For many people the post office remains an essential public utility. The photo below shows the post office shop on Brunswick St, and the premises appear to be up for lease. There’s no notice in the window saying what is going to happen to the post office, so I rang up to find out and experienced the kind of incompetence that only a government agency can deliver.

post Australia Post fuckwittery on Brunswick St

First, the direct number for the Brunswick St post office is not listed in the White Pages. When you see the list of post offices in the White Pages, some branches have a direct number and some don’t. It’s not bad data provided by Auspost or a mistake by White Pages.

As I learned on Monday morning, the real cause is the fact that Auspost outsources the running of some post office branches as franchises to private operators. The branches run by private businesses list a direct public number. Those branches owned by Auspost do not. Does this discrepancy help customers? No, it does the opposite.

I don’t care who runs it. I’m a local customer and I want to ask a question that only the local staff can answer. So why can’t I call the local branch and ask my question?

I rang the 13 13 18 number and asked for the direct number of the Brunswick St post office. The Auspost customer service consultant refused to give it to me, and even claimed that it does not exist. They can call the branch with an ‘internal’ number but it has no external or ‘public’ number. I find this difficult to believe.

Then I proceeded to ask my question – what is happening to the branch if the premises are up for lease? Of course the phone flunky, wherever she was, did not know. She sounded skeptical about my claim that there was a ‘for lease’ sign in the window and confused as to why I wanted to know more about it.

I persisted and the flunky put me on hold while she rang the branch on the ‘internal’ number. On the second attempt she got through, asked my question for me, and then came back to tell me the answer.

The premises are up for lease and the branch is moving, but they do not know where to or when. This will be confirmed between now and September. I’m sure I’m not the only post office user curious about what is happening. They should have thought of this and put a notice in the window alongside the curiosity inducing lease notice.

Oh, I forgot. It’s a government agency. They don’t do customer service. They do bureaucracy. Auspost deliberately makes life more inconvenient for customers of branches they directly own. Thankfully, the franchised branches offer direct contact through that revolutionary nineteenth century device, the telephone. When will Auspost learn to offer the same basic service?

Australia Post fuckwittery on Brunswick St

10 thoughts on “Australia Post fuckwittery on Brunswick St

  • 2 June 2009 at 6:42 am

    Hello Brian

    I use this AUSTRALIA POST branch for all my mail needs and I asked the very same question on the day I went to the office and saw the FOR LEASE sign. At first I think they thought I was just being nosy and I got a what’s-it-to-you sort of look. When I explained (not sure why I had to) that I merely was asking whether there would be a Post Office servicing the area in the near future, I got given an incredulous look and told that OF COURSE there will be an office in the area! Like you, I was surprised that the management and staff did not think for a second that customers may care whether the service was going to continue or not. Customer service is certainly very low on their priority list.

  • 2 June 2009 at 9:21 am

    Ahhh, that would be the govt agency that doesn’t give a fat rat’s clacker that our mail disappears on a regular basis.
    Replies to constant complaints?
    “If it’s not registered we can’t follow it up.”
    When registered mail goes missing?
    “We can’t trace it.”
    When O/S mail goes MIA?
    “If it’s got a return address it’s probably gone back there. If not, we’ve probably destroyed it.”
    When large parcels are AWoL?
    “Can’t help you. Are you sure it was posted?”
    Couriers are looking good!

  • 2 June 2009 at 10:19 am

    I read somewhere that the rug shop on the corner of Gertrude and Brunnie streets is going to be a post office (Maybe on one of their ads).

    • 2 June 2009 at 10:20 am

      Thanks – I will investigate! I am amazed that the staff had no idea that people would want to know what is happening to the post office given the huge sign in the window.

    • 2 June 2009 at 11:49 am

      That article suggests that the North Carlton post office won’t be going anywhere in a hurry, which can’t said of the Brunswick St one. The bigger issue seems to be that Australia Post is a government agency that we pay for with our taxes and which the government continues to undermine and downsize. It’s not a business, it’s a service that we own and want to continue using.

  • 5 June 2009 at 9:43 am

    Why not call Teska Carson and find out when the lease is up? Real estate agents love to chat!

    • 5 June 2009 at 9:50 am

      I’m mainly interested in the post office, and what their plans are.

  • 26 July 2009 at 10:09 am

    Gertrude street post shop/office seems to have closed down too! (from what I saw driving past)

    • 26 July 2009 at 10:39 am

      Yes I suspect it has too but I have only been past on a Saturday – can anyone confirm that it is closed on weekdays too?


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