Welcome to Sisters In Law, news.com.au’s weekly column for all your legal concerns. This week, our resident lawyers and real-life sisters Alison and Gillian Barrett from Morris Blackburn advise on your rights when it comes to home delivery.
I have an ongoing and annoying problem with parcel delivery. I get a lot of deliveries to my home address when I run a small side hustle.
However, my business is affected by what can only be described as lazy delivery people. I’m home all day every day, but I get countless notes in my inbox saying, “We tried to deliver, but you weren’t home.”
This is common with Australia Post and private couriers – they all do this.
More recently, I’ve been getting texts from private couriers telling me that packages have been taken to the post office or store for me to pick up – not even a note to confirm they were in the area.
I pay for delivery, but then I go and pick up packages from different places that may be a 50 minute walk away.
After I pay for the postage, do they have an obligation to bring it to my address and try to deliver it by ringing my doorbell? – Anna, Victoria
Unfortunately, you are not the only person affected by this Anna. If you look on internet forums, there are many people complaining about this practice known as “carding”.
The good news is that you can do something about it.
As a first step, you can complain about Australia Post and other private courier companies by stating:
1. All dates for which you were “enrolled”
2. Confirmation that you were home at the time
3. Were the items time sensitive, such as medication
4. How long did it take you to collect each item
5. Shipping cost
6. Any action you would like them to take (such as an apology, a promise not to do it again, or a refund of postage)
The complaint must be in writing, and be sure to keep a copy.
It is also a good idea to give a copy of your complaint to the supplier of the goods being delivered so that they are aware of the poor service provided by the courier companies they use.
The Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman can investigate complaints against four different postal operators: Australia Post, StarTrack, Cheque-Mates and D&D Mailing Services.
The ombudsman service is free and impartial.
The Australian Consumer Law provides guarantees for consumers that also apply to the delivery of parcels by Australia Post and private couriers, except for the delivery of goods for commercial, trade, professional or professional purposes.
These consumer guarantees require that the service is provided with due care and skill, which includes delivering parcels to their address.
If after complaining to the courier company there is no improvement, the company does not respond or retaliates – for example by refusing to deliver to you at all – then you can apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for an injunction to stop the conduct or for compensation .
In February 2022, Australia Post had to pay over $3000 in compensation in a similar situation to yours where a customer spent 30 minutes each week collecting items that were not delivered properly.
It is also possible to apply to the VTCAT regarding the supply of goods for enterprises.
For more information, please seek specific legal advice.
This legal information is general in nature and should not be considered or relied upon as specific legal advice. Individuals requiring specific legal advice should consult an attorney.
If you have legal questions you’d like Alison and Jillian to answer, email them firstname.lastname@example.org
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Originally published as “Carding” from Australia Post can result in a $3000 refund