Parcel delivery problems

We’re looking at a story on parcel deliveries.

Have you had a parcel delivered in the past 12 months (or so) and had problems? What were they?

Did you have that problem where a parcel delivery person doesn’t even knock on the door to deliver the parcel before leaving a missed notification card even though you were home? If so, what were the circumstances?

And if there’s anyone on the inside who has insights as to why this is happening, I’d love to hear from you.


My Auspost service has been 99+% impeccable over 14 years at the address, but there was one instance a few months ago where I received a final notice to collect a parcel. It was a package I was waiting for and was home all day on the alleged day of attempted delivery, and no delivery notice was in my box or on my door. The PO staff told me how to complain and to ask for feedback, and that if a carrier gets “3 naughties” they are sacked. Not sure about the veracity of the latter. The Auspost operator who took my complaint claimed each complaint is discussed 1:1 with the carrier but then hurriedly finished the call when I said I wanted feedback, and I never got feedback.

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I’ve had many parcels NOT delivered in the past 12 months, due to living out of town. We have a bar fridge (not running!) at the front gate for parcels, but have been told that delivery contractors are not allowed to get out of their car, so parcels can’t be delivered. This sometimes even applies to large sized envelopes, and other small parcels easily held in one hand!
We have no choice but to collect from the nearest post office, 26 km away.

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My biggest hassle is with internet orders that suppliers via their courier service will not deliver to a PO Box Nos. My post office will take courier deliveries but some POs charge for that convenience. So If I did not know they do not deliver to PO Box right until the end of the transaction I cancel the order. This did cause hassles for a supplier who just did not get it when I ordered on EBay even though I sent them emails.

The Post Office also has the Parcel Locker system located at the larger business POs but the sizs of the oparcel is limited. I cannot take deliveries if not at home and if they left the parcel it would most probably disappear which is why I have PO box becasue general mail box at the unit complex is also not secure.

Some suppliers have local depot centres where the parcel is delivered and you can collect in normal hours which is okay.

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“the postman always rings twice”

Unless they’re delivering a parcel.

In this case, the postman creeps up very quietly and slips a FAILED DELIVERY card into the letterbox. Then very carefully creeps away.


We regularly send and receive freight on Toll Ipec for our business and generally they are good but for a company that has the slogan “If its urgent” they have let us down a fair few times over the years when it has been urgent.
For online shopping usually it is sent with Aust Post/Startrack and rate their tracking and delivery as really good, but have had a few items sent by Fastway couriers and their service is nothing short of horrible.

Had two deliveries in the past week both by StarTrack (Auspost subsidiary). On the first occasion by the time I got to the front door the parcel delivery person was leaving after having left a note that we had missed them. I managed to get him to come back and he said if they knock and you don’t open the door immediately they are too busy to wait and so leave a card (they must therefore have them pre-filled in). The second delivery, which was done today, they just left the parcel near the front door (I guess they must have signed for us).

On another delivery in the past month the packaging (a prepaid Cardboard Box) had been torn and mishandled even when Fragile notices had been placed on it. Nothing damaged thankfully but still not good service.

And finally about 6 months ago I received a laptop replacement screen (well packed with foam cushioning and slabs of cardboard either side) that had such damage to the packaging that the screen had a bright spot on installation.

Many times we don’t get a knock on the door for parcel deliveries and consequently have to wait for the next business day to collect them from Australia Post or ask for a re-delivery attempt depending on which Courier/delivery service it is.

I had massive issues with Aust Post (AP) some years ago and took my complaints up to the Regional Manager.

What I was told is:

  • Couriers are not allowed to let their vehicles out of their sight.
  • They will not go units into home unit/town house complexes to find units/apartments.
  • The couriers are contracted and AP has no direct control over individual couriers
  • There is no point in complaining to Post Offices or Licensed POs as they can not do anything about it and may be inundated with parcels the couriers are not delivering (depending on the courier and the run). [The PO has to store all the stuff they don’t deliver and then deal with the customers who come in to collect. They don’t get extra staff or space to deal with this.]
  • If someone is disabled and has mobility issues, advise AP and they will make a special effort to deliver.
  • The claimed deliver times are only ‘targets’ and they are not bound by them.
  • Leaving the notice in your letterbox is enough to justify their claim of ‘door-to-door delivery’.

I have to say that moving to a different area, our experiences are completely different, and the AP deliveries are superb here.

Having talked to the AP couriers here I have been told that their workload varies from heavy to an intensely heavy workload at holiday/festive times. AP’s demands on them in terms of how much they are expected to do, and how much they are expected to carry alone can be completely unrealistic.

To sum up; the quality of service all depends on where you live, who the contractor/courier is, and what sort of dwelling you are in. I would always suggest that it is better to be friendly and polite with the couriers because they are often working within the constraints of their contracts. (Not to say that there aren’t some lazy ones out there :wink:)


Hi, 3 months ago we moved into a new house on a private road in a retirement village.
The road has not made it to Google maps yet, and is slowly making its way into various government and private databases.
Australia Post and Startrack have been excellent.
Other couriers are mixed. I always ensure that my name and mobile contact number are included in the address. Most have rung and delivered after instructions. One left the parcel at the village office. Another marked the package “RTS, no such address in my area” and it was returned to the sender. Contacting this courier company got no sympathy from the operator, the excuse was the label might have been torn off etc and you’ll have to deal with the sender. When I did pick it up from the sender, luckily only about an hour away, the label was intact with the contact name and number clear, the driver apparently was too busy/lazy to make a 30 second phone call. Most one off online purchases don’t offer a choice of couriers, you take who they select so there isn’t much incentive for improvement. This is a very price competitive business and many operators are really pushed.

I tried these options in regard to parcel deliveries from companies that use these services . Being able to pick up from the news agent which trades all day on Saturday and if a Tattslotto Agency , in Victoria at least stays open longer on week days . I have had trouble with Toll this year though mainly through not being at home when delivery took place . Was hard to pin them down on a re delivery .Perhaps dropping "no home " parcels off at News agents will improve things for Toll

I’m really happy with Australia post deliveries , but some courier companies are shocking… I swear they don’t knock and just leave a card, they often open my gate and then not close it again… If I knew my online order was coming by courier I wouldn’t order from that company…all the phone calls , Internet re delivery stuff or arranging a pick up is defeating the purpose of delivering to the door

Here in Artarmon the Australia Post contractor has never bothered to knock on the door for at least the last 3-4 years. I work from home 2-3 days a week and have this happen regularly. I even had a notice put in my letter box on a Sunday afternoon telling me to pick up the parcel from the PO on the Tuesday. The private couriers are much better at this than Australia Post.


I have had repeated problems and with the latest problem I made a formal complaint as follows:-

Complaint regarding failure of courier/delivery driver to properly attempt delivery #5668014

It is claimed, both on the card placed under the door and on the web site that delivery was attempted at 1:10pm on Wednesday 14th September 2016. At this time, and in fact all day, there were 3 people at the address and at no time was there a knock at the door nor was the door bell rung. This has happened a number of times in the past. I receive quite a number of small parcels and usually these are delivered by a very nice Asian man who, I think, works out of the Marrickville Metro Post Office. The only time we ever get a card from Marrickville Metro Post Office is when we are actually not at home, but the same can never be said of the driver who works out of Marrickville Road Post Office.

I believe that the driver who works out of Marrickville Road Post Office deliberately just drops the card and does most of his round in this way. He probably has another job which takes up most of his day, leaving little time for the Post Office deliveries.

I wish that this matter be investigated and the result of this investigation relayed to me.

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I’ve had ongoing issues with Australia Post in Mosman for years. They only ring for a delivery if I have multiple parcels arriving over a few weeks and I make a formal complaint after cards are left for the first couple without ringing. But, I have to do this every time. Plus, the post office can never find parcels when I go to collect. I have to tell them to keep trying until they find my item. They try to tell me to go home and wait for another card. Frequently I only get the final notice. I have to ask anyone sending me things to pay extra for tracking as the post office has said, and proven, that delivery is not their responsibility if the package can’t be tracked. I had to have a book order sent 4 times before I got it and only once tracking was added. I always look for online delivery for bills / statements / letters or other delivery options as unfortunately Australia Post is unprofessional and unreliable.

I waited in all day for a delivery from Fastway with no attempt at contact. The missed you card then meant a drive as the pick up point was not within walking distance.

We have an issue that the national address system has our suburb set as our country locality, which has letters delivered from Goulburn post office. However, the post offices have split the work in such a way that our mail is delivered via Braidwood post office. They are two entirely different postcode areas. This means that any sender using the address system forces the mail to travel the long way around, often delaying the delivery by a week or more.

In addition it means we have to know the delivery method. If a courier is delivering it we need to provide the suburb in Google maps. If it is coming via Australia Post we need to put in Braidwood. Very annoying.

The post office at Braidwood provide an amazing service once they have the parcel, the difficulty is getting it there.

I have had no problems - I am on a Rural Mail Service (used to be 3 times a week, now 5 times) and I use Aust Post tracking. First time, I waited for the mail van at the roadside box (we are on a farm) and he said not to bother, and he now drives down our access track to the house and hand delivers.

Freight companies - we have not managed to get one that will do “out of town” so if it has to come that way we provide a relative’s town address and pick up when we visit. A few years ago we had a couple of freight companies take our packet and post it to us through Aust Post rather than drive out to us.

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My wife, my son, and I all run small businesses from from the one suburban premises. This means that between us we get frequent deliveries – and it also means that someone is here essentially any time a delivery is made.

On one occasion, quite some time ago now, a StarTrack driver left a card to say that he had tried to deliver a parcel and couldn’t, because no-one answered the door. At the time the card was left there was indeed someone to collect any parcel had he tried to deliver it, so we know very well he made no attempt to do so.

My suspicion is that he left an already-completed card quite deliberately without attempting to deliver the parcel at all, and that he did this (as he probably with several customers on his round) because he was being paid per address visited, not per parcel delivered. (I stress that this is a suspicion, not necessarily a fact.) But after the non-delivery was reported because of its blatant incorrectness (and the urgency with which we needed the article), the same driver delivered it a few days later on his next round, complaining to us of the fact that we had complained about his earlier non-delivery!

We’ve had no problems since, but nor have we had that driver any more either.

Normal Australia Post deliveries, either to our letter-box via the local postman, or by AusPost parcel delivery service, are fine.

Have had the same issue with Australia Post parcel delivery. Local contractor seems to not want to climb stairs to see if anyone is home. He seems to have ‘not at home’ notices pre-written and just puts it into the mail box. He did this once while my wife was watching him from the verandah. He didn’t see her, probably because he didn’t look. This then requires us to go to the local post office to collect the parcel. This is inconvenient as I work during the week and my wife has a chronic illness which sometimes makes it a bit arduous for her to drive to the post office. Apparently there have been a few complaints about this particular contractor, but I am not aware if Australian Post has done anything about him.

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I have caught our local postie out with pre-filled cards before. I don’t know if he does this all the time. They seem to just dump the parcel or dump a card and run. My front door is at my lounge room, so no entrance hall , and I have seen him run up the step, dump the parcel or slot the card in the screen door and run down before I even have a chance to take the 6 steps to the door. He does this without ringing the doorbell or knocking. I have frosted glass panels on either side of my door which is how I see it. It’s very frustrating, especially since I don’t always have a car, which means a lengthy walk to the local post office to retrieve my parcel when it could’ve been avoided had he just done his job correctly.

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