Australia Post, and its subsidiary StarTrack, will pay $2.9 million in compensation over lost or damaged parcels.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said over four years to October 2022, the Australia Post Group (Australia Post and StarTrack) denied compensation requests from businesses for lost and damaged parcels.
The ACCC said in some cases, Australia Post Group told customers they were not eligible for any compensation.
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Under Australian consumer protection law, customers may be eligible for compensation “if a product is not of acceptable quality or a service is not performed with due care and skill, fit for purpose or supplied within a reasonable time”.
The ACCC said Australia Post Group self-reported the breach of consumer law in May 2023.
Eligible compensation was not given to about 10,500 business customers and less than 1000 recipients of StarTrack deliveries.
Business contract customers are businesses that have a contract with Australia Post Group for the delivery of at least 2000 parcels per year.
“Business contract customers who sent goods to customers without a business purpose which were lost or damaged in transit with the Australia Post Group have been entitled, and continue to be entitled, to consumer guarantee rights,” ACCC commissioner Liza Carver said.
“The failure by Australia Post Group to provide business customers with the remedies they were entitled to is extremely concerning, but we acknowledge that Australia Post self-reported this conduct to the ACCC.”
Australia Post Group has launched a remediation program to compensate eligible customers.
It has also implemented a compliance program and will train staff to avoid future breaches.
The ACCC said customers will be contacted within two weeks or will automatically receive compensation.
“Eligible customers may receive a credit to their account with Australia Post Group, a credit to their nominated bank account, or be sent a cheque,” an ACCC spokesperson said.
Australia Post Group has also launched a claims portal for people seeking more information, or to make a claim.
The ACCC warned people to beware of scams following the announcement and said Australia Post Group will not be asking for email or text message responses or sending clickable links.