Australia Post is hurting small businesses by not allowing private postal companies to deliver parcels to Post Office Boxes, according to courier business Sendle.
The delivery startup has started a Change.org petition calling on Australia Post to allow it to deliver parcels to PO Boxes.
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The petition has so far snapped up more than 6800 signatures.
Sendle is calling on the Australian competition watchdog to take action, arguing the restrictions on PO Boxes harm competition and, in turn, consumers as well as small business owners.
“This anti-competitive practice is hurting many of the two million small businesses in Australia that want the ability to deliver to Post Office Boxes,” Sendle says in its Change.org petition.
“Most importantly, it’s hurting everyday Australians who can’t get fair value from the PO Box they’re paying for. We strongly believe that by not allowing other postal companies to deliver to Post Office Boxes, Australia Post is abusing its monopoly, reducing competition and hurting consumers.”
Sendle co-founder and chief executive James Chin Moody told SmartCompany the petition was prompted by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s review into Australia Post’s letter delivery service.
“That’s fine, but it should be looking at other areas where Australia Post is using its monopoly powers such as parcels,” Chin Moody says.
“Australia Post is, we believe, exploiting its monopoly in that part of the their business in order to maintain the monopoly on parcel delivery. Imagine if Telstra said if you don’t have a Telstra phone, you can’t ring a Telstra home phone.
“With 6000 signatures in a week, we’re getting a fairly strong indication that the community feels the same way.”
Chin Moody says small businesses are particularly hurt by the fact that Star Track and Australia Post’s other subsidiaries are the only ones able to deliver parcels to PO Boxes.
“It’s such a habit that people often don’t think there’s a monopoly there,” he says.
“But they’ve had a monopoly for a very long time. We think it’s about time Australia had a level playing field for parcel delivery.”
The Change.org petition is not the first time Sendle has been involved in a public stoush with Australia Post.
Back in August, Australia Post opposed Sendle’s attempt to trademark its slogan “post without the office”.
A spokesperson for Australia Post told SmartCompany the national postal service was “happy to talk” to Sendle about forging a commercial arrangement when it comes to PO Boxes.
“PO Boxes are part of the Australia Post delivery network,” the Australia Post spokesperson said.
“Australia Post delivers some other carriers’ articles to PO Boxes under commercial agreements. Australia Post is happy to talk to Sendle about forming a commercial arrangement to provide the same services.”