We asked seniors what they thought of the end of the red stamp

Like our resolution to do more sport and finally eat healthy, red stamp will not survive 2022. From 1 January 2023, this express tool – which guaranteed your letter to arrive within 24 hours – is replaced with immediate effect by an e-letter. If you want to deliver a paper in less than a day, you will need to scan it or send it by PDF to the The post office. The letter will then be sent to the post office closest to the recipient where a postman will print the mail and deliver it the next day.

For people who are uncomfortable with digital or deprived of computers at home – i.e. 8 million French people according to an INSEE study at the end of 2019particularly the elderly –, it is possible to send the famous red letter from your post office, via an automaton or with the help of an adviser, who will help scan priority mail. Whether you need help or not, count 1.49 euros for the operation, six cents more than our defunct red stamp.

Mail, envelope, digital invoice, all this smells good of the third age. Taking advantage of having premises Levallois-Perretnot really the youngest city in France, 20 minutes took a tour of the local post offices to ask the over 65s about this outright abolition of express paper mailing. An idea in the form of a gas plant to the taste of Marie, 67 years on the clock and not really thrilled. The former teacher has neither a computer nor a mobile phone at home, but a shopping bag and a loose tongue when criticizing the changes of the 21st century: “A handwritten letter is still better. Why are we being forced Internet ? “Ultimate wrath for her, the idea that two postal workers (the one who helps to scan, and the one who prints) can potentially read and reveal her mail. “Where is the intimacy, the confidence? We no longer have private life “, she protests.

To be in a hurry, for what?

On this point, the lawyer from digital Alexandre Archambault is reassuring: “Telecommunications operators and digital service providers are required to respect the secrecy of correspondence, the violation of which engages their responsibility at the level penal “. Infringing on this secrecy remains punished just as heavily whether for material or online writing, and as the lawyer reminds us, telegrams yesterday or postcards today were and are already readable by postal employees. “They know that if they do, they face very heavy penalties. Be careful not to confuse probability and possibility”, nuance the expert;

For François, 71, the news is a non-event. “Who still used the red stamp?” he asks another post office in town. Even for those who do not have Internet, there is the possibility of passing phone calls, don’t tell me that people don’t know how to use the landline. And for the sending of written mail so dear to Marie, the green letters are maintained – with one day more than in 2022, now being delivered in 72 hours rather than 48. “Admittedly, they take a few days to arrive, but my relatives only ask me for news every two months, so what does it matter if a letter between us does not arrive during the day? »

A big loss for some

The use of red letters was divided by nine between 2010 and 2021, justified the Post Office in free lunch newspaper. strong tendency to the decline also on France Info, where Philippe Dorge, deputy director general of the postal group, estimated that the red stamp represented 200 million objects per year and decreased by 15 to 20% every 12 months, against 1.2 billion objects sent each day by the green stamp. “The red stamp represents only 4% of the mail sent, against 80% for the green”, summarizes Alexandre Archambault.

Not really a big loss then, except for some refractory. Including Marie, who still and always resists the digital invader, “it was still practical to quickly send a check when a family member needed it. Ditto, when my grandchildren saw that I was not well on the phone, they sent me an express postcard. »

A cute story of Christmas which will still be reproducible in 2023, but taking longer. La Poste has just created the letter… turquoise, which delivers real and real mail within two days. Count 2.95 euros against 1.43 for the deceased red stamp. “Basically, you have to pay twice as much for a service that is twice as slow,” laments Marie.

The breakdown of public service

Bitter observation shared by Prune Helfter Noah, spokesperson for the Collectif Nos Services Publics: “There is a double deterioration of services and prices at the same time, which is quite shocking. La Poste has moved from efficient and affordable shipping to couriers longer and more expensive transit time. It’s not normal. »

The red e-letter is also struggling to convince: “Who is really going to use this? Asks the spokesperson. If you’re good with the Internet, what’s the point of paying 1.49 euros for what is only a email. And if you’re not comfortable with digital, it’s still very difficult – and very expensive – to understand. Prune Helfter Noah predicts: “On January 1, 2024, you will write a paper on the disappearance of the red e-letter. It’s a hollow idea and doomed to failure, to hide the reality: the Post Office no longer does mail in a day. This e-letter is only used to pass the pill. »

On this Friday, December 30, Nicole and Sylvie, seasoned sixties, send their happy new year cards. They should arrive around January 2 or 3. The two women also deplore the loss of the red stamp, a new symbol of an era which seems to constantly remind them that they are outdated, but also of a time when public services seem more and more deteriorated: “It only looks like a detail, of course, a non-announcement. But that, plus the hospitals, plus the small train lines cut, plus the shortages of teachers… One wonders what world we live in now, when we constantly opt for weakening and savings. Before, services operated for convenience, not for profitability. “A time that those under twenty cannot know, as we sang in their time.

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We asked seniors what they thought of the end of the red stamp


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