According to reports from The Daily Mail, Australia post have joined the club of couriers who auction off unsold mail only to be scrutinized by customers.
The situation began when Australia Post decided to host an online auction of undelivered goods in Western Australia. It didn’t take long for the anger to erupt on Facebook with people revealing their disgust that the courier can’t just deliver the mail. The auction happening at a time when Australia Post are up against added COVID-19 pressures doesn’t help the scepticism.
The reality of undelivered mail
For many couriers, systems are in place to get parcels returned. In Australia Post’s case, the undelivered post will go to a Mail Redistribution Centre where it is stored for two months, during that time the team works to get the parcel home and if two months pass then mail is stripped of identifying markings and auctioned with all proceeds going to charity. If a person recognises an item up for sale then they are urged to get into contact with the courier who will withdraw the auction as long as proof of ownership is provided.
This isn’t the first time couriers have been under fire for undelivered mail being auctioned on marketplaces. Royal Mail and Hermes quickly came to defend themselves after vigilant customers spotted parcels being auctioned on eBay. It was later revealed that sellers were using third-party service providers to manage their returns for them.
It looks like Australia Post are simply sticking to their undelivered parcel protocol at a bit of a sensitive time. Some might argue that a 2-month time scale is short, but understandably a courier can only do so much to find an owner if incorrect delivery information is provided. It’s not an obligation but it is advised that sellers provide a return address on their packages to ensure lost parcels have more chance of getting to where they belong.
We have so many orders coming through with incorrect addresses. Most are caused by people using autofill, which often leaves out the house name/number and/or street.
As a result we verify each address that looks incorrect or is clearly missing parts. This has reduced our undelivered parcels by over 90%.
However this does not catch the ones who use old addresses (but haven’t updated Paypal etc).
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