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Common mistake Australia Post customers make as woman's letter arrives 'with missing contents'

Two friendship bracelets were missing from the envelope that was sent to Melbourne with it's packaging likely to blame.

Australia Post customers are being reminded to correctly package letters and bulky items before sending them after one woman claimed her item arrived "with missing contents".

The Melbourne resident said a friend's daughter had sent her two handmade bracelets which she'd popped inside a Smiggle envelope. But when it arrived at her home, the bracelets — made ahead of the upcoming Taylor Swift concert — were not inside.

Unsure of what went wrong, and "gutted" the handmade gifts were missing, the woman took to social media for advice. She noted a black scribble on the back of the envelope she says was empty, and questioned if it was the work of an Australia Post worker.

She also made clear that her letterbox is "locked and secure" implying it's not likely that someone had stolen them after the letter was delivered.

Left: Woman looking inside PO box. Right: Yellow express post and red post box on Australian street.
Australia Post reminds customers to always check the packaging before sending an item. Source: Getty

Packaging mistake likely to blame

While it remains unclear exactly what had happened to the item — with Australia Post telling Yahoo News they're working to find and hopefully return the bracelets for the customer — many were quick to point out a glaring error. "The bracelets may have been too thick for the sorting machines?" one said on the Reddit post, suggesting they might have been manually removed.

"You shouldn't send anything besides paper in envelopes because letter sorting machines tend to push anything solid out one end, or the object inside wears through," suggested another.

However, there doesn't appear to be any rips or damages to the envelope based on the photo, which might suggest there was no forced entry. The likely scenario is that they slipped out of the envelope if it wasn't sealed properly.

Smiggle Aus Post letter
The Smiggle letter that was delivered by Australia Post with missing contents. Source: Reddit

Envelopes not suitable for sending bulky items

After looking into the matter, Australia Post confirmed to Yahoo News Australia that several bracelets have been found at a sorting centre in Melbourne, however, it's still unknown if they belong to this particular customer. Additionally, whether or not a worker is responsible for the marking on the envelope remains unclear.

The postal service reminds its customers to check all items are packaged correctly to ensure they arrive safely. Regular envelopes, for example, are only suitable for sending flat, flexible things, like letters, cards or cheques.

"Australia Post would like to remind customers that regular letters, which use our standard $1.20 stamps, have a maximum size and weight, so we can quickly and efficiently process letters through our sorting machines and deliver to customers," a spokesperson said. "Regular letters are designed for sending letters and paper products".

The Melbourne customer has been encouraged to contact Australia Post to claim her bracelets — if they are hers. "If customers have any questions about the best way to send items, we encourage them to either visit our website, speak with their local post office or call 13 POST".

Parcels should be packed appropriately, Aus Post says

How items are packaged and sent was previously brought into question after another customer complained her item was broken when it arrived. The word 'fragile' had been written across the postage bag which contained a glass bottle wrapped in bubble wrap.

It was suggested that Australia Post use sorting machines to sort freight automatically before they're delivered. "I doubt the sorter machine can read fragile on it," one argued.

Australia Post did not elaborate on its processing systems but said: "To help ensure items arrive safely, parcels should be packed in appropriate, sturdy packaging that’s suitable for what’s inside."

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