Even in our highly digitalized age, many holiday-makers enjoy sending postcards back home.
Whether it´s to brag, to inform of one´s whereabouts or to genuinely share picturesque places with family and friends, thousands queue up in tourist souvenir shops to buy clutches of pretty pictures – often bearing little resemblance to real surroundings.
Once written in a plethora of platitudes, the postcards require stamps. In Spain, that means a trip for sellos to one of two options:
Correos (the Post Office)
Neither option is particularly thrilling as there are usually long queues in both.
Enter an enterprising bunch called Easy Post. Since 2011, they have been claiming to take the strain out of the postcard process by selling you stamps right there in the souvenir shop.
Pop them on, plop the postcards in the red postbox and head back to the beach, secure in the knowledge that Easy Post will deliver them to their destinations.
Except they won´t. Or at the very least, might not.
The tourist establishment owner is supposed to pass your postcards on to the Easy Post Representative but some do so infrequently and your cards take months to get to their intended recipients.
Other proprieters fail to pass on the postcards at all and consequently they never arrive. This problem is apparently particularly acute in the Canary Islands where the attitude appears to be who cares about your stupid postcards? Tourists come for a short period then leave, so there´s little risk of a comeback.
Incredibly, Easy Post is a legally established company, although it has been fined thousands of euros by the Spanish courts for activities bordering on scams. They don´t even belong to the Universal Postal Union which regulates the conditions in which mail is sent worldwide.
So the next time you want to send a postcard of Granada´s Moorish Palace of the Alhambra, a flamenco dancer in full bata de cola or the panoramic Playa de la Concha in San Sebastián, use the Spanish Post Office and the estancos and help stamp this swindle out.