Woden Post Office: Useless and Rude

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
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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.

hingo hingo 9:05 am 05 Jun 08

Cool. Thanks for the tip Ari!

Doctor Evil Doctor Evil 9:10 am 05 Jun 08

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

marcothepolopony 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.

123qwe 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.

hingo 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.

CanberraResident 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

CanberraResident 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

northside 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 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

Thumper 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…

ant 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.

la mente torbida 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

hingo hingo 9:53 am 05 Jun 08

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

smokey4 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.

Duke Duke 10:06 am 05 Jun 08

Hingo you could try the post office at Cooleman Court. I found the guy there to be very friendly and efficient (but I still had to book).

The Passport Dept. in Barton is also great – overstaffed and underworked!

Duke Duke 10:10 am 05 Jun 08

Agree with many of the comments about Australia Post. You get the impression they work there because no other organisation would give them a job.

Also after Centerlink gets tired of some loser bludging off the dole for years they will often set them up with a job at AP.

BigDave BigDave 10:11 am 05 Jun 08

I know a couple of people who had trouble, only this time it was at Jamison. After being sent home to get their original birth certificates, they spent another hour there being served(!) by some stupid Asian who could barely speak a word of English and plainly didn’t know what she was doing. They said it was verging on being painful watching her study their birth certificates knowing full well she didn’t have a clue what she was looking at. What’s the point??

BigDave BigDave 10:13 am 05 Jun 08

I recommend the post office at Kippax. There’s a lady there (Diane, I think), she used to be at Charnwood, she’s excellent.

CanberraResident CanberraResident 10:14 am 05 Jun 08

ok, just called the passport hotline 131 232 – ant was right – i was wrong – passport office in DFAT building only do emergency or urgent passports these days – things have changed

i was told to call australia post on 13 13 18 which i did – option 1 then option 4 for passports – enter your postcode and it will tell you when they are available for passports, then select operator and it’ll put you straight through to THAT post office to speak to them

good luck

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