Snail mail: four days for 21 paces


p2380-post-office-okBy ERWIN CHLANDA
If you want your Christmas cards to get to their destination before Santa it seems you’d better get a wriggle on.
Two long-time Alice Springs residents put the local post office to the test. Each mailed, to themselves, a postcard.
They dropped them into the mailbox (that’s the red thing in the background), addressed to a PO Box (at right in the photo).
The distance is 21 paces.
The cards took four days to be arrive. When one of the experimenters enquired she was told that priority delivery – for $1.65 a pop – would cut the time down to two days.
We tried to make our own enquiries by phone. No-one picked up when we rang the Alice post office number, and the PR person in Melbourne was on answering machine.
If she gets back before Easter we’ll publish an update.


  1. Even at an extra $1.65, I ask where does the mail go from the box for even two days?
    Does it sit out the back waiting for someone to be bothered to sort it into to private boxes, or for home delivery, or has some brainiac in Australia Post decided that the mail goes from Alice to say Sydney or Melbourne, get sorted there and then come back as it does in many locations around the country. I seriously wonder about commonsense in some of these large organisations.

  2. @1 Surprised: Unfortunately I have to agree with all your comments, it seems all they are interested in is the parcel delivery side, letters are to them an inconvenience, I have also filled out surveys to Australia Post and insurance company, in a nice way, to explain my concerns, supplying mobile number, email. All to no avail, it would be nice to get just some feed back that we are listened to!

  3. They lost the plot and are trying to compete with Harvey Norman.
    I am told that no mail is sorted here anymore but that it all goes to Adelaide and returns –obviously by camel train.
    Last year after a nasty incident with Alice Springs Town Council I was coerced into paying a parking fine (another story of madness) and posted a check from Adelaide to the fines recovery unit in Darwin nine days before it was due. It arrived two days after the due date – 11 days from Adelaide to Darwin and cost me another $140. Over $200 for the alleged offence.
    It obviously went via the Antarctic and India. In Japan if a letter is not delivered anywhere in the country within two days there is an inquiry.
    I am still waiting for a response to a letter of complaint.
    That was nearly two years ago, but I’m now training carrier pigeons. A little extra in feed but well below the $1 stamp nonsense.


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