Post Office parcel delivery tested — with shocking results

MyBroadband tested the SA Post Office’s parcel delivery service, which revealed many bottlenecks, including slow movement and extremely poor admin at branches.

MyBroadband tracked two parcels between Centurion and Port Elizabeth using IoT GPS devices to test the parcel delivery service.

We sent one parcel using the Post Office’s ordinary parcel service without a tracking number and sent the other one using registered mail that includes tracking.

We were surprised to learn that the price of the registered and ordinary parcel delivery services was the same. It is not clear whether this was a mistake.

The parcels cost R66.90 each to send one way, which is the price for an ordinary parcel according to the Post Office website.

According to the Post Office website, parcels will be delivered in two to five days, depending on the remoteness of the location.

The photo below shows the IoT GPS devices we used to track the delivery of the parcels.

The Post Office was close to delivering on this promise with the registered parcel, but their poor admin let them down.

According to our tracking device, the parcel arrived at the destination eight working days after being sent.

However, the Post Office did not alert the recipient that the package had arrived. The tracking service was also not updated to show that the parcel made it any further than the branch it was sent from.

The first update to the official tracking was when the Post Office sent it back from the destination branch 32 working days later.

On the return trip, the package arrived after six working days. This time, it notified the recipient immediately via the tracking system that the parcel had arrived.

He also received a paper slip at the physical address about a week later, but we had already collected the parcel by then.

The parcel sent without a tracking number fared even worse than the registered parcel.

It took ten working days to arrive at the destination Post Office branch on the initial trip.

It then took an additional 47 working days before the recipient was notified by a paper slip that it had arrived.

At least this package was not sent back before we had a chance to collect it.

The parcel was posted back using the same service. It arrived at the Tshwane hub seven working days later, where it had been lying for more than three weeks without any notice that it had arrived.

This test revealed that the South African Post Office is unable to guarantee that a parcel will be delivered in the promised timeframe.

The situation is aggravated by poor admin at the Post Office’s hubs and branches, which means clients can wait for weeks for their parcel to be delivered.

Post Office responds

SA Post Office spokesperson Johan Kruger told MyBroadband they are switching to a new service provider for their mail transport vehicles.

“This process should be complete by 1 April 2022. That will restore our service to normal levels,” he said.

He added that they are implementing revised end-to-end plans which are designed to ensure optimum levels of service.

“We advise customers to add a cell phone number to their addresses so that the receiving post office can SMS them when an item is ready for collection,” he said.

Post Office parcel delivery test summary

The table below provides an overview of MyBroadband’s Post Office parcel delivery test results.

Post Office Parcel Service
Service Working days to notice of arrival
Centurion Port Elizabeth Ordinary 57
Centurion Port Elizabeth Registered 32
Port Elizabeth Centurion Ordinary 21+ (still stuck at hub)
Port Elizabeth Centurion Registered 6

Centurion to Port Elizabeth – ordinary parcel

Centurion to Port Elizabeth – registered parcel

Port Elizabeth to Centurion – ordinary parcel

Port Elizabeth to Centurion – registered parcel

Now read: Telkom threatens to cut off Post Office over R269-million bill

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Post Office parcel delivery tested — with shocking results