Australia Post Redirection Services

We’ve recently moved house and gotten ourselves a PO Box at the local Post Office for mail deliveries. As a part of this service we’re entitled to 6 months of free postal redirections, so we’ve opted to have the mail from the old address redirected to the new PO Box.

Normally, when we move and put mail redirections in place, we begin getting our mail redirected from the requested start date and everything works fine. This time however, we’ve had a number of parcels delivered via Australia Post to the old address. We have a large family of teens who like to subscribe to various part works magazines via Bissett and for some reason ALL their packages are not being redirected. All their packages are sent via Australia Post and therefore should be getting redirected. We have changed the address with Bissett, but a number of packages had already been sent to the old address, and Bissett being the useless company they are when it comes to customer services, take forever to actually make changes to their system.

When the first rogue package arrived at the old address, we contacted Australia Post who took the parcel ID code from us and said it was up to the individual posties to sort out redirections, which means letters and parcels don’t actually get redirected until they’re almost at the wrong destination address instead of being redirected at the mail sorting centres before they get shipped out to the wrong suburbs. They also assured me that they’d be contacting the post master for our area to ensure it doesn’t happen again. So we were very surprised when our previous real estate rental lady contacted us yesterday to let us know she had multiple parcels for us to collect from her.

We’ll be picking them up from the old real estate today and will have to contact Australia Post again to sort out why our packages are not being redirected. Australia Post did send us correspondence when we first signed on for the redirection to confirm the service had begun, but that’s as far as the redirections ever got. Almost a month later and to date we still have not received anything that’s been correctly redirected.

We’re also expecting parcels via Australia Post from the mainland and from overseas for items that were on back order before we were told we would have to move, so they’re all set to be sent to the old address as well. We tried changing the address for some of the items, but in some instances it was too late or the supplier said they couldn’t change it in time to make a difference.

I’ll add an update in the comments as I get more information from Australia Post on the matter.


I’ve also had a poor performance from Australia Post regarding re-directions. As I often moved, usually a day’s journey, away every couple of years I had re-directions for approx 2 years (to cover 2 Christmases). Everything worked OK until I moved in late 2014. Firstly the longest redirection available is one year.

Mail started to arrive at our new address and I informed all I could that my address had changed. Then every so often our neighbour would ring to say there was mail in our box at the old house. We returned and I called into our post office (small town) to be told we had to ring / email Aust Post because the deliveries were no longer controlled from the Post Office.

Finally lost patience and lodged an enquiry, got a message to say it was “in progress” 2 Sept 2015, and finally got a response 17 Sept 2015 to say they had tried to ring me at my old address (??), that the mail was controlled from a centre 400km away, that the contractors had our re-direction stickers and “had been actioning the service”. So I waited to get mail.

I contacted them again in February 2016 as our mail has not bee re-directed from November 2015 and was delivered to my old address and one Christmas card was returned to sender “Left Address”. In late January 2015 we returned to find more mail in our box. I detailed the letters and dates. The response I received was that “we can’t locate your case.”

I didn’t renew our re-direction and just got the neighbour to check our box and post the strays to us. Fortunately for us, our house was vacant and we had a good neighbour. Can’t say much for the new contract service with Aust Post. I didn’t pursue a refund, perhaps I should have, even if just to reinforce to them the developing poor service.


A number of commentators have expressed an opinion that seems plausible. Auspost is being purposefully made into an increasingly dysfunctional organisation so the government can privatise it (for that reason), and sell it off to private enterprise (a political donor?) at a bargain price. Once in private hands the costs will be what the market will bear and service what the market will tolerate. Odds on it could be an improvement compared to its current dysfunctional state, but.


My understanding is the parcel and normal post are run/managed separately…and often contractors are used for the parcel deliveries whereby Australia Post posties do the normal post.

Speaking to our local Australia Post store/centre, they confirm that redirected mail is sorted locally whereby the parcels don’t go through the same local sorting…parcels are despatched from a regional centre.

This is possibly where the problem lies…local sorting and redirection is done but parcels bypass this process.

One would think that the technology that parcel delivery/Australia Post contractors use could easily be modified to link a parcel with a redirection request…but may require a relabelling task to allow it to be completed…not aware that these guys relabel anything though.

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Yet we’ve had parcels from the same company, all almost identical postage bags every time, delivered by the postie and via the Australia Post parcel delivery van. There’s no reasoning as to why one gets to deliver one day and the other gets to deliver the next day.

Parcels might be delivered separately, but they are sorted together.

For metro areas anyway, this is how redirections are “actioned” (and in some cases why they aren’t): the mail is sorted into the slot the corresponds to the address on the envelope (large parcel that don’t fit in the sorting frame get set aside). When the postie has finished sorting the mail (often it’s the same person who delivers it), they then go through a book of redirect stickers and pick out all the mail that is to be redirected.

There might be a dozen or more addresses with a redirect on them on any given day. If a parcel doesn’t get redirected it would be because it’s in a different pile (this would be where the process is failing, I suspect). Parcels probably don’t get the same attention as letters - most parcels are individual orders, not subscriptions, which would mean the address is likely to be correct. (A letter from your super fund, on the other hand…)

If the postie is delivering the parcel they might catch the fact that the addressee’s name is on their redirect list, and take it back at the end of their round. If the parcel goes to the contractor, they have no way of knowing and just assume that the parcel is supposed to go where it says on the front.

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The view from a small country town is different. Our inward & outward (letter) mail used to be sorted at the Post Office and delivered by employees of that post office. Then some of the larger towns had trouble finding workers (mining boom making housing too expensive etc) so the mail was sorted on the coast - about 4 hours drive from us. Gone was the “local knowledge” - if the address was not exactly as per Australia Post database, it went back to sender. Some of the new housing estates were not served by the postie and had to take out PO Boxes - if you addressed it to a physical address it was sent back “unknown”. The silliness of a letter posted here for the next town had to travel though it to the coast to be sorted and returned to be delivered. This didn’t impact on us much, add a couple of days for letters to travel and ring some people for the AP address as their physical one was returned to sender (us).

About July 2015 the local postie was replaced with contractors from another town. They don’t wear AP uniforms. From then our mail re-direction became haphazard. The official AP response said the re-direction was handled from the coast, but the local PO said it was the new contractor. A number of small town Post Offices closed as the owners found them unviable, some were taken over by the likes of the CWA or Council as a community service, there being little money in stamps these days.


Hi Dan, only small parcels are sorted at the same local final sorting centre as normal mail (envelopes). Larger parcels go through a separate regional sorting centre and despatched separately to normal mail. Normal mail is also sorted finally for the individual ‘postie runs’, immediately prior to being delivered. Tgis give tge oppo6for redirected mail to be redirected. I also checked this with one of our neighbours who works for Australia Post.

This Australia Post website may be of interest as it explains the larger parcel system in layman terms.

I understand the problem (as family members have had similar problems with redirected mail where mail was redirected but a parcel wasn’t) is that the larger parcel despatch system doesn’t recognise the redirection advice as the advice is processed locally.

The larger parcel after a delivery failure (no-one home) and calling card is left is then delivered to the local post office (where local sorting most likely occurs for the mail). They won’t retry delivery or send to the redirected address as the calling card states it is available for collection from this post office or by making contact and alternative arrangements being made.

This could easily be fixed by a software change which broadcasts the redirection to the parcel centres and allows reprinting of labels for redirection.

I also see that Australia Post is also trialing parcel collection from houses/businesses in our area…to save time and effort to go to a retail centre/post office to arrange postage. This starts to look more like a courier service than the traditional postal service.

If your parcel has tracking, you can allegedly change its delivery address through your MyPost account.
I say allegedly as the option has always been greyed out when I’ve tried to use it. (That could be because it was too close to the delivery date.)

I am interested to know if anyone has successfully changed the delivery address of a parcel using this method.

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My main beef is with the cost of the redirection service. My wife and I have different surnames, and my stepson and his partner are living with us. His partner has another surname. Three names so far. Between us we run three home-based business, so there are three more names under which articles might be delivered to our address.

So if we want to have mail redirected we have to lodge – and pay for – six different addressees’ names.

It’s not only needlessly expensive, it’s anyway crazy – instead of sorting on names, why don’t they simply sort on address and redirect everything accordingly?

I have had multiple redirections over the past few years. I’ve never had to separate out different names or surnames. More than one surname can be included in one redirection if the from and to addresses are the same. But business names have to be on separate forms with separate payments.

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You may be right, Jen. It’s a while since we’ve done it, because we now arrange our affairs so that we don’t need to do it. (By the way, I note you say that the ‘from’ address needs to be the same, as well as the ‘to’ address. Again I ask, “Why?” Surely it’s where the item is going to that matters, not where it’s coming from?)

But in any case, my question still stands – Why don’t they simply sort on the address and redirect everything accordingly?

The old address needs to be the same for each person on the domestic redirection order as the automatic sorting uses the old address before it is checked for redirection. Sorting may occur at different postal distribution centres, depending on where the mail originates from, which don’t have the redirection notice and only when it arrives at the final manual sorting the redirection label is applied and is then sent into the system to be delivered to the new address. The post system doesn’t sort by name until it hits the posties “pigeon holes”. So each old delivery address requires a separate redirection order.

As @jen notes each business does require a separate application and I think Jen was referring to the old delivery address when she said “from” not actually from where it was originally sent.

Thanks @grahroll, that is what I meant. The mail is redirected from address A to address B.

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So many completely incorrect assumptions…

Letters and parcels are two separate deliveries, and that includes processing.
Redirections are done at the mail sorting location, and this varies from place to place.
Redirections don’t apply to parcel services.
Redirections must be put in with every persons name on the application.
Redirections are manually done by the mail sorter just prior to Delivery.
Auspost isn’t being run into the ground to be sold off!! It’s suffering from low volumes of letters and yet still has the high costs of the mail network, supporting infrastructure and staff, and those costs are always increasing. Customer expectations continue to grow, and competition in the parcel service side of the business is increasing - but I would argue Auspost is far superior to other courier deliver companies.
The amount of misaddressed or incorrectly sent items is enormous, and yet Auspost manages to get 99% of those delivered and delivered on time - but no one seems to acknowledge or care about that.
For those who do have issues getting parcels delivered to home, make sure your not targeting Auspost wrongly because a lot of places use courier services and people just assume Auspost was doing it, but weren’t, and are being incorrectly accused.

I had a read of the annual report. It reflects that it is a Commonwealth owned business, not an agency or public service. I was surprised Auspost paid dividends (I presume to government?) in profitable years rather than having reinvested in the company in one way or another.

The bottom line is Auspost is a business with precedent (Medibank) as well as policy for privatisation.

If it is destined for privatisation the focus on profits and dividends makes sense, so if the “conspiracy theorists” of privatisation are just that, they arguably have some evidence even if only circumstantial.

I’ll add my woes to yours, @Jen. My online shopping order shipped from Hong Kong on December 13 via registered post to an AP Parcel Locker in Melbourne metro. See where I’m going here? :slight_smile:

I attempted to redirect from close to my work (which shut down over Christmas of course) to close to my home but the option was greyed out. Following the link to “why can’t i redirect?” goes to a “page not found”. ha.

So the parcel was delivered to close to work during the holiday shut down. You only have 5(?) days to pick up from a parcel locker or it apparently gets retrieved and goes who knows where for redelivery. Thankfully the 5th day was my first day back so I avoided the 1 hour round trip I would have had to take otherwise.

I’m not sure why they have the redirect option. Just teasing?

Hi All

I have had 4 redirections over about 5 years and had very few problems thank full. It does cost money if you redirect from PO Box to a PO Box though. Just on where it sorted. Tamworth a town of 40000 plus still gets sorted at Newcastle even to some local towns so it has taken up to a week or two to get mail to some client for a town. We know it goes to Newcastle from the rubber stamp marks and the local postice told us. How ever business post i.e. expense post does get sort in Tamworth centre (big writing that say AP Business sorting gives that one away! Parcel post is probably a matter of how big if it is. If it is too big for postie bike I suspect it is sent direct to the local contracted depot. I have had parcels delivered by both contractor (with official post office symbols etc but a smaller text written contractor) and the postie. lucky most place are able to send to a PO box know for parcels now so that may be why I have been lucky with parcels as the local post office would get it then anyway.

I certainly had other problems it took 2 month for my wedding invite to go two suburbs in Brisbane some 6 years ago. I think half got the invites got to their destination on time i.e. in two weeks.


Redirect takes 3 days to in act and I do not think they have an option for short term redirection but there is an option for the local post office to keep letters etc. around holiday time. I would imagine parcel lockers work differently again and may not have a redirection ability because the option is for redirection for 6 or 12 months!

Simply answer share house. Rental may have different people moving in and out at different times from the same share house i.e. when sub letting a room, so your idea does not work for all or even most circumstances. It only costs if you have a PO Box or a business it does not cost (unless it has changed in the last 2 years) from a residential address to any other address (eg even to a PO Box). Some people seem to be unlucky with Aust Post but that may be the local post office they have as I only experience problems when I lived in one area. All the other post offices I have used in the last 3 years know me by name :slight_smile: This has been a good send because when I first got my new PO box I confused myself and sent one or two things to the wrong address but the sort saw it at the post office and fixed the problem!!! That is good service. Sorry I am a glass half full (even if I am also a 6 pack short of carton) so I do not think it is all gloom and doom the answer is to move to the regional areas and get good only fashioned service!