I’m the first to admit I order a lot of stuff online.
Pandemic or not, online shopping is ultra-convenient and a massive time-saver for me.
I’ve ordered everything from socks to a dishwasher, rugs to beds, and shoes to shelves, sight unseen – and it doesn’t faze me one bit.
What does faze me, however, is the failure of delivery companies to actually deliver online purchases.
As Delta rips around the country and half of Australia waits it out in lockdown, the number of Aussies hitting online retailers has, not surprisingly, exploded.
But have parcel delivery companies kept up with this boom?
A parcel I posted at Australia Post 16 days ago has yet to be scanned into the system.
AusPost says it is seeing volumes “hitting heights not seen since Christmas last year” and needs to hire 4,000 new workers plus 3,500 delivery drivers to manage the load.
This is the same AusPost that a couple of days ago announced group revenue of $8.27 billion, and group profit before tax of $100.7 million, up 87.7 per cent.
It’s also the same AusPost that last September decided there were so many parcels being sent that its solution was to simply stop delivering letters every day – for the following nine months.
And it’s the same AusPost who this week announced it would not be picking up parcels from retail customers for three days from 4 September – a service that retailers pay for – in order to clear the backlog of parcels.
AusPost executive general manager, Community and Consumer, Nicole Sheffield last week had the temerity to say that despite COVID challenges “the vast majority of parcels were still arriving on time.”
So, the parcel I sent – going literally five suburbs away from me in Sydney – is the exception and not the rule?
Come on, AusPost.
Then there’s the bookshelf I ordered.
As you can see, it was picked up courier company Aramex (formerly Fastway Couriers) from the depot in Melbourne on the 23 August – and arrived into Sydney on the 21 August.
This is either the world’s first time-travelling bookshelf or someone has stuffed up somewhere.
Calling their customer service line is an exercise in futility, as is asking the seller if they know your item’s whereabouts.
So, we shop online and we wait.
How do delivery companies not yet have their act together?
With most retail shops closed, online shopping has kept ecommerce in this country alive. The Harvey Normans of the world have made a killing during the pandemic.
Whether it’s a sanity purchase, a side hustle purchase, a keep-the-kids-entertained purchase, an office printer purchase or a toaster-just-died purchase, we need online shopping to keep us going.
Yet it all seems to come undone at the last step – getting the parcel into the customer’s hands.
What’s been your experience of shopping online during the pandemic? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.