Revisiting our POB Remuneration Article from 2013

PO Box Revenue - In our sights!

A set 90% is looking like a good deal 

LPOG Target No1

  • Remember when more PO Boxes seemed like a great idea?
  • One of our core products that used to pay the rent?
  • Do you wonder why the box payment seem to disappear so quickly these days?

It is because our PO Boxes, installed at our offices at our expense, are now providing Australia Post with the windfall. Raising the retail price every year since 2005, without passing on this cost to the owners of the assets has eaten into the foundation of our return for this service. More and more box holders are not renewing each year and we are powerless to stop the exodus as Australia Post keeps driving the price to suit themselves. 

POAAL consultations & post office boxes payments.pdf

POB Analysis - Graph 1a_Payment.pdf

POB Analysis - Graph 1b_Labour.pdf

In 1993, when the LPO Agreement was drafted, it was agreed that the Licensees would be paid 110% of the retail cost of the PO Box to remunerate us for providing this service. 20 years on and we now receive 70% of the retail cost of this service. And that was before Australia Post started charging the $25 establishment fee, where Australia Post charges our customers for the lock we provide and paid for, and for establishing a PO Box that we have already established.

LPOG seeks a return to the 1993 agreed remuneration for Licensees for the provision of the PO Box service at LPOs.

Comments

Margee's picture

I remember a post office box was $45 when we came in and we received $50.....We did our on invoices and kept track of our customers payments ourselves.....now those were the days! How did we ever let this happen?

Col Burns's picture

Why then can't we simply go back to those days..??? Direct action...??? As someone said before...Toss APs invoice in the bin and issue our own...keep our own records..??? The boxes are our own property after all...we had to pay for them and their installation....Why don't we just do it...!!!!

Wormies72's picture

How would we disconnect ourselves from their system so other offices didn't go leasing out a number on our behalf that we have locally leased? It would be a bummer for new customer turning up thinking say box 5 was theirs and had already advised some senders of mail of their new address to find out they can't have that number box at all as belongs to someone else. Any ideas?

Col Burns's picture

My LPO is small wormies and that situation has only happened once in 3yrs. Don't reckon we can let that concern deter us. I reckon LPOG on behalf of us all (so that AP cannot pick on one individual) should just advise AP that due to increasing complaints and dissatisfaction from members and customers alike, we are taking back control of OUR post boxes and the ability for outlets to rent out or book PO Boxes in LPOs other than one's own should be removed. Then having been warned if AP doesn't attend to that request, any new customer turning up and laying claim to a box that we have already let out will have to get a different box and change his address to the new box at their expense and give them the AP contact number if they wish to complain.....The problem would sort itself out over time...We need to take back our boxes irrespective of any problems that may arise...

PAWeekes's picture

To stop other offices even seeing your PO Boxes - leased or otherwise - you can simply go into the PO BOX Administration function and set it to "Out of Service" status. Only you and Head Office can see them then. And if your are worried about H/O letting your box you can actually set it to "Deleted" - this probably will draw some attention though.
As to the concept of "re-privatising" the boxes, I agree wholeheartedly, but before anyone does it I think we should get legal advice from LPOGroup's team ... APO could argue that we are offering a "competing product" - and thus breaching a clause in the LPO agreement (in mine its 12d).

Col Burns's picture

Thank you weeksie...Sound advice and a good piece of info...I'd be surprised if LPOG solicitors aren't working on this already..... :)

Col Burns's picture

And theoretically speaking from a hypothetical point of view...AP don't have any PO Boxes in LPOs...WE own them...so how could we be selling a competitive product...???

aprilready's picture

AP has offered a lot of "competing products" against LPO in the past. If they like to accuse LPOs in breaching of the agreement, well AP has set a very good example of showing LPOs in doing so. If half of the LPOs disconnect the box renewal from AP, I would like to see how AP is going to take action against 1500 LPOs. Bring it on!

LPOGroup's picture

Or we could compromise and have 10 available for AP's national network and take the rest out of service and let locally. If 1000 LPOs did that is AP going to sue us all? And that would be 1 court case I would like to attend. Would shut up shop to watch AP justify that case.

Kipper's picture

The profits are even less with none delivery areas. Take a way the money paid for counter mail which can be done at any time of the day and add the pittance you get for the boxes that you have bought to get them all loaded by 9am. It sucks.

Or if you have no boxes AP gets nothing and AP pays you for counter mail. You pay a lot of money to put PO boxes in and AP gets paid a lot, pays you a little more and totally stuffs up your early morning.

Why when I go to write something beginning with p does pineapple pop up as the default word?

seachangelpo's picture

Privatised PO boxes at Licensed Post Offices could certainly offer a more affordable service to customers compared to the Australia Post current charges which are considered exorbitant by most (if not all) Licensees and customers.

The Public should be aware it is the Licensee who actually owns and maintains the PO boxes installed at their outlet but (currently) it is Australia Post who sets the customer charges and makes the most profit from the PO boxes.

Payments (commissions) paid by Australia Post to Licensees for the use of their asset (i.e. PO boxes) has NOT increased over the past 3 years but Australia Post's charge to the customer for a small PO box has increased by roughly 23% from $84.50 to $104.00 (incl GST).

As can be seen from the following table, over the past 20 years Australia Post has increased the cost to the customer for a small PO box by 156%, but the payment made by Australia Post to a Licensee for the use of the Licensee's asset has increased by only 33%.

    1993 2013 % increase
Licensee PO Box Payment small $50.00 $66.67 33%
(excl GST) medium $73.00 $97.34 33%
  large $113.00 $150.67 33%
AP PO Box customer charge small $37.00 $94.55 156%
(excl GST) medium $65.00 $137.27 111%
  large $100.00 $220.00 120%

If PO boxes were privatised at Licensed Post Offices, new customers would certainly benefit because Australia Post's newly introduced $25 "establishment fee" would be immediately removed by Licensees because Licensees see this new fee as nothing but a money grab by Australia Post and it is difficult, if not impossible, for Australia Post to justify this new charge.

Lastly, Licensees should be aware:-

  • High quality POB's can easily be sourced from alternative suppliers rather than from Australia Post's only approved supplier. These alternative POB's can be supplied with various lock specifications including a combination dial type effectively eliminating the need for key cutting and extra key charges to a customer.
  • By privatising PO boxes, the mail management fee (MMF) paid by Australia Post to a Licensee would be eliminated but this could easily be accounted for by the Licensee when setting their own PO box charge because the MMF paid by Australia Post to some Licensees is a pittance for the work the Licensee performs and can be as low as $2.29incl GST per year per PO box.

I agree that we should get the full payment especially since they introduced the $25 "admin fee".
I really hope this is one of the first issues that is taken on by the LPOG. I am furious that there are alternative suppliers for PO Boxes...we were told by AP that there is only one supplier and we have to use them. We paid through the nose for not only the boxes but for freight as well. And they fu**ed up the locks (AP supplied of course)We had to spend 4 hours going through each key trying each lock on 300 new boxes. Just another example of AP incompetence.

More&more of us will be forced to sell if nothing can be done well before xmas.APO appoint new senior staff no doubt on big salaries.I see the big complex in Sydney is sold is this for pay rises for senior APO staff or worse still another ratbag idea on giving the mass of Australian people things they dont want especially in the bush?How about a freeze on all spending except paying us what is owed to all of us by APO?I am loath to give any ideas to APO on marketing we get no thanks or money.As the biggest retailer in Aust this mob are hopeless bring in gerry harvey.

I agree with everything written above. We should definately be paid the full amount of the PO Box fee. If AP increase the fee next year, I will be using the *136 function to take off the extra charge to the customer so that they are at least only paying what they did this year. It doesn't get us any extra but at least AP don't get it either and maybe I won't have so many vacant boxes again. I would urge everyone to do the same. I have been told that the PO Box comission paid to us is based on the price of standard letter postage. So until the 60c stamp goes up then our comission won't go up. It's amazing that it is based on something that hasn't had a price rise for 4 years, when every other possible postage rate has increased about twice a year. Maybe it should be based on the new price to send a card to the U.S or U.K!!!!! We are being treated like absolute fools.