AustPost PO Box - A $70/Year Spam Box

Mailbox There is an advantage and a disadvantage living on the southern side of Gardeners Road. I live in Daceyville, where most of my neighbours are of the state housing commission. As I have suspected that it is the reason -- I actually do not get many unsolicited commercial mails, i.e. spam. Compare to the Kingsford residents just across the road, their street-facing mailboxes are usually filled with supermarket catalogues and promotion flyers, whereas we have got none. It is either the spammer delivery boy got too lazy to cross the road, or they reckon the housing commission guys over there are not going to afford any shopping anyway.

Unfortunately some of these spams, most notably the Coles/Woolies/Franklins catalogues, are Vivian's weekly reading material. How are we supposed to know what to buy, what is on sale, what is cheap, etc when we go to the supermarket, if we don't have their spams in our hands? So Vivian had to explicitly asked Woolies to post their catalogue to us (yes, they do that kind of service), but that is another story.

So I am sort of used to having very few unsolicited commercial mail in my mailbox, until... I got myself a Post Office Box! I rented a PO Box in Kingsford a few weeks ago as I feel that it is safer to have your financial statements posted there. In some occasions I also do not wish to disclose my residential address so a PO Box is pretty handy. I went for the smallest one, and at $70 per year it is not too bad.

Upon signing up, there was an option whether I wish to receive unaddressed mail. How would a piece of mail with to TO: address landed in my PO Box, if it is not a spam put in there by an Australia Post staff? So I ticked on NO...

But apparently the spam filter at AustPost does not work!

Every morning when I go and pick up mails, there are always catalogues and flyers and pamphlets in my brand new PO Box. Some are trying to sell me mobile phones, or Dell computers, or other business necessities. Quite a few are actually explicitly targeting AustPost customers, as they spelt out their "Exclusive Offer to AustPost". I am actually getting far more spams in my PO Box than my usual letter box -- consider the only way to stuff a mail into a PO Box is from inside the Post Office!

So there we go. AustPost PO Box -- it is a $70/year spam box. I read Sydney Morning Herald and Slashdot everyday, and advertisement kept those sites free. Why then am I still charged 70 bucks a year for receiving spams in my PO Box?