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Fair Go: Courier companies promise to do better after struggling to use fancy new letterbox

Courier companies are promising to do better when delivering packages to a parcel solution that’s slightly out of the box.

They’re making the promises to Fair Go, and to a Christchurch mum, Jaime Belsar, who switched to online shopping while on maternity leave with her first child.

“It's just easier than putting him in the car getting to the shops, trying to carry him or push a pram,” Jaime tells Fair Go.

But online shopping has come with some challenges of its own. The couriers wake her son when delivering parcels to the door – while other parcels left outside are being stolen by 'veranda bandits" (as Jaime calls them).

The answer? A letterbox up-grade.

Not so fast. Couriers struggle to follow the simple two-step process for using the fancy new letterbox.

The solution that’s flummoxing couriers is the Parcel Protector. It’s an NZ-patented gadget with a one-way trapdoor that allows parcels to drop into a secure lockbox at the front gate of her home.

Jaime is going to great lengths to explain the process, even laminating a clear, simple set of photo instructions, and sticking it to the box.

She even filmed herself using the box and emailed the clip to courier companies. All has come to little avail - couriers still get it wrong, leaving her parcels unsecured.

“When it happens, I rage. It winds me up something chronic,” Jaime tells Fair Go.

Jaime granted the companies what’s called “authority to leave” which means they can legally deliver without requiring her signature, even if that’s what the sender has requested.

The condition is, couriers must deliver into the Parcel Protector letter box properly.

The companies were quick to respond to Fair Go.

One, which we aren’t naming, says the difficulty is that couriers are best set up to do large regular deliveries to businesses.

Although smaller parcels to one-off locations like an online shoppers’ home are harder and less profitable, that part of the business is only getting bigger as more people shop online.

All the companies we spoke to agree they can do better.

NZ Post had already sent staff to film their own video. They turned up unannounced in Jaime’s front yard to do this which annoyed her, but she’s taken the win and notes some improvement.

Post Haste’s local manager turned up to apologise. NZ Couriers’ manager phoned Jaime to say sorry and work out how to fix it.

Fastway also took time to check the procedures. Things didn’t go smoothly initially but Fastway too has agreed to meet Jaime and her husband to sort out the best way forward.

For Jaime it’s simple. The couriers just need to understand simple steps and follow them – and deliver a result that everyone’s happy with.

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There’s nothing more heart-breaking than having a parcel go missing from your mail box. Source: Fair Go