Why Route Shipping Protection and not Australia Post Extra Cover?

IMPORTANT NOTE: This page and links provided are purely for informational and research purposes. All opinions, thoughts and views are expressed as a result of, or through direct business interactions using Australia Post. This is NOT a legal document and does not contain any binding statements.

Introduction

Thank you for taking the time to learn a little more about our decision to offer Route Shipping Protection for your parcel delivery security.  This page focuses mostly on Australia Post and the terms under which they provide their services, rather than Route itself.

We wanted to try and clarify some of these Australia Post terms of service, as we suspect there are conditions our customers may not be fully aware of. It needs to be said that these conditions are the primary reasons behind our decision to use Route and not Australia Post Extra Cover.

Who is Route?

Route is an independent Shipping Insurance Protection provider using an insurance underwriting company to secure transit cover which we offer to you through our website.

Australia Post – Some History

Australia Post is a self-funded company owned by it’s sole shareholder the Australian federal government.  It maintains a huge network of resources and staff exceeding 27,000, and traditionally provided a critical postal service across our fast-changing continent. It’s roots hark back to colonial settlement.  

Australia Post as a corporation was formally established in 1989.  Their primary objective is to offer a turnkey postal delivery service to the best of their ability.  With that said, the vast size and scale of operation often necessitates the corporation apply a ‘one-size-fits-many’ approach to serving a diverse range of personal and business customers.  This can make it challenging for tiny businesses often needing finer grained flexibility, while providing delivery services to their non-traditional customer base.

That’s Nice, But Do Australia Post Guarantee Compensation?

The short answer; maybe.  Australia Post do not guarantee shipping compensation for parcel items under $100 in value using Parcel Post or Express Post delivery methods. This is often a point of misunderstanding because Australia Post advertise that you may be entitled Up to $100 of compensation.  Notice the may be entitiled wording? It’s not listed in the prominent advertising although does make a solid appearance throughout the Terms and Conditions documentation. They do try really hard to offer a robust and secure service to everyone that is true. But there is potential in that statement to decide that your missing parcel will not be covered by any compensation if it suits them to do so.

Our experience has demonstrated that Australia Post can and do exercise the terms wording to misdirect compensation or a replacement process.  If a claim is made, any business needs to be prepared to waste a lot of time seeing it through.  Australia Post would be very aware of this fact.  It may create vast process expectations and contact delay loops which essentially result in a business considering it easier to carry the replacement costs in-house.

The full Australia Post Terms and Conditions describe a promise to do their best to recover any lost or damaged parcel/s. Again, this does not guarantee full or any compensation.  The decision to replace lost or damaged items is entirely of their choosing. There is also no specific inclusion if your parcel/s is stolen during transit. As ‘Porch Piracy’ increases each year Australia Post only recognise delivery to your door as their contractual obligation.  Signature on delivery could be purchased, although at $2.95 we consider this to be an overpriced addition when it does not include additional robust shipping insurance.  Similarly, the “Extra Cover” option for items over $100 in value offers limited liability and some exclusion of replacement should the need ever arise.

Empowered with this knowledge and considering the higher cost, we decided that “Extra Cover” contains more compromise.  “Route Shipping Protection” offers a more extensive all-round solution for you, our customer.

Route Shipping Protection removes the dependence on Australia Post for all shipping insurance cover.  This also allows for more flexible carrier protection if delivery must be sent using another provider.

So What Else Can You Tell Me?

  1. If you are interested, you may like to read the full Australia Post Terms and Conditions pdf which is located here: https://auspost.com.au/content/dam/auspost_corp/media/documents/ap-terms-and-conditions.pdf
  2. Australian Post do not “guarantee” a shipment will arrive at a destination. This is real-world reality and contrary to common opinion.  Many people assume Australia Post must deliver a parcel without any question because this is the job they are paid to do. However their terms actually convey a different wording than assumed. Their legal definition only ensures customers they will exercise ‘best effort’ and with ‘care and skill’ while engaged to deliver your parcel. With this fact considered, it’s not very realistic for a business to guarantee arrival terms above what the carrier themselves promise to provide. 
  3. Section 7B is an example of interpretive descriptions which include ‘best efforts’, and ‘guarantee as to due care and skill’.  It’s a little crafty and clever because they still include the associative word guarantee, perfectly placed to suggest unconditional delivery security.
  4. When referring to customer protection for failed deliveries, the agreement reads: a person ‘may‘ have a right to seek a remedy. In addition, the Parcel/Express Post terms do not cover the entire  parcel cost, let alone full item value replacement in line with damage, loss and theft. This can leave a business to bare the extra associated costs for replacing a failed delivery courtesy of an unsuccessful Australia Post system.
  5. Numerous clauses in the terms are underpinned by descriptive exclusions such as “at their sole discretion”.  This wording is important to understand and keep in mind when sending anything with Australia Post.

Additional Reference Notes – Australia Post Terms & PDF (link above):

PART A – GENERAL POSTAL SERVICES
16.1 Australia Post will use its best endeavours to deliver articles in accordance with these terms and conditions..
19.1 Australia Post may, in its absolute discretion, make an investigation of the alleged non-delivery of an article..
PART E – AUSTRALIA POST’S LIABILITY
61B.1 As set out in clause 7B, Australia Post will exercise due care and skill in supplying its services.
61B.3 In cases where an article is lost or damaged in transit, a person may be eligible for compensation..
70.1 In the event of loss or damage to an article, Australia Post may provide the claimant with compensation as a remedy

This is not intended as an exhaustive reference list, instead a brief outline of the more obvious points of interest.

Warm wishes,
Team Quetzy