CHOICE membership

Non-delivery of Sydney Morning Herald

I have had major delivery problems with the Sydney Morning Herald for most of this year. On average there is a missed delivery every week, sometimes two or three. On the odd occasion I get the wrong paper delivered; the Telegraph, The Australian, the Sunday Telegraph - all of these go straight into the bin. Even though I report each incorrect delivery (and they credit me back the missed days) they just don’t seem to have any control over the contractor who is supposed to be doing the deliveries.
Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I can resolve this issue


This lack of control may be because they have no other choices at the moment other than to use the contractor they have at the moment until they get more choice of contractors (if this ever happens). Contractors are paid very little for each delivery and many find doing the deliveries actually costs them money. This leads to a lack of choices for the newspaper company.

Resolution may not be possible at the moment due to the lack of other choices, but you can contact them at the paper at and you will need to log in to take further action, or you could try to contact them via this email address or via these numbers 13 66 66 or +61 2 7966 6900 but emailed/written complaints are better. You could also send a letter to the parent company Fairfax Media at

Fairfax Media Limited
GPO Box 506
Sydney NSW 2001

Of course you could make an arrangement to get your copy from your local newsagent, this will avoid the Contractor pain but will sadly involve your time and travel getting to the Newsagent each day (and this might not be a viable choice).

You could also post your request/complaint on their Twiiter account using their tag @smh or their Facebook page at (user tag @sydneymorningherald). Often Social Media exposure can speed up getting an explanation or resolution to problems as these types of companies often don’t like dissatisfaction publicly aired.


In Brisbane, a lot of missed deliveries weren’t missed deliveries but early morning walkers helping themselves to a ‘free’ newsprint.

It may be worth getting a security camera to monitor the front yard/delivery box. If it is a local, they are likely to be easy to catch as their walking routine will be similar each week.

If your paper is lifted by light-fingered locals, report it to the police along with a copy of any video footage.

The camera also lets you confirm if the paper was delivered on missing days.

If paper theft is occurring, there isn’t much you can do unless they are caught. You could however cancel the delivery and pick up the paper at local newsagent/supermarket or opt into a online subscription.


This would be my choice. As well as the SMH website your subscription gets you access to a digital copy of the newspaper, this is an image of the pages so you get all the ads, puzzles, comics etc. as well as some bonus extras which you may or may not enjoy. Saves trees. $15.14 per month.


What a bargain.

The Qld based Courier Mail is $28 for four weeks, after a 12 week introductory offer of $1.00 per week.

The best deal locally is the Sunshine Coast Daily which is the same deal and same publisher as the Courier. Importantly subscribers can also redeem free access to the Courier Mail digital edition, and get to read the news a day earlier. :wink:

It’s tempting, however our local rag (Fortnightly since Covid) is free as is the ABC online. Things move a little more slowly in the country, although it would be great to see the GC&Maleny News resume it’s weekly cycle. It’s also back in print so digital or compost feed as suits your needs.

Those wanting a home delivered paper locally miss out. The only option is a daily drop in to the local News Agent. Only for as long as they stay in business propped up by selling lotto etc.


Each newsagency has a choice of either doing the deliveries themselves or employing someone to do it. The early morning deliveries is no longer seen as a desirable job, and as @grahroll indicated, it is hard to find people willing to do it, because of the time of day, it’s not easy work, it can be messy, and most importantly it doesn’t pay well. Therefore, newsagents tend to put up with problems because realistically the choice is between problematic deliveries, or no deliveries at all.


Magazines, cards, odds and sods.

Earlier this year Fairfax took away deliveries from the local newsagent and centralised it. Presumably the SMH is now delivered by subcontractors. I only have the paper delivered on weekends but at least one or two newspapers each month are missed. I doubt that it’s a local stealing my newspaper as it’s delivered very very early in the morning and usually picked up by me soon after.

When the local newsagent was responsible for deliveries a missed paper was rare, and if it did happen I could pop into the newsagent and get a replacement. Now that’s not possible. Instead, when I report a missed delivery I receive a credit - which can vary from $1 to $4.

I suspect that what’s happening is that the problem is subcontractors who are unfamiliar with the area and so poorly paid they don’t have time to take the care needed to make sure everyone gets their newspaper. Metro Publishing subscriber services - who are responsible for the deliveries- don’t seem to have the capacity to remedy the situation. Their latest suggestion is that they would send a photo of my house to the person responsible for delivery!

I love the early morning ritual of of a cuppa and the weekend papers - digital just doesn’t have the same feel - but am planning to cancel as I tired of the uncertainty of missed deliveries.


Not everyone wants to read newspapers (or magazines for that matter) online. Me for one. And it should not be up to the customer to fix delivery problems that could be fixed with a better delivery system than a driver in a car lobbing newspapers from the window. The papers land where they land which may or may not be on private property, may or may not destroy plants and may or may not land in puddles rendering them unreadable.

Yes I used to have SMH delivered but when I ended up paying for something I never received, I stopped the subscription.

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I’m still experiencing this exact issue in Sydney Mosman area and SMH doesn’t seem really care… it’s regular and they can’t seem to do anything to resolve.

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Welcome to the Community @Scoot

This seems to be a problem with their ordering and accounting systems that they are unwilling or unable to fix.

You might be better off cancelling your deliveries and arranging for your local Newsagent holding one for you.

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