Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Pay for a parcel to be delivered?

Ummm....hang on a moment. Didn't the person at the other end pay for it to be delivered?
Our postal service is getting worse, much worse.
As a kitten I remember there were eleven deliveries a week. There would be two each weekday and one on Saturdays. You knew if there was something in your mailbox because the postman, on an ordinary pushbike would blow his whistle. 
As small children we thought all of this was interesting. It was fun. We liked to go and pull the letters out of the box and give them to our parents or grandparents.
Then deliveries were dropped to one each day and none on Saturdays. The "postie" came around on a lightweight motor bike. In this district our old postie had to cease deliveries. He had epilepsy and he was not allowed to have the necessary licence to ride a motor bike.  
I know all about this because one of the jobs I was once offered was that of postie. The Australian Public Service knew I did not have a licence and that I had no hope of "maintaining" any motor bike issued to me. It was why I was offered the job. They could then claim I had "turned it down". (Another job they offered me was that of "customs officer" - where I had to prove my fitness to climb up and down ladders in the hulls of ships and carry parcels up to 10kg in weight before I could be considered. They knew I would "turn (that one) down" too. )
And now they are thinking of dropping deliveries to three days a week. I suspect they are already trying it out in our district because some days we get no mail. On other days we get more mail than usual. We don't see the postie some days and we do on others.
And then there are the parcels. They get delivered  by van of course. There seem to be more of those these days. People do more shopping on line. 
The parcel delivery service however is not efficient. More than once we have found a card in our letter box telling us to call and collect a parcel at the Post Office. 
We knew the old parcel delivery person. She was lovely, really lovely. On one very, very hot day she rang our door bell and  held up her empty water bottle and asked if I would mind her filling it from our tank. I made her come in, gave her a cold drink and colder water from our fridge. She knew to give the Senior Cat or my mother time to get to the door. I think everyone in the district was sorry when she retired because she always went the little extra way to make sure people did get their parcels. 
Since then we have had a seemingly endless variety of people. None of them last long. They don't like the job. The notes in the letter box suggest that they haven't even bothered to try. I saw one of them simply write three cards one day without even bothering to get multiple parcels out. He simply placed the cards in three different letter boxes and went on. I wonder if he delivered anything that day?
Now they want to charge people to pick up parcels at the Post Office. You will have a few days grace but many Post Offices are not open on Saturdays and if you work all week?
I wonder about all this. Does Australia Post want to keep running or doesn't it? Isn't a postal service a necessary requirement? Not everything can be done by computer.
I suspect they may find the public will say, "Stay and deliver."


Jodiebodie said...

I have also been certain for a long time that there are only 3 deliveries a week too for the same reasons as you. I am frequently home during the day and it is always puzzling on those days to have the homecoming schoolchildren discover a postal card in the letterbox. My letterbox is 4 metres from my front door and yet the delivery service can't even walk 8 paces to ring the doorbell.

Is it laziness on the individual's part? I wonder what you wonder - whether the postal service wants to remain in business at all. On one hand it complains that it's losing money and not making enough profit while at the same time on the other hand, does everything possible to turn customers away. I used to run a business from home and a private courier service was much more efficient and affordable but the courier service would only take on accounts from people with a guaranteed minimum no. of parcels to send per month.

When concession stamps were announced to supposedly make post more affordable for low income households, I greeted it with suspicion - "This is the beginning of a two-tiered postal service," I thought, "which looks like an attempt to create a class system." Sure enough, this year it was announced that the standard letter would take 3 days to be delivered across town (when it had previously taken 1) and for those with concession stamps, it will take 4 days). For speedier delivery, an extra fee is charged.

Charging parcel recipients as well as the parcel sender is ridiculous and double dipping. This country is going backwards. Our postal service has been deteriorating in service delivery for the last 8 years at least; e.g. lost parcels, damaged parcels, late post etc.

This is an opportunity for private operators to tap into a new market if they can tailor their services accordingly. I will happily reject Australia Post in protest if I can post my letters efficiently through other channels.

catdownunder said...

But...but....you are supposed to do it all by e-mail and direct debit and electronic birthday cards and....well nobody gets parcels any more do they? (Says she who has to go and collect one from the Post Office this morning...sigh!)

Jodiebodie said...

The government is trying to make regular post so unviable in order to force the public to succumb to their offer of an 'electronic mail box'. If everyone has an 'electronic mail box' through the postal service, then there can be no excuses for people not receiving certain communications from government agencies like Centrelink, and it also shifts the onus of responsibility from the agency to the recipient. I fear this trend further disadvantages a number of people in the community who are already at a social and/or economic disadvantage.