Australia Post legal rights and couriers who simply leave a card


Welcome to Sisters In Law,’s weekly column solving all your legal problems. This week, our resident lawyers and real sisters Alison and Jillian Barrett of Maurice Blackburn advise you on your home delivery rights.


I have a constant and annoying problem with parcel deliveries. I get a lot of deliveries to my home because I run a little stampede.

However, my business is affected by what can only be described as lazy delivery people. I’m home all day, but I get countless notes in my mailbox saying, “We tried to deliver, but you weren’t home.”

This is common with Australia Post and private couriers – they all do.

More recently, I’ve just had text messages from private couriers saying packages have been brought to the post office or a store for me to pick up – not even a note to prove they were in the area.

I pay for delivery but end up picking up my packages from various locations which can be up to 50 minutes walk away.

Once I’ve paid the postage, is there an obligation for them to bring it to my address and try to deliver it to my doorbell? –Anna, Victoria


Unfortunately, you are not the only person affected by this Anna. If you check online forums, many people are complaining about this practice, known as “carding”.

The good news is that you can do something about it.

As a first step, you can complain to Australia Post and other private courier companies, specifying:

1. All dates you were “carded”

2. Confirmation that you were home at the time

3. If the items were urgent, such as medication

4. How long did it take you to collect each item

5. The cost of delivery

6. Any action you would like them to take (such as an apology, a commitment to make sure this doesn’t happen again, or a postage refund)

The complaint must be in writing and be sure to keep a copy.

It is also worth providing a copy of your complaint to the supplier of the delivered goods so that they are aware of the poor service provided by the courier companies they use.

The Commonwealth Ombudsman’s Office can investigate complaints about four different postal operators: Australia Post, StarTrack, Cheque-Mates and D&D Mailing Services.

The mediation service is free and impartial.

The Australian Consumer Law provides guarantees for consumers which also apply to the delivery of parcels by Australia Post and private couriers, with the exception of deliveries of goods within the framework of a business, a trade, profession or profession.

These guarantees to consumers require that the service be rendered with care and skill, which includes the delivery of packages to the place where they are addressed.

If after filing a complaint with the courier company there is no improvement, the company is unresponsive, or takes retaliatory action, such as refusing to deliver to you, then you can file a claim in Victoria Civil and Administrative Court. (VCAT) for an injunction to stop the behavior or for compensation.

In February 2022, Australia Post had to pay compensation of over $3,000 in a situation similar to yours where the buyer spent 30 minutes each week picking up items that were not delivered correctly.

You can also make a request to VCAT for goods delivery issues for businesses.

For more information, seek specific legal advice.

This legal information is general in nature and should not be considered or relied upon as specific legal advice. Persons requiring specific legal advice should consult a lawyer.

If you have a legal question you would like Alison and Jillian answered, please email [email protected]

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