Postal Industry Ombudsman

If a postal operator has treated you unfairly or unreasonably, we can help you to find a solution.

Our service is free. We are independent and impartial, and do not represent consumers or postal operators.

We aim to ensure a quick complaint resolution process with fair outcomes for all involved.

The Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman can investigate complaints about the postal operators listed below:

  • Australia Post
  • StarTrack
  • FedEx Australia (Federal Express Australia)
  • Cheque-Mates
  • D and D Mailing Services

Complaints help us identify broader issues in mail and delivery companies’ policies, procedures and systems. If we identify systemic issues, we will work with the postal operator and broader industry to fix the problem and improve service or administration.

How we work:

When investigating a complaint, we look at:

  • the law, including any applicable codes of practice
  • good administrative or industry practice
  • what is fair and reasonable in the circumstances.

We can recommend an outcome or action, but we are not a court or tribunal. We cannot direct a postal operator to take a particular action or decision.

We can assist if:

  • your complaint is about a postal or similar service provided by a registered postal operator
  • you make your complaint within 12 months of the incident/s that led to the dispute
  • you have lodged a formal complaint with the postal operator and given them at least 10 business days to respond.

We may also consider complaints about other non-postal services provided by Australia Post like retail products purchased in store.

We cannot investigate if:

  • your complaint does not concern a postal or similar service, unless it’s an Australia Post matter
  • the complaint is about a postal operator not registered with the Ombudsman’s Office
  • the complaint is about something that happened before the postal operator registered with the Ombudsman’s Office.
  • you did not complain within 12 months of the incident which led to the dispute
  • the matter is the subject of a court or tribunal hearing (unless special circumstances exist)
  • you are a postal operator complaining about another postal operator
  • the complaint relates to the employment of staff by a postal operator.

Unresolvable complaints

We do not investigate every complaint and we cannot provide a solution for every dispute. For example, there may be circumstances where a postal operator cannot replace or repair a damaged or lost item.

We aim to resolve your complaint and achieve a practical outcome. Sometimes we may not be able to achieve your preferred outcome. For example, we may find:

  • The terms and conditions limit the compensation payable for lost or damaged postal items.
  • The postal provider’s actions and decisions are in keeping with its terms and conditions.
  • The problem is broader than your complaint and will need to be addressed in another way.
  • There is not enough information or evidence to establish what happened or why.
  • Further investigation will not provide a solution.

If we are unable to help, where possible, we will provide you with details of other organisations which may be able to assist you further. See our frequently asked questions for further information.

If we decide not to investigate, we will explain why. If you are not happy with our decision or the outcome of our investigation, you can request a review.

Before you make a complaint

You should try to resolve the complaint with the company before contacting us.

  1. Contact the postal operator directly and try to resolve the issue informally. If you are still unable to resolve your problem, make a formal complaint with the postal operator. You must give the postal operator an opportunity to resolve the complaint before we can consider investigating. Record the complaint reference number—we will need this if you need to contact us later.
  2. Allow the postal operator 10 business days to respond to your complaint. If you’re still waiting, call back and ask for a progress update.
  3. If you are unhappy with the postal operator’s attempts to resolve the issue, you can ask us to investigate.
  4. We can only consider complaints about operators registered under the Postal Industry Ombudsman Scheme.
  1. We are unlikely to investigate if the provider’s actions or decision comply with its terms and conditions. Read our FAQs on common postal complaints before you lodge your complaint.
  2. Lodge a complaint with us via our online complaint form.

How to make a complaint

Information you will need to give us

  • Your contact details (name, phone, email, address). You can make an anonymous complaint or a complaint on behalf of another person.
  • The name of the postal operator.
  • The type of postal service involved (and if relevant, the subject address).
  • Full details of your complaint date and the complaint reference number provided by the postal operator when you contacted them.
  • The outcome you are seeking.
  • Copies of any relevant correspondence you may have received from the postal operator and photos if relevant.

Further information about making a complaint is available here.

Click here to find more information about services available to assist you to make a complaint.

Visit our tools and resources page for common complaint information, Frequently Asked Questions and more.

DID YOU KNOW?

Postal service providers resolve around 90 per cent of complaints through their own processes without our Office becoming involved.

Postal operators take your complaint seriously. If you are not happy with the outcome, contact us.