The new Manly Post Office is now functioning in time for Christmas, but locals have lamented the reduced offering in a small and narrow space.
Users are complaining that the smaller store has fewer items of stock, won’t accept cash and is frequently troubled by queues.
The new Manly Post Office is at Unit 3, 5a Raglan St in central Manly, replacing the previous Post Shop at 22 Central Ave (approximately 100 metres south).
As Observer readers will recall, the original premises was flooded by stormwaters and closed on 18 March 2022.
Open weekdays from 9am to 5pm and Saturdays 9.30am to 1pm, Manly customers are relieved they no longer have to travel to Brookvale, Freshwater or Balgowlah to post packages and collect the contents of their postal boxes.
However, Manly Observer has received complaints from users that, due to the smaller premises, the service area has been reduced from four counters to two, there are limited postal items for sale, passport renewals are no longer available, and customer queues often extend out the door.
Comments, almost all negative, ranged from ‘ridiculous’ and ‘unbelievable’ to ‘disappointing’ and ‘underwhelming’, with regrets that the much-anticipated replacement store is little more than a ‘hole in the wall’ operation.
Local federal representative Zali Steggall confirmed her office had been liaising with Australia Post and said there had been a mixed response to the opening.
“It is much smaller and there are queues at the moment but that isn’t unusual at Christmas,” she said.
The Warringah MP said Australia Post had explained this was their “new style of outlet, especially where there are Aus Post retail outlets in pretty much every surrounding suburb (Balgowlah, Freshwater, Seaforth and Warringah Mall).”
“I appreciate the community frustration at the smaller premises but equally glad that Aus Post did re-open in Manly.“
Australia Post is a federal issue but Manly MP James Griffin said he was calling for a better offering.
While welcoming the return of a Post Office for Manly he said that a revision must be implemented to bring it up to its former fully functioning facility.
“The return of a Post Office to a thriving suburb such as Manly is most welcome but more needs to be done,” Mr Griffin said.
Considering the diminished choice of postal items in the new store, he added “Given the smaller outlet, the variety of stock is reduced, limiting customer choice.”
However, Mr Griffin was most scathing about Australia Post’s decision to forbid cash transactions in their new Raglan Street outlet.
“This is grossly inconvenient for many people, especially the elderly who are more comfortable with cash and prefer to use it over a card,” Griffin lamented. “My office is receiving complaints from residents, including from one pensioner who said she uses cash so she knows what she is spending.
“Others prefer to use cash over cards due to security breaches, viruses, scams and the practice of card ‘skimming’ where details of the card can be collected by a third party.
“All residents need to be catered for, especially those preferring cash transactions over cards. I call on Australia Post to review the current policy of refusing cash at the new Manly Post Office and to consider options for providing a greater selection of stock to better meet the needs of residents and visitors alike.”
Australia Post response
Australia Post chose to only offer this statement:
“We’re pleased to be open for business at the new Manly Post Office, which offers customers a range of products and services, including post office boxes, 24-7 smart parcel lockers and important access for people living with disability.
“We’ve opened at the busiest time of the year and thank the Manly community for their ongoing patience, and apologise for any inconvenience caused by the festive rush.”
Manly Business Chamber told Manly Observer the executive have been liaising with the Australia Post Head Office in Melbourne and are coordinating a meeting to discuss.