Australia Post will now charge customers up to $9 for holding undelivered parcels at post offices. Consequently, the move has been criticised by the public as a technique of price gouging.

Australia Post, which has already raised its letter stamp prices, will implement the new fees in August. The postal giant has been currently reaping benefits off the recent online shopping boom through its parcel delivery services.

Missed deliveries are held by the post office free of charge for 10 days but after that, the products are sent back to the sender. Under the new fee structure, missed deliveries will be held at the post offices free of charge for only five business days. It will cost $3 if collected after six to 10 business days, $6 after 11 to 15 business days and $9 after 16 to 30 business days. After 30 days, the parcels will be returned to the sellers.

According to Australia Post, this will allow the customers more time to collect their parcels. Moreover, most customers usually collect their parcels within the first five days to avoid paying extra charges.

“We believe this service will help the small amount of customers who can’t collect their parcel straight away,” The Guardian quoted an Australia Post spokesperson as saying.

Communication Workers Union Victorian branch spokeswoman Joan Doyle said that the new technique to raise more cash is “pretty astounding.” “Basically, it’s a price gouge. For what is a community service, it’s a bit ordinary,” the Herald Sun quoted Doyle as saying. “It will cause our members a lot of grief. Australia Post is making hundreds of millions of dollars out of parcels.”

In April, the company announced that it has completed the digital transformation which it claimed would improve its profitability as the volume of letter delivery declined.

Customers took to social media to express their reactions on the move by the company.

“No problem #AustraliaPost, but I’ll charge you for nondelivery even though I’m home waiting for parcel,” tweeted Katie Cheesman.