I am absolutely sick to death of rural courier post. To be clear, I have no problem with the regular post, even though deliveries have been cut back. I see the rationale for reduced services and I have also always found the regular post service to be quite good. I feel that if one chooses to use regular post, one should be prepared to wait as long as it takes for delivery, and in practice the delivery times are not unreasonable at all in my experience.
Rural courier post seems to be another matter. I try to avoid using it whenever possible but since the holidays I have needed to make several small purchases on Trade Me and it has become difficult almost to the point of impossibility to find traders willing to use regular post. I look for them, and when I can find them with the items I want, I use them, but when I have no choice, I have no choice.
I have spoken about this before. Rural courier post is delivered in exactly the same way as regular post, no faster, no better, no extra service. Yet it costs on average three times more plus whatever handling charges the trader tacks on. Small items that would cost no more than $1 - $3 by regular post can be as much as $10 by courier post, with no added benefit whatsoever for the recipient. What I don’t get is why I should have to pay this huge added charge for absolutely nothing. The package takes just as long, it comes in exactly the same way with the rural postie, it has just as much chance of getting lost, it doesn’t get delivered on the same days as the regular post, and it gets left unguarded in exactly the same way in the mail box. So what am I paying all the extra for?
(As a separate matter, I would not have such a problem with this if Trade Me traders used ‘real’ courier services, as some, though not many, do. If my extra payment means my package will arrive sooner, even on days with no post delivery, and be brought to my door so no-one can nick it from the box, then at least I would have the feeling that I was getting something for the extra cost. But most traders offer no other options. It is rural courier post or nothing.)
Is it NZ Post policy to use the inflated courier post charges to subsidise the regular post? I would really like to know. As far as I can see, rural courier post is nothing more than a giant rip-off of those forced to rely on it. I would welcome any arguments to the contrary.