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The days are getting longer and early morning is heralded with the chirping of birds.  In the past, despite having an inner city location, we have been blessed with a variety of native birds through our garden.  Wattle birds were frequent visitors, especially when the red flowering bottle brushes were in flower next door.  Parrots and rosellas feed with gay abandon on the plum and fig trees which over hang from the neighbour on the other side.  We have had cockatoos, galahs, magpies, one or two kookaburra sightings and even a budgerigar!

My favourite visitors were the small birds – the willy wag tails, the occasional swallow and the silver eyes.  These delightful small drab green birds would hover at our windows and under the lips of the weatherboards, picking the webs clean of trapped insects.  Over the last couple of years we had noticed their absence and wondered why.

This year, they are back. They compete for attention with the pair of wood pigeons that have set up home on our roof.  There are other introduced species aplenty but they seem untroubled as they hover within inches of us happily pecking at the smorgasboard of insects laid out for them.

Luckily the resident cat seems disinterested.  This morning he was so disinterested in fact that he watched with detached cat like disdain as one of the aforementioned pigeons strolled in the back door, into the kitchen and began helping itself to the cat’s dry food breakfast.  All would have been fine except the pigeon tried to sit on the side of the bowl.  The bowl wouldn’t take its weight, capsized and sent a startled pigeon flapping towrds the windows.

Catching a pigeon that is frantically trying to get out through a nonopening window is not an easy task!  Mind you, it was a great deal easier than the two black birds I found in the house last week.  It is time to hang the bead curtain over the door.

I have not been a fan of providing food for wild birds in a garden populated by a cat….I think I might have to change my mind on this.


Having tried in vain to locate my parcels here in Aus, I referred the matter back to the suppliers and explained Auspost’s position.  The next thing I here from the supplier is that they had credited my account for the value of the parcels and would I let them know if they ever happen to turn up!

Am I surprised?  Yes.  The last thing I was expecting was any sort of refund/credit or replacement from the supplier.  Am I impressed?  Yes.  Will I use them again?  Of course I will – this is customer service of a degree that you don’t often see any more.  Am I a happy customer? On one hand, I am a disappointed customer but this was not the fault of the supplier, rather an intermediary service provider that failed to provide!  On the other, I am very happy and will continue to patronise their business.

The irony of the whole story is that a couple of days after I had received this notice of the credit, I also received notice that my post box had mail for collection.  The thought that it might have been my parcels seemed too incredible to be true.  Of course it wasn’t…. it was an ordinary letter and a slip to collect parcels over the counter.  These parcels all turned out to be for another box holder altogether!

This would make about the eighth or ninth time the email notification service/box sorter has got it wrong.  The box sorter is responsible for correctly allocating the mail to boxes, placing parcel, express post and registered mail collection advisory notices in the appropriate boxes and compiling a list for the PO Manager to advise clients by email.  I have repeatedly received notice to collect non existent mail and now they are trying to give me someone else’s packages!

I pay for this “service” that is far less than satisfactory at the least…. is it any wonder they have managed to lose two parcels?

Has anyone recently had to deal with Aust Post in the search for parcels that are coming from overseas?

I consider it inconceivable that they could manage to lose not one but two parcels originating from the same source.  The two parcels were posted from the same post office in the US on the same day and were issued with parcel numbers.  Having obtained said numbers and having unsuccesfully searched the US Postal website for tracking information past the fact that they were accepted for posting, I turned to Australia Post.

In the past it has been a case of stopping by my local office where I have been a customer for over 20 years, giving them as much information as I had available and letting them get on with the rest of the process.  There have been successes and failures but they have always helped to the best of their ability.

This week, I asked the same question of them – and offered them the parcel numbers.  They politely explained that they could no longer perform such a service because of Aust Post’s new privacy laws.  I was told I would now need to contact Aust Post’s customer service centre by phone.


What about the security of my parcels?  I could be anybody pretending to be me on the phone….at least if I dealt with the person at my post office, they could be sure I was who I said I was as they knew me!  There was no vetting of who it was that was calling….just that I had numbers I could quote.  Is this anonymity of caller what is meant by privacy?

Who knows.

All I know is they could give me no information as to the whereabouts of my parcels; they commiserated with me that it was two that had gone missing and told me to get in touch with the sender and tell them to do the work!

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