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Beyond the expected

Woden Post Office: Useless and Rude

By H1NG0 - 5 June 2008 141

I have had a passport application all ready and filled out for the last few weeks. All it is waiting on is a “Passport Interview” at the Post Office. For those who have never been through this process before, basically each post office has staff capable of doing this interview where they basically ask a couple of simple questions (e.g Mother Maiden name etc). So really its simple, you take your application to the post office, wait in line, then they spend 5 minutess asking you questions, you hand over the fee and you are all done. Unfortunally Australia Post really struggle to grasp this concept and intend on making it as difficult as possible.

First rule is, don’t believe anything their website says. It may say that the post office is open from 9:00-5:00 and passport interviews listed as a service they provide, but the window of time to get a passport application really depends on whether the staff could be arsed doing them. Something about turning up to a counter with a passport form really puts Australia Post staff in a foul mood. Its a license to be abused apparently.

Anyway, I have tried to get this interview done several times. I work regular working hours and only get a 30 minute break throughout the day. I’m basically chained to a computer and a phone. I called Gungahlin Post Office on the weekend to see if I could get this interview done. In short, the answer was an indirect no.

This week I am on the early shift. I finish at 4:00.  I thought “Great! That will give me time to do it after work”, so yesterday I wandered over to Woden Post Office. As I walked up to the counter, a lady with thick glasses witnesses the form in my hand an says “You will have to stand over there!” and points to a family of three getting their passport applications done. Fair enough then, so I stand in the line for about 2 minutes until the lady suddenly says “Oh, we only do passport applications between 2:00 and 4:00”. I look at my watch which is displaying 4:04 and said “Are you serious?” and she said “Yes”. Meanwhile the family in front were handing in their forms at the same time. I could have done a thousand things but I simply cursed and walked out. I arrived there at 4:00. Maybe this old bat has dementia. Why didn’t she tell me that I wasn’t going to be able to get this done before sending me to the other line?

I wonder where this window of time is advertised, because I’m damn sure it says 9:00 to 5:00 on their website. Do people wanting to pay their bills at the post office have a different window of time? Maybe 9:00-11:00? What window of time do you have to be there to post a parcel? I’m sorry Australia Post, but if you are going to provide a service, then provide it throughout your business hours. I’m going to try the post office near Jollimont next time. Fingers crossed.

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141 Responses to
Woden Post Office: Useless and Rude
smokey4 9:58 am 05 Jun 08

Ant the delivery contractors are hired on the basis of lowest tender. Pay peanuts get monkeys. With the rise in fuel costs these guys are probably running at a loss. We had a young guy one down South that went bankrupt whilst delivering mail as a contractor. Made for some interesting service.

hingo 9:53 am 05 Jun 08

Cool. I might give Belco a try on the weekend. Thanks guys!

la mente torbida 9:51 am 05 Jun 08

Lost a passport once, filled out the forms and DFAT passport office re-issued a new one within 24 hours – forget the post office

ant 9:51 am 05 Jun 08

DFAT have stopped doing regular passport interviews at their office in Barton. They do the hard cases and curly ones. And you have to make an appointment. You could call and try to make an appointment though, you never know your luck. Maybe tell them about all the horrible experiences at the PO.

Best post office I’ve found is the one in parliament house! There’s usually a queue of staff, waiting for something to do. I wandered up there with my passport renewal in lunchtime (when they aern’t supposed to do them) but there was no one for miles. And they didn’t ask any questions, just went through the form to ensure I’d filled it all out, processed my eftpos payment, and stuck it all in an envelope.

I use this PO for all my general PO stuff too. It’s so quick.

Australia Post have been going to the dogs though. In rural areas we have postal contractors delivering our mail, the quality of which can be variable.

Thumper 9:50 am 05 Jun 08

Yep, I had exactly the same.

I found it easier to get a British passport than an Australian one. ridiculous…

CanberraResident 9:48 am 05 Jun 08

@ northside, 131 232 is the Passports Office advertised number, not Australia Post – see white pages under foreign affairs

northside 9:45 am 05 Jun 08

You need to ring them on 131 232 and make an appointment first.

I rang that number so I could try to get an appointment at Belconnen and they told me I didn’t need to book an appointment as it was done over the counter. Can’t win.

The person at the thirteen hundred number lied, you have to call the actual post office at Belco and they will schedule and appointment with you. Conveniently they will process passport applications on a Saturday morning, at least that was the case about eight months ago when my husband needed a new passport.

CanberraResident 9:42 am 05 Jun 08

ring foreign affairs switchboard on 6261 1111 and ask to be put straight through to the passport office in the DFAT building as you are having problems with the 131 232 number

CanberraResident 9:39 am 05 Jun 08

maaaate, why are you putting yourself through this???? stuff Oz post – they are garbage

Go to the official Passport office in the public area of the foreign affairs building at barton. You won’t have this problem, you will be certain it will be processed properly, and you sleep well afterwards.

sorry, but if i encounter a problem with one service, i immediately look for an alternative and give the first one the flick instead or torturing myself

hingo 9:34 am 05 Jun 08

Doctor Evil said :

You need to ring them on 131 232 and make an appointment first.

I rang that number so I could try to get an appointment at Belconnen and they told me I didn’t need to book an appointment as it was done over the counter. Can’t win.

123qwe 9:14 am 05 Jun 08

The more and more traffic that gets sent electronically is a bloody good thing. It must be a prerequisite to land a customer service job at Australia Post to be old, rude, and enjoy being a pain in the arse.

I asked for a stamp the other day, and then produced a $20 note. Holy smoke, you would have thought I had just asked this old cow for a bj! So much hassle to produce $19.50 change.

If the old cows can not be stuffed doing the job with a smile on their faces, then piss off and let someone who needs a job have a go.

Because they have a monopoly on the service they provide it will never change. I try to avoid using their service as much as possible.

marcothepolopony 9:10 am 05 Jun 08

Since you reside (presumably) in the ACT, why not try the Foreign Affairs office in Gareth’s Gazebo – glamorous surroundings and hardly anyone in the queue. Good luck.

Doctor Evil 9:10 am 05 Jun 08

You need to ring them on 131 232 and make an appointment first.

hingo 9:05 am 05 Jun 08

Cool. Thanks for the tip Ari!

Ari 9:04 am 05 Jun 08

I had a similar run-around at Curtin Post Office.

But a mate of mine recently went straight to the passport isssuing shopfront at DFAT. He had no problems at all with them.

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