Itella will reduce the prices of the most general letter services paid in cash by an average of 7-8% on August 1. The prices of first-class letter stamps will be reduced from 80 cents to 75 cents, and Christmas card stamps from 60 cents to 55 cents. There are no economic prerequisites for the price reductions, but Itella assented to the requirements of the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority to eliminate consumer confusion and to settle the situation for the time being.
The new price lists will be published by the end of June and will be valid from August 1, 2010, until further notice.
"We still don't consider the price changes as sensible with regard to the Finnish postal operations as a whole. Economic prerequisites for the price reductions simply do not exist. On the contrary. However, the ongoing price dispute with the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority has caused so much confusion and uncertainty among the customers that we are making the changes to quiet the situation down. The objective of the price change decisions is to make the situation more clear for the time being," says Kari Kivikoski, Director at Itella Mail Communication.
The pricing decision does not resolve the different views that Itella and FICORA have on determining the general service products and allocating the common distribution network costs. The actual disputes are still being processed in the Administrative Court. Itella is looking for a court ruling on how the costs caused by the postal service network (sorting, delivery, outlet network) should be allocated to different products according to the existing Postal Services Act. In other words, the dispute deals with different calculatory views on the interpretation of the existing Postal Services Act. The Administrative Court has not yet resolved the case. Itella's view is that many customer groups, especially magazines, would in principle suffer if the change were made permanent. The calculation model that conforms to the views of FICORA would lead to a partial disappearance of financing from the wide national outlet network.
Finnish households spend approximately 22 euros per year, i.e., less than 2 euros per month, on letter services. After August 1, the first-class and second-class no-value indicator stamps are suitable as such, and the stamps indicating value (such as 80-cent and 60-cent stamps, for example) can be used to pay postage at their full value. The changes thus made have no effect on the contract prices of Itella's corporate customers.
For more information on the postal services:
+358 200 71000 (local call rate/mobile call rate), Mon-Fri, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., www.posti.fi
+358 200 77000 (local call rate/mobile call rate), Mon-Fri, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.,