Postal or similar service

The Postal Industry Ombudsman can only investigate complaints about postal or similar services provided by registered postal operators or Australia Post.

There is no statutory or judicial definition of a 'postal or similar service' but we define it broadly as:

“The acceptance of a mail item, package or parcel for the purpose of delivery, at a cost, to a person or entity whose address is specified on the item.”

It does not include unaddressed (“junk”) mail.

Where a service does not fall within the popular conception of a 'postal or similar service' – for example, the delivery of a pallet of goods to a retail premises – we would consider that it falls outside the definition (see also Commonwealth Ombudsman jurisdiction below).

Companies that provide ‘postal or similar services’ include Australia Post, couriers and parcel-carrying services and any company that provides one or more of the following services can apply to register as a Private Postal Operator (PPO):

  • Acceptance of mail items, packages or parcels for delivery (as above)
  • The security of that mail, package or parcel
  • The allocation and transport of that mail, package or parcel
  • The retention of that mail, package or parcel for collection by the addressee, or the delivery to the specified address or to another address

Commonwealth Ombudsman jurisdiction

The Commonwealth Ombudsman can consider complaints concerning services provided by Australia Post, other than postal or similar services as defined above. This might include:

  • Services provided in a postal retail outlet, including Licensed Post Offices (LPOs) e.g. retail products, bill payment, passport services, mail box rental or etc.
  • The actions of staff e.g. damage to property, misconduct
  • Contact issues
  • Some contract decisions

See  Before you make a complaint for more details

Unaddressed mail

The general letter box delivery of unaddressed mail does not meet the definition of a postal or delivery service.  The Postal Industry Ombudsman does not investigate complaints concerning unaddressed mail delivery.