Bad news for the minuscule percentage of the Australian population that still send letters – sending a standard letter in Australia will now cost $1, up from seventy cents, and take two days longer to deliver. The hike in the stamp price comes into effect today, after the increase was approved two months ago by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
However, the concession price for stamps will stay at sixty cents for the 5.7 million Australians who qualify for a MyPost Concession account.
According to Sky News, the price hike is essential after Australia Post lost $222 million in 2014/15. According to 9news, this is the first recorded loss for Australia Post in thirty years. Unsurprisingly, this is due to “tumbling demand” for its mail business. ‘Tech-savvy’ Australians are increasingly switching to paperless billing and email for their correspondence.
Michelle Skehan, a spokesperson for Australia Post, said that the number of stamp letters fell by more than ten per cent in the last year alone. But according to the ABC, the increases will not make up for the $381 million losses suffered by Australia Post.
“While the stamp price increase and services changes introduced today will reduce the losses, they will not return stamp mail to profit,” Ms Skehan said, “Mail volume continues to decline.”
In March, the federal government approved the switch to a two-speed letter service system, whereby one can speed up the progress of their letter by affixing a fifty cent priority label next to a standard $1 stamp.
Regular post will take a full two days longer (up to six business days) to be delivered than the more expensive one-to-four business day priority letter service, which people aren’t happy about.
— Hayley Casarotto (@hayleycasa) January 4, 2016
This is the fifth increase to stamp price in twenty-three years. Public response has overwhelmingly been negative, given the salary of the Australia Post CEO.
@auspost How can a government agency justify a CEO salary of $4Mil?
— Glassola (@glassola) January 4, 2016
@auspost what BS! Their CEO is on $4M+..!!
— Nathan (@nathaningz) January 4, 2016
@auspost brilliant idea. 30% increase in postage price & delivery times =$4.8m sal for CEO.
— squidjum (@squidjum) January 4, 2016
Furthermore, a price increase in an already underused service will make people want to use Australia Post even less.
@auspost Nothing makes people want to use your services like a price increase.
— johann benét (@johannbenet) January 4, 2016
@auspost Crazy! Postage service underused so put prices up 30% – that should bring em in
— David Samson (@DavidSamson47) January 4, 2016
Disgruntled customers have taken to Australia Post’s Facebook page to air their grievances and vent their frustrations: “$1 to send a letter. What a joke! 40% increase on passage stamps. Goodbye Australia Post! Way to compete, NOT!,” Karen Rumble wrote in her message.
Users are also accusing Australia post of being unAustralian; “A 80 cent price hike for the same service. What a disgrace. Auspost, please let smarter company run our postal service. You’re un-Australian,” Facebook user Michael Buns posted.
An Australia Post spokeswoman has defended the changes in a promotional video, stating that the price increase will allow Australia Post to maintain its “vast” network of post office locations and continue to allow deliveries five days a week.
Although in 2016, how many people does the price of a stamp actually affect?
@auspost When was the last time the average person sent an actual letter to someone except as a novelty?
— Royce Wilson (@RoyceWilsonAU) January 4, 2016
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