Saturday, November 16, 2019

Dear Australia Post

I know you can do your job. Sometimes International Air Mail bound for the USA arrives in mere days from our isolated island country. A few years ago, I threw a letter bound for the USA into one of your red post boxes, and it got there in 2 days. I was astounded. It was like being witness to a miracle. It was at that point I knew. I could create anything and ship it anywhere. It would be glorious.

Well, except for a few little issues. Anything I made had to be under 2cm thick and weigh in within the 50-100g range, to be classed as a letter, or else the international shipping costs would be too steep. And if stuff didn't turn up on time, you would never know what happened to it.

I see how it is. International letters are cheap to send and so you don't have any records of them or the willpower to go and find them. Tracking services cost a mint, but at least they arrive faster and you can locate them, right? So surely Express would be like buying your mail a first class ticket on a luxury jet, yes? As it turns out, nope.

I carefully packed this letter and sent it by your insanely expensive 3-4 business day Express service.

It didn't move from our airport for 9 days. I sent a written enquiry, but nobody would tell us why. The Tracking tool just didn't update.

I only found out what actually happened to it after some tattered remains appeared at my door randomly. You ran over it with a vehicle. And didn't notify anyone about it.

The Tracking still hasn't updated correctly. I've fixed it for you, so now you know what it should have read.

The worst part of this whole experience was that you made me second guess myself for an entire month. Had I put the wrong address labels on? Was there something wrong with the online customs form? Did the text on my labels fade? Did the guy I lodged it with at the Post Office mess it up? I'm sure this is the sort of psychological warfare which eventually turns people insane.

I know you have a monopoly on the postal system in Australia, and you won't answer to anyone. But please, don't run over mail and then pretend nothing happened. Maybe just don't run over mail at all. That would be nice, if you could do that. Then I wouldn't have to waste my time writing junk like this, and instead go back to doing something more productive. Thank you.

Mistakes which were made: 1. Referring missing mailer to 'International team' with a long estimated response time. The article hadn't even left our country yet. 2. Not notifying anyone that the mailer was actually either a) run over and wedged under a van tyre, b) had an anvil dropped on it or c) torn apart by ravenous rabid wombats. Maybe all three. Simultaneously. 3. Not notifying us that the mailer was mangled beyond recognition. 4. Listing a 1800 number to call on the online tracking tool status, instead of 'CRUSHED BY AUSPOST VAN' in bold red letters. 5. Doing nothing for a month. It's an international Express order AusPost charged an outrageous amount to lodge. 6. Upon calling the 1800 number, not actually being able to tell me what state the article was in, whether it was going to be mailed to the recipient, or if we had to refund the buyer's money. I still had no idea what was wrong with it or why it had been sitting there for a month. And also AusPost did not call back later that day as stated to explain anything. 7. The mangled article turned up the next day after the phone call I made, at my doorstep without explanation. The buyer was still expecting it, and I was still expecting it to be delivered. 8. AusPost claimed only the outside packaging was damaged. It had been crushed by a vehicle tyre, so even the welded metal inside had all warped or broken. We put two address labels on both sides of the mailer in case of damage, but both sides of the mailer were missing. 9. Not updating the online enquiry until I waited until the day of their International response deadline to ask about the article's whereabouts. It was only updated after I received the mangled corpse of the mailer suddenly at my door, and after I wrote to them about how defeated I felt living in an isolated country with a monopolised postal system (Australia). 10. Not giving any responses in writing. I can't answer the phone if I'm working. Or asleep. Or sick.

Edit: 13/02/2020
Due to continued incompetence courtesy of AusPost, (namely having several Express and Tracking articles going missing since this incident and being unable to find out if they are damaged or just temporarily misplaced) we are no longer making any more new creations so we can limit our dealings with them. They are never going to get better and have no accountability, so it's probably for the best.

Edit : 5/03/2020
So losing things is such a regular occurrence now, that we had to write a FAQ about what to do when the tracking stops updating after 3 days. AusPost also refuse to compensate properly for lost parcel contents, they will only pay for 'materials' or 'wholesale prices'. So you lose even if you pay for extra insurance, which you should never do, because that only encourages their behaviour by giving them more money for stealing from you. I'm really sorry for anyone who has been affected by their poor service, I wish I could do more to stop this. But we have already gone to the Postal Ombudsman twice, and they are of absolutely no use because AusPost is a government backed monopoly here.

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