Without question

Express Post offers no guarantee

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One of Australia Post’s products is the Express Post bag that is guaranteed to reach its destination on the next business day. If it does not, you will be sent another bag. But if you do the maths, it’s a no-brainer offer from Australia Post. In round figures, it goes something like this: post a normal parcel from A to B and it would cost you $7.45 and arrive within three days (sometimes the next day). Use the yellow Express bag, and it will cost you $11.30 and could also arrive in three days. If you have the energy to monitor it and complain, they will send you another bag (not withstanding that you missed a deadline or let someone down or lost some opportunity as a result of the non-performance). So you pay $11.30 (or $15.90 if you need proof of delivery) for what should have cost you $7.45, and what might have cost them a few cents in the grand scheme of things. They are still up on the deal. Even if they stuff up, they are still making a profit. If you do not complain, they are making a packet. If they really want to operate in accordance with their espoused ethics, the right thing to do would be to refund the $11.30 to the customer. If that is not a profitable thing to do, it would be due to too many refunds being issued, which translates into too many express parcels not being delivered the next day!

I do wish that people would stop using the word ‘guarantee’ in this way. To my way of thinking, a guarantee ought to mean: what is promised will absolutely positively happen. In its convoluted misleading way, Australia Post is saying that it will just do what it can do, at its leisure, in its good time, and if for some reason, it does not deliver the next day, then we will be given another bag, but only if we chase it up, fill in forms, and complain. That is no guarantee at all. Why don’t people use the English language properly. Oh, I am sure the lawyers will tell me that the guarantee sets out the conditions, and that Australia Post will meet those conditions. Here’s my beef: ask 1000 customers walking out of Australia Post what they understand by the statement ‘Express Post Guaranteed Next Day Delivery’, and the average reasonable person would assume that the bag will be delivered the next day. But that is not what Australia Post is saying. Not at all. Not in a shred. A complete red herring. We need a special police department that arrests people for misusing the English language for profit and deceptive conduct. Who’s asking these questions? It all goes on, without question.

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