Over the years, Australia Post has featured in this blog. And here. And over here too.
You would think I had no more to say on the topic. (Believe me, I’d prefer to have something else to write about – but it’s the summer, it was a long weekend, the weather is frying my brain, etc.)
But Auspost just loves to keep delivering poor service (see what I did there?).
From direct personal experience, four times in about as many weeks Auspost have failed to meet their own service levels for parcel delivery. In short, on each occasion their drivers claimed to have attempted delivery, but did not leave any notification. As a result, the parcels were delayed, and it was only when I received the “Final Reminders” from my local post office that I had any idea these items were awaiting collection.
Each time, I have lodged a formal complaint. In fact, I was encouraged to do so by the counter staff, who indicated that my experiences were not unique, and that they were as exasperated as I was. They also suggested that the front line staff are not being listened to by management.
With each complaint, I have been advised that “the relevant people will be spoken to”, and I have been assured “it will never happen again”. But it keeps happening, and nobody at Auspost can adequately explain why.
OK, so once could be a genuine error. Twice sounds like poor performance. Three times, and it starts to seem like a regular occurrence. But four times, and it points to a systemic problem, a failure which Auspost seems unable or unwilling to address.
So pervasive is Auspost’s reluctance to engage in genuine, honest and open dialogue with their customers (remember the National Conversation?), that at one point, a supervisor I spoke with refused to confirm the address of my local parcel delivery office. During another call, when I asked for some basic information as to whether other people in my area had made similar complaints, I was advised to submit a Freedom of Information request to obtain that sort of data.
After the second occasion, and sensing that Auspost was not getting the message, I also submitted a complaint to the Ombudsman. However, the latter said that “twice was insufficient” for their office to take any action. Ironically, the exact same time as I took the call from the Ombudsman, the postie was delivering yet another “Final Reminder” card, in respect to a third parcel for which there had been no evidence of a previous “Attempted Delivery”. I’m still waiting for the Ombudsman to get back to me….
More importantly, I’m still waiting for Auspost to notify me of what specific steps they have taken to resolve this pattern of poor service.
Meanwhile, Auspost keeps boasting about all the parcels they are delivering, thanks to the boom in online shopping. It’s just a pity that (from my experience), they are doing a really poor job of it.
Next week: What should we expect from our banks?
How long does it take to beat out of an organisation the culture that it ‘grew up’ with?
Auspost may have changed the name, it may have been supposedly made market sensitive, it had a CEO paid private enterprise top of the range money, it has a fully depreciated infrastructure (worth billions in real estate alone) that competitors would kill for, but the old culture persists.
All it lacks is a leader of substance, vision, a bias towards action, and balls.