We do quite a bit of online purchasing in our household (due to a lack of things being available locally that we want to buy), either via eBay or some other small or big retailer. We also have a post office box where we prefer to have our deliveries sent to. We do however come across quite a few places that will not deliver to PO box addresses. Some say it’s because they use a courier instead of Australia Post, even the ones that use Startrack which is in fact owned by Australia Post and one that happily delivers to PO box addresses, and others who just decide they won’t allow PO boxes even though they use Australia Post to ship the items out to their customers. Whenever we add our PO box as the shipping address, if there are any problems, the order forms usually tells us, or we get a call or message from the seller asking for a different delivery address.
Then there was the experience I’ve just had from a UK supplier (again, due to the item not being available locally). There was absolutely no mention of the item being shipped via a courier, the online form happily excepted our PO box address, and we received no messages asking for an alternate delivery address. We also didn’t receive the package.
From what others in Australia were telling us, their packages of the same item from the same UK supplier all arrived within a week. One person told me a week ago that their package arrived via Fastway Couriers, which set off some extra alarm bells for me. 9 weeks later from the initial date of purchase, we’re still awaiting delivery. I attempted to contact the supplier, Eaglemoss Modelspace UK via their online form, which on all three occasions generated an automated reply stating that someone would get back to me within 48 hours. This didn’t happen. I then tried contacting them via their Facebook page and eventually was told that they’d ask customer service to respond to my queries.
Finally, yesterday, I got an email that said they had attempted to send the package twice, and on both occasions it has been returned as undeliverable. They also mentioned that all overseas orders are sent via DPD couriers and I should probably give a different address to use as DHD won’t deliver to PO boxes.
So not only did the seller accept a PO box address for a courier service that doesn’t accept PO boxes, but the courier also accepted the parcel, knowing full well that they won’t deliver to PO boxes, and they even sent it off to Australia regardless. Unsurprisingly it was sent back to the seller in the UK as undeliverable. To fix the problem, the seller didn’t make contact with me to get an alternate address to deliver to. They instead chose to try and post it off again, using the exact same PO box address that they had been told, by the courier service, couldn’t be delivered to. The courier company then happily took the package again, knowing full well that they wouldn’t be able to deliver it again and sent it off to Australia AGAIN!!! When it was returned as undeliverable for a second time the seller then decided to respond to my queries about where my package was. So hopefully it will arrive at my home address sometime next week. I dread to think what condition it might be in now after it’s made two return trips from the UK so far.
We have a PO box because it’s a more secure option for us. Most parcels go to the post office, the staff put a card in our box to let us know we have something to collect, and we then bring the item home. If we use our home address then packages can get left in the rain, or in view of passers buy who may decide they need the parcel more than we do. We also have multiple entrances to the house and couriers simply can’t figure out that the door on the front of the house is probably the best one to use, so packages have been left, from time to time, in strange locations that we sometimes don’t discover on the same day the delivery occurred. It can be a hassle though when some suppliers insist on using a courier instead of parcel post. For those that use Startrack, if no one’s home, the parcels get taken to the local post office for collection anyway, which shoots large flaming arrows at the sellers explanation that they can’t accept a PO box address if they end up using Startrack.