Last year the Post Office in Competa introduced changes to its charges for a post box. This meant households had to pay per person for receiving post to the same box. The reality meant that many people with homes in the campo could no longer afford a post box. There were complaints about these charges but the reality remained..
Instead of complaining any more a few customers suggested to Todo Papel in Competa that they provide the service as well, and then people could have a choice. Alick and Debbie from Todo Papel had already diversified their business in many ways over the last couple of years in order to be successful within a country in recession. The post box idea also seemed a natural move for them as they already offered other types of postal services. So, after a conversation with the Mayor and research into postal law it seemed that everybody is entitled to receive mail to the address on the envelope.
Initially, they bought 20 boxes to see how it went. They advised their customers of their new PO Box service, Todo Buzones, which at €45 per year per household made it far more economical compared to the post office. They also added their own personal touch by offering a service where you could pay an additional €5 euro annually in order to receive notification of post or parcels by email when they arrived.
It wasn't surprising that immediately the 20 boxes were sold and another 100 were purchased to accommodate demand. In fact they will keep buying boxes on demand so don't worry if you can't see a spare one in the shop. Debbie and Alick explained there is still plenty of space and with a bit of change around there is virtually no limit to the amount of boxes they have. They are available to anyone, you don't have to live in Competa and businesses can use the boxes as a convenient postal address.
Todo Papel has also managed to maintain a good relationship with the post office and Eva the post girl. All post through the Spanish post office system can be delivered to Todo Papel including signed for items. For large and heavy items the post office will issue an 'Aviso' and Alick or Debbie will collect from the post office and bring the item back to Todo Papel.
To take advantage of the post box service, all you need to do is change your address to the shop address, which Alick & Debbie will advise you of. By way of an example, the Town Hall have cooperated with Todo Papel and made it easier by having only one form to fill in to cover all services. Alick and Debbie will be happy to provide advice on changing addresses.
December is a good time to make the change as you can notify friends and family inside their Christmas card of your new postal address. Incidentally you can buy the Christmas cards at Todo Papel too. So it is truly a 1 stop shop for all your postal needs!
The new postal box service complements the existing Todo Papel services. They have worked with Offex for the last 6 years so they can send post outside of Spain worldwide. They can also arrange courier services worldwide, including Spain. This service has been used, for example, to save on hold baggage. They have been receiving courier items for many years now which is particularly useful at Christmas time where Todo Papel is the main drop off for Amazon parcels! All courier items received are included with the post box service. However, they will still receive items from a courier if you don't have a box with them although this service will be subject to the following charges, up to 1kg €1, up to 2 kg €2, up to 9kg €3 and 10 kg or more €5. They also ask you to notify them if you are expecting them to receive a package.
Todo Papel also have a good second hand book exchange as well as DVD rental not to mention all the Christmas essentials; cards, wrapping and parcel paper, gift tags, sweets and chocolates along with your favourite magazines and newspapers.
Over the last 8 years Todo Papel has definitely become more than just your local newsagent!