This was a post from January 2007 about the Italian postal system, or should I say lack of.
I am surprised with the way the Italian postal system functions, or lack thereof, that no one has gone “postal” yet.
First I should explain a little bit about the postal system here in Italy, Posta Italiane. It is privately owned, not a government run agency like in the States. In addition to offering the usual postal services, the post office here also offers bank accounts, fax services, recently also offering “kits” to renew a foreigner’s permit to stay (permesso di soggiorno). Also, in order to pay monthly bills, utilities and other various bills, one has to go to the post office.
This morning I had to go to the post office to pay a couple of bills. Like last month, I had to wait in line for over half an hour. I know, I could have gone to a different post office to TRY to avoid such a long wait, but seems this is common in the post offices in my town of Busto Arsizio. Always seems like there are at least a couple of people that have a transaction that takes a good part of the morning. Then there are the clerks that take their little old time doing such transactions. They have contract jobs so they don’t have to worry about losing their cushy jobs.
Then there’s the mail delivery. Sometimes it comes, sometimes it doesn’t, even if addressed properly and sufficient postage. Example in point, back in 2003 when I was collecting my documents to apply for Italian citizenship, I had sent my birth certificate back to my home state to have a form attached to it and they sent it back. This was in March 2003, a month later I went back to the States to visit my family, my birth certificate still had not arrived. So I obtained another birth certificate, sent it off while in the States. I received that one back in a matter of ten days. September 2003 arrives, I received the first birth certificate I had sent off, with a note from the State of South Dakota stating that they had received my first birth certificate back, saying that I did not live at such address, and the State HAD my correct address and sufficient postage.
*** Update February 13th 2009. The postal system is still something to be desired. My bank in the United States sent my debit card a month ago and as of today has not arrive. Then again, today the mailman has NOT arrived. Shoes I ordered off of eBay that were sent on February 3rd, not arrived. In the last month we’ve had mail delivery on average of 3-4 times a week instead of Monday through Saturday like it should be.