An Australia Post customer has inadvertently discovered a groundbreaking hack that allows real-time parcel tracking.
The customer mailed a pair of Apple AirPods via Australia Post on May 3 and received a tracking update on May 6 from the postal service, showing that the package was transferred at Chullora near Sydney.
However, by using his own tracking method, the customer learnt that his parcel was actually located over 800km away near Balranald on the other side of New South Wales.
The tracking hack was stumbled upon by the customer when he noticed that the AirPods were sending alerts to the Find My iPhone app on his phone.
"I forgot to remove my AirPods from my Apple ID and now I can literally watch them in the post," the customer wrote in a Facebook post.
The man told Yahoo News that he has been keeping a watchful eye on his parcel throughout the week, with the AirPods revealing that the package has been stationary for five days.
No further tracking updates have been provided to the customer by Australia Post at the time of publication.
Customers react to tracking hack
Other customers have reacted to the hack, calling it "genius" and a "great way" to keep Australia Post accountable for the whereabouts of parcels.
"Now you can watch why it takes so long to deliver," one person said.
Another suggested that some customers have been using the unconventional tracking method intentionally, writing: "That's what some people/businesses have been doing, using Apple tags in consignments to see where it's going and to track possible stolen items".
The customer who discovered the hack told Australia Post that he'd happily try it again so he could help in the event that a package is lost or stolen.
Australia Post explains reasons for unusual postal routes
In response to previous customer complaints regarding strange parcel routes and long delivery times, Australia Post told Yahoo News that many factors affect deliveries, including Covid-19, flooding and road closures.
"Occasionally a parcel may take an alternative route to get to its destination and this can be for a range of reasons, such as local disruptions and road closures right through to natural disasters," the spokesperson said.
"These decisions are made to ensure the parcel is delivered as safely and efficiently as possible."
"Customers can stay up to date with where their parcel is via the Australia Post app, and customers with concerns about their deliveries are encouraged to get in touch with us at auspost.com.au/help," the spokesperson added.
Australia Post's Domestic Service Updates website currently highlights 32 Queensland and New South Wales postcodes experiencing service delays.
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