A former delivery driver has revealed the real reason Australia Post workers are not dropping off your parcel and instead leaving collection cards.
The latest revelation comes a week after Yahoo News Australia was told by Australia Post obstacles, such as high fences and off-leash dogs, were the reason why customers weren’t hearing knocks on their doors, and receiving cards rather than their items.
But in the wake of Australia Post’s comments, a former delivery driver has claimed that is not the whole truth.
While corporate Australia Post workers are paid by the hour, contractors are instead paid per parcel meaning they want to deliver or leave as many cards as they can.
A man who worked as a contractor last year told Yahoo News Australia he was employed in Bendigo, northwest of Melbourne, and paid just $1.50 per package.
“What a load of rubbish from Auspost,” the former contractor told Yahoo News Australia in response to the postal giant saying delivery drivers were required to knock three times and yell out before leaving a card.
“You are told to knock once, and immediately after, start writing the card or place the parcel under the mat and take a picture, this is to save time.
“I know myself, I have heard a single knock on the door and by the time I open it, the postie is already back in their vehicle and driving away.’
The man claimed being paid a “crappy” $1.50 per parcel, it was quicker not to see anybody and leave the parcel or card instead”.
“In Bendigo, you start at 5am to sort parcels and usually don’t hit the road until 7.30 to 8am, this time is unpaid,” he said.
“Each contractor gets on average 70 parcels to deliver per day, and must be completed by about 3.30pm to 4pm to be able to get the carded parcels to the post office in time.
“This is why they don’t wait or knock more than once. They don’t have time and will be paid either way.
“While I get very annoyed having to go and pick parcels up myself, I can understand these guys are getting paid peanuts and don’t have time to wait.
“That’s the real reason your parcels aren’t being delivered.”
Delivery drivers ‘under a lot of pressure’
The Communications Union (CEPU) condemned contractors being employed on a per package basis, saying the conditions weren’t good enough for the worker or the Australia Post customer.
“Contractors who are paid per parcel are under a lot of pressure to deliver, or attempt to deliver more in order to earn a living wage,” a CEPU spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia.
“We condemn the contracting model which not only undermines the pay and job security of our members, but the customer’s overall experience with Australia Post.
“We encourage anyone in this situation to contact the union, the CEPU, to become organised and bargain for a better deal with their employer.”
It is understood every corporate postie must pass by every single delivery point, every single day and are paid by the hour to do so. Therefore there is no incentive not to deliver a parcel to a door.
However contractors are paid per parcel, regardless if it is delivered or taken back to the post office.
An Australia Post spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia it was “proud of the valuable role delivery contractors played in delivering for customers and communities across the country”.
“Our agreements with our delivery contractors require them to follow our delivery policies and procedures, which includes attempting delivery where it is possible and safe to do so before leaving a card,” the spokesperson said.
“We also undertake a range of compliance activities to check our contractors are meeting their obligations and complying with workplace laws, including paying their people appropriately.
“We regularly remind our people of our policies, and what we expect of them to ensure our customers receive a great service.”
Customers furious over lack of parcel delivery
Customers have inundated social media with complaints about Australia Post workers leaving cards rather than delivering parcels.
“Typical Australia Post. Notification that my parcel was delivered ‘left in a safe place’ but here I sit, working from home and NOTHING,” one angry customer wrote on the postal giant’s Facebook page.
“No knock, no attempted delivery. This happens all the time to so many different people. There should be more accountability.”
Another annoyed customer said they also experienced the issue “all the time”.
Australia Post told Yahoo News Australia last week posties and drivers must knock at the door three times and call out before leaving a card or safe-dropping the parcel, but there were instances when leaving a card was the only option.
If there is an off-leash dog behind a front gate, posties are not required to knock on the door.
Similarly, posties will just leave a card if a property has a high entry gate they can’t see over or open.
They are also required to leave a card if knocking on a door means they lose sight of their bikes.
“Our people work hard to deliver mail and parcels safely and on time, and our posties and drivers should knock at the door three times and call out before leaving a card or safe-dropping the parcel,” an Australia Post spokesperson said.
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