Australia Post slammed for Christmas delivery fails
ON DECEMBER 9, I purchased a few different Christmas presents for my partner online, feeling quite pleased with myself for being so organised.
Over the next week, they all arrived - except one.
Growing slightly nervous it wouldn't turn up before the big day, I contacted Australia Post on December 20, still expecting it to show in time.
The friendly customer service woman told me the estimated delivery date had been around December 20 and that an additional three business days would be needed for delivery to take place "in case of any delays within the network", but that it would arrive on December 27 at the very latest.
Spoiler alert: It didn't. It still hasn't. And at this rate, it might have to become an anniversary present - if it ever does arrive - because our tree has long since been taken down.
And it seems I'm not alone - a quick glance at the Australia Post Facebook page revealed the company has been inundated by complaints relating to delayed packages over the holiday season.
Karen Nicholson, from Norlane, Victoria, was expecting a Christmas parcel from her sister, which had been posted on Tuesday, December 19 from Port Macquarie in NSW.
Ms Nicholson's sister paid extra for express delivery - but the parcel was only received on December 27.
Ms Nicholson told News.com.au she was disappointed in Australia Post's customer service.
"They said it was outside of the 'next day delivery'. But I had posted packages to both Penrith and Port Macquarie on the Monday [December 18], standard post, and guess what? They received theirs on the Friday [December 22]," she said.
"It would have been nice to know where it went for it to take the extra time. For what they paid for [it was a] total rip off."
Other Facebook users had similar complaints.
Shannon Wheat posted "same thing happened to me ... not good enough!" while Shelly Wilson wrote "Mine was sent on the 8th, arrival date was 12th, now they tell me today ... they can't tell me nothing [sic]? I rang on the 14th, 18th and 22nd [and] they still know nothing. It was my daughter's Christmas present - she's unhappy and well so am I."
Several Facebook users even alleged that items they had sent through Australia Post had been stolen.
The anger intensified on Friday after Australia Post announced: "Our staff have been working extra hard to deliver millions of gifts over the Christmas period, and so on Friday 29 December the (Australia Post authorised holiday) we'll give them a well-deserved rest. We'll still be delivering parcels and the Customer Contact Centre will be operating, however posties won't be delivering their rounds and selected Post Offices will be closed."
Frustrated customers took to social media to ask why a holiday was necessary when so many people were still waiting to receive Christmas items that in most cases had been posted in early to mid-December.
An Australia Post spokeswoman said more staff had been employed to cope with the Christmas demand.
"This Christmas was our busiest on record, with our hardworking employees processing and delivering more than 4.2 million parcels in the weekend leading up to Christmas Day, and more than 2.6 million parcels delivered on Monday, December 18," the spokeswoman said.
"Over the Christmas period, 98 per cent of letters and 95 per cent of Parcel Post items were delivered on time or early.
"To help serve our customers, we employed an additional 2,000 people during this period to help with sorting and delivery. We also employed an additional 140 people in our Customer Contact Centre to manage customer inquiries across our call centre, online and social media channels, which helped to ensure the average wait time in our call centre was just over 60 seconds."
The spokeswoman said it was "disappointing" when delays occurred, and urged customers to get in touch so individual cases could be investigated.
"Our people take great pride in the timely and safe delivery of mail, especially at Christmas time where we add on weekend deliveries and open our Post Offices longer to ensure people get their goods in time. It is disappointing when delays occur and we encourage customers to contact us so we can investigate fully," she said.
"Theft after delivery and tampering with mail are serious criminal matters and should be reported to police immediately."