Saturday, October 11, 2008

Australia Post - not delivering as usual

I forgot to put up this letter from Denis Pattison, Australia Post Corporate Services, which I received in late August.

I used to write letters like this for a living in the early 1990's.  There is an art form to appearing to say something whilst saying nothing at all, and committing to doing even less.

Here is my gripe with Australia Post (and I have repeated this gripe again and again and again).  I should not have to call 13 13 18 to report graffiti on a post-box.  


Because they are visited once a day by an Australia Post driver ("transport clearance staff" in AusPost parlance).  The "transport clearance staff" should be able to notice graffiti on the post-box that they are clearing, and report it to the appropriate unit within Australia Post for action. The transport clearance staff have to take the mail back to a sorting place (or "hub" as they seem to call it), so they should have an opportunity to report it at the hub when they do their drop-off.  

I'm even more dumb-founded when I see a vandalised post-box outside a post office.  The staff working in the post office have access to a phone, fax and computer - what is stopping them from reporting graffiti on the post-boxes right under their noses?

Here's an analogy for you - I do not rely on my neighbour telling me when to mow my lawn.  I walk into our backyard everyday, have a look at the grass, and make a decision as to whether to cut it or not.  Why therefore should Australia Post rely on feedback from customers to tell them that their post-boxes are vandalised?

Here's one I saw today.  This was cleaned up back in August, and a new set of tags has appeared since.  I'd guess that this post-box has been visited 20 or 30 times since the new graffiti was applied.  Why, why, oh why has the transport clearance staffer tasked with clearing this post-box not reported it?  What is wrong with Australia Post's culture, management, systems and policies that prevents transport clearance staff from immediately reporting vandalism?

I bought a book of stamps last week and found that the cost of a stamp had gone up from 50 cents to 55 cents.  Maybe some of that increase can be spent on improving communications between front line staff and management.

I am thinking of doing a test tomorrow - seeing how long it takes me to remove this graffiti with a rag and a bottle of metho.  I'm betting less than 10 seconds.

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