Quarter of a million people ignoring their digital post

Too many not opening public sector mails

Although most Danes have been using their digital mailbox to receive mail from their municipality, the hospitals, Skat and other public entities, about 246,000 people are yet to open their digital mailboxes.  Mostly young, non-Danish speaking and disadvantaged people have not responded to mail they have received.

About 172,000 of the recalcitrant group have never even clicked on their digital mailbox.

"Many are receiving paychecks, but it is not necessarily the case that a citizen needs to go in to see their paycheck every month,” Helle Junge Nielsen from the digital information agency Digitaliseringsstyrelsen told Berlingske. “They may also have received mail about something else and have never opened it.”

When all else fails, send a letter
Those who have not opened their digital boxes have all been informed that they should – by traditional snail mail.

Nielsen said the agency is working hard to help young people become more informed about digital post by reaching out via social media platforms like Facebook.

“They are reminded that mail from the public sector is all digital now and that they should remember to enter their email address and mobile number so they are notified when there is new mail,” she said.

NemID too clumsy
Jesper Bull Berger, an IT researcher at  Roskilde University, said that one of the reasons many people can’t be bothered with digital post is that the entire NemID process  is too cumbersome.

“It simply requires too much typing, clicking and codes,” Berger told Berlingske. “The amount of work needed outweighs the potential gain of seeing if there is something important in the post.”

Berger said it was “unfortunate” that the most at-risk citizens were those having trouble with digital post.

“It could have serious consequences for them," said Berger. 

Tell mom and dad
Søren Skaarup, who has written a PhD on eGovernment at Syddansk Universitet, said that although young people are well versed in technology, they don’t understand bureaucracy.

“If you want to reach them, you have to do it through their parents,” Skaarup told Berlingske.

READ MORE: Are you ready for the digital mail transition?

Every citizen was automatically enrolled in digital post last year – unless they applied for and received an exemption. About 4.2 million people are enrolled, while half a million are exempt.