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986 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 112313 4-Dec-2012 17:40 Send private message

I had a parcel arrive in from the US last week. US tracking showed it arrived in Auckland on Thursday. The NZ Post tracking showed it arrived Friday and was held for clearance yesterday morning. I called and was told that it was at the international parcel centre awaiting clearance. It was given a NZ tracking number. This morning I called to get the notice number and entry number and I was told to call back around 12. At 12 I was told to call back at 2:30. At 2:30 I was told to call back between 3:30 and 3:40. Through each of these calls I was kept on hold for some considerable time. (By the end of the day I've wasted 90 minutes listening to their muzak!)

At midday I had been told they were working through the bin my parcel is in and that there are only 4 staff working in international parcels so "things can take days to process". 

It took me until 3:50 to get through to someone who told me that they are short-staffed and confirmed that there are only four of them. The woman I had spoken to at 2:30 only works till 3pm so wasn't even there at the time she asked me to call back. 

According to the NZ Post staffer I spoke to there is only one customs officer working with them and she is only there a couple of days a week, for between 2-4 hours each time. She said customs was really short-staffed at the moment (have since learned that customs officers are away doing a boat people exercise). 

So, after all these calls, I was told that I am not likely to have the notice & entry numbers before Friday at the earliest and I might not get my parcel before the end of next week. She said parcels are processed in order of arrival as much as possible. 

BUT - the NZ Post tracking site has been "updated". This morning it showed all the details as above. It's now been edited to show the parcel arriving yesterday. They have changed the "Held for clearance" date to today, at 2:48pm, coincidentally, just before the woman I spoke to left for the day. 

I didn't get screenshots because I didn't know I would need them. Not so sure I can trust any kind of tracking from NZ Post now. 

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986 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 727324 5-Dec-2012 11:27 Send private message

NZ Post international parcel team are now saying my parcel arrived into the country yesterday since that's what their system now shows them. Apparently, they cannot edit the tracking scans but the scans get overwritten if someone rescans a parcel. 

The two bins containing parcels from last week are still awaiting processing. I couldn't get an answer as to how many bins contain mail older than that. All he said was, "it's crazy here at the moment". 

They have only one NZ customs officer who works, "the pits". She 'might' be in today for a couple of hours, otherwise she is expected in tomorrow. 

They now "hope" my parcel will be seen this week sometime. 

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  Reply # 727339 5-Dec-2012 11:41 Send private message

It all sounds like a bad joke. Just before the holidays and only one Customs officer that works a couple of hours a day, two days a week? Something is wrong here - either NZ Customs is out of their depth, or the person you're talking to is giving you misleading information.

Or everyone else is too busy working on Border Patrol...





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  Reply # 727345 5-Dec-2012 11:56 Send private message

Was the parcel just sent via USPS?

Something sounds very wrong given the amount of parcels they must surely be processing.






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  Reply # 727507 5-Dec-2012 16:54 Send private message

freitasm: It all sounds like a bad joke. Just before the holidays and only one Customs officer that works a couple of hours a day, two days a week? Something is wrong here - either NZ Customs is out of their depth, or the person you're talking to is giving you misleading information.

Or everyone else is too busy working on Border Patrol...



Nope, its not wrong. I've now spoken to 5 different people from the post side of international parcels and all have said the same thing. A couple were really whingeing about being short staffed. One guy said something really weird though - he said that things take longer because folding up the notices to send out takes time. I asked if he meant manual folding, as in a person physically folding with their own hands and he laughed and said, "you'd never believe that in this day and age would you?" Surely he was having me on? They don't really manually fold pieces of paper do they????

Customs has one officer working there, at irregular hours a couple of days a week. She phoned me this afternoon. 

I learned that at this time of the year arriving passengers take priority but that with a boat people exercise going on this week every other area of customs is very short-staffed. 

I've asked NZ Post to either confirm or deny that there are only 4 people handling all the parcels but they declined to comment. 



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  Reply # 727508 5-Dec-2012 17:04 Send private message

stevenz: Was the parcel just sent via USPS?

Something sounds very wrong given the amount of parcels they must surely be processing.


Yep, a USPS parcel. 

I laid a complaint about the parcel being rescanned to show arrival yesterday & was told that this is routine whenever a parcel is moved within the building. 

My parcel has now moved into customs collection - probably because I've been a pain in the neck by asking too many awkward questions. The only reason anything happened with mine is that they conceded it was impossible for me to have a NZ tracking number and notice number before the parcel entered NZ. I wouldn't have had either if I hadn't been checking tracking every day.  

If anyone is tracking parcels I recommend taking regular screenshots of what the tracking shows. The morning after tracking shows its arrived, call the standard NZ Post contact number to get the NZ tracking number. Then call 0800 478 287, option 2 and ask for the notice number and entry number. The entry number isn't generated until it gets to customs clearance but the other two numbers will help you argue the toss if they decide to rescan the parcel to pretend it hasn't yet arrived at the parcel clearance centre.

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  Reply # 727514 5-Dec-2012 17:15 Send private message

Elpie: 
I've asked NZ Post to either confirm or deny that there are only 4 people handling all the parcels but they declined to comment. 


There is no excuse for short staffing, when NZ has such high unemployment. I would ask to be put through to their manager or CEO to complain about it. Or write a letter of compliant to their CEO. Also it is not particularly professional of their staff to complain about short staffing to their customers, and their management would probably want to know that that was going on.



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  Reply # 727529 5-Dec-2012 17:23 Send private message

mattwnz:
Elpie: 
I've asked NZ Post to either confirm or deny that there are only 4 people handling all the parcels but they declined to comment. 


There is no excuse for short staffing, when NZ has such high unemployment. I would ask to be put through to their manager or CEO to complain about it. Or write a letter of compliant to their CEO. Also it is not particularly professional of their staff to complain about short staffing to their customers, and their management would probably want to know that that was going on.


Management does know. I thought they should. Everyone knows parcels take time to process, especially when customs fees are involved. This all started because when I saw the parcel had been in NZ for a couple of days I called to find out if I had to wait for the letter with the notice number or if I was able to get the number without waiting on the mail. Then I followed the directions NZ Post customer services gave. 

If the first call had resulted in a "it hasn't been processed yet so call back tomorrow" I would have accepted that. However, being asked to call back again and again, and each time getting people who were clearly frazzled and unhappy with their employer just raised a lot of questions. By the last call last night and the one this morning I was asking for explanations and the more they told me the more I realised we, as consumers of those services, have got a real problem. 

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  Reply # 727675 5-Dec-2012 21:55 Send private message

NZ Post moved the sorting of small parcels from the airport to Highbrook in East Tamaki during the year to save money and to 'speed things up'. They had all sorts of problems with that then, from no extra staff to sort the extra work to a badly designed work area to sort the small parcels.

I worked for NZ Post at Highbrook for 4 years up until 6 months ago and it was a 'mickey mouse' run outfit then and looks like it still is.

Interesting about the Customs as I have worked for AusPost at Brisbane Airport and the small parcels there are classified as 'High Priority" or "Low Priority" depending on which country they come from and are x-rayed or checked by the dogs from Customs or DPI within a couple of hours arriving and despatched that day or evening to Underwood for sorting.

This time of year there is a huge increase with the volume arriving and at Brisbane they have opened another warehouse to handle the extra work ... maybe NZ Post should do that but I cannot see them as they are all about cutting costs and saving money.



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  Reply # 727780 6-Dec-2012 01:02 Send private message

GeekGuy: NZ Post moved the sorting of small parcels from the airport to Highbrook in East Tamaki during the year to save money and to 'speed things up'. They had all sorts of problems with that then, from no extra staff to sort the extra work to a badly designed work area to sort the small parcels.

I worked for NZ Post at Highbrook for 4 years up until 6 months ago and it was a 'mickey mouse' run outfit then and looks like it still is.


Was it routine or uncommon then to rescan parcels so the "arrived in NZ" date would change? I'm really curious about this. NZ Post got all defensive and kept insisting that they don't rescan parcels so the dates would change - until I pointed out it was impossible for me to have info before the parcel arrived in the country. Are you able to say if this is normal practice? I'll understand if you can't say publicly. 

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  Reply # 728022 6-Dec-2012 13:37 Send private message

Elpie:
freitasm: It all sounds like a bad joke. Just before the holidays and only one Customs officer that works a couple of hours a day, two days a week? Something is wrong here - either NZ Customs is out of their depth, or the person you're talking to is giving you misleading information.

Or everyone else is too busy working on Border Patrol...



Nope, its not wrong. I've now spoken to 5 different people from the post side of international parcels and all have said the same thing.


I have received this today from NZ Post:

"Customs staff work alongside New Zealand Post staff all day during business hours. They even schedule overnight shifts to deal with customs clearance/duty depending on the volume coming in.  

Right now there is no backlog - with most being handled within the day.

There may be hold ups with other companies but we can only comment in relation to postal products we process and handle."

We might see someone from NZ Post replying here, but no sure.





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  Reply # 728480 7-Dec-2012 12:20 Send private message

There is definitely something happening (or not happening) to hold up the processing of international mail this week. I've been tracking a package that arrived on 3/12 and it still hasn't turned up. Customs and the International Mail Centre are normally pretty efficient so somebody is telling us porkies.

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  Reply # 728490 7-Dec-2012 12:39 Send private message

Well I've been waiting for a package that tracking says arrived in NZ on the 10th of October!
Just now emailed the carrier again to see what's going on and when I can expect delivery.





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  Reply # 728506 7-Dec-2012 13:14 Send private message

Good lord, really feel for you Elpie - I have had similarly awful experiences with Customs/NZ Post this year (even if nowhere near as bad as yours!).

These days I always try and get Fedex shipping if possible, it may cost a little more but it is so worth it considering how much better their service has always been for me. Regretably not everyone will ship Fedex, and I've had a few that went through USPS in recent months. I just hounded them on the phone for a couple of days and went to pick it up from them directly since I live a few minutes from Auckland Airport. On each occasion I received the goods a day before I even received the postal notice that duties were owing - their service is utterly awful. Would hate to think how delayed it would all be had I left them to their own timeframes.

Also, who the heck arranged this stupid boat people exercise in December? Sheer idiocy.




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  Reply # 728508 7-Dec-2012 13:19 Send private message

As a guess, I would say the delay will be at the Auckland Mail Centre and has not been sorted yet.
At each entry point (Staging) when the mail arrives there are "RFID scanners" which automatically log the time.
It is then sorted and passed onto other Mail Centres, this is usually sorted in the evenings or night time.
I would say that they are having huge volumes of mail and parcels this time of year and are having "carry overs" where work that arrives that day are not processed but "carried over" to the next day for processing.
As for CyaBro's parcel arriving on the 10th of October ... that one is a worry !



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  Reply # 728515 7-Dec-2012 13:37 Send private message

GeekGuy: As a guess, I would say the delay will be at the Auckland Mail Centre and has not been sorted yet.
At each entry point (Staging) when the mail arrives there are "RFID scanners" which automatically log the time.
It is then sorted and passed onto other Mail Centres, this is usually sorted in the evenings or night time.


That's pretty useless if rescanning the items is being done, thereby overwriting the time and date of arrival. 

I've got so paranoid now that I am screenshotting tracking information every morning. Wish I had done that with this parcel so I had the visual evidence of the dates being changed. 



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