Australia Post sued after driver refuses to deliver parcels to door
A Melbourne couple have successfully sued Australia Post after a delivery driver refused to deliver parcels to their home for over a year.
The saga started in 2019, when Wade Short and Veronica Libson had "difficulties" receiving their parcels delivered by Australia Post.
According to the decision by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT), deliveries were not made to their home, instead cards telling them to pick up deliveries from the Post Office were left.
Parcels were left at the door without the doorbell being rung and parcels were thrown to the front door.
Some of the parcels were of personal nature, while some were for Mr Short's party hire business.
Complaint over card left instead of parcels
The couple lodged a written complaint with Australia Post in October 2019 and received no response, the VCAT Civil Claims List stated.
There was a period in March or April in 2020 where Mr Short and Ms Libson were undertaking home renovations and for about a week there were no front steps to their door, so a driver could not deliver parcels.
However, even after the stairs were done, the post still wasn't being delivered to their front door and the couple had to pick up their parcels from the post office.
In May of 2020, Mr Short complained to his local Post Office and complained about the failure to deliver parcels and even spoke with an Australia Post delivery driver, who said the "stairs were not safe".
Mr Short complained to the local Post Office about the problem.
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Confrontation with Australia Post driver
In June, the same driver handed Mr Short a parcel, as he happened to be outside at the time, and Mr Short told the driver he was tired of parcels not being delivered, and that a formal complaint had been made.
"Mr Short told the tribunal that the driver then snatched the parcel back from Mr Short and said to Mr Short, 'fine, from now on you can pick up your parcels'," the claims list said.
"Mr Short grabbed his parcel back from the driver. Mr Short told the Tribunal that he then said to the driver get off my property, leave immediately.
"The driver remained standing in the driveway and made a mobile phone call."
When Ms Libson came out the front, the driver told her he had spoken to his boss and was on the phone to the police. He informed her that parcels would not be delivered anymore.
Mr Short admitted that during the interaction when the driver failed to leave he yelled: "get the f**k off my property".
From then on, Mr Short said no parcels were delivered by Australia Post except for express parcels, and normal mail continued.
“It was just a joke,” Mr Short told the Herald Sun.
Due to the parcels not being delivered, Ms Libson had to go to the Post Office every week for collection, with each trip taking around 30 minutes.
Australia Post provided the Tribunal a police report, which was dated almost five months after the in-person June dispute between Mr Short and the delivery driver.
The Tribunal heard alternative delivery methods to the residence were instituted due to Australia Post's safety concerns for the driver. The driver did not give evidence at the tribunal.
Australia Post ordered to pay $3100
Tribunal member Neill Campbell said based on the evidence he found Australia Post had ceased delivering to Mr Short and Ms Libson due to the driver being told a formal complaint had been made to Australia Post.
It was noted Australia Post was concerned for the safety of drivers, employees and contractors delivering to the address.
"I am not satisfied that Australia Post had a reasonable opinion that the parcels could not be delivered to the street address as required..." Mr Campbell said.
"I find that the delivery of parcels was not undertaken with due care and skill, as the parcels were not delivered to the residential address where they were addressed, and there was no basis under the Terms and Conditions for the parcels not to be delivered to the delivery address."
In the end, Australia Post was ordered to pay $3,100.50 and reimburse Mr Short and Ms Libson for their legal fees.
"Australia Post respects the decision of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal and can confirm that parcel delivery has recommenced to the address," an Australia Post spokesperson said in an email to Yahoo News Australia.
"We regret the situation that occurred with our customer in Eltham," they added.
"It is not reflective of the work we do every day to deliver for people all over Australia.
"We know there are frustrations with carding, and are working with our teams to reduce the need for it. We always strive to do better.
"Over the course of the past two years, Australia Post has had some of its busiest days ever, and consistently delivered 2 million parcels every week day in December. We will always work hard to service our community."
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