An epic Australia Post fail of state proportions!


An epic Australia Post fail of state proportions!

I’d always been suspicious of the postal service in Australia; mailed items often arrived in bad condition, at the wrong address or often not at all. Since moving back to Adelaide part time for studying though I thought Australia Post had got much better, though perhaps its just as likely their South Australian department has more competent oversight perhaps?

Today though when I opened my mailbox here at 12 Robinson Street, Mawson Lakes, South Australia, I literally laughed out loud, much to the surprise of the people walking across the street. To use my sister’s terminology, this letter we received today could very well be the most epic failure of the Australian postal system for us.

As you can see from the photo, this letter had been delivered to the right street address, but it’s in a completely different city and completely different state, over 700 kilometres away! For illustrative purposes, here’s a map:

Map of Australia

Now granted this probably resulted from the people in New Zealand (according to the post mark and stamp) not putting a post code on their correspondence for some reason, which means some poor sap working in one of the huge mail sorting facilities somewhere had to file this manually. With this in mind I reckon it’s highly likely that some letters would fall through the cracks, it’s a statistical certainty.

Still, one thinks that something as obvious as a state would have been pretty easy to file, and in fact should be the first criteria a letter is filed under. As I type this, it seems more likely to me some crappy software used by Australia Post had trouble reading everything but the street address perhaps. Or maybe the letter arrived from New Zealand here first, and because there was a street matching the one on the letter here it was sent locally. The former seems more likely.

Icon from the Tango Desktop ProjectIt doesn’t instil much confidence in our postal system that a letter can appear in a completely different state and city to where it’s supposed to. The chilling question that results from this realisation is: how many letters have I supposed to have received have ended up in some poor sap’s mailbox in Victoria? Or Queensland? Or Tasmania? Or New South Wales? It’s a scary thought.

For what it’s worth though, the chuckle I got out of this letter this morning made my first classes easier to deal with. Now I just need to go to the Pooraka Post Office and hand it in. If I give it to the postal guys and say they sent it to the wrong state, would they resend it for free? Will I have to pay them to fix their mistake? It should be free, but experience with Federal businesses and authorities have taught me otherwise!

UPDATE: I just noticed… there IS a postcode on there! Is it in the wrong position?

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Ruben Schade is a technical writer and infrastructure architect in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person in bios. Hi!

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