A chocolate maker has slammed Australia Post’s Father’s Day blunder which saw the mail carrier pause its parcel post collection service in the busy period leading up to the weekend.
The Junee Licorice & Chocolate Factory had already forked out nearly $60,000 for express post before the announcement was made, and claimed some parcels took up to 13 days to arrive.
In the announcement made on Wednesday, September 1, Australia Post said it apologised for any inconvenience.
“The temporary pause for all Parcel Post collections is from eCommerce retailers in NSW, ACT and VIC only for three days from 7am Saturday 4 September until 7am Tuesday 7 September,” the statement read.
“Collections will continue in all other states and territories.
“This temporary measure will allow us to responsibly clear record parcel volumes in parts of our network impacted by COVID-19. The safety of our people is our highest priority, and this will help ensure volumes are kept to a safe and manageable level. Our team will continue with processing across the weekend in these areas.”
The delay meant that many Father’s Day gift orders from the chocolate factory faced lengthy delays through to Tuesday (after Father’s Day), leaving managers “fuming”.
General manager Rhiannon Druce told NCA NewsWire the business had been working around the clock to ensure orders would arrive on time for Father’s Day, but the announcement had left them frustrated.
“It’s one of those things where you see a light at the end of the tunnel and then you get this announcement … it makes you ask what’s the point of working as hard as we are?” Ms Druce said.
“Staff have been working overtime to get parcels out for Father’s Day, then we’re told they’re ceasing pick-ups and deliveries on the weekend.”
The business had suffered costly blows due to COVID-19 and lockdowns, however saw sales quadruple with online demand.
She said they had spent $58,000 on postage in August, upgrading their deliveries to express post after the first week due to complaints of slow delivery times—with some sent to Sydney and Melbourne taking 13 days to arrive.
In a statement, Australia Post apologised for the inconvenience, saying they needed to return the record volumes to a “safe and manageable level”.
“Australia Post currently has 500 people in necessary self-isolation, placing increased pressure on our network, while we also manage flight restrictions, temporary facility closures, and parcel volumes as high as our Christmas peak period,” they said.