There are three things in Australia you may never see: the old without caring, the traffic police on duty, and the couriers who are divinely appearing and demonically vanishing at your doors.
With regard to express delivery service in Australia, “terrible” becomes the most popular adjective. The news of complaining courier service are never suspended. Only in Sydney, partly estimated, hundreds of people lose their deliveries or get impaired parcels every year.
Moreover, sometimes, couriers passing by your house is not to deliver your parcel but leave an uncertain note. Maybe you would receive a post note tomorrow out of blue, just like me.
On 20th April, the landlady of my previous rental unit suddenly called me to fetch two post notes about a parcel. She thought maybe I bought something online with the wrong address. What amazed me is that there is no intact name and contact number on the two notes, and one only has a letter of “Y” on the name column. To figure out what happened, I went to the post office in Hurstville. After a persistent wait in line and search of a whole afternoon, the clerk ultimately told me there was exactly not any packages of mine, maybe the courier made a mistake. It took me a whole afternoon, and just replied “Maybe”.
Believe you also have the similar experience that although waiting at home for the whole day, you still never meet the courier bringing your parcel knocking the door. Actually, in most situations, you would just find a note left in your mailbox and written by “Failure to deliver”.
“Maybe we and the couriers live in the two different Australia.” Larua Liu, an international student from the University of Sydney said, “Sometimes I stay at home all day, but I never heard the sound of knocking on the door, all the parcels I received in Australia are brought back by myself. It’s disgusting.”
Compared to you actually have a parcel to collect in the post office, it must be more annoying to receive a wrong letter. According to Yang Liu, another international student in USYD, “I’m not interested in shopping online, so generally, I don’t have dealings with couriers.” she said, “But what confused me is I received an email from the reception of my building. It said I had a parcel to collect. But the fact was I and the assistant sought every corner of the reception and got nothing finally.”
According to the statement of the reception in Queen Mary Building where Yang lives, they actually received a note about Yang’s parcel from the Australia Post. “While, the courier merely wrote the wrong name.”
But why do we always miss the courier’s visit? Shortly before, a video about a Courier leaves note and runs rather than deliver parcel reveals the naked truth. It is about a Sydney mom Julie Salama who was waiting at home for a parcel from Australia Post. The same with Laura, Ms. Salama also received a note under the door. But when she checked the doorstep security camera footage and found the courier hadn’t even checked.
The video shows the courier walked to the door and dropped the note, before hurrying back to his van without knocking or ringing the doorbell, or carrying any parcel on his hands.
Thanks to the unquestionable evidence of the video, Australia Post had to apologize to Ms. Salama. But it expressed that although the parcel was sent through Australia Post, the actual delivery was outsourced to another courier company, StarTrack. “Apparently, this is shifting responsibility.” Laura said “the couriers are too lazy”.
For that, Dr. Glenn Morrison, Journalist and university lecturer, holds a different view. He met the similar situation before. “ It ever took four months to send a damaged book to me through the Australia Post.” Due to the huge workload, many workers of courier serviece do not treat parcels carefully so that the parcels often suffer damanges in varying degrees.
He said “Indeed, Australian Post systems do have a lot of problems which actually needed to improve. But I don’t think the full necessarily lazy for the postmen themselves. I think they just do their job like anyone else. I think the system or sorting mail is probably more blamed. They are been under stuffed and very organized anymore. But I don’t really know. It may be a mystery.”
“The post offices are very good at explaining themselves to the customers. They are very secretive and protective of the systems.” Dr. Morrison added, “The customer relation is very poor.”
In terms of the reasons for the decline of Post Service, Dr. Morrison expressed that “I think Australia Post is under a lot of pressure. Because of the change of the technology, the web 2.0 . Most people email or Facebook message, or use the phone, very few people write letters anymore. So the Australia Post is under pressure to find new ways to earn money. And I think the service isn’t nearly as good as it used to be”.
What’s interesting is that things are totally opposite in China. Chinese couriers also do some trouble on recipients actually. For example, they will disturb your dream by knocking the door continuously in the early morning, or send messages to make you crazy until your Inbox is full.
“Chinese couriers always pose an indomitable gesture on me. It is likely they couldn’t see the sun of tomorrow if I did not sign for the parcel today.” Laura giggled, “but compared to the Australian couriers always ignored me, I prefer the couriers coming to bother me, actually.”
In view of this, the couriers in Australia and China can learn something from each other.
By Yidi Zhang (Edith)