04 May 2016
by John Birmingham

Australia Post's $9 pick-up service enough to make me go postal

Australia Post's well-paid executives won't have to answer to angry customers who've just been told they have to pay for a package they know the sender already paid for.

As a rule I try not to do business with criminal organisations. It never ends well. Because of this I'll be cutting ties with Australia Post.

Australia Post customers are furious at plans to charge them up to $9 if parcels aren't picked up within five days. Courtesy Seven News Melbourne. Like most people, residual fondness and simple inertia kept me using the old dinosaur even as it cut services, increased prices and turned the local post office into a Two Dollar Shop full of one dollar crap with 10 dollar price tags. But this latest plan to charge people to pick up undelivered parcels is the end.

It seems Oz Post CEO Ahmed Fahour might have found the perfect way to finally kill off the business. Paying millions to his executive team while laying off 900 postal workers who actually did something useful like, you know, delivering the post, was a good start.

But shaking down punters to collect packages that have already been paid for by the sender is the coup de grace.I think it's almost certainly illegal. Oz Post has no contract with the recipient of the package, you see. The contract to deliver, for which payment has been made, was with the sender.

You can't forcibly create a contract for which payment is demanded just by holding onto somebody's stuff and putting out your hand. Not unless you're going into competition with the mafia. It's not just an insane way to blow up what's left of your business and drive people to the private couriers. It's extortion. There are laws against it.

Ahmed, you just can't do this, son.

According to one of Fahour's spokesdrones the plan to charge people to collect their own parcels is an exciting enhancement of the Post Office's customer service offerings, but this is such obvious bullshit that if Australia Post is subject to the Competition and Consumer Act it should be prosecuted for deceptive and misleading conduct; right after the organised crime squad have done them like a dinner for kidnapping your parcels and holding them ransom.

Australia Post CEO Ahmed Fahour.

Fahour's "introductory offering" to his new "pick up" service will top out at $9 a parcel, if you miss the postie because you're at work or you simply don't hear them as they tippie-toe up the steps to knock ever so lightly on the door before running like crazy for the van, yelling at the getaway driver to put the pedal to the metal.

But you can expect the price to grow very quickly.

Eventually they won't even bother pretending to deliver. You'll just get a phone call from a heavy breather late at night. "JB, we got a little package here for you, brother. Looks fragile. Be a shame if anything happened to it."

The people who'll suffer the first blow, as ever, are the frontline staff.

Fahour and his well-paid executives won't have to answer to angry customers who've just been told they have to pay for a package they know the sender already paid for. The poor mugs on the front desk, however, will have to cop the rage of the poor mugs who've been forced to front up at the Two Dollar Shop and hand over nine dollars for something they didn't even buy in the first place – a simple parcel delivery.