Post Office Surprised by Amazon Snub

Times (Johannesburg), June 18, 2008

The SA Post Office is trying to contact internet retailer Amazon.com for further details on why it offers limited shipping facilities to South Africa after a report that this was due to theft.

“It was a surprise . . . unexpected,” said Post Office spokesman Lungile Lose on a report in Business Day that theft had made the retailer decide that deliveries to South Africa would have to be done by private courier costing around R400.

“We will still want to speak to them so that we can pick up where the root is and we will take it up with the Universal Postal Union,” he said.

Items from Amazon passed through other international postal service providers from their depots around the world so they would like to talk to Amazon.com about which part of the route was problematic.

“This is an important customer,” said Lose.

He said that for the period 2007/2008 there had been 1,699 reports of mail theft and that there was a 99 percent success rate when pursuing these cases.

The Post Office had installed specialist technology, including cameras at sorting centres, and had established a crime and ethics line for postal workers to report any suspicious behaviour.

Further details from Amazon.com were not immediately available.


Rampant theft by Post Office workers has infuriated internet retailing giant Amazon so much that it will no longer send goods to South Africa by post, Business Day has reported.

Anyone wanting to order directly from the US-based website must now pay for a private courier service adding about R420 to the price of a DVD.

No one from the Post Office would comment.

No other African country’s postal service had been blacklisted by Amazon, Business Day said.

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