Auspost Keeps Safe Dropping Parcels That Aren't Supposed to Be

I recently found a trend where all of my deliveries were being left on my front porch where anyone could take it. Now, if these items were like small and <$10 I wouldn't really mind as that would save me a trip to the Post Office, but my recent deliveries have been computer components that are easily hundreds of dollars individually.

The thing is, I logged into my MyPost account to check all these deliveries and all of them say:

Safe Drop - unavailable
The sender has requested that you sign for this parcel. If no one is home you can collect it from a local Post Office.

My question is, if my item was to be stolen by someone when I'm at work, who's to cop the bill?

  1. Would I be entitled to open a Paypal dispute for "item not received"?

  2. Would I be left with the responsibility of getting compensation from AusPost given that the seller has already done whatever they can - tracking, signature on delivery etc?

P.S. On the tracking, it says "Delivered with Safe Drop".

Also, is there anything I can do to stop this from happening? For parcel deliveries, this is not my daily Postman so I don't even see/know this person at all since I'm not home or they don't ring the bell when I am.

Poll Options

  • 81
    Item not received - seller refunds; seller chases up AusPost for compensation
  • 11
    Item not received - chase up AusPost yourself for compensation

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  • +1 vote

    Same thing happened to me. No one to complain about

  • Seems like recently contractors “sign” themselves to meet all the KPIs.

    If something is gone missing where it wasn’t supposed to be safe dropped, an investigation is launched and that should reveal the truth.

  • but my recent deliveries have been computer components that are easily hundreds of dollars individually.

    Do these articles require name and signature captures?

  • Call and Camplain. That’s all you can do. Tell them it was a expensive item and you want to know why it wasn’t signed for.

    Wouldn’t be a terrible idea to set up cctv on your front porch.

    • Yep, I did.
      The delivery driver changed his behaviour quick smart.
      Australia Post we’re not happy on the phone (it initially sounded like he was going to get sacked)

    • Do it for a parcel you received, that was with delivery on signature and you did not sign. It might not seem fair to the Delivery guy, but I am sure that after he's not doing it anymore.

      • It might not seem fair to the Delivery guy

        Unfair to the delivery guy that he needs to get a signature for parcels that the sender requested a signature for?

        I don't know mate, I can't just tell my boss it's unfair that I have to do my job properly.

  • Same thing happened to the Mrs. Had 2 parcels changed to Safe-Drop, 2 parcels we'd never let switch to that. 1 was a $550 phone which was stuffed into the letterbox (but was thankfully still there), other was a $200 clothes order, which has gone missing. Delivery guy took a really blurry photo, barely make out anything, but the colour of the ground doesn't match anything of ours.

    Still waiting for AusPost to sort it out.

    • This is exactly what I'm afraid of. Did you have to start the investigation, or did you get the seller to? I assume you were not given a refund in the meantime.

    • Whilst it may be AP contractors to blame isn't it the sellers responsibility to chase it up if the item doesn't arrive since they chose the shipper and shipped it?

      • Usually it would be but since it says delivered it would fall upon the buyer (According to Paypal)

    • I had something similar happen last week. Item was "safe dropped" and marked as delivered. Turned out they safe dropped to a different address as the photo the driver took did not match my house. Luckily the item was re delivered to me a week later (not sure if auspost went to wrong address to retrieve item or if the people who received it kindly sent it back to auspost).

  • I think this is a fairly standard practice, last order of sex toys I put in had "DO NOT LEAVE" all over the box and they just put it between the screen door and the wooden door, jarring the screen door open for 2-3 days before I got home.

  • I get everything posted to an Aus Post parcel locker. Safe and secure and you can grab it at any time.

    • This sounds like the go to me as well. We have an alcove at the front of our property and the delivery people used to fling the parcels into it, including some DVDs that got broken. Came down my street one day to see a guy with a stick trying to fish parcels out of the alcove, he ran like a scalded cat when I charged towards him. This was before I had a phone camera, nowdays I would walk past, take lots of photos and send them to the cops.

    • grab it at any time.

      Unless the parcel lockers are full, in which case you get to wait 1-2 extra days and then pick it up from the PO. Sigh. Still better than having it dumped though.

    • +1 No reason op isn't using parcel locker, or parcel collect. I use them both every other month, and I think it's a great service by auspost. If OP is expecting something valuable to be left at the post office when they're not home to sign, might as well send it there in the first place.

      • I love using them, but then there's heaps of stores (especially ebay sellers) who won't tell you which courier they are using, so I can't get them to a parcel locker :(

        • if they can't leave it at parcel locker. it would be held at the post office.

          for some couriers they even call you and tell you they can't deliver it to the locker and where you want to redirect it too.

        • plot twist - if it's a courier other than auspost, they won't be able to leave it at the post office anyway! My understanding is that only Australia Post can leave an item at a post office, parcel locker, or parcel collect (it is their service after all). So, if the OP is expecting an item to be left with the post office if they're not home, it must have been delivered with auspost. Even if you're buying from overseas, if it comes into the country through a foreign national postal service, it will traverse Australia Post, and can be sent to parcel locker or parcel collect.

          Also, Amazon have built up their own massive network of agents (chemists or newsagents) you can collect parcels from. So have Toll, and DHL to some degree. Ones i have to go out of my way to pick up from are usually dhl, fastway, and fedex. I now make a point of asking the seller who they post with. Kogan / DS / Tandy told me

          "All of our products are sent using the most reliable courier and freight services available such as Australia Post, Toll, DHL and FedEx. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer an option to select a courier while placing an order".

          I wished them best of luck once Amazon arrives. They did not seem bothered. IMO, if i can't be confident of receiving my purchase easily (free or paid), you ain't getting my money. This one other time, i asked a company if they could ship with auspost (as their site said Toll). They said yes - sweet - so i ordered, and they used toll anyway to ship to my parcel locker. Thinking it'd get lost, i called them up to see if they could get it redirected, but it had already been picked up and was gone. So they packaged up an entire new order and shipped it again with auspost. Next day, Toll calls me to say they can't deliver to parcel locker, would i like it redirected to a news agent somewhere - yes please. Same day, the duplicate parcel arrived in parcel locker. So i got 2-for-1! called the company to see if i could return one - they said 'our mistake, keep them'. Absolute champions. if you ever have a need for those sort of products, their customer service was top-notch.

        • @adn:
          Couriers won't deliver to the post office. They take it back to the depot to be collected.
          Not very practical when the depot is 20 km away and open 9-5 on weekdays.

        • @MrTweek:

          That is why they call you to rearrange delivery. at this point you can arrange to deliver it to your workplace or work from home that day to wait for the delivery of the package.

          OP was more concern with the security of their parcel.

        • @adn: good guys courier delivered my phone to someone else's house when i gave them a parcel locker address. They ended up sending me a new phone

      • You know what would be a great service by Australia Post? ACTUALLY DELIVERING THE DAMN PARCEL TO YOUR HOME AND COLLECTING A SIGNATURE LIKE THEY'RE SUPPOSE TO. It isn't convenient going to their damn parcel lockers and I'm not convinced the service will remain free once they have people using it.

  • It's for reasons such as this (and others) that we've had a PO Box for a few years now. Runs about $200 a year, but means parcels don't get left unattended, mail doesn't get left sticking out of the box and exposed to rain, etc.

    • Do you have any issues with people refusing to send things to a PO Box, or do you have some sort of redirect for your mail?

      • I get the odd issue with this, but not that often. Depending upon what it is, I then either have it sent to my work, or I just don't purchase.

      • I live on a rural property and have a p.o. box in the nearby town. No one delivers parcels to my property (Unless it's specifically sent by express with a courier(had a laptop delivered once, the guy from toll walked the 500m or so down to my house from the road because he couldn't fit his truck down my driveway)).
        I get the occasional person who doesn't want to deliver to a p.o. box citing that their courier doesn't deliver to them. So I have it sent to my address. The courier hands it off to auspost at my local town. Who then put the item in my p.o. box for me anyway.

    • Criminal that they used to be $55 a year back in 2004!

      I did give the parcel collect a go and seemed to arrive alright and an SMS got sent to me. Unlike a parcel collect (nearest one is aout 15 mins away) you have more business days to collect them.

  • Create a mypost account and set your preference to no safe drop? Dunno if that will help. At least there's proof you don't want stuff safe dropped?

    • He did that.

      • No he didn't?

        • His post says he logged into mypost and it said safe drop unavailable.

        • @tassieeagle: Yeah, so he checked the status of his previous deliveries, and safe drop wasn't technically available anyway, which means yes, they shouldn't have safe dropped in the first place.

          I was just saying for future deliveries, at least if he selected the default delivery preference of "no" safe drop in his mypost account, that would be some sort of proof that he doesn't want if they still do it. But again, dunno if that will help stop them doing it, or reduce his liability if something is lost/stolen if they do keep doing it.

        • @John Kimble: The default is "no" for safe drop, I've just checked. (Unless I actually changed it before. Nonetheless it is my preference).

        • @currentfad: No, it's definitely opt in. AusPost sent me an email about it recently asking if I wanted to opt in. I've also just logged in and it's definitely still off by default.

  • You could use the free 24/7 parcel locker instead for more pricey items

    • Use parcel locker! All problems solved. It's free but maybe not as convenient as parcel landed at your doorstep.

      • True, If you can get one on the way to work then it's brilliant. One of the better things Auspost has done for sure.

      • I'll take reliable and secure over convenient any time for any expensive purchase…

      • Then why the hell are we paying for delivery at all for items posted locally?

      • I rather have my parcels delivered to my neighbourhood locker than a cowboy running around trying to clear his daily quota.

        I also don't have the time to sit patiently by the door and to miss the delivery man who doesn't understand how to work a doorbell while I take a poop break.

        IMHO parcel lockers are the future. They are more efficient and a green way for delivering parcels. They just need to build more and I believe this can reduce a lot of cost as fuel prices goes up.

  • Happened to me for the first time yesterday. Big sticker saying that it needed to be taken back to play office if no one was home; they left it on my porch.


    (c) To the maximum extent permitted by law (including the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth)), and subject to clause 2.1(e) of this Agreement and the Australia Post Terms and Conditions, Australia Post shall not be liable to you or to any other person (whether in contract, tort or otherwise) for any loss or damage that may be suffered, as a result of any act or omission, whether negligent or otherwise, by or on behalf of Australia Post in relation to the loss or damage to any parcel, including, but not limited to:
    A. where it is left at the delivery address in a 'safe drop' location as requested pursuant to this Service;
    B. where it is left at a delivery address in a manner that is inconsistent with the delivery instructions specified in the request for the Service; or
    C. where it is not left at the delivery address (including in the circumstances contemplated by clause 1.4 and 2.1 (b) above), and requires collection from a Post Office;

    • But it was not requested.

      • I have no idea what your referring to.

        • A. where it is left at the delivery address in a 'safe drop' location as requested pursuant to this Service;

          The OP never requested safe drop and it wasn't available to be selected for anything he ordered anyway.

          The thing is, I logged into my MyPost account to check all these deliveries and all of them say:

          Safe Drop - unavailable
          The sender has requested that you sign for this parcel. If no one is home you can collect it from a local Post Office.

        • @John Kimble:

          The OP never requested safe drop

          Safe drop is a default op-out service. Any articles that doesn't require a name and signature capture is safe dropped according to delivery procedures. That is unless the sender includes delivery instructions on the manifest requesting not to safe drop.

        • @whooah1979:

          I've read a few of your comments on this thread, and you don't seem to understand that the sender requested signature on delivery.

          That is specifically why AusPost's website says SafeDrop is unavailable, it doesn't matter if the default is opt in or opt out, the sender gave instructions not to just leave it, and they were ignored.

          I also don't know why you keep repeating the irrelevant statement that articles that don't require a signature may get safe dropped, when it's QUITE CLEAR that this article required a signature. Why are you flogging a dead horse?

          Safe Drop - unavailable
          The sender has requested that you sign for this parcel. If no one is home you can collect it from a local Post Office.

          Emphasis mine.

        • @aleayr:

          you don't seem to understand that the sender requested signature on delivery

          I understand Ap's delivery procedure well enough from experience.

          The sender can request a name and signature capture when they manifest the article id. This works with a select number of services like click & send, online sending and eparcels.

          Sod can also be added to parcel post and letters that is paid for at a lpo or with stamps, but these articles won't have data like the addressee's name and address uploaded to Ap.

          Non-manifested mail articles without sod are safe dropped by default. A safe drop opted-out won't change that.

        • @aleayr:

          hat don't require a signature may get safe dropped, when it's QUITE CLEAR that this article required a signature

          Was your mail articles eparcel or click and send with a signature on delivery printed on the article elad?

        • @aleayr:

          the sender gave instructions not to just leave it, and they were ignored

          Were these delivery instructions printed on the article elad?

  • When you register for mypost account, then safedrop option is selected by default in your account settings.
    Untick that option, and if they still safedrop without permission, and item gets stolen/lost, then raise a case with seller and auspost. You will get 100% refund, because its not your fault.
    Happened to me twice at 2 different addresses, i was sent a replacement by expresspost in one case and a refund in another.

  • a lot of people saying as long as you've ticked the box then you'll get a refund but man is that way too perfect worldy for my liking, i've seen too many stories of paypal not giving a shit because it says it was delivered, same thing with sellers, they'll just tell you its ausposts problem and trying to get anything from them is a blood from stone affair.

    if you are going to be getting many packages get a camera for your front step so you can without a doubt prove it was incorrectly delivered and then stolen, you'll still have to deal with auspost but at least you'll the proof.

  • Non-manifested mail articles are by default safe dropped. Safe drop op-out doesn't apply to these type articles.

  • yeh this happened too me.

    I agree $10 or under is fine.. anything more is questionable.

    I sent my wedding flowers to get preserved, my item doesn't have a value but more sentimental. If Aus Post lost it I would be VERY angry.

    I went into Aus post in Aussie square, Sydney - the lady at the counter didnt even know what safe drop was!!!!

    Seriously, Aus post pick up your game!

  • I've the OPPOSITE problem. I keep selecting 'safe drop' in online checkouts when e-shopping (mostly The Iconic) and it keeps getting sent to the post office. :/

    • Exactly same problem for me!
      I doubt if the delivery guy was actually doing his work! Had never ever seen anyone on intercom and the parcels were already redirected to post office!

      Parcel status changed very early in the morning, around 6 to 7 AM. Is it true that the drivers only work during that period?

  • I have the opposite problem, they won't safe drop stuff into my locked parcel locker, when I ask them to.

    Also, any deliveries I miss on Friday, no longer go back to the post office that night, so I can't collect them on Saturday. Which means I have to collect them the following Saturday, then they try to charge me for taking longer than 5 days to collect.

    I just hope Amazon don't use auspost as it will ruin their business.

  • This is why a small part of me died when I learned that Amazon will be partnering with Australia Post.
    I was hoping they'd roll their own competitor and get some competition going.
    Sick to death of my packages getting stuck in the fuсking sorting center for 11+ days when they're going from Melbourne -> Melbourne!

    Edit: Especially when I've paid a premium buying from Aussie sellers vs Chinese/HK to get it faster!

  • I've had this issue before. Where I was required to sign but nothing was signed ($180 order). Article dropped off even though there was no authorisation, but I couldn't find it. Informed original seller of this, who supposedly lodged a complaint with star track, the shipping company. The driver called up my personal mobile and insinuated someone stole it as he had left it on the front porch and thus was not his problem. I told him it is his problem and his job to do the right thing, not shift the blame. I had a good mind to call up star track and ask if this was standard protocol for the client's customer to be harassed. I got a redelivery nevertheless thanks to the great customer service of the company I bought the stuff from.

    Anyway, 2 weeks later, my parcel was found under a bush, about 10m away from the front door. drenched from the rain. Don't really know what to make of it but it's definitely the issue of the driver if they take matters in to their own hands.

  • I can't speak for australia post, but I have had a courier leave something at my front door that was supposed to be signed for and someone took it…. rang the courier company, they could see no signature was received and reimbursed the sender, who then resent the item to me.

  • If your front door isn't safe, ie can be seen from the street. Use parcel lockers instead! End of story. Nothing more you can do other than that.

    Auspost has a BIG push for 'first time' deliver as it reduces costs.

    I had one today, required sig, do not leave, card. Written all over it.

    Guess what I came home to? My front door is set back and on the side, so not viewable from the street at all. Plus has a camera overlooking it.

    So I'm ok with them leaving things there. But seriously auspost….

  • +2 votes

    OP, what's your address? PM if you like lol

    The level of service you get is 100% dependent on the contractor who looks after your area.

    In the past 2 houses, I've had excellent service, not just the 'attempted to deliver card' shoved in the post box without even knocking on the front door.

    • True.
      I believe there're two postmen for my area. One is very nice. I got every parcel from him without any problem.
      But the other one, I have never ever seen him!

  • I've had the exact same problem multiple times with parcels that the sender has specified for signature only. They get left at the door with nobody home (and sometimes they are fraudulently signed for by the delivery man). I made a formal complaint to Auspost… hopefully they will do something about it as I am completely happy to pick these items up from the post office another day.

    Fortunately nothing has been lost but they did leave a 15" macbook at my door…

    • You need to speak to your local delivery centre if they are open to the public for pick ups, (some aren't).
      If its multiple times then either it's the same guy or whoever has the contract for your area is getting his guys to do a dodgy as standard practice.

      Or just opt for parcel collect from your local po.

      • Back in the day they used to routinely leave parcels at the post office for me to collect - I don't see why they can't just keep doing that!

        They were trialing a new service too where you get an SMS which asks you if you want it safe dropped or left at the post office if you're not home. The delivery driver ignores whatever option you pick though.

        I think this ones a bit dodgy, hopefully auspost has given him a warning.