Posten does not want to handle wine packages: after 10 months of waiting for a decision the Swedish Posten (soon to be Swedish-Danish) informed us that they can not afford to set up the ID age checking systems required to handle wine orders via their 1800 strong ombud collection network, the largest in the country. Posten already requires all customers to show their ID before collecting a package and the personal number is recorded. If I collected a flat screen TV from Posten they would check that my ID matched the name on the TV package. The problem, it seems, is training the Postal workers to calculate if the person collecting the wine is over 20 years of age. The maths to me is quite simple, 2008 – 20 = ? and then what month is it anyway?
To order wine online from our wine club you have to put in your ID number so we check that we only sell to people who are older than 20. And of course the person collecting the order must be over 20 years of age too, which our drivers check at the door.
Our company ships thousands of bottles of wine around Sweden every week and it works very well. Our customers who live in areas that do not get home delivery collect the wine from Bussgods depots and it it runs like clockwork. Bus depot workers obviously have higher math skills than postal workers.
Is Posten scared to handle wine, are they being pressured by anti-competitive forces to deny Swedish wine drinkers the opportunity to use the postal service to get access to their wine? Or do they just have such low expectations for their postal agents and workers that checking if someone if 20 years of age or not is beyond their skill level?
Since the April Fools day announcement that the Swedish and Danish postal services are merging the talk about town has been on the clash of cultures. Maybe we will try again when the more relaxed Danes start calling the shots.