About shippings with Swiss Post

About shippings with Swiss Post

As you may have noticed, Yoctopuce stopped offering to send your international orders with Swiss Post. We thought that the least we could do was to explain why.

Note that this post concerns international orders entrusted to Swiss Post which then entrusts them further to partners for shipping out of Switzerland.

To understand the situation, you must understand that sending something internationally with Swiss Post is somewhat akin to sending a message in a bottle: when you have entrusted your package to Swiss Post, you don't have any control over it anymore. With or without tracking number, it's one of the members of the Universal Postal Union which decides what happens to your package, without ever asking you.

Under normal circumstances, this works quite well. A "priority" package entrusted to Swiss Post was likely to reach any destination after a week or so. However, for several months now, there has been an inexorable degradation of international delivery services by Swiss Post: routing times became random and complaints from customers are multiplying.

The most current cases are

  • The package couldn't be delivered, without telling us exactly why, and it quietly awaits being picked up in the local post office, but the recipient doesn't seem to have been notified of it. After one month, the packaged is returned to us, at our expense, we then send it once more, still at our expense.
  • The package seems to be stuck midway, most of the time right after leaving the country of origin, and the tracking data stay the same. After a month or so without news, the customer becoming impatient, Yoctopuce considers that the package is lost and sends a second package with a carrier and at its own expense, and then files a complain with Swiss Post. Another month later, Swiss Post tells us that the first package has just now been delivered, after two and a half months. Customers who take the trouble to inform us that they received two packages are apparently quite a minority :-(

We contacted Swiss Post to hold them accountable, and here is their answer (original version in French):

We regret that your shipments were delayed and the inconvenience caused in this regard.

Due to the limited availability of transportation because of the global impacts of COVID-19, shipment delivery times may be extended. Given the current lack of transportation, some shipments may be stuck at the airport waiting to be delivered to the destination country, which may cause this hole.

According to 4.4.1 and 4.4.6 lit. H of our General Terms and Conditions of Business, Swiss Post is not answerable to delays and when the delivery of items occurs after the published estimated delivery time. This estimated delivery time is regularly checked and adapted if necessary, but no guarantee is given as various factors can influence it.

In other words, packages sent by post are usually shipped in the holds of passenger aircrafts. Air passenger traffic having collapsed, packages are piling up in warehouses while waiting for appropriate means of transportation. It seems that chartering airplanes to solve the issue is not on the agenda. And Swiss Post won't compensate its customers for their loses. The glorious days of the Aéropostale are indeed far away.

We understand that times are hard for everybody, but we consider as well that it's not a valid reason to shirk one's responsibilities rather than to try to find solutions.

Obviously, we cannot continue to compensate Swiss Post shortcomings by sending multiple packages. And we don't even speak of the increasing frustration of our customers waiting for their orders during months. Therefore, we decided that our online shop won't offer international postal shipping until further notice. For orders outside of Switzerland, you must select between DHL, FedEx, and UPS, which have their own fleet of cargo planes and offer a reasonable quality of service. However, if for reasons of your own you nevertheless want to receive your package through Swiss Post, contact us before sending your order. But expect to be asked to assume the risk of loss and late delivery.

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