Who goes to a post office in the age of email? One reason for visiting a post office in Indonesia is to purchase duty stamps (materai) – these are the blue stamps that are affixed to official documents and must be signed for certain contracts to be considered legal. As of April 2014, a materai stamp cost Rp 6,000.
For those sending packages, Indonesia's postal service offers cheaper rates than courier companies, although some people prefer to use couriers for swifter delivery.
Pos Indonesia, the state-owned postal service, used to be notorious for slow delivery and “losing” items, especially those sent from other countries. Or packages from abroad might arrive with some of their contents missing. These days Pos Indonesia is much better. District Post Offices (Kantor Pos Wilayah) tend to provide fastest delivery and full services, although they can also have long queues.
Pos Indonesia has several types of delivery services for packages and letters:
SuratPos Biasa (Standard Post): Domestic mail service. Maximum weight of 2kg and maximum dimensions of 90cm x 60cm.
PaketPos (Package Post): Domestic and overseas delivery of packages. Tracking and pick-up services available for additional fees.
PosExpress (Express Post): Offers Same-day Service and Next-day Service . These services are limited to major cities in Java, Sumatra, Bali, Sulawesi, Kalimantan and Nusa Tenggara.
PosKilat Khusus (Quick Special Post): Offers guaranteed delivery and compensation for late items. Maximum two-day delivery to provincial capitals and four-days to regency capitals. Has an electronic tracking system. Also offers a pick-up service.
Express Mail Service (EMS): For sending items abroad. Guaranteed delivery within 3-5 days (“excluding time taken pending Customs and Excise inspections”). Compensation for lost and damaged items. Tracking system. Delivers to 230 countries. Costs calculated in US dollars but you can pay in rupiah equivalent.
AdMailPos: Offers printing and delivery services for corporations. Everything from junkmail to invoices.
Most post offices have a special section for packages. Sometimes this is staffed by school students doing work experience. When you want to send a package, Pos Indonesia staff may decide to inspect the contents and then sell you packing materials, so beware of arriving with a fully sealed package.
When a package is sent to you from overseas by regular post, Pos Indonesia will put a notification slip in your letterbox. You need to take this slip to the issuing post office, show an ID card and pay a fee of about Rp10,000 to collect your package. If you're too busy, you can sign the notification slip and give a photocopy of your of ID to your maid or driver and they should be able to collect on your behalf.
Note that packages sent to Indonesia have a duty-free limit of $50. If the sender has declared the value on the customs slip at higher than $50, then you will be charged for import duties and the package will have to be collected from a district post office. So make sure the sender of the package declares the value at less than $50.
Pos Indonesia offers a range of logistical services, including cargo delivery from warehouse to warehouse, port to port, door to door. There are no size or weight restrictions, and prices can be negotiated. Also offers warehousing, Customs clearance and tracking.
Bigger post offices also provide: PosPay for payment of utility bills; WeselPos for domestic money transfers; Western Union for international transfers; GiroPos for deposits, withdrawals and transfers; savings and loan services for pensioners; and pension payments for civil servants.
Pos Indonesia's Customer Care hotline can be contacted by calling 161 from fixed lines, or 022-161 via Telkomsel and 021-161 via XL. The post office can also be contacted via Facebook, Twitter and an online complaint/information form.
For stamp collectors, larger post offices have philatelic sales. Pos Indonesia's website does not go out of its way to promote Indonesia's stamps, not bothering to show any new issue stamps. Equally unexciting is the website of the Indonesian Philatelists Association, which prefers to list its rules and regulations, rather than display any stamps. In 2013, it launched a new website, which is still heavily focused on its membership and regulations. Collectors wanting to view and buy Indonesian stamps can instead find them via E-Fila.com.