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Russian Post Foils Teen's College Application

Russian Post has a dismal reputation for delays and other shipping problems.

Not getting in to the college of your choice is never nice — but it's even worse if it happens because the postal service delayed your application and reimbursed you 50 cents for a wasted year of your life.

A young woman in Siberia's Kemerovo region failed to get into college because the state-run postal monopoly Russian Post did not deliver her entry application on time, a local court reported Thursday.

The unidentified woman had applied to two colleges in Moscow, but both denied her a place because the applications arrived too late, contrary to the post office's assurances, the court said on its website.

When she complained, the postal company paid her back 20.20 rubles ($0.53) for the mail shipping costs.

And when she sued, Russian Post refused to pay up, saying she had presented no proof of suffering moral damages over the incident.

The prospective student nevertheless won 22,500 rubles ($590) in damages in May, with the verdict upheld on appeal, the court said. The appeal was reviewed in August, but not reported before.

It remained unclear whether the woman had ever obtained a place at college.

Russian Post has a dismal reputation for delays and other shipping problems, ranking among the world's worst in a 2012 study of 159 postal systems worldwide.

Though it has reported investing considerable effort and money into improvement in recent years, it remains plagued by incidents and mismanagement.

One recent example saw the company take almost six months to deliver a shipment from Moscow to the city of Salekhard, 2,400 kilometers to the northeast — longer than it would have taken to cover the distance on foot.

Another incident involved a shipment of costly cosmetics products from Israel eaten by rats en route to Chelyabinsk. As in Kemerovo, the postal service refused to pay and only reimbursed the recipient when ordered to do so by a court.

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