An Aussie mum was left shocked to receive a late Easter letter from her grandmother, only to discover the contents were largely destroyed.
The woman shared photos of the damaged letter to a public Facebook group, which acts as a platform for people to vent their frustrations with Australia Post.
The woman explained her 90-year-old grandmother had sent the envelope from Perth “before Easter” for the woman’s children to buy Easter presents.
However she said the letter was only delivered to her in Albany, Western Australia on May 7, and in shockingly bad condition.
The envelope was slightly burnt on the outside and a $50 note inside, along with a card, was close to being destroyed.
“How does this happen?” The woman demanded on Facebook.
“It’s waterlogged, torn and burnt!”
She said she called Australia Post and was allegedly told nothing could be done as it “wasn’t registered”.
“While the vast majority of our mail arrives safely and on time, something has clearly gone wrong here and we apologise to the customer,” an Australia Post spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia.
“We ask that they contact us on 13POST so we can look into it further for them.”
Someone asked if the woman’s grandmother had dropped off the envelope in a street-side post box.
“That's one thing I hate about street side boxes is they always get damaged, people always throw foreign objects in them, open drinks etc and they get sent on fire,” the person explained.
However, the woman clarified her Nan went to her local post office to send the card, handing it over to the staff behind the counter.
One Facebook user suggested the envelope might’ve got caught in the sorting machine.
“It got jammed and spun on the belts, heat and friction caused it [the bank note] to melt,” they theorised.
“That's an absolute disgrace. They should be held accountable,” one person commented.
Many people on the post suggested the woman take the $50 bill to a bank and have it replaced.
“Subject to the Reserve Bank's claim requirements, the Reserve Bank pays value for badly damaged/contaminated banknotes based on the visual assessment of a banknote,” the Reserve Bank of Australia says on their website.
“If part of a banknote remains, the value is determined on the same basis as for incomplete banknotes.”
Heat damage is one of the three reasons a bank note may be classified as badly damaged or contaminated, if the damage “prevents the verification of security features or affects 20 per cent or more of the banknote”.
Australia Post struggles amid the coronavirus
The coronavirus pandemic has impacted nearly every single business and industry in Australia in one way or another – and Australia Post is no exception.
With everyone at home, self-isolating to stop the spread of the virus, parcel deliveries are up 80 per cent compared to this time last year, Australia Post says, with some 1.8 million parcels being sent every day.
Not only did Australia Post have to deal with the surge of parcels, there have been some logistical issues including fewer domestic flights and delays on international orders, as well as implementing social distancing measures to protect workers.
Until June 30, 2021, people in metro areas around Australia will receive their letters every second day, while those in rural and remote areas will not see any change in delivery frequency due to the fact that “Australia Post is often the only operator in these areas”.
In order to help deal with the unprecedented level of parcels, Australia Post announced it would be retraining 2000 motorbike posties to help deliver parcels.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.