[AMA] I Used to Work for Auspost

Had a 2 year stint working for Auspost at a big main post office. Was 2IC in the mailroom. Bring on some questions and I'll try to answer some throughout the day!

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  • +5 votes

    Who gets to take home the "lost" parcels?

    • +4 votes

      How would you define lost? I hated the POS who don't put return address on parcels because in the end we have to send it back to the major depots for a different team to handle and find where it needs to go.

      • +2 votes

        I put the "To" and "From" address on the express parcel. It came back home on the next business day. What a surprise! Auspost did it again.

    • +6 votes

      Correct answer is they go to auction houses around the country.

      Ie. https://www.auctions.com.au/auctions/2017/05/27/australia-po...

      •  

        Wow. That stuff is WORTHLESS.

        •  

          I saw a Campagnolo Record groupset in that auction. It'd be worth at least $2,000.

          •  

            @gork: I can't find the lot you're talking about. You're assuming they are complete and undamaged. No guarantee of that whatsoever. And if anyone else recognizes the parts you'll have a potential bidding war on your hands for what could be junk. You can get lucky but for the most part you'd have to be regularly doing this to turn any kind of decent profit, and you will experience losses too. Most of this stuff is total garbage you won't be able to get rid of for free.

    • +9 votes

      Any parcels or letters that are lost due to a number of factors such as damaged packaging, no address, wrong address or contents has come out of packaging is forwarded to the Return Mail Office (RMO). A small team works on finding the owners of the articles however in the case that they can not be located, auctions are held in major capital cities where the money gained is given to charities.

      • -2 votes

        wrong reply

      • +13 votes

        This is a great team - I once accidentally forgot to put my return address on a parcel containing some documents, and the rmo team waded through the documents until they worked out that I was the sender and found my mobile number, called me for a return address and sent the parcel back to me.

  • +3 votes

    Is theft rampant at the mailroom?

    • +7 votes

      Not while I was on shift at least. There were black spots on security cameras and in between shelves. I had a pretty good rapport with all the other mailroom staff so there wasn't a benefit for theft to make everyone else's shift impossible to find anything. We also had a tracking system that made sure it was in our mailroom too so….

  • +7 votes

    What did you do with the weed you would find coning though the mail

    • +6 votes

      Probably delivered it? I didn't encounter anything as obvious as that.

    •  

      Depends on the quantity. Most of the time just deliver it as addressed.

    • +7 votes

      Any suspect article is forwarded to a nominated person who has state government approval to investigate/open the article. Any illegal contents is reported to the police who then deal with it.
      A side note, any coffee smelling packages that are not from a coffee producer are usually put aside to be opened as there have been a number of times the coffee is used to mask the scent of weed.

      • +5 votes

        Make's sense :). So if I want to send drugs though the mail, start a coffee company, so the coffee smell is not suss ;)

        Do a lot of suspect parcels get sent via post? I guess a lot is found but a lot more gets though.

        • +3 votes

          In my 6 years of working at a major facility, I have only opened 2 containing illegal drugs. We usually open and check about 4 a day that the parcel sorters put aside.
          The main concern is bio security such as honey and plants that get checked by a customs officer

      •  

        Saw the trick on Beverly Hills cop :)

  • +4 votes

    What was the most "interesting" delivery (attempted or otherwise) that you dealt with?

    • +6 votes

      We had a few interesting parcels come through but the two memorable ones were delivering 6 half a dozen wine boxes to 1 person and nearly getting stabbed by a kitchen knife that broke through its packaging and slide straight out of a sealed Peters of Kensington box. Unless you wanted funny customer service stories?

      • +9 votes

        funny customer stories

        • +16 votes

          Had a really bad experience with a customer who gave me the wrong address to look for his 'parcel' which turned out to be a registered letter. Happens if the person forgets to bring their card.

          He berated me for not delivering it to his mailbox (I'm just a mailroom staffer not the postie). Cried my eyes out while I told him if I could leave this post office to put it in your mailbox at home I would! Everyone waiting in line to pick up their parcel just stared at him. Mind you, these people have been waiting for half an hour at least. He realised quickly he was out of line and walked off quietly.

          I learned from then on to utilise crocodile tears with difficult customers.

          There was also a guy who's legal name was just 'JESUS'. No surname and not Jesus. Licence said 'JESUS'.

          • +6 votes

            @tsu-chan:

            He berated me for not delivering it to his mailbox (I'm just a mailroom staffer not the postie).

            I get that berating you does no good, but if Auspost didn't have a fairly well-founded reputation of dropping off "not at home" cards without even attempting delivery, this would happen less.

            And as far as any member of the general public is concerned, Auspost is Auspost is Auspost. Maybe the frontline staff should take it up with their superiors, since public feedback obviously hasn't done anything.

            • +5 votes

              @HighAndDry: There are reasons why the people who do a good job leave. In that situation, I can provide the most impeccable service at that very moment but I can't split myself in doing a contractor/postie's job to give the same service.

          •  

            @tsu-chan: so good, I have cried at work so many times to get out of helping customers too.

          •  

            @tsu-chan:

            There was also a guy who's legal name was just 'JESUS'. No surname and not Jesus. Licence said 'JESUS'.

            Our Lord Saviour has returned! Praise the Lord!

      •  

        Why is a wine delivery interesting?

        • +7 votes

          1 person….too much wine to take without a car. We had to lend them a trolley to borrow to walk it home. Negotiated to hold onto their ID while they came back with the trolley.

        • +2 votes

          Why is a wine delivery interesting?

          It was delivered to "JESUS" . You'd think he would have just filled the bath tub up, and did his thing, save on postage costs too :)

  • +5 votes

    I used to get love letters/packages from someone working at an Auspost sorting office. Never found out who it was.

    I don't have a question, I just thought I'd share that.

    • +7 votes

      That's sweet and creepy at the same time! :)

      • +2 votes

        That's extremely creepy considering how much information someone working in a mailroom can find out about basically any person in their area.

        • +1 vote

          Yes…don't piss off someone in the mailroom. You never know if they have reaaaally good memory to know your full name and address. :)

          I could never remember phone numbers.

        • +5 votes

          Wtf… You find that creepy and say all that shit to the guy living with a housemate that is renting out vacant rooms for prostitution?

          • -1 vote

            @sheepzpal: Housemate is just engaging in short term rentals, like airbnb. That they select for certain kind of short-term tenant really doesn't change the exchange.

            This? This is abusing your position to use (and abuse) others' personal information.

            Prostitution is the oldest profession, can't believe there are still people who have anything against it. Seriously, is it because you don't get any action and can't afford it?

            • +1 vote

              @HighAndDry: Not if the Op. found advertising for services or talked to the punters who admitted they were paying for sex, then its not "short term rentals", then its an illegal act.

              Just because you are in favour of something does not make people who are against it are wrong. People are more than entitled to their beliefs (just as you are).

              I don't have a problem with prostitution, just as long as its not done around schools or child care centres.

              • +1 vote

                @TheMostHated: Which post are you reading? Nothing in the OP says OP's housemate is the prostitute - punters can be paying for sex all they want, presumably they're paying the prostitutes who're renting the place.

                People are more than entitled to their beliefs (just as you are).

                Sure, beliefs are fine. Forcing those beliefs on others, as OP is trying to do to the landlord, is not.

    • +1 vote

      Big packages?

  •  

    What is the company culture/morale like?

    • +9 votes

      Glass ceiling if you start at a post office delivery role. Head office staff who visit appreciate your hard effort but only comes through shared staff bonuses (like small gift cards) if the whole post office is ranked high in customer service.

      In return, the post office staff become a really tight knit family and will really go out of their way to make everyone's life easier if another staff member was going through some hardship.

  •  

    Is there a target to meet for delivering parcels? I've only ever received sorry we missed you notes at my old place, and now its a friendly postie waiting patiently for me every time I'm actually home.

    •  

      I can't say anything to do with delivery to properties as I was mailroom staff. We didn't have an official target to deliver parcels at the post office as we work off customer service targets instead.

      •  

        what sort of cs targets? Are they based on customer reviews, or by the number of customers coming through and being served?

        •  

          A mix of both! They had the quantitative data from the mailroom scanners for parcels delivered and the counter staff had the customer feedback surveys which our counter staff did really well in getting customers to do.

    •  

      Depends on your location and size of the article.

      10 years ago the letter business was like printing money however that changed quickly. Prior to Ahmed auspost made a loss of 200mil. He overhauled the companies and made changes to delivery.

      Depends on your area and the size of the article. Posties will deliver articles up to 2.5kgs and "small packet size" which can vary in size but probably no bigger than text book (30cm x 45cm x 4.5cm off the top of my head)

  •  

    Can anything actually be done about delivers that don't actually knock and just leave the package on your doorstep?

    • +1 vote

      Only thing I can suggest (even I did to stop dealing with lazy contractors) was utilise the parcel lockers. The closer the parcel locker is to a post office, the better the service. We had to load the parcel lockers 2-3 times a day. All the mailroom staff could do when we hear that occurring is to report it to management to feed back to the depots.

      •  

        Agree, I realise the lockers and PO Box are really reliable options.
        Both Postman and contractors are really lazy in my area and they do put your mail in others mailbox - I helped them to put it back to the right mailbox for quite numerous of times.

        • +1 vote

          Because only the reliable ones work the lockers and PO Boxes :D

        • +1 vote

          My contractor is amazing. Well at least he is now. One time he was dropping off this parcel and I heard a loud horn and a screeching of brakes. Some big guy in a truck started storming towards the contractor and swearing his head off. I stepped out of the office door and yelled out in my deepest voice "you right mate" to the truckie. He turned and went back to his truck.
          Ever since the contractor goes out of his way to deliver, even finding his way from the office to the residence (multiple buildings on site). Build a good relationship. Get good service. That is if they stick with the job. When he leaves I'm using parcel lockers.

      • +1 vote

        Parcel Locker is not the answer.
        It only works if you know the seller is using AusPost. If buying from overseas, there's no way using Parcel Locker.
        Even if the seller is using AusPost, they can refuse to use Parcel Lockers.

        I know you re-deliver the parcel online (if the seller is kind enough to use tracking number), but that will delay the delivery by 1-2 days.

        I do like Parcel Locker when it works.
        But there are times where my purchase got delay because of using it.

        •  

          It really does depend.

          I use the quick access parcel lockers for my EBay purchases and it's working fine 99% of the time with no complaints from the sender

        •  

          I've bought many things from overseas to my Parcel Collect address without issues.
          I love that service, and visit the post office about twice a week!

    •  

      LOTS! The best thing to do is when going through the check put of your online store, in delivery comments write "do not safe drop, card to closest PO".

      Also, have a mypost account to track your deliveries from some companies. Tracked deliveries you can choose for it to not be safe dropped and or held/redirected etc.

      The contractors scanner will be updated with this information when they go to deliver the parcel.

      Fill out the survey! Aus post is heavily relying on NPs score and feedback at the moment.

      However, 9 out of 10 people prefer their article to be safe dropped rather than having to go to the post office the next day

      •  

        I find the safe drop hit and miss..
        like we had a notification an item was safe dropped, but it was just bent in half and jammed in the mail box..
        lucky it wasn't something that mattered too much, I have wondered what a postie thinks is acceptable as a 'safe drop' location.
        I mean if any random person can come to your door and see a parcel, its not really 'safe drop' is it.

        Also had an item that was delivered to my PO Box which was folded over,
        but it bent the toy that was inside, was still useable and wasn't worth much so no big deal, but it was annoying..

        I have also commented in the past of receiving other PO Box items in my box, and now we get the notification, I go over and check it and its not even for me, then if the customer area is open I can get them to put it in the correct box, if its not, then I have to go back on another day just to give it back to them.. and what id I cant check it straight away and a few days go by, and its not for me and someone is waiting for the item.. i.e. I had a AFL parcel turn up, by the feel of it, it was an AFL cap for one of the teams in the GF this year, it was 3 days out from the GF, I had to go back the next day as the customer section was closed, so there was only 2 days for the correct owner to get their parcel.

        lost count of the times I have had to go to my neighbours letterbox or one up the street and out their mail in the correct mailbox..

  • +1 vote

    do you like chicken nuggets?

  •  

    How much did you get paid?

    •  

      Approx. $24-26phr. Not bad for a student. Was also offered overtime shifts often too cause of the quality of work I did for the place.

      •  

        Cool nice what you doing these days?

        •  

          Working in my field of study :) More challenging than sorting letters and parcels numerically and alphabetically.

          • +2 votes

            @tsu-chan: Well done mate.

          •  

            @tsu-chan:

            More challenging than sorting letters and parcels numerically and alphabetically.

            My friend (also my postie, on pushbike) has told me that he doesn't do the indoor work, sorting etc. But from how he said it, they want him to, and many other delivery posties do indoor work also. He clearly really didn't like the indoor work.

            Did you find many people there that really disliked the sorting work ?

            Also, was it typical for posties that deliver, to also do shifts at sorting ?

            •  

              @Chewybacca: there was one person at my post office that either hated the sorting work or disliked all of us in general… but the role description is pretty obvious when you sign up for the gig and you can request to move during probation too…

              iirc posties that deliver only had to sort by street bundles if they didn't have staff at their pickup points doing it for them.

  •  

    Are all untrackable parcel really 'untrackable'? Especially they do need a signature on delivery and they have a barcode, like some of cheap DHL parcels?

    • +1 vote

      If the parcel comes to our post office with no tracking we add a barcode sticker for Auspost systems and scan it in. They're suppose to do the same further up the mail system at the depot but we found back when I was working there that not a lot of people executed the new format? Hence the untrackable parcel. Nowadays its super rare to get an untrackable parcel let alone an untrackable letter.

      Some DHL parcels are only tracked by DHL. The depot that accepted the DHL parcel to go into the mail system needs a replacement Auspost eParcel barcode implemented alongside it. After that it leaves the DHL tracking system to be only tracked in Auspost's system.

      •  

        I really wish, at some stage, we can pay a bit extra to make an untrackable parcel traceable, at least for some important parcels.

        Shipment number CP54656xxx3DE
        International shipment number CP54656xxx3DE

        Th, 03.01.2019 11:28 IPZ-Ffm, Germany
        The shipment will be transported to the destination country and, from there, handed over to the delivery organization. (Homepage / online shipment tracking: https://auspost.com.au/parcels-mail/track.html#/track)

        Th, 03.01.2019 09:38 Rodgau, Germany
        The international shipment has been processed in the export parcel center

        It is a shame that when you jump to Auspost website and they tell you it is not trackable, but that's the only thing you can do according to DHL tracking.

        • +1 vote

          Oh yea. Customers will have no reliable tracking from country to country. Auspost's customer system will not have it in the system til it clears Australian customs and the item was heading to a distribution centre when I was working there. We had a seperate tracking system within the mailroom that could break it down to us that at least it arrived into the country at customs. Not sure if they intended to integrate that further into the online tracking system as I assumed the head office people think customers don't need that much fine detail.

        • +1 vote

          These article should have some tracking.

          Posties should be scanning any articles that start with two letters, 8 digits, 2 letters.

          They are also bulk received into the country off a manifest. It would be impossible to scan every single one of those Chinese packets individually that arrives.

  • +3 votes

    Thanks for the AMA

    Edit: Why am I getting negative votes on replies?

    I was wondering the same thing. I suspect it's because people hate Australia Post (most of the time, we only remember negative experiences about companies like this, and I have had a LOT of them. A lot of it is to do with lost/delayed packages, inaccurate tracking, packages being dumpped outside when they're supposed to be signed for, being handed the "nobody was home" slips in person by the delivery driver, etc.

    •  

      Lol no one is asking about those dinosaurs who soil the experience either! We had a very terrible coworker who was an epitome of auspost bad experiences! I'm speaking of the positive stuff so far.

  •  

    I had this horrible experience of specifying "upon arrival please ring my phone/doorbell" but only received a message saying it's left at the closest post office, which closed at 5pm sharp everyday. I ended up have to ask for a few hours leave just to pick it up.

    Any chances Aupost would improve the services to minimise occurrence of these issues?

    •  

      My post office was one of the first ones to adopt Saturday morning parcel pick up. We absolutely hated being shifted to come in essentially on our day off and either have a great run of people or be constantly abused for 4 hours for closing so early during the week (my post office also did the trial of 6pm-7pm business hour close in busy periods)

      • +1 vote

        Our local Aus Post office is actually in a newsagency - are these contracted out from AusPost?

        It's great because in addition to being open from 830 weekdays, they're open till noon on both Sat and Sun.

        • +1 vote

          You got a very flexible LPO (licenced post office)! Super rare. The owners of that one is allowed to do whatever opening hours they want for sure.

          I worked at a major store.

        •  

          I've got one of these too. They are awesome as I don't have to worry about leaving work early to pick up a package!

          On a couple of rare but annoying occasions the courier doesn't take the package to this post office (maybe because it's a newsagent?) and takes it to a regular Australia Post Office with the limited opening hours.

    •  

      Get a parcel locker, very easy to set up. Most of the time people in apartments do not answer the door bell and due to time constraints the delivery person doesn't have time to call a phone number.

      While it sucks for you if the postie had to call 75 people to come and collect their parcel……….. it's a slippery slope

  •  

    How much stock do you reckon was going missing off the back of trucks? I recall a few years ago having numerous items never arrive from online shopping, even ones with tracking numbers that simply disappeared on their way to my PO Box. All were in the hands of AusPost.

    Not asking for stats or an official statement :P….but what was your impression of insider theft/dodgey goings on?

    •  

      It is happening. There are unsavory people who really work for the role to do bad things since they believe they aren't being paid or treated equally all the time. The worst offenders are the dinosaurs who are there forever and take advantage of 'perks' let it be free reign over parcels they're tasked to deliver or not do a decent job at attempting to deliver.

  •  

    Has anyone worked for 10 years in the mail room?

    • +1 vote

      Yes a few. Even if it wasn't at the same post office. They have really personal and meaningful relationships with third party couriers and regular customers. Those ones get gifts during the year from the customers for really personalised service. Above and beyond stuff.

    •  

      Heaps. There are a lot worse jobs out there than working for post. If you have been there for over 5 years roughly you're on defined benefit and they pay 12% super.

      Pretty easy to earn 80k plus a year without doing too much over time, not bad for unskilled labour and knowing you have a job for life.

  •  

    Do you scan domestic mail in the room for such as drugs danger hazards etc..? What is the most interesting thing you have unfolded?

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