Australia Post - Return to Sender

I have recently become aware that Australia Post has been “Return to Sender” on mail to our secondary address. This mail has never been delivered to our letter box and there is no re-direction in place, it appears to be a decision by the sorting facility. The house in question is a home we live in (now owned by someone else), no one else lives there, but we spend most of our time residing on the farm, some distance away, where we get the bulk of our mail. I just thought it odd that we had not had any mail for a while. Then I started to get calls regarding returned items …

I attempted to lodge a complaint, however my log in details (from my last round with them when they were not carrying out our re-direction) no longer work. I had to re-register and activate. I tried to lodge the issue but AP’s Support says “Sorry. We are experiencing technical difficulties. Please try again.” And again, and again …

Australia Post has been very reliable in the past - but the last 3 years?? No wonder customers are choosing other means of communication.


You’re not alone @zackarii, Australia Post has been a popular topic on this forum in recent months. We’re hearing the complaints and looking at what we can do to support consumers.

In the meantime, for any ongoing issues or to register your complaint, the postal service ombudsmen is another way to make sure complaints are registered.

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I think the issue may be that you can’t have two postal addresses I need the same post code.

Many years ago my employer had this issue as they used a po box and a street address for mail, however they were lucky and it was redirected to the po box.

Not 100% is but it may be the reason.

@BrendanMays, my cynicism overflows and registering complaints so they are registered reminds me of a vintage comedy skit from Saturday Night Live. I am convinced any Auspost list of complaints is treated similarly to the venerable investment house in the skit.

{Commercial for] Grayson Moorhead Securities I

Arthur Grayson…Jim Downey

[ SUPER: “Grayson Moorhead Securities. A Tradition of Excellence.” ]

Narrator: On Wall Street, trendy investment fads have come and gone over the years, but not at Grayson Moorhead, where we’ve always stuck to the basic principles set forth by Arthur Grayson nearly 80 years ago.

Arthur Grayson: Our clients must be our first priority.

[ SUPER: “The Tradition Endures” ]

We will take our client’s money and invest it. Part of the profit we will keep for ourselves; the rest we will give to the client.

[ SUPER: “A Tradition of Security” ]

We will make a list of our clients, and how much money each of them has given us to invest. We will keep this list in a safe place. If we have time, we will make a copy of the list, in case something happens to the first list.

[ SUPER: “A Tradition of Listening” ]

Listen to your client. It’s the only way to know what he’s saying.

[ SUPER: “A Tradition of Trust” ]

If a client is talking, and you’re not listening, and he notices, and he accuses you of not listening, just say, “Sure, I’ve been listening, I’ve heard every word you’ve said.” If he then says, “Alright, tell me what I’ve been talking about.” Just say, “You’ve been talking about your investments. Which stocks to buy and so on.” That way the client will think you’ve been listening, even though you haven’t.

[ SUPER: “A Tradition of Integrity” ]

We will invest only in white-owned businesses.

Narrator: Not all of Arthur Grayson’s principles are followed today, but at Grayson Moorhead we still believe in the basics.

Arthur Grayson: Don’t leave the client’s money lying around. Keep it in a safe place. For example: where we keep the list.

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@blackbirdandthehun - I have had a PO Box and a physical address (and got mail to both) over many years. I did roadworks so I was constantly moving around Western Qld, so you can have more than one address in the same postcode. I used the PO Box because it was easy to do a re-direction and take it up again when next in that area. People would get my physical address from the White Pages (no mobiles out there), so I got mail to both. I paid more for my PO box because my residential address had a delivery service.

At present my mail is going to two different post codes (or was until AP decided not to deliver to one). I have spent a good deal of money with AP over the years, maintaining 3 PO Boxes with redirections on at least 2 at any time. It is only in the last 2-3 years that the system seems to have fallen over and I have had problems with non delivery of mail and re-directions ignored. Coincides with the removal of sorting etc from local post offices.

I noticed when changing address that some websites use the AP database for addresses. The address I now reside at was not on that database (the previous owners had a PO Box for 25 years) and this made changing address difficult, it took a month to convince AP that we existed, even though they delivered to our letterbox. They have lost the advantage of local knowledge.
By-the-way I am still waiting for a response from AP Support about their “Technical Difficulties” before I can lodge my issue.

I decided to get a post box earlier this year because it came with a free 6 month mail redirection. I decided this would give me plenty of time to notify everyone later and I could move house without the extra stress of trying to do everything at once. True to Australia Post form they botched it up and none of my mail was redirected. I lodged the redirection 8th March to commence on the 27th March.On the 29th March Australia Post sends an email and I discover that the redirection hasn’t even started yet! I spoke to at least 5 different people via email and phone, with different people telling me different things, I was ignored when I asked to speak to a manager, and by the time of my last contact with them on the 6th June I decided to give up. All I was doing was providing employment for fools to pass the issue around from one incompetent person to the next one. I lodged a complaint with the Commonwealth Ombudsman providing full details including copies of all emails. As I had, by this time, had to notify everyone of my move, after I had left the old residence. I don’t know how many letters I missed out on because of Australia Post.

When the Ombudsman’s office contacted me I explained it’s too late for the redirection order to benefit me anyhow and I was tired of spending so much time regarding the matter so I just wanted to lodge it as a general complaint. Basically what they then do is bundle it up with all the other complaints (of which I suspect must be a great many) and discuss it with AP.

The issue AP had with this redirection is that the bedsitter I was renting was not registered with the local council (there was no legal requirement for it to be). I had a mail box but that was irrelevant. AP gets its data base of address from council data bases. So rather than simply update their data base AP would rather deal with the problem by saying insipidly “Computer says no”, and that I need to speak to my conveyancer and my council. I’m renting and this buck passing is useless. This sort of thing will continue to happen as more people are forced to live in granny flats in someone’s back yard due to the housing crisis.

One issue I have with all this is Australia Post’s incompetence to see a problem and to rectify it in a timely and respectful manner. The other issue is the fact that they sell these mail redirection orders but they fail to provide the service the customer pays for. My last redirection order a couple of years ago was a failure too because my mail was being delivered to the wrong address and nobody at AP could give me any answers as to why, and again, it took weeks to sort out, and no reimbursement was offered.

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AP support rang in response to my “Technical Difficulties” - no solution - it shouldn’t happen, however I could lodge my original complaint over the phone. I described my issue, however they said that little could be done, apart from reminding the Contractor to deliver as addressed. The AP database lists “vacant” houses where mail is not to be delivered - our address was not on that list, but the conversation gave a hint that it might have been, despite all the obvious trappings of occupation.

The Contractor who delivers in that town comes from another town and appears not to have any local knowledge, same thing with the garbage contractor. Large organisations (AP, Council) take the work away from employees and award the contract to “outsiders”, the town loses a few more people, a few more jobs and services take a dive, now the last bank is closing.

`I think they are changing things around due to the lose of income from normal post (internet has taken over). We have had quite a lot of trouble with Aus Post - we constantly get mail for another address (same number different street) and have made contact about it so many times with little or no improvement. Have no idea why - can’t find out if it is a text recognition sorting system or still human eyes.

We have issues with "you weren’t home, so now you have to get your parcel from the post office” slips - when we work at home, have a super vigilant dog who barks when anyone arrives, and clearly there has been no attempt whatsoever to deliver the parcel. (this, I think, because of cost cutting the poor parcel guys get so little to deliver per parcel it is better for them to quickly drop into the letter box and run).

The other (or another) AusPost problem is that they no longer deliver readdressed mail.

Until fairly recently, you could put someone’s new address on the envelope and AP would deliver it.

Now, and apparently without publicity, they consider readdressed letters to be RTS if they have the sender’s address, or presumably just junk them if not. It took a while, but I finally found out their policy is that readdressed mail must have a fresh set of stamps added if you want it to get there.

Which state or territory are you in, @frisby ? I’m in NSW, and have had at least four re-addressed items delivered to my home address during the last two months. Maybe it depends on where your mail is sorted ?

In NSW, but the re-addressed mail was from another country and was to be sent to another state.

After a usual long wait, I finally got to speak to AusPost, who said their policy now is that re-addressed mail should have new stamps added. It seems you may have been lucky, perhaps since they were local re-directions.