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 has provided a critical postal service across our fast-changing continent, with roots harking back to colonial settlement.  Australia Post as a corporation was formally established in 1989 and aims to offer full delivery services to the best of their ability.  That said, the vast size and scale of operation often necessitates the corporation apply a ‘one-size-fits-many’ approach to serving such a diverse range of personal and business customers.  This can make it challenging for tiny businesses often needing finer grained flexibility providing delivery services to their reletively non-traditional commerce 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 an appearance throughout the Terms and Conditions documentation. They do try really hard to offer a robust and secure service to everyone, but there is potential in that statement to decide that your missing parcel will not be covered by any compensation.

Our experience has demonstrated Australia Post do exercise the terms wording to avoid 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 surely be aware of this fact, and may create vast process expectations and contact delay loops which result in a business considering it easier to carry the replacement costs in-house on their own.

In the full Australia Post Terms and Conditions they 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. ‘Porch Piracy’ is increasing each year but Australia Post only recognises delivery to your door as their contractual obligation.  Signature on delivery could be purchased although at $2.95 we consider this as 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 being at a higher cost, we decided “Extra Cover” contained more compromises,  and Route Shipping Protection was the best solution to offer our customers.

Route Shipping Protection removes the dependence of being tied to Australia Post for all shipping insurance, and allows for more flexible shipping carrier protection for customers.

So What Else Can You Tell Me?

1. If you are inclined, 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 regretful and contrary to common opinion.  Many people assume Australia Post must deliver your parcel without question because that is what they are being ‘paid’ to do. However their terms actually convey a different wording version than is assumed. Their legal definition ensures customers that they will exercise ‘best effort’ with ‘care and skill’ when delivering your parcel. With this reality in mind, consider that it is not possible for a business to guarantee arrival conditions that the carrier themselves will not offer.

3. Section 7B is an example of interpretive descriptions such as ‘best efforts’ and ‘guarantee as to due care and skill’.  It’s clever and crafty because they still include the associative guarantee word, 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 terms for Parcel/Express Post do not cover absolute cost or item value replacement due to damage, loss or theft. This enevitably leaves a business to bare the extra associated costs for replacing a failed delivery at the expense of Australia Post.

5. Numerous clauses in the terms are underpinned by descriptive exclusions such as, “at their sole discretion”.

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