Friday, 16 January 2015

Australia Post for the LOLs

Australia Post is an institution that keeps on giving. Not just letters and parcels, but also headaches.
In this post I am about to repeat several of its misdeeds. Nothing this blog hasn’t seen before; it’s just that their ongoing nature and their concentration over a brief period of time – this holiday season – makes them stand out.
Enjoy the ride.

Affairs start with Australia Post sticking its own junk mail brochures (like the one in the above photo) into my post box. Twice within a month. And that’s despite the fact my post box bears a very distinctive “No Junk Mail” sign.
Clearly, Australia Post deems itself above the law.

Next, we have the ongoing saga of Australia Post failing to honour the post withholding service they had sold me. At the hefty price of $25 for 6 days of mail withholding, if I might add; you sort of assume that with the price comes quality, especially when I'm paying them not to deliver my post, but that assumption does not apply with Australia Post.
Historically speaking, Australia Post had failed to withhold my mail three straight times before. After the third “we will be alright next time, we swear” promise I escalated the problem to the relevant governmental ombudsman. Contact with Australia Post was lost during the following proceedings (an affair that has also been raised to the same ombudsman), but before that had happened Australia Post managed to assure me the problem will not happen again.
Well, it did. Not only wasn’t my mail withheld, I also received urgent reminders to come and pick up parcels that should have been withheld before these parcels are returned to their senders.
Naturally, for Australia Post, the parcels awaiting me did not do so at the post office that’s a hundred meters away; they waited at the one that’s two and a half kilometres away. Clearly, Australia Post holds the convenience of its customers to its heart (an organ it had lost several years ago).
So I left work early and made my way to that post office at the earliest opportunity. Whether or not my post should have been held, I clearly did not want it to be returned to its sender. Alas, upon my arrival to the post office I was greeted by a locked up door and a tiny sign explaining that Australia Post has an extra day off / holiday today, thank you very much.
I’m all for days off. I really am. But I assume this extra holiday did not come out of the blue; the card telling me to attend the post office specified the branch’s opening times (by the day of the week!) but failed to mention any such extra holidays.
I can see Australia Post’s line of thinking there: Hey, make them travel 2.5 kilometers just so they can appreciate us having a day off and them not!

The matter of retrieving my post before Australia Post vanishes it was still a clear and present danger, so I made my way to the same post office the next day. I was greeted by Mark, who gave the Urgent Pickup Notices I handed him a second look, as if telling me off for my slackness.
“Are you aware”, I asked, “that the delivery of my post should have been withheld?”
Without blinking, Mark replied saying that post withholding applies only to letters and not to parcels. “I beg to differ”, but I left it at that. A minute later Mark returned with my post and an apologetic look, asking if I would like the complaint contacts. Don’t bother, I told him, I all over that.
With all due respect to Mark, why did he feel obliged to make that blatantly false statement that he had made? It’s not the first time I hear bullshit along Mark’s lines from an Australia Post employee asked to explain their failure to withhold post delivery. No one is blaming you personally, so just shut up; lying makes you and Australia Post look even worse.

One would think me picking my post up would be the end of the affair, but then again one is dealing with Australia Post.
Three days after I picked my package up I received another urgent notification in my post box urging me to come again (to the 2.5 kilometres away branch) for a package that will be returned to sender tomorrow.
So I went.
There I was asked whether I have paid the branch a recent visit. When I confirmed that was the case they informed me that I have already picked this urgent package up. So I asked – as one would – why it was, exactly, that they sent me a pickup notification three days after I already picked my stuff up?
Now, I assure you I am not making the following answer up. No one can make sh*t like that up:
The answer the woman at the Australia Post branch gave me? “The notification was held up in the mail”.

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