Australia Post’s decision to charge customers for collecting parcels will put customer service staff in the firing line, according to the peak body representing licensed post offices.
From August, Australia Post plans to charge customers $3 to collect a parcel that has been waiting to be collected for six to 10 business days.
Customers will fork out an extra $3 for picking up a parcel that has been waiting for 11 to 15 business days.
If a parcel has been sitting at the post office for more than 15 business days, customers will be charged a $9 collection fee.
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Parcels will be returned to the original sender if not collected within 30 days.
Under the current system, undelivered parcels are held by Australia Post for no pick-up fee but are returned to the sender if not collected after 10 business days.
Australia Post hopes the new user-pay system will allow it to give people a longer timeframe to collect their parcels, while at the same time encouraging people to collect items within a shorter period.
However the Post Office Agents Association Limited (POAAL) says the scheme could cause “customer angst” and service staff will be in the firing line.
“Australia Post’s aim may be to encourage customers to collect their parcels from the post office as soon as possible, but Australia Post really needs to ficus on increasing first time delivery rates so that parcels don’t end up at the post office,” POAAL director Bob Chizzoniti said in a statement.
“Our members are asking how they’ll be able to find the space to store parcels for up to 30 days. Already, many LPOs [licensed post offices] find it hard to find enough space to securely store parcels awaiting collection.”
A spokesperson for Australia Post told SmartCompany just 8% of parcels remain uncollected after five days.
“Most customers pick up their parcel quickly, with 92% of parcels collected within five days,” the spokesperson says.
“We believe this service will help the small amount of customers who can’t collect their parcels straight away.”
Australia Post says licensees will collect the majority of the ‘Hold at Post’ fee.