IT'S official - parcel delivery in Australia has problems.
A survey by consumer advocate Choice shows more than half of the respondents who had parcels delivered in the past 12 months experienced a problem.
Prompted by stories of people eagerly awaiting parcels at home only to find a delivery person had been and gone without ringing the bell, and other complaints of poor parcel delivery service, Choice surveyed a representative group of 1025 Australians in July about their experiences with parcel delivery. A total 643 of the sample told Choice they had parcels delivered in the last 12 months, of whom more than half said they had problems.
"Topping the charts for those customers who had experienced problems was the mystery of the delivery notification card being left in the letterbox even though someone was home at the time of delivery - with one in four people (24%) having experienced this problem," a Choice article by Jemma Castle states.
"Other problems included unreasonable delay (23%), a missing parcel or failure to deliver (14%) and the parcel being left in a vulnerable position (11%)."
Australia Post is the main provider of parcel delivery, the article says, but other services also copped complaints.
Australia Post says 95% of parcels are delivered on time or early, and that performance levels have not reduced.
But Choice argues its research and figures in the Postal Industry Ombudsman's 2014-2015 annual report show a 38% increase in complaints against Australia Post on the previous year.
"Complaints to the PIO have been steadily increasing (they've almost tripled) since the office was formed in 2006," Choice states.
"The top complaints about Australia Post related to lost letters/parcels and delivery problems (such as the failure to attempt delivery and incorrect safe drop procedures) - accounting for 31% and 27% of complaints respectively."
The most recent PIO report, for 2015-2016, shows a 9% reduction in complaints.
"In general, the number of complaints has grown steadily since the PIO was established," the PIO 2015-2016 annual report states.
Why parcels are not being delivered
One quarter of the survey respondents who had experienced problems receiving parcels had experienced a failure to attempt to deliver - a number too high for "rogue posties" to be blamed, Choice argues.
The postal service is required by law to provide a letter delivery service and is protected from competition for that service, whereas its parcel delivery arm is open to competition.
Tips for ensuring your parcel arrives through Australia Post
Use registered post or buy extra cover.
Sign up for a MyPost account, which allows you to access these alternatives to the standard delivery service:
- Secure lockers, where you can pick up your parcel any time of the day or night for 48 hours after delivery.
- Parcel Collect, which allows you to pick up from a post office.
- Safe Drop, which allows you to have the parcel left in a safe place, although this means if the parcel doesn't show up you won't have any proof.
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