20 December 2010

Do we need post offices?

| johnboy
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The ABC has a piece on plans to close post offices in Canberra as Australia Post struggles to deal with competition in parcels and the decline of letters in the online age.

Post offices at Parliament House and the Belconnen Business Centre are among 27 nation-wide under threat of closure.

Australia Post says it will monitor customer numbers at the outlets over the next few months before it makes any decision.

Realistically the Parliament House gift shop could take over most of the functions of the Australia Post shop, but what about Belconnen?

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I suspect the Queanbeyan initiative is because the Queanbeyan PO services a very large rural area. When I’m there at 8am getting my loot, I see a lot of banged-up dusty vehicles whose occupants aren’t dressed for an office job collecting their parcels. Apparently the mail comes in and they start sorting it at 5am, so they figured they could man the parcel window at the same time.

we need post offices open at convenient times, like saturday mornings. it’s fine getting a card in your letterbox telling you there is mail at the p.o. for your collection, but if you work away from your home and work commensurate hours with the p.o., when am i supposed to go pick it up?

many small ‘burban p.o.s (like o’connor) are open sat mornings, why not the larger ones, like dickson? sounds like queanbeyan is more advanced than canberra. fancy that.

but yes, save the post office!

The post office at APH was a good well kept secret. It had staff, but no customers. Any Post Office business you needed to transact could be done quickly and at any time there. Passport interviews, bill payments, anything.

The main Queanbeyan post office has a very good service. Their parcel room opens at 5am, so if you got a parcel card in your mailbox, you can call in and get your parcel on the way to work without having to wait for the PO to open. Very handy in these days of rampant online shopping.

At Murrumbateman they closed the post office, now we have a parcel pickup open for a few hours a day, staffed by volunteers, it is quite busy at times.

Harriet Vane4:29 am 21 Dec 10

Great, the only two post offices of any use to me!

The Belconnen Business Centre is a blessing when you get posties who refuse to leave or even attempt to deliver a parcel. I regularly stop there on my way to work.

Fiona # 5

Ring head office in Sydney, they aren’t supposed to leave parcels on your doorstep, ask the person or company who are sending the parcel, if your not home to leave a card informing you.

“ever try find a park in front of the belco business centre!? “

Wouldn’t be such an issue if people actually parked considerately, not taking up twice the space they need etc…

Regarding to the Belco Mall post office, there was at least 50 people in line for it today, never seen anything like it. You’d think it was the goods line at a concert…

I think business centres are essential but also the ability to reach one would make a big difference, ever try find a park in front of the belco business centre!? Post office shops on the otherhand can go.

I do so much shopping online these days, i get my parcels delivered to a PO Box and pick it up from there. The local newsagent PO is open 8am-6pm which works for me.

I find courier delivered stuff is worse, often leaving stuff on my doorstep etc, if it doesn’t require a signature.

If you just need to post something (and buy postage, stamps or a bag) it is far more convenient to go to Belconnen Business Centre than to the PO in the Mall. That said the shop bit in the Business centre is tiny tiny – a bigger shop would probably get more people in the door.

Also much easier to pick up a parcel from the Business Centre than the mall. Needs to say I’d would be happy if it didnt close!!

re parcel delivery – I have the opposite problem, in that our parcel post guy tend to just leave things at the door regardless of the need for a signature or not.

Usually, this is convenient as then \i don’t need to go pick it up, other times worrying. especially when I get other people’s signature req’d items. Have mentioned it at the post office, but it continues.

Every time i’ve been to the Jamo post office to send of my ebay items there’s been heaps of people there. A large amount of the clientele seem to be old folks coming in to pay their bills. I presume it’s because they don’t have computers and know how to use the internet. In 20 years everyone who doesn’t know how to use the interent to pay bills will be dead so
maybe we’ll need less POs. Mind you i expect the rise of ebay/online shopping over the years has added massively to the Aust. Post bottomline hopefully exceeding the loses caused by email.

perhaps if auspost actually delivered parcels people might use their service

being lucky enough to spend a few days a week at home i figured that getting parcels delivered would be easy, yes i live in a unit complex (1 front door, intercom etc) but i never realised that this sort of building is in the too hard basket for mail delivery. it seems dialing a unit if they have a parcel is too hard so they just automatically card the box and i have to go to the postoffice to pick it up. when i raised a complaint about this i was told thats the way it is and it won’t change (with an undertone of take your box and piss off).

given how popular ebay/internet shopping is auspost should be raking it in, if my experience is typical of their service they deserve to go broke and let a service focused organisation take over

Belconnen there is a Post Office in the Mall.

This is, of course, just a ruddy inconvenience to get a park near if all you want to do is pick up a parcel.

Its an indication of the change in the business model for the post office – take a look around when you’re next in one and look how much of a retail “shop” it has become rather than a postal “service”. So when traffic is in decline, the front of house stuff isn’t generating enough biz to cover the losses on the stuff going on behind the counter.

It’s as though mailing documents is but one of the services they offer nowadays, rather than their core business.

Do we need post offices: yes
Do we need so many ? most likely no.

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