Postie does not want to deliver mail [POLL]

via RNZ

via RNZ

If you are like me, your immediate reaction to a postie not wanting to deliver mail is an immediate “well fire him/her” then.

But this isn’t that clear cut:

The mail woman, who has only been called Carolyn by her union, has avoided a formal warning but has been given a talking to following a NZ Post investigation into her decision not to deliver the mail.

The Postal Workers Union says NZ Post assumed she had opened the letters, but that she actually became aware of the particular scam after one of her colleagues received one of the letters which ask recipients to send money to claim prizes from “winning scratchies”.

After finding 20 identical envelopes in her bag, she twice told her manager she didn’t want to deliver them, particularly with a rest home on her route. […]

“Her managers made every effort to take a reasonable approach, including not formally warning her while also impressing upon her the seriousness of interfering with mail,” an NZ Post spokesman said.

He said while the NZ Post acknowledged Carolyn was trying to do the right thing, she had knowingly breached the conditions of her employment.

NZ Post didn’t have the power to open mail if it thought it was a scam under the law, but had taken many steps to try to reduce scam mail of the last five years, he said.

The union said despite warnings from NZ Post, Carolyn would be taking a warning letter to residents at the rest home, with instructions to contact the police directly.

After reading that, what is your position now, and why?


– One News, TVNZ


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  • Jp

    her job is to deliver the mail not censor it.

    whats to say that for example a Political Party sends mail and the postie doesnt agree with that party/ policy is she allowed not to deliver the letters?

    • OneTrack

      Well, we all know that John Key is evil, and eats babies, so we better throw the National party mailouts in the rubbish. Isn’t that right Carolyn? To protect the old people? Who can’t think for themselves? Who need some person to “help”(tm) do their thinking for them?

  • Toby

    This is a really hard one.
    Mail is a courier service that is just a transport mechanism and should never know or care what is in the mail.

    But when you know old people are being scammed, it crosses a line.

    I personally don’t know what I’d do and I think the approach by NZ Post is pretty reasonable. A soft rap over the knuckles with a wink.

  • localnews

    fantastic, Carolyn is a spam filter! I am going to give my postie a list of the things I dont want to receive. Good for her

  • Dave

    How far do you take this kind of thing, if we think its okay today, what if another “postie” decides its NOT okay to deliver a letter or spam from a minor political party, or a community group she disagrees with.

    The answer of course, is it’s not okay.

    • Sailor Sam

      I had this same thought about the flag referendum mail.
      All in identical, easily identified envelopes.
      Did we have a guarantee that these envelopes were not placed in a rubbish bin by a little party supporting postal worker, instead of delivering them to the electoral office?
      It has happened before, posties dumping mail instead of delivering it.

  • Sally

    She is a postie not a censor of mail. However what she does outside her working hours that up to her. So if she then goes and delivers personal warning it is up to her.

    However if I received a spamming letter and then a warning letter I would want to know how my postie knew what was in my mail.

  • George

    Here is a message to all posties. If an item of mail is addressed to me then you put it in my letter box. You are not my conscious, my protector, and certainly not my censor. The contents of any letter is private. If it is a scam, I’m quite capable of dealing with it. The elderly don’t need your protection. We may not ride a bike as fast as you but our brain, in most cases, is fully functional.

  • KGB

    I receive a scratchy thing with an on-line company selling stuff my Mum use to like buying. (Velcrove Slippers, food trays, armchair covers with TV remote pockets, cheap hearing aids, Long handled shoehorns, etc that target the elderly.)
    The scratchy offers a free gift with an order.
    Not sure if this is the same company but if it is, it’s more junk than scam.

  • Isherman

    If NZ post come to know or suspect strongly that their delivery service is being used to facilitate a scam, its reasonable IMO that they take steps to warn or inform recipients that they suspect these items are fraudulent, and they might employ a number of methods to communicate that to recipients, be it a warning affixed to the item, a mailout or whatever.
    However, it is not acceptable under any circumstances that either NZ Post or the posties themselves start opening mail, if indeed that is what has occurred.
    If the postie is unprepared to deliver the mail by the terms and conditions by which she is employed, as a result, then IMO their position becomes untenable, and while I’m sure they had good intentions, refusal to deliver or deliberately interfering is a red line.
    Do your job, leave it with your employer to determine a response and course of action, but do not think for a moment that your conscience has any legitimate place in determining what you do with addressed mail…it doesn’t.

  • Nige.

    What’s next? Have a government employee check all my emails for scam content?

    Knock knock,
    Who’s there?
    19 who?

    • OneTrack

      And other things that they don’t think you should get.

  • Rebecca

    FWIW, the United States Postal Service has postal inspectors to investigate complaints of mail fraud which is seen as a serious crime. The postal inspectors are federal enforcement agents with fairly wide powers including serving subpoenas and warrants and making arrests. They can open mail apart from first class mail that is protected in the constitution, meaning they need to obtain a warrant. Can it be true that NZPO is powerless to do anything except deliver the fraudulent material?

  • Drhill

    this is the same as the ” Sorry, I cannot deliver your porn to you as there are children in the house who may access it” argument.

  • tas

    I moved to a new place in the US. My wife was not receiving any mail. I finally managed to catch the postman and ask him why my wife’s important documents had gone missing. His answer: Her name is not written on a mail box, so I chuck ’em. Unbelievable. The postal service should not be looking for excuses not to deliver mail. They should make every reasonable effort to deliver it to the correct recipient.

    • Dog Breath

      I lived in the US and we posted letters with our return address on the reverse of the envelope. Huge mistake, the letters kept coming back delivered to our letter box. They picked up mail from our letter box headed off to the sorting room and then delivered them back to our letter box. Took a couple of attempts before we were told return address is for the front top left of the envelope.

  • Big_Al

    It is not up to the postie to make this call, even though her intentions may have been honorable. Any mail that is personally addressed must be delivered. Non personalised mail should not be delivered if you have a “No Junk Mail” sign on your letterbox.
    Sadly many old people do get conned by scam mail but i don’t know what is the best answer to address this. Your thoughts?

  • One_step_beyond

    I’m a libertarian by nature. But if you see something that you know is wrong, and do nothing…? History is littered with the likes of you.

    You may be incorrect, what you see as wrong may well be someone else’s Pizza coupons, but always act to do right.

  • Vutekno

    Who on earth does she think she is! For goodness sake her job is to deliver the Mail, not make judgements about the mail. Silly misguided person needs to move on to another occupation if she believes she has the right to decide what mail gets delivered!

  • Old Kiwi

    Interesting – not going to add them up but feeling is comments at this stage don’t tally with the Poll results

    • Oh Please

      You mean like Twitter not reflecting the general population?