Reasons Australia Post gave for not delivering my parcel

I ordered a bunch of things from Kmart since a broken foot makes it hard to shop.  It was scheduled for delivery the day I went back to work, but luckily, the tracking email included an option for the parcel to be left at my front door.  This was perfect, because a broken foot also makes it hard to carry parcels home from the post office.

'With Safe Drop your delivery can be left in a safe place at your nominated delivery address, without a signature on delivery. You can request Safe Drop at any time, up until 1 hour before the delivery.'

There’s also a ticky box where you agree that you’re aware of the risks of leaving a parcel, and that you’re waiving the need for a signature.

I forgot, when I selected this option, that the whole reason I got a parcel locker in the CBD was because I had realised that parcel delivery just wasn’t happening at my flat.

I remembered all this a few hours later, when I received an email saying that the driver had decided my front door wasn’t suitable for Safe Drop, and my parcel could be picked up from the post office.

Here are the various reasons I was given, over the course of a couple of phone calls, for the Safe Drop failure:

  • front door not a secure location (yes, I already waved liability etc)
  • no one answered the door
  • not allowed to enter a private driveway (…I know)
  • needed a signature (not indicated on the card left in my letterbox, btw, PLUS did I mention the ticky box?)
  • too many people around, concerned about theft (most of the people around during a weekday are Indian and Sri Lankan women, so, you know, brown)


I saw red.  Especially when I tried to file a complaint online — the preferred method — and kept getting this:

Error message to the effect that this complaint cannot be lodged.

I spent half an hour in a phone queue on Thursday and another forty-five minutes in a queue today.  (Technically, fifteen minutes of that, I was on hold while the operator fetched a manager. But still.)

First, I had to explain to the operator (Tracy) how Safe Drop worked. Strike one for AusPost training, right?  But I finally — I thought — got through to her that I had done everything I could, and that there was no way I could pick the parcel up. She promised to organise a redelivery, and gave me a reference number.

This afternoon, I called back to find out how that was going — whereupon I found out that (a) redelivery is up to the whim of the delivery centre; and (b) Tracy hadn’t bothered to tell them that I had a broken foot, or indeed, to record it on the call log; so (c) the delivery centre went, “Nope.”

After much back and forth, I spoke to the manager of today’s operator (Liz — what a great name) and reiterated the broken foot problem, and now she is attempting to persuade the delivery centre to drop the parcel off. I hope she succeeds, because I’d like to get this parcel before my foot heals.

Here’s my theory: the driver didn’t even bother trying to find my flat. It can be a challenge to find, after all, given that the whole building can’t be seen from the road (why, that sounds like a secure location!), and I’ve had issues before with drivers claiming they attempted delivery without actually getting out of their truck, or, you know, asking one of the very nice stay-at-home mums where [flat number] is.

My other theory basically boils down to this: it’s so funny how I never had this sort of problem until I moved into a complex where most of my neighbours are brown. Sure, we had the standard AusPost Phantom Delivery Attempt, but if I left instructions for something to be left at the door, that’s where it would be.  Even when the door was in direct sight of the road.

Anyway, I’ve learned an important lesson: never, ever use AusPost if there’s another option. Their staff are dishonest and incompetent, and very likely racist.

Anyone else living in an ethnically diverse neighbourhood and finding that AusPost just doesn’t want to know them?

ETA: I got home from work and found a different parcel just … lying on top of the block of letterboxes. Out in the open. Full view of the road.

I was unimpressed to say the least.