Definitely in the category of First World Problems

When you order something online…

…and you get it sent to home rather than work because it’s a bit bulky…

…and you aren’t home when they try to deliver it…

…and they don’t take it to a Licenced Post Office which is open on weekends…

…and they don’t take it to a regular Post Office with a pre-9am pickup window

Instead they take it to another post office which isn’t too far away, but only operates 9 to 5 on weekdays. When I’m at work.

How do they expect me to pick it up?

Thankfully it wasn’t sent to some courier depot somewhere, and I was able to get the kids to pick it up for me, but it makes me think that if it’s known that online orders and packages are a big part of the future of the post office and of courier companies, they need to put a little more thought into this.

No wonder one company has launched parcel lockers you can install at home to replace your mail box, with built in smarts to send you a text message when a parcel arrives, though at $329 or more, I can’t see myself getting one any time soon. Perhaps a cheaper, lower-tech version is needed?

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

18 replies on “Deliveries”

“I was able to get the kids to pick it up for me”.
Lucky. Sometimes the person listed as the receiver must personally sign for the item.
Am the Tullamarine depot is a long way away!

Its worse when they don’t deliver when I am at home, and then send it to woop woop.

Maybe AussiePost’s new pickup points at 7-11s will help to solve this. They are being rolled out in my area (Essendon)

This is a plus of living in a Docklands highrise – the concierge takes in parcels and holds them for collection up to 8.00p.m.

They have, of course.

You can (or could, last time this happened to me) ring them up and get the parcel re-re-directed to any other post office. I’ve used a post office near to work, or the local post office agency which is open on Saturday morning.

Australia Post also announced earlier this year that they are rolling out 24 hour lockers for precisely this reason.

Amusingly, I took a photo yesterday of a new bank of Australia Post parcel lockers at a 7-11 service station opposite North Williamstown railway station. (I had in mind sending it to you as I thought you’d be interested.) They look just like the modern lockers that you see at swimming pools – a central panel with a console flanked by (bright red) lockers in a variety of sizes.

(I noticed just a day or so ago an news item that the Canadian Post Office will be stopping home deliveries over the coming 4 or 5 years. Instead all mail will be delivered to this type of locker.)

Yeah have had problems with Australia Post parcel deliveries. Like when I am at home, and STILL get a ‘sorry we missed you’ card just because they didn’t feel like opening the gates. Or when they leave the parcels on top of the letter box, Exposed to rain. In plain view from the street where anyone could reach across and take the parcel. Or when they leave the parcel in the front garden bushes instead of the doorstep. Have complained many times, seldom rectified. The sub-contractors probably don’t care on their wages..

My local post office lets me pick up my parcel till 7 or 8pm on weeknights.

People should not assume the deadline is 5pm any more.

I bet this is a recent change due to the huge growth in online shopping.

Everyone should re-find out if their post office allows you to pick up your parcel after 5pm.

Apparently what can happen is drivers aren’t allowed to leave the mail truck/motorbike “unattended” as that could allow someone to tamper with the mail (which is an offence). Which is convenient for drivers who can’t be bothered leaving the truck or bike to walk down a long driveway and gives them the right to stick that “unable to deliver’ notice in your mailbox.

Unfortunately Jacob in my experience a lot of smaller local Australia Post outlets do shut at 5 on the dot. Some of them open on Saturday mornings much like banks. I think if Australia Post aren’t willing to be logical and open up after business hours they need to increase the locker program as that’ll be the future

at $329 I’d expect a locker for bigger parcels – calling post office to redirect sounds like the better option

Still better than the postage contactor being too lazy to take the package back to the post office and leaving it out. I just around the corner from the local post office yet it is “too hard”

To those who still haven’t found an affordable and convenient solution to this problem: are any of your near neighbours home most of the day (carers of small children, pensioners, and the like)? Would they be willing to receive parcels on your behalf, and hold them for you to collect later?

My mum is an elderly pensioner, and she happily receives parcels during the day on behalf of her neighbours who work. In return, the neighbours do favours for her – mowing the nature strip, changing smoke alarm batteries, and similar things that she can’t easily do on her own any more. It works out well for everyone.

The problem with your theory bonnie is that most businesses which send parcels, won’t send them to anywhere except your own registered credit card address.
And even if they did, if you elderly neighbour isn’t home when the delivery occurs, or the delivery person doesn’t really attempt to deliver it, as is often the case, then it just would make the process of trying to get the parcel from somewhere else later even more complicated.

@enno, it’s not a “theory”. I wasn’t putting forward some hypothetical solution. I’m describing something that is actually happening, that my Mum and her neighbours have been doing for some time. It works just fine for them.

The online businesses her neighbours order from apparently have no problem at all with delivering to an address that isn’t “your own registered credit card address”. In fact, I’m not even sure how the business could know at the time of purchase just what the credit card address is! Surely privacy laws would prevent them from obtaining that information from the bank. All they’re entitled to know is that the credit card number, name, expiry date, etc are valid, and that the bank has approved the transaction.

Moreover, if such a delivery restriction were in place, you’d never be able to order anything to be delivered to another person’s house as a gift – which you certainly can, because I’ve done it myself. Many of the online businesses I buy from even have provision for two separate addresses: delivery address and billing address. Clearly, then, businesses recognise that some customers will want things delivered to an address which is not their usual one.

As for the “missed delivery” issue – I haven’t actually asked Mum about it, but I can’t see that as an insurmountable problem either. Whenever I’ve had a missed-delivery card in the mailbox and have had to go to the post office to collect it, the counter staff have never asked me for ID or proof of address. They’ve just handed the parcel over.

If you’re not interested in trying my suggestion, fine. Don’t do it. It doesn’t bother me. But please don’t call it a “theory”, or pour cold water on it by describing the ways it can’t possibly work, when it manifestly *is* working, in one small community at least.

Well Bonnie, I am concerned that your post office hands over parcels willy-nilly without demanding ID. That is certainly not the case here.
And you obviously have never dealt with eBay either.

Once again enno shows an amazing ability to misinterpret.

It’s a simple matter to order an item and get it shipped to an address and named person different from your own (and different from the billing address).

As for the missed delivery card, I’ve generally found they don’t ask for ID unless it’s stipulated by the type of delivery (for example registered mail). And in any case, doesn’t the card allow you to nominate another person to collect an item for you?

I don’t know how you pay for things on the internet, but I use paypal, which belongs to ebay, and when you buy things on ebay and pay for them using paypal, they will only ship to your registered address. That is not a misinterpretation, that’s a fact. And a good thing too, to reduce fraud and identity theft.

Maybe amazon or booksellers or somebody else work differently, but I don’t know, I don’t use them.

The post office here needs the card and they need your photo-ID. Yes, you can delegate someone else to pick it up. But if the old lady next door is out when the australia post contractor pretends to come, and she gets the card, then is she delegating you to go pick it up, or are you delegating her ?

I rarely pay more than $10 for anything I buy on the internet ( mostly computer chips ), I don’t know how people pay hundreds of dollars, I’d be reluctant to risk it. The generally hit-and-miss process for delivery in Australia, compared to the USA, is a big impediment to internet commerce, as it was to “mail order” commerce long before the internet even existed.

“As for the missed delivery card, I’ve generally found they don’t ask for ID ”

One of the upsides to being a celeb, I suppose.

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