Postal Industry Ombudsman

How to make a complaint

If you have satisfied the criteria for making a complaint to the Postal Industry Ombudsman, here’s what to do next:

  • Contact us via one of the methods listed below
  • Have the reference number for your complaint handy. This should be provided when you lodge a complaint with the company involved.

Please note that we can only investigate if you have first attempted to resolve your complaint through the postal operator's complaint channels.

Ways to lodge a complaint with us

  • Use our online form
  • Call 1300 362 072, or from overseas: +61 2 6276 0111. We’re open Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm Australian Eastern Standard Time
  • Email
  • Write to the POI Ombudsman at GPO Box 442 Canberra ACT 2601
  • Make an appointment to visit one of our offices by phoning 1300 362 072.

How we handle your complaint


After ensuring you have first approached the relevant postal or delivery company for a resolution, we ask for details of your complaint.

In making our initial assessment, we consider:

  • The postal company's policies and procedures, and the terms and conditions of the service used
  • The postal operator's response to your complaint
  • What outcome you are seeking
  • Is referring your complaint to another organisation appropriate to help you resolve your complaint
  • What we would deem fair and reasonable in all the circumstances.

If we decide not to investigate, we will explain why. A decision on whether to investigate usually takes up to two weeks.


If we’re satisfied your complaint is suitable for PIO investigation, our office will:

  • Contact the postal operator for its response to the complaint. We may seek records, policy documents, an explanation or an apology. We generally do not seek witnesses or interview people
  • We provide the postal operator with any relevant information you have given us, including your name and contact details. It is important that you tell us if you want us to withhold any information from a postal operator so we can comply with your wishes
  • We assess the postal operator's response and decide whether we consider it fair and reasonable.


We will advise you of the outcome of your complaint over the phone or in writing, usually within one month of receiving your complaint. Our response generally:

  • Advises the outcome of our investigation
  • Explains why we found the operator’s response reasonable or unreasonable
  • Indicates what further action we recommend (if applicable).

If you are dissatisfied with our decision, you can request an internal reconsideration of our decision via the Commonwealth Ombudsman website.


The Postal Industry Ombudsman collects, stores, uses and discloses personal information in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principles (the APPs). See our privacy statement and privacy policy for more information.

If we decide not to investigate

Sometimes, we suggest an alternative to an investigation. We cannot investigate your complaint if:

  • it is about something that is outside the PIO's jurisdiction (see About us)
  • We cannot identify a better outcome that we are likely to achieve
  • Having considered all the circumstances, we do not think an investigation is warranted.

If this is the case, we may suggest you contact another service relevant to your circumstances.

Here are some of the agencies we collaborate with:

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman

Australian Communications and Media Authority (AMCA)

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

Financial Ombudsman Service Australia

Consumer protection agencies in each state

Department of Communications and the Arts

Further Information

FAQs on common postal complaints

Private Postal Operator Register