, thus ensuring that the population has access to affordable and high-quality postal services, regardless of their geographical location, through the universal postal network.”

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