Belgian post certified mail hell
My insurance company has sent me a certified letter (aangetekende brief) with valuable information, something they told me in advance. This weekend I wanted to collect the letter at my local post-office branch (which is housed in a grocery store). But they refused to give me the letter, which addresses my company, as I did not have any proof that I was in fact authorized to accept mail for my company. Fair enough, no problem, I should have known.
So I go back two days later with legal proof (oprichtingsakte) that I own in fact the company that was addressed. I could also proof I was living at that address, but all that did not matter. The representative of the grocery store/local post-office told me she was not allowed to hand over mail without a special (paid-for) authorization paper (postvolmacht) from the Belgian post group.
Even though, in fact, a normal post-office does accept legal papers, those smaller post-offices do not. All fine by me, but I never signed up to get my certified mail to be dropped at that grocery store, nor was I ever informed that they would have different policies. In fact, collecting at the door also requires this "postvolmacht", which is acquired for a "mere" 35€.
It is also not possible to have my mail by default be dropped somewhere else (meaning I have to first go to the local post-office, ask for it to be transferred somewhere else, then wait until it arrives there, and go back). I refuse to pay the Belgian post group additionally for collecting mail send to me (which I would think is an integral part of delivering mail). This is ridiculous. The Belgian post wants to collect money twice and that is outrageous, even if I would want to authorize myself or another person to collect my mail, we should not be paying for that service, nor should they harass customers by a tedious process of redirecting mail.
You would think that it is implicit if you pay for mail delivery that the recipient has the right to collect it, or authorize someone else to collect it. Not in Belgium, the recipient has to pay to collect, especially when you're addressing a company...
And the Belgian post is still owned by the government, so I guess it's another tax cover-up ?