By Nick Dole.
Frustrated customers are accusing Australia Post of failing to properly deliver parcels ahead of Christmas, with claims drivers are simply distributing pick-up slips and dumping the items at the nearest post office.
Nicky Breen from the consumer advocacy group Choice says the delays are especially frustrating for people waiting on Christmas deliveries.
“The biggest bugbear is for a consumer to walk out of their house and find a missed delivery notification in their mailbox, even though they’d been home all day,” she says.
Many people then face lengthy queues at the post office to collect their parcels.
Earlier this year, a Choice survey of 1,025 Australians found one in four customers had received “missed delivery” slips when they were actually at home.
Ms Breen says if people believe drivers aren’t making genuine delivery attempts, they should notify Australia Post.
“It’s much easier now to trace delivery to drivers, so if you’re having an issue … make a complaint,” she says.
‘Shortcuts taken’ during Christmas rush.
The union representing postal workers said the problem is being caused by subcontracted drivers, who are paid as little as $1.00 per delivery.
Communication, Electrical and Plumbing Union organiser Peter Chaloner says drivers are under enormous pressure in December.
“When the heat’s on at Christmas time, there’s only so many hours in the day,” he says.
“You’re not getting paid for extra hours, you’re just getting paid for extra articles, so shortcuts are taken,” Mr Chaloner says.
He says Australia Post needs to consider the welfare of subcontracted drivers when negotiating tenders for package delivery services.
Delivery drivers required to “knock & call out”.
Australia Post requires drivers to knock three times and call out at the door when attempting to make a home delivery.
“We encourage our customers to contact us if our delivery drivers are not attempting delivery to the door,” Australia Post said in a statement.
“That way we can follow up with our drivers in that area to ensure they do follow our national policy of knocking and calling out to the door before leaving a card.”
Australia Post declined the ABC’s request for an interview, but a spokesman said the parcel delivery network was performing “exceptionally well”.
“Since October we have been successfully delivering more than 1 million parcels a day, and last week we broke a record, delivering more than 2 million parcels in a 24-hour period,” he said.
This post originally appeared on ABC News.
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