29 July 2022

Your wins: Rural deliveries resume after access concerns sorted

A member got in touch after NZ Post suddenly stopped dropping off her packages.

Jana is 80 and lives on her own in the country near Whanganui. She has mobility issues and lives up a long driveway so gets a lot of things, including food, couriered to the garage beside her house.

“Parcels were delivered to the garage for years,” she said. “In addition, a kind postman used to pick up my daily paper (he was not asked) and left it with the parcels in the garage.”

But in March, NZ Post suddenly stopped dropping her packages at all. Instead, it told her to collect them from town. The courier driver had complained about the difficulty of reversing down her driveway and back on to the main highway.

She contacted NZ Post, which agreed to resume delivering her items to her garage. But in June the deliveries stopped again, and she received leaflets saying her parcels could not be delivered.

When she queried this, she was told the driver had complained about the visibility on the driveway as well as dogs running around the property.

“I explained that there are no dogs running unsupervised,” Jana said. “My elderly, harmless corgi is a house dog and is out only with me.”

After complaining to NZ Post again, she received a letter saying their local driver was concerned about the vegetation on the driveway which obstructed the view, the fact her gate was closed when drivers should not have to open gates, and that he had to open the garage. NZ Post suggested she put a large box at the gate so the items could be dropped there. She pointed out that this would not be practical as she could not carry the parcels from that distance.

So she got in touch with us to see if we could help her get her goods delivered again.

Our adviser looked at the NZ Post delivery rules and suggested to Jana that she arrange for the vegetation on her driveway to be cut back. We also suggested she send photos to NZ Post to show them this had been done. And we advised that she take photos of the turning area to show that that reversing back down the driveway was not necessary. We also recommended she leave the gate open for the delivery driver.

She did all these things and also provided a waterproof box outside her garage for the driver to drop her parcels in, so the driver wouldn’t need to open the garage door.

It seemed to do the trick. Jana has since received all her delayed packages from June and the postal operator agreed to bring the packages up the driveway to the box outside her garage from now on.

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Member comments

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R C.
03 Aug 2022
Courier parcels paid to be, but not, delivered.

We have related annoyance with rural deliveries which has only recently arisen. When ordering items on-line, there is usually only one option for delivery: a fairly expensive courier service with signature required. Until recently the courier driver used their discretion if we were not home or available and would leave by our door or in our post box. Recently, it seems, NZ Post have directed that this cannot happen and instead require us to make a special trip to a Post Shop to collect. Firstly, a high grade (signature required and very fast) courier service is not appropriate for many items of quite low value. Surely there could be a cheaper option the buyer could choose when ordering - often there is no need for an" overnight" and high security service. Secondly, how about giving our very good and helpful NZ Post delivery person (and the buyer) some discretion as to the level of "risk" (generally none) they are happy with. Thirdly, we have paid for delivery but don't receive that service - instead have to pay additionally in time and fuel for a special collection trip. Bob

Robert F.
30 Jul 2022
We pay for rural delivery but don't get it

Interesting subject and one that affects us. We had to give up our letter box on the main road after years of vandalism and thefts. So we have had a PO Box at the Tutukaka Store (Tutukaka Marina) which is 5km away. NZPost Couriers have never delivered to our home, but they do leave parcels at the store. If they don't fit in the box we can pick them up at the store anyway. Other courier companies used to deliver to our home but got in the habit of leaving our parcels at the store as well.

Just today the store manager has informed us that, from 1 August that anything not small enough to go into our PO Box will be picked up from town. It's a bit confusing but it appears that this will only apply to NZPost courier deliveries for those who don't have a PO Box. But it's not clear if that will also apply to those of us who have paid rural delivery fees for other courier deliveries. If it does, then I think that should be treated as a breach of the purpose behind the extra fee for rural deliveries because they're not delivering it to the address it was sent.

I'd be interested in Consumer's view on this.

Cheers, Bob

Anne W.
30 Jul 2022
Rural Delivery

We do have a great mail service in our rural area and there was only a couple of times we got someone else's parcel by mistake and once we had an important delivery that was shoved inside the gate even though I had emailed the postie that we were away and could they put it around the to the door only metres away. We had to have a relative to deal with the parcel in the end. The only other gripe is that we live not far from the main road and yet we have to pay rural delivery fees that I feel are quite exhorbitant. Different if you live in the middle of nowhere, which we don't. Bur then, I guess all post has gone up quite alot most likely due to petrol increases.

Dorothy O.
30 Jul 2022
Look after our R.D. mailman

I have lived in rural locations for over 50 years. I think we are so lucky to have e our parcelsdelivered to the house and it is up to the residents to maintain good access for the driver. It certainly beats having a panel that is too big to fit in the mailbox left on the ground for some low life to steal.

Chris O.
30 Jul 2022
Thank you!

We have an RD driver who always brings parcels up our steep 80 metre drive, and drops them off in our porch if we are not there to greet her. We have never asked for this; she just does. It is a brilliant service. She seems able to turn her van even if we have other cars making things tight. Feels like she goes beyond the call of duty. We are most grateful!