Swiss Post

Switzerland has a reputation for efficiency and good business practice based, as far as I can tell, on its excellent public transport system. Nothing else I have observed here could be said to be bound by the same principles.

Take, for instance, Swiss Post, an institution which, being privatised, seems to have no duty of care. It is grossly inefficient, incompetent and unpleasant in its dealings. It is expensive and slow and delivers not much for its high price. In fact, apparently its services are going to deterioriate even further now, according to this report from a local newspaper.

But of all the deficiencies of this laughable service, the one that particularly staggers me is this. I am quoted a price on my shipping. I give them my Swiss bank card. They do not accept Swiss debit cards. It is the only place I’ve ever been into which fails to accept this card. Even the dodgiest little shop in the bad part of town will accept this card. I give them my Australian credit card. They do not accept credit cards. Other than cash, they accept exactly one form of payment: their OWN credit card. If you are unwilling to acquire one of those, cash is the only payment taken.

I’d end by saying WTF, but really I want to spell that out. What the fuck?


5 thoughts on “Swiss Post

    • Cat, Speaking as one who has been involved in shipping books via Australia Post for 40 years, I am impressed that it still offers excellent service compared with anywhere we ship to. Once I would have said that the Royal Mail was just as good, but it is now in privatised tatters. I figure that AP is still okay compared with most. When it takes 4-6 weeks for something to go to and fro between Switzerland and Australia, I know who to blame.


  1. Then can you explain why I posted a letter here one Monday and had it arrive on the other side of the city the following Monday? I could have put my paws on the pedals and arrived faster!


  2. No, I can’t. But I think this is exceptionally atypical. Do we not need more data, Cat? More typical is this: I once received a letter via Australia Post in which the addressee was correctly named, but every part of the address otherwise was wrong. Wrong street number, wrong street name, wrong suburb. I don’t mean it was an ex-address, for example, I mean a totally made up one. But it still arrived. In Switzerland the responsibility is entirely on the sender to get all this right. There is no responsibility on the part of the provider.


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