Australia Post - A Small Business Challenge

When looking for a parcel carrier to deliver our parcels, there were many things to consider... what was the most carbon-neutral option, price, speed, efficiency, what happens if no-one is home etc. Taking into account everything, we decided to use the Australia Post eParcel service. This is more expensive than several other options we have. Generally Australia Post are fine. The guys who pick up the parcels are great - efficient, friendly, interested in what we're doing, helpful. It all falls down from there. We are on to our 4th account manager is 3 years. There may have been more, but they leave without telling their 'Accounts', so the only way we know is if we try to contact them. Our two biggest issues are breakages, Australia Post losing parcels and the delivery contractors not leaving cards in letterboxes. The breakages confounded me for months. We have done everything internally to pack parcels safer than safe. We got to the bottom of the issue when we discovered that after our parcels are picked up here, they are taken to the local business centre where they are loaded into 7ft high cages. The cages are then taken to the distribution centre when they are tipped upsidedown onto a conveyor belt. At maximum a parcel can be plummetting 8ft onto the conveyor belt. Not what we had in mind. The only way around it - 'Glass' stickers on any parcel containing glass. Although we were cautioned not to use them too often or the helpful people who gave us this tip would get in trouble. Not leaving cards is a hassle (because we get irate customers wondering where there parcel is and thinking our service is slack when in fact we ship every order within 2 business days). But we can even work with that because Australia Post is a behemoth and still has a government mentality. What absolutely gets my goat is the missing parcels. Of course every parcel we send is readily identifiable as a parcel from Queen B because it says so on the label. We have between 15 - 20 parcels that go missing a year. That may not seem like much, but given we pay a premium for a service that is 'trackable and traceable' it is actually very annoying, not to mention the cost to the business of resending candles (and we pay for the redelivery too). Imagine then our fury when in the lead up to Christmas a consignment of boxes with over $2000 of candles went 'missing'. Someone in Australia Post was doing their Christmas shopping. Our 'trackable and traceable' parcel couldn't be tracked or traced. I drew a line in the sand. I called our Account Manager and said I wouldn't be backing down until compensation was paid. He had several things to say: 1. If I read the 'fine print' of my contract with Australia Post it says that they can smash and lose all my parcels and no compensation is payable. 2. If I want to insure my parcels, I can pay more for that service and it is unreasonable for me to expect compensation because i wasn't paying for insurance... which misses the point that I do pay more for a service that is supposed to track and trace my parcels and that the parcel was never scanned which is the service guarantee of the service I use. 3. Australia Post has 'one of the best delivery rates in the industry of 95%' which he was very proud of... which also implies that Australia Post knowingly expect to lose 5% of my parcels each year (which I wasn't told when we signed up for the eParcel service) and then expect me to cover the losses that result from it... which is written into the fine print of a lengthy contract. Excuse me? Australia Post sent me a $50 cheque "as a goodwill gesture" - que? You don't track or trace my parcels - which is the service I pay for? Your staff do Christmas shopping with my parcels (the only reasonable explanation as the parcels were all barcoded and had our details on them so would have eventually been returned or delivered if they had simply gone astray)? And I am expected to feel great about your "goodwill gesture" of $50 (1/40th of the value of the parcel and about 1/100th of the value of other parcels of ours they had smashed and lost during the year)?... I'm not feeling the goodwill Australia Post. (PS I tried emailing our "Account Manager" a few days ago to express this sentiment and got a bounce back saying he'd 'moved on'. I've emailed our new Account Manager, but haven't heard back for 3 days... Not the best way to be spending my time...
Queen B beeswax candles are made with 100% pure Australian beeswax a pure cotton wick and copious amounts of hand made love. We stock beautiful and stylish candle holders, personalised candles, votive candles and pillar candles that nourish the human spirit and our environment.

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