'This is disgraceful' - complaints pile up over deliveries

 Photo: Getty Images
Other courier companies said parcel delivery volumes hit levels similar to Christmas but without time to plan for the on-rush. Photo: Getty Images
Complaints are piling up over courier companies' "snail"-paced delivery of packages.

It follows a record backlog of parcels from the start of level 3. NZ Post and other courier companies have begged customers to show some grace.

Four weeks' worth of purchases were frozen during level 4, meaning a surge of deliveries in level 3 that overwhelmed courier companies across New Zealand.

Since the New Zealand Herald reported the case of an Auckland University student whose studies are being hampered by NZ Post's courier services that have kept her waiting for a laptop for weeks, other people have complained about slow and poor service.

Edelyn Chiew sympathised, saying she, too, was a university student who needed her laptop for online classes and was "super frustrated".

She sent her laptop to UberTec to get it repaired on May 16 and paid $20 for a one-hour delivery service from Deadline Couriers.

"It has been one week and it still hasn't arrived," she said.

The Auckland University student's mother, Trish Boniface, said the family used NZ Post to send the laptop to manufacturer Lenovo for repairs on May 5.

She said it took NZ Post seven days to get the laptop from Mairangi Bay to Mt Wellington. After taking two days to fix, NZ Post picked it up on May 15 and it had still not arrived by May 23.

"It is impossible to get in touch with NZ Post at the moment to be even able to talk with someone there who can deal with this problem," Boniface said.

NZ Post said it would look into the Bonifaces' case.

Geoff Dawson said on May 12 he bought an oxygen concentrator from BOC in Auckland for a client in Rarotonga.

It was picked up by CourierPost the same day. It was booked on a flight leaving Saturday, but did not turn up. On May 21 using Track and Trace, he found it was still in the Highbrook depot.

"This is disgraceful, you can't get through on the phone. BOC aren't having much success either," Dawson said.

Peter Lee, of Broomfish Automotive Parts, said he used CourierPost, which is owned by NZ Post, for all his deliveries. It took two weeks from ordering CourierPost tickets for them to arrive.

"I was on hold for 45 minutes for customer services, only to be transferred to another number that rang 25 minutes before I gave up.

"I had customers waiting up to three weeks for deliveries of car parts to get them back on the road," Lee said.

Dave Mason said his wife's new passport was sent by overnight courier on May 8 from Wellington to Orewa and had still not arrived.

"Tracking showed it got to East Tamaki the next day where it sat for weeks. I could have picked up her passport and had a leisurely walk in the beautiful sunshine at this time of year and it would still have been quicker than CourierPost," he said.

CourierPost said on Thursday it still had 150,000 parcels from the start of level 3 - almost four weeks ago - that haven't been delivered.

Other courier companies said parcel delivery volumes hit levels similar to Christmas but without time to plan for the on-rush.

This came on top of physical distancing, contactless pickup and delivery and other safety measures because of the Covid-19 pandemic that further slowed deliveries.

"NZ Post wishes to sincerely apologise to customers who are waiting on an overdue parcel, as we clear a record backlog caused when NZ went into alert level 3," chief executive David Walsh said.

"We expect to have the 150,000 parcel backlog of items sent at the beginning of alert level 3, moving through our network and on their way to people over the next week."

He said NZ Post received more than 3.5 million parcels in the first two weeks of alert level 3 as more shops opened up online.

This was combined with the backlog of retail shopping that had been bought during level 4 but was unable to be delivered.

Walsh said the number of parcels has been unprecedented.

However, those parcels were now starting to move through its system.

"We are doing everything we can to get your items to you. We have set up temporary processing sites, and are operating 11 sites 24/7 for the first time," he said.

"We've brought on hundreds of extra vans and people, and are working around the clock to deliver what you care about."

But Boniface said the delays were now stretching into an unreasonable length and threatened to have lasting effects on her daughter's education.

"This is impacting my daughter's university studies severely as she needs certain programs on her laptop for her papers," she said.

"If we thought that for one moment that it would have taken NZ Post this long we would have waited to get the repair done."


A month ago I sent a small package from Dunedin to New Lynn in Auckland by NZ Post. I had to take it to the Roslyn Big Fresh to post it. Luckily I already had a tracking ticket to use as Big Fresh didn't have any and did know when they would receive new stock. The package took 14 days to get delivered. Last Friday I sent a another similar sized package to the same address, from Dunedin. This time by NZ Couriers. They picked it up from my address and delivered it on Tuesday this week. I'll NEVER use NZ Post again.

new zealand post need to change back to the old ways. .. send something to invercargill or in dunedin from dunedin and it travels to chch b4 coming back down.

Most of the parcels sent by NZ post to and from my Dunedin address to various Nth Island destinations untracked have taken an average of 5 days. Thats about 2-3 days longer than normal but Im ok with that.

People have no understanding of the volumes we are delivering, as a courier from Oamaru let me tell you, last Thursday in our depot we received 8 bins overnight our normal number in pre covid times was 2 sometimes 3 depending on sales. Hubby and I don't like seeing freight left undelivered so we make sure there is no freight left, this has meant longer days, if you think couriers will be making more money think again. Extra running costs, fuel etc, take care of that, and the money isn't great to start with. Then we get abused, see comments about the couriers, oh we cant get hold of customer service well the couriers cant either. To anyone out there who thinks they can do a better job, Please come and take over as we haven't had a break, lets see how you do over the next few weeks, The only reason we are still doing it after 9 years is our customers are awesome, well most of them, few nasty ones but when dealing with Public that is part and parcel of the job. So when the Courier rocks up with your parcel this week a friendly wave would be nice.

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