Pfand Questions and Answers on compulsory deposits in Germany

As of 1 January, 2003 deposits on one-way drinks packaging is compulsory. Since 1 May 2006 this has applied to mineral water, beer, soft drinks and mixed alcoholic drinks. The deposit system has increased the reusable share and put an end to the throwaway mentality. Below is a summary of the main aspects of the applicable compulsory deposit.

Table of Contents

When deposits are charged

Which one-way drinks packaging is subject to the compulsory deposit?

With the entry into force of the Third Ordinance Amending the Packaging Ordinance on 28 May 2005, the compulsory deposit in effect since 1 January 2003 was simplified and modernised. According to the new regulation, a deposit must be charged on non-ecologically advantageous one-way packaging with a filling volume of 0.1 to 3 litres.

Whether or not a drink in non-ecologically advantageous one-way packaging falls within the scope of the compulsory deposit is determined by section 9 (2) of the Packaging Ordinance. The following overview is a non-binding guide to which drinks are subject to a deposit.

Since 1 May 2006, the following drinks have been subject to a deposit if packaged in non-ecologically advantageous one-way drinks packaging with a filling volume of 0.1 to 3 litres:


Beer drinks, including mixed drinks containing beer. These include alcohol-free beer, cola-beer or soda-beer drinks, beer with syrup (such as Berliner Weiße with a shot of syrup), beer mixed with other alcoholic drinks (such as beer with vodka) and flavoured beer (for example tequila-flavoured beer). Compliance with the purity requirement is not the deciding factor.

Mineral water

All water drinks, in other words sparkling and still mineral water, spring water, spa water, table water and other waters, such as “near-water products”, irrespective of the additives (including flavoured water, water with caffeine and water with oxygen).

Carbonated and non-carbonated soft drinks

Besides cola and sodas, these include

  • mixed drinks containing fruit juice or teas and mineral water (such as sparkling apple juice)
  • sports drinks
  • so-called energy drinks
  • tea and coffee drinks intended for consumption as cold drinks
  • bitter drinks and other carbonated and non-carbonated drinks.

Alcoholic mixed drinks (especially so-called alcopops) Drinks

  • produced using
    • products which are subject to spirits tax under section 130 (1) of the Federal Spirits
      Monopoly Act or
    • fermentation alcohol made from beer, wine or wine-like products, including in
      processed form, which has been processed using technology which no longer meets
      the requirements for good manufacturing practice and containing less than 15 percent
      alcohol or
  • – containing less than 50 percent wine or wine-like products, including in processed form.

Which sorts of one-way drinks packaging require deposit?

One-way drinks packaging that is not categorised as ecologically advantageous packaging pursuant to section 3 (4) of the Packaging Ordinance is generally subject to the deposit.

Which one-way drinks packaging don’t I have to pay a deposit on?

Irrespective of the content, no deposit is charged on one-way drinks packaging that is recognised as ecologically advantageous within the meaning of section 3 (4) of the Packaging Ordinance.

These are

  • drinks carton packaging (brick packs, gable-top cartons, cylindrical packaging)
  • drinks packaging in the form of polyethylene bags
  • stand-up bags.

Also, there is a transitional period lasting until 31 December 2012 in which there is no compulsory deposit for one-way drinks packaging made of biodegradable plastics containing at least 75 percent renewable raw materials if the producer or distributor participates in a dual system.

There is also no deposit on one-way drinks packaging with a volume of under 0.1 litres or over 3.0 litres.

Furthermore, no deposit is charged on one-way drinks packaging not listed in section 89 (2) of the Packaging Ordinance (cf. A1) or on packaging expressly exempt from the compulsory deposit. These are in particular:

  • fruit juices, fruit nectars, vegetable juices and vegetable nectars
  • milk or other drinks with a milk base (drinks with a minimum of 50 per cent milk or other milk derived products).
  • dietetic drinks within the meaning of section 1 (1) of the Ordinance on Dietetic Foodstuffs that
    are exclusively intended for infants and young children
  • wine, sparkling wine and spirits.

The categorisation of these drinks groups is based on food law provisions. For drinks that fall into the category of soft drinks, one-way packaging of certain dietetic drinks is not subject to the compulsory deposit.

Why wasn’t there a deposit on one-way drinks packaging made of bio-degradable plastics
containing at least 75 percent renewable raw materials before 2013?

In the transitional period lasting until 31 December 2012, there was no compulsory deposit to promote plastic drinks packaging that are biodegradable and contain at least 75 percent renewable raw materials. This special regulation did not prove effective. It was not extended. Since 2013 the general rules also apply to these packages.

Why isn’t there a deposit on one-way drinks packaging with a volume of under 0.1 litres or
over 3.0 litres?

There is no deposit on one-way drinks packaging with a volume of under 0.1 litres or over 3.0 litres, because no alternative reusables system exists. Containers that size are not suitable for return in standard commercial reverse vending machines. The economic cost of constructing a return system for these container sizes in not justified by the environmental benefits (cf. BR-Drs 919/04).

Why isn’t there a deposit on one-way packaging for juice, milk, wine or spirits?

In general, the deposit is due on all one-way drinks packaging with a volume of 0.1 litres to 3.0 litres, which are not classified as ecologically beneficial. The compulsory deposit is, however, limited to those kinds of drinks for which the environmental benefit justifies the economic cost and construction of a return and deposit system. The high costs of a return and deposit system is only justified when the market volume is high enough to make the establishment of an efficient and comprehensive system or the participation in one possible. This is true for the kinds of drinks listed in section 9 (2) of the Packaging Ordinance, i.e. beer, mineral water, soft drinks and mixed alcoholic drinks, which together hold the lion’s share of the drinks market. In contrast, market sectors such as milk, wine, spirits, and fruit and vegetable juices have particular features that would lead to an imbalance between the environmental benefit and the cost of establishing a return and deposit system. For this reason, compulsory deposits are only justified for the drinks segments listed first.

Why isn’t there a deposit on one-way packaging for certain dietetic drinks?

Deposits are also compulsory for dietetic drinks. Only dietetic drinks that are exclusively intended for infants and young children are exempt from the deposit. The reason for this exception is concern for the special nutritional requirements of this category of persons.

How much is the deposit?

There is a standard deposit of 25 cent on all one-way drinks packaging subject to the compulsory deposit.

What is the procedure for dealing with imported drinks?

Imported one-way drinks packaging is subject to the compulsory deposit to the same degree
as drinks packaging filled in Germany. In other words, the distributors must charge a deposit,
take back and recycle packaging.

Is the export of one-way drinks packaging exempt from the compulsory deposit?

Export goods are exempt from the deposit. Export goods are drinks packaging sold to final consumers outside of Germany. In contrast, drinks in one-way packaging sold to end consumers within Germany are subject to a deposit, even if they are taken abroad directly after purchase.

Is a deposit charged for so-called gift cans and promotional cans?

Yes. The Packaging Ordinance does not differentiate between commercial, promotional and gift cans.

What is important when purchasing and selling?

What should consumers take into consideration when purchasing drinks?

Choose drinks in environmentally friendly packaging, i.e. reusable bottles or ecologically
advantageous one-way packaging (e.g. drinks carton packaging). Also bear in mind that
fewer transports mean less traffic and thus less environmental pollution.

Does the compulsory deposit make drinks cans and one-way bottles more expensive?

The deposit for one-way packaging is higher than the standard deposit on reusable packaging. For example, a 25-cent deposit is charged on a can of beer, whereas a reusable bottle of beer continues to have an 8-cent deposit. This is also similar for mineral water in one-litre bottles: the one-way deposit is 25 cent, the deposit for a reusable bottle only 15 cent.

Before the introduction of the compulsory deposit, consumers had the impression that drinks in reusable bottles were much more expensive – due to the deposit – than drinks in one-way packaging. This discrimination between one-way and reusable packaging has now been eliminated by the introduction of the compulsory deposit – an incentive to switch to reusables. As the deposit is reimbursed once the consumer returns the packaging, cans and one-way bottles are barely more expensive.

Who is the first in the supply chain obliged to charge a deposit?

The deposit has to be charged at all stages of distribution, from the fillers or importers as the first distributors, wholesalers and intermediate traders to the end distributor.

What happens when a retailer does not levy a deposit on one-way drink packaging that is subject to a deposit?

Retailer who do not charge a deposit are breaking the law and can be fined. The authorities
responsible for enforcing the Packaging Ordinance in the Länder are monitoring whether retailers are fulfilling their obligations.

Is value-added tax charged on the deposit?

According to section 9 of the Packaging Ordinance, the deposit totals 25 cent including turnover
tax. Since the deposit is returned in full to the consumers, they are not in fact paying any VAT.

Return and deposit reimbursement at the retail store

Where can I return one-way drinks packaging for which a deposit has been paid and claim back the deposit?

Since 1 May 2006 empty one-way bottles and that cans have been subject to a deposit can be returned to all outlets selling drinks in one-way packaging subject to a deposit. The only differentiation is according to the material, i.e. plastic, glass or metal. In other words, a retailer selling plastic and glass one-way drinks packaging subject to a deposit is obliged to take back plastic and glass packaging irrespective of where this packaging was purchased. The deposit must be reimbursed when this packaging is taken back. If a retailer does not sell drinks in cans, it is not obliged to take back cans. Shops with a small sales area (below 200 m²) can continue to restrict the taking-back of one-way packaging to the brands they stock.

Furthermore, consumers can clearly not request reimbursement of deposit if they cannot show one of the proofs of deposit. Deposit reimbursement can obviously not be demanded for drinks packaging bought before the entry into force of the compulsory deposit or bought in countries where no deposit is charged.

You can recognise one-way drinks packaging for which a deposit has been paid from the uniform nationwide DPG symbol (DPG = Deutsche Pfandsystem GmbH):

Can retailers refuse to take back packaging?

Since 1 May 2006 they have been obliged to take back all one-way drinks packaging subject to a
deposit of the type of packaging material they stock. Only shops with a small sales area (below 200 m²) can restrict the return of packaging to the brands they sell. Retailers who refuse to fulfil this requirement and do not return deposits are breaking the law and can be fined. The Länder are responsible for the enforcement of the Packaging Ordinance. Offences can be reported to the local enforcement authorities. The highest level waste authority, i.e. the environment ministries of the Länder or the senate departments for the environment can provide information as to the authority responsible.

What can I do with damaged cans and one-way bottles?

Retailers are also obliged to take back damaged one-way drinks packaging and to reimburse the deposit, manually if necessary. The deposit symbol must still be visible on the packaging, i.e. in must be clear that it is one-way packaging for which a deposit has been paid.

What about packaging sold from vending machines? Where can I return that?

Cans and one-way bottles with deposit sold from vending machines can be returned for the deposit wherever drinks in one-way packaging made of the same material are sold. In general, the owner of the vending machine must ensure that a return and refund facility is available in the vicinity of the machine. At a company site with several vending machines, it would be worth considering setting up a central return point or a reverse vending machine.

Where can I return reusable drinks packaging for which a deposit has been paid and claim back the deposit?

Whereas the Packaging Ordinance sets out requirements for deposits and returns of one-way drinks packaging, it does not include public law provisions on reusable packaging for the compulsory deposits or the obligation to take back packaging. It is in the best interest of the fillers themselves to see reusable drinks packaging returned. The respective fillers and distributors can therefore set the deposit for reusables as they see fit. The deposit agreement for reusable drinks packaging is a matter of civil law. The modalities of collecting and refunding are thus determined by the agreement between buyer and seller. This gives all parties more flexibility. Problems with deposit reimbursement in the reusables sector are thus a civil matter. Advice and assistance can be sought from your consumer advice centre.

More information is available from Arbeitskreis Mehrweg GbR (
Organisations from the field of environmental protection and nature conservation as well as German drinks trade associations are members of the Arbeitskreis Mehrweg.

In general you can recognize reusables by the reusable sign or by the “Blue Angel” eco-label:


or by German words on the label indicating that it is reusable, such as „Mehrweg“, „Mehrwegflasche“ „Mehrweg-Pfandflasche“ or by the raised lettering „Leihflasche“ on the bottle itself.

Management of returned one-way packaging

Who deals with returned one-way drinks packaging? Retailers, wholesalers or fillers?

In general, retailers who have taken back one-way drinks packaging in line with their obligation can give the packaging back to their suppliers, and the suppliers can in turn can pass it back along the distribution chain, right back to the fillers. They are all subject to the recovery obligation laid down in the Packaging Ordinance.

Those under obligation can, however, agree that all packaging collected by a retailer can be recovered directly. Such services are offered by many competing companies.

Who recovers one-way drinks packaging? How can I find a recovery enterprise?

Waste management enterprises take care of the recovery, which also deal with recycling other cans, glass, plastics and cardboard packaging. Information on the enterprises offering these services can be obtained from the Chambers of Commerce and Industry. They can also be found in local directories or via waste management associations.

Nationwide deposit/return system

What purpose does a nationwide deposit/return system have?

Fillers and distributors are responsible for taking back one-way packaging, the reimbursement of the deposit, the balancing out of the total of reimbursed deposits amongst themselves and the management of returned packaging. With the legal changes in mind, retailers and the drinks industry established a nationwide uniform return system, the Deutschen Pfandsystem GmbH (DPG), on 1 May2006.

How does the nationwide return system of 1 May 2006 for one-way drinks packaging for which a deposit has been paid work and deposit reimbursement work?

Since 1 May 2006 distributors of one-way drinks packaging subject to a deposit are obliged to take back all one-way drinks packaging of the material types they sell (e.g. plastic, glass, metal) and to reimburse the deposit. Only shops with a small sales area (below 200 m²) can restrict the return of one-way drinks packaging to the brands they sell.

Since 1 May 2006 all drinks cans and one-way bottles have been labelled with a uniform logo in the DPG system. A machine readable bar code and security ID are also printed on the packaging. With this labelling, when the one-way drinks packaging is returned it can be determined whether a deposit was paid at the time of sale. Of course, for empty packaging for which no deposit was paid, no reimbursement can be claimed.

What about individual solutions?

The so-called individual solutions have not been allowed since 1 May 2006. For distributors of
drinks from fillers who had opted for an individual form of packaging and were allowed to limit
returns to these drinks packages until 30 April 2006, the possibility of limiting returns has thus

What is clearing for?

A clearing house serves to balance out deposit surpluses/deficits between distributors. There are drinks retailers (highway petrol stations, for example) that sell more drinks packaging that is subject to deposit (and thus charge a deposit), than they take back empty drinking packaging. Other retailers take back more packaging than they sell and must reimburse more deposits than they have charged. Clearing balances the deposit amounts among distributors.

Is it true that the European Commission considers the compulsory deposit to be a violation of European law?

No. The European Commission did not criticise the compulsory deposit as such; it saw problems with the transitional solution up to the end of September 2003. The Commission considers these problems solved because since a nationwide return system was established on 1 May 2006, the consumer can return empty packaging not only to where it was purchased, but also to all outlets stocking the same kind of drink and because foreign drinks manufacturers are also free to participate in this system. The European Commission thus halted infringement proceedings.

Background of the Packaging Ordinance

Why was the compulsory deposit introduced on 1 January 2003?

The Packaging Ordinance, created in 1991 and amended in 1998, prescribed a compulsory deposit if the share of reusables falls below 72 percent. This happened for the first time in 1997, and the trend continued in subsequent years. To protect ecologically advantageous reusable drinks packaging, the compulsory deposit entered into force pursuant to the applicable provisions six months after the renewed publication of the data on the quota of reusables on 1 January 2003.

Why did the compulsory deposit first apply only to beer, mineral water and sodas but not to
iced tea?

Until the Third Ordinance Amending the Packaging Ordinance entered into force on 28 May 2005, the Packaging Ordinance provided for a two-stage procedure with regard to triggering the
compulsory deposit. According to this, the deposit had to be introduced if the share of reusable
drinks packaging fell below 72 percent nationwide. This was, however, only applicable to those drink sectors in which the share of reusable bottles lies below the 1991 share. The drink sectors affected were beer, mineral water and carbonated soft drinks.

Since then all drinks in one-way packaging have been subject to deposit in principle, to the extent that they are not in ecologically advantageous drinks packaging within the meaning of the Packaging Ordinance. The extension of the compulsory deposit to drinks such as non-carbonated soft drinks and alcoholic mixed drinks, especially the so-called alcopops as set out in the Third Ordinance Amending the Packaging Ordinance entered into force on 1 May 2006.

Fruit juices and fruit nectars, vegetable juices and vegetable nectars, milk or other drinks with a milk base, dietetic drinks with the exception of those used for intensive muscle-building, wines, sparkling wines and spirits are exempt from the deposit.

What changes were made by the Third Ordinance Amending the Packaging Ordinance?

With the Third Ordinance Amending the Packaging Ordinance of 24 May 2005 the German government successfully concluded its efforts, ongoing since 2001, to simplify the existing compulsory one-way deposit provisions. This Amending Ordinance also took due account of the concerns on the part of the EU Commission and the European Court of Justice regarding the compatibility of the one- way deposit provisions with EU law.

In principle, all non-ecologically advantageous one-way drinks packaging with a volume of 0.1 litres to 3.0 litres have been subject to a deposit since then. The compulsory deposit has been extended to include non-carbonated soft drinks and alcoholic mixed drinks (especially so-called alcopops). It is no longer related to reaching a quota. There is a standard charge of 25 cent.

Juices, milk, wine, spirits and ecologically advantageous one-way drinks packaging such as drink
cartons, polyethylene tubular bags and stand-up bags are not subject to a deposit.

The so-called “individual solutions” which allowed distributors and fillers to limit take-back to individual packaging they put into circulation, ended on 1 May 2006. Since then, empty one-way bottles and cans can be returned to all outlets selling one-way packaging. The only differentiation is according to the material, i.e. plastic, glass or metal.

Why aren’t drinks cans and one-way bottles just banned?

European law rules out a ban on cans and other one-way drinks packaging because such a ban
would be interference in the internal market. By introducing the one-way deposit, the German
government has chosen an economically viable, consumer-friendly instrument that is compatible with European law.

How does the compulsory deposit benefit the environment?

The share of one-way drinks packaging had constantly increased in the years before the introduction of the compulsory deposit. The market share of canned beer, for example, had doubled in the decade before the entry into force of the compulsory deposit (to 24 percent). This is worrying in ecological terms, because one-way packaging generates much more waste than the reusable alternatives, consumes more energy during the manufacturing and disposal processes and contributes more to the greenhouse effect. The aim of the deposit is to counteract these detrimental environmental impacts and to strengthen the more ecologically advantageous reusable systems.

The deposit also leads to an unmixed collection and thus to better recovery of valuable raw
materials. And finally, the compulsory deposit is an important step towards turning people away from their “throwaway” mentality. It puts an end to the littering of the landscape, streets and public places.

Are reusable drinks packaging and ecologically advantageous one-way packaging really more
environmentally sound?

Reusable bottles, whether glass or plastic, have clear environmental benefits over drinks cans and one-way bottles (reusable bottles, for example, can be refilled up to 40 times). This is the outcome of the second study by the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) on the life-cycle analysis of drinks packaging.

Such studies have also revealed that some kinds of one-way drinks packaging have a less detrimental impact on the environment during their life cycle than other one-way drinks packaging. They have thus been classified as ecologically advantageous.

A life-cycle analysis looks at the entire life cycle of drinks packaging – from the extraction of raw
materials, manufacture and transport to disposal. More information on this study can be found at

Does the compulsory deposit create jobs, or will jobs be lost as a result?

In the years before the introduction of the compulsory deposit a crowding-out of reusable systems was observed, resulting in a threat to many jobs, particularly in small and medium-sized enterprises in the retail sector and the filling industry. The compulsory deposit is playing a role in keeping these jobs in the reuseables sector by stabilising reusable systems. Furthermore, the deposit is also creating jobs among manufacturers of deposit-return machines and in logistic enterprises.

Are there similar deposit systems in other countries?

A deposit has been charged on cans in Sweden since 1984 and on one-way plastic bottles since 1994. Denmark introduced a one-way deposit in October 2003, following criticism by the European Commission of the previous regulation that provided for a complete ban on certain packaging (in particular drinks cans).

Some states in the US charge a deposit on cans and one-way plastic bottles; in most cases this has been in effect for over 20 years.

Source document:

Personalised Plates Queensland (PPQ) – Idiocracy in upgrading personalised plates to European plates

Changing over a standard personalised plate to a Euro plate sounds pretty straightforward, five minutes on the PPQ website and it’s all done right? Nope.

What is the difference between these two plates as far as readability goes? Nothing so why can’t you directly upgrade from one to the other?







For some reason the Department of Transport has declared that you cannot upgrade your standard personalised plate directly to a Euro plate as it’s a different class and you have to remove your personalised plates from your vehicle and fit temporary ones whilst waiting for the new plates to arrive. All other plate upgrades with the same combination of letters and numbers can take place whilst your plates are on the vehicle so why not the Euro plate upgrade?

The best part is that they won’t tell you this until you’ve wasted half a day chasing it up! You get an obscure error on the website, online chat tells you it’s a security measure and you need to call to make payment at which time they will try and sell you a new personalised European plate!

The Story

This is where this story starts, I hope this helps someone else out as PPQ are too inept to place this information on their website and the Department of Transport are too stupid to realise that their requirements make no sense but who will actually stand up and fix the problem? No-one but we’ll stuff around people and waste a heap of their time for no reason other than we can.

My wife’s personalised plates had deteriorated thanks to poor manufacturing but were outside the warranty period of seven years so upgrading them to Euro plates was on the cards.

So the journey starts on the PPQ website, even if you’re logged in and all your information is in your account you have to re-enter it all again as you go through the process but OK it’s a government site* and it’s to be expected. Get to the end, press the payment button to take you to the payment screen and it flashes up success but quickly it goes to an error.





*PPQ is actually a pretend government site and is run by a third party.
Registered trade mark of Publicis Red Lion Pty Ltd trading as Publicis Personalised Plates and Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads, the operators of Personalised Plates Queensland.

The error is generic and so I go back and check everything and I do this seven times trying different combinations of details (I was ordering these for my wife’s vehicle) and checking all the details were correct.

Online chat is available so I jump onto there and I’m the only person in the queue but I have to wait seven minutes?!?! And wait seven minutes I did!








This is a copy of the chat  (spelling errors corrected and names removed)

PPQ Wed, 03/14/18 11:25:05 am Australia/Queensland
Hello and welcome to PPQ.COM.AU. How may I assist you?

Me 11:26:25 am
Hi, trying to order plate upgrade and keep getting error at the payment step of Specified plate detail must be valid

PPQ 11:31:14 am
i can see your upgrade in our system, to continue the order you will need to call us on 136 356

Me 11:31:28 am

PPQ 11:31:57 am
once an order has come through our system due to an error with the order on your side, the only way to complete the payment is by calling us

Me 11:33:10 am
Couldn’t you spend some of the $215 for a plate upgrade on a decent system that works? Can you delete the order and I’ll replace the order when I get time.

PPQ 11:33:58 am
whilst i appreciate the feedback, i am unable to delete the order without over the phone confirmation of identity. if you wish to continue an upgrade you will need to call us, the process is quick and shouldnt take longer than 5 minutes

Me 11:36:17 am
Forget it, that makes no sense and is totally illogical. On another note why don’t you offer other payment options? The only option is payment by credit card and you charge a surcharge on that payment option.

PPQ 11:38:17 am
we are only trying to protect your security of your plates, this is why we have these protective measures in place. otherwise it would be very easy for someone to fake your identity, order the plates and then complete illegal actions with your number plate.

all of our payments are sent directly to the department of transport and this is the payment method they provide us with

Me 11:40:17 am
I’ve put all my details in including my home address for delivery. Why would anyone order a different design of plates to be sent to their address using a credit card when you could just remove them from a car in 60 seconds? Makes no sense at all.

PPQ 11:41:21 am
We provide these security measures for you safety, to protect any possible way that people could enact fraudulent activity. We are only doing this for your safety, not to provide you with inconvenience

Me 11:43:50 am
So why don’t you say that with the error message instead of making me go back into my order and going through it all again and trying again to be told there is an error in what I’ve done? This makes no sense at all and is just crap. So much for being able to order plate upgrades as a gift if your system doesn’t allow it with all the correct details entered.
Department of Transport offers BPAY with no surcharge, you offer no options without a surcharge. Why do you think that consumer laws don’t apply to you? The price you advertise is not the price you pay so I’ll be putting a complaint into the ACCC.
11:45:11 am
Anyway thanks for wasting my morning.

Chat Terminated.

A complaint is filed with the ACCC at 12:09 over the issues with the surcharge and the advertised price being unobtainable (Reference: accc-enquiry:154474) but I have no doubts that the ACCC will do nothing.

At 12:33 I send an enquiry via the PPQ website.

I’d like to know how many times REDESIGN plates have been ordered via your website which have subsequently been used for criminal activities (ie by someone who is not the plate holder).

A reply is received at 13:21

Hi Matthew McDonald

Thank you for your email enquiry

Unfortunately I am unable to provide this information as I would need more clarification into your inquiry.

Please be aware when purchasing via our website the path to purchase does require the customer to provide details that match the current registered owners details. This includes their drivers license number (CRN) as well as full name, address and current combination on the plates.

If you wish to discuss this further please do not hesitate to send me an email at [email protected]

Thank you and I look forward to speaking with you

To reply to this email, please click here. Please do not reply to this email directly from your email client as it is sent from an un-monitored email address.

Thank you
The PPQ Team

My wife calls PPQ at 16:25 to pay for the plates, she explains the situation and that the order is there but needs to be paid for, they go off and talk to someone else and come back to her with a $775 figure (this is for new Euro plates), that she has to go to the Department of Transport, get temporary plates fitted and the existing plates removed, wait two weeks, return to the Department of Transport and have the temporary plates removed, drive home with no plates on and fit the plates. My wife who only wanted to pay gave up at this stage (16:35).

16:39 and I call PPQ to try and make sense of this, I explain to her what has happened and she said that you cannot order an upgrade plate to Euro plates as the Department of Transport does not permit this as the plates are different classes (WTF?) so you have to visit the Department of Transport and remove your personalised plates, get temporary plates, order the plates (which you may or may not be able to do online), wait for the plates to arrive, go back to the Department of Transport, hand in the plates, drive home without plates and fit your personalised plates at home. On top of all the expense in time you also have to pay $27.50 for regular plates. I asked why? This makes no sense? Both plates have the same combination of letters and numbers on there so what difference does it make? The only response is that the Department of Transport has a different class allocated to the plate but you can remake your plate with the same combination to other designs without a problem. (And this is the problem with the system – this is beyond stupid but no-one will say anything or do anything to correct this).

The issue of the advice that I had been given on chat is raised but no apology is forthcoming and why is there no mention of this ANYWHERE on their website and apparently it’s because not enough people have this issue so they don’t mention it on the website! Maybe they all give up after the errors? However because of all the time that I’ve wasted she will forward this upwards to management for consideration of changes to the website. I asked why aren’t the Euro plates discounted to cover the additional costs and no answer is forthcoming.

At 16:48 I’d had enough so thanked them* and terminated the call.

*What else can you do? I didn’t feel like thanking them.

The Department of Transport and PPQ are inept organisations that only exist to extort money and time through the provision of terrible service and miles of red tape. There is no justification for not allowing an upgrade to a Euro plate without having to remove the existing plates and there is no defence for the failure of PPQ to communicate this. PPQ would not exist in the real world, it’s only through their extortionate prices for products that cost them tens of dollars that they are able to sustain themselves. There is no reason why PPQ has to exist as a private company outside of the Department of Transport, how much does it cost to run PPQ compared to running it internally? How much does this cost the purchasers of personalised plates? And why do we have to pay so much to replace a personalised plate when it’s failed outside the short 5 to 7 year warranty because of manufacturing defects, is it reasonable that the government profits to the tune of hundreds of dollars?

In Germany getting a European plate made costs you 20 euros which you can do at any of the many private businesses that create them generally located near the Kfz-Zulassungsstelle (Vehicle Registration) office and picking personalised combination of letters and numbers costs you 10 euros. Whereas in Queensland it’s $775. Just one example of how expensive it is to live in Australia.

If you are a business thinking of setting up in Queensland forget it, not only is the cost of running a business high but your staff will be constantly sidetracked trying to keep up with all the bureaucracy that goes about doing anything in this state. Ordering this number plate upgrade should have been a 20 minute process, it will now take (excluding the time to write this) a full business day in total to complete by the time I add in two trips to the Department of Transport with my wife’s car and reordering.

If this was my car at this point I would get plates made that meet all the technical requirements either in Australia or overseas and fit those to my car for a fraction of the price. There is no reason why we have to have plates made by the government apart from the government wanting to profit from the sale of new and replacement plates, the system works in Europe and the UK where you get the plates made yourself and they don’t have the problems we have with number plate theft.

Various countries in Europe are trialling new technology to replace number plates. One uses stickers that cannot be removed without tearing, can contain RFID and if you need to remove them from your car for some reason you can have a replacement set printed and another uses plates that shatter when they are removed along with RFID and you can read more about it here. Number plate theft is an issue in Australia so why haven’t our governments considered solving the problem by moving to a non removable plate?

Gift Voucher Scam

And watch out for their Gift Voucher Scam, they are only valid for 12 months. What a rort! Fair trading departments around Australia are always going on about voucher and gift card scams with limited 12 month life, no refunds and no replacement of stolen or lost vouchers yet here is the Department of Transport committing the same scam! Something is really wrong with this but will anything change? Nope.

  • What percentage of Gift Vouchers are not redeemed?
  • What is the value of the Gift Vouchers that are not redeemed each year?
  • What is the total value of Gift Vouchers sold each year?

Queensland Governments Buying Gift Card Guide

Queensland’s Attorney?General considers that the United
States of America and Canada have moved “in the right
direction” regarding gift card regulation, particularly by
banning, or significantly limiting, expiry dates and certain fees,
and by requiring strict disclosures of various terms and

Source: Queensland Parliamentary Library Research Brief

10. Gift Vouchers are valid for twelve (12) months from the date of purchase. Gift Vouchers that are not used within this period will be forfeited and any funds left on the Gift Voucher will not be refunded or credited to the person that purchased the Gift Voucher (or the Gift Voucher recipient).

13. In the event that a person wishes to purchase a personalised plate that does not use up the entire value of the Gift Voucher, the remainder of the Gift Voucher will be forfeited and will not be redeemable for cash (by the person who purchased the Gift Voucher or the Gift Voucher recipient).

Link: Terms and Conditions

ALDI Bauhn FAKE 4K WiFi Action Camera SCAM from ALDI Australia with paid FAKE media articles, reviews and news

Various articles in ads have caught my eye saying that ALDI have developed their own action camera that rivals the GoPro and similar cameras for a fraction of the price. Knowing that ALDI generally slap their logo on anything from China they can make money on I was intrigued especially knowing the number of fake 4K cameras that exist but surely a reputable German business like ALDI is not going to rip off it’s loyal customers? Read on and as usual the ACCC will do nothing despite the blatant false advertising, the paid articles in the media and no doubt a team of social media shills pushing this product online.

An ACCC report was made on the 22/01/2018 (accc-report:145871) and to date no response has been received.

Fake 4K cameras stretch the image from a smaller size to one that appears to be a real 4K images, they do this via interpolation which guesses what goes in between the real pixels which are now spread further apart. The image will appear to be a 4K image but will be poor quality. These cameras can sometimes offer a good HD image but why not get a decent camera from a manufacturer that doesn’t have to deceive you?

A real 4K camera will record video in 3840 x 2160 REAL pixels which is 8,294,400 pixels. A fake 4K camera will* record in 1920 x 1080 pixels which is 2,073,600 pixels (25% of 4K resolution) and will create the missing six million pixels using interpolation (essentially guessing what pixel would exist in between using various algorithms). You can always lower the resolution of photos and video after you have taken them so always use the highest quality setting possible but you cannot increase the resolution after the fact as the pixels don’t exist and that is exactly what these fake 4K cameras do.

*It can record in other higher resolutions but most of the time it is 1920 x 1080 also known as HD or 1080P.

The first article that caught my eye was this one.

Aldi launching waterproof GoPro rival camera for just $69.99
Daily Telegraph Link

Posted on January 18, 2018 by The Daily Telegraphy

SYDNEY’S loyal legion of Aldi fans love a bargain – and their latest post Australia Day offering is sure to fly out the door.

They’ve queued for super cheap rocking chairs, Dyson vacuum cleaners, ski gear and toy cars amid scenes of near hysteria.

But be warned. The latest Aldi special could prompt their biggest rush yet.

On Saturday January 27, as part of their daily special buys offering, ALDI will be launching a waterproof action camera to rival GoPro for a fraction of the price of most devices.

Their Bauhn high quality action camera retails for $69.99 and boasts an amazing array of features associated with more expensive models which normally sell for around $400.

The camera features 4K Ultra HD recording plus:

Image of actual webpage 22/01/2018

I quickly found four more articles from other “journalists” that were nothing but paid advertorials that intend to do nothing but mislead people. They all quote 4K Ultra HD Resolution with no asterisk and they all quote the exact same specifications line by line like it was copied from the ALDI script sheet. The only “journalist” to mention that this was interpolated but with no detail as to what this means was Gizmodo but a search of their website shows they promote ALDI products all the time.

Aldi launches crazy affordable GoPro rival with amazing features
Smooth Link

Posted on January 18, 2018 by Christina Calaleri

Definitely going to need to line up for this one

When Aldi just continues to make your dreams more attainable.

Cheaper veggies, cheaper chocolate, cheaper wine and now CHEAPER ACTION CAMERAS!

Yes, you read that correctly.

If you’re one of those people who like adventure but you know, not over the top in love with it and need something like a GoPro, you can settle for the $69.99 action camera for your own adventures.

On Saturday January 27 as part of their daily special buys offering, ALDI will be launching a Bauhn high quality action camera.

But before you think it’s going to be nothing like the GoPro, think again!

It has STACKS of features.

· 4K Ultra HD recording

Image of actual webpage 22/01/2018

Gold104.3 Link

Posted on January 18, 2018 by Olivia Mackinnon

On Saturday January 27 as part of their daily special buys offering, ALDI will be launching a Bauhn high quality action camera – for $69.99.

Here are just a few of the features:

· 4K Ultra HD recording

Image of actual webpage 22/01/2018

Heads up, bargain hunters: Aldi is about to launch a waterproof GoPro rival for $70
Techly Link 
(Techly claims to be Australia’s best youth and tech news! make of that whatever you want given this article)

Posted on January 18, 2018 by Andrew Miller

Cautious optimism best describes how we feel after hearing about the latest product Aldi is planning to launch.

The supermarket giant is taking on the action camera market with a $69.99 variant from Bauhn.

We’ll be honest: we’ve never heard of Bauhn, the price is suspiciously low and their slogan of “Effortless Technology” doesn’t fill us with confidence.

Nevertheless, it won’t set you back too much more than a slab of premium beer and could be just as fun. The product will launch on Saturday, January 27 as part of Aldi’s daily special buys.

Check out the features Bauhn’s bargain-bin beauty is boasting:

4K Ultra HD recording

Image of actual webpage 22/01/2018

ALDI Are Selling A $69 Action Camera. Nice.
Gizmodo Link

Posted on January 18, 2018 by James Swinbanks

With arguably the biggest player in the Action Camera market apparently struggling to keep itself afloat, we’re likely going to see a few more action cameras on the cheaper side around the traps, like this Bauhn Action Camera that’ll be going at ALDI for just $69.


As you might expect for something so cost-effective, it’s not going to light up the spec sheets. It is capable of interpolated 4K Ultra HD recording and includes a 2-inch TFT-LCD Display, an underwater housing that’s good for a depth of up to 30 metres and it’s battery life should give you around 90 minutes of recording time without Wi-Fi.

Image of actual webpage 22/01/2018

Fake 4K Advertisment

This is the ad on the ALDI website. All it says is 4K WiFi action camera with no other details aside from the $69.99 price tag.

4K WiFi Action Camera by itself sounds pretty good but there is no mention of other features like image stabilisation, frames per second, pixels etc. Googling finds a page with the details on the BAUHN website. BAUHN is a brand that ALDI use to rebadge many products from China to deceive people into thinking they are getting some quality German made product.

Image of actual webpage 22/01/2018

This BAUHN website lists all the details and has some photos of the camera that ALDI “developed”.

This page has a asterisk next to the 4K Ultra HD Recording* and this has the following further down the page “* 4K recording is interpolated, not native.”. This doesn’t change anything, this is not a 4K camera and Wednesday is not Saturday ALDI! Saturday the 27th of January is when you sell these!

Further down the page it mentions the image sensor in the specifications.

Image sensor: SONY 179, 8M pixel COMS (sic)

Picture resolution
16M (4608 x 3456 – FALSE
12M (4000 x 3000 – FALSE

Video resolution
4K (3840 x 2160 30fps) (Interpolated) – FALSE
4K (3840 x 2160 30fps) (Interpolated) – FALSE

It has the photo resolutions of 16MP and 12MP but the sensor is only a 8MP sensor with an effective number of pixels of 3280 × 2464! It’s not only the video resolutions that ALDI lied about but the photo resolutions as well!

Image of actual webpage 22/01/2018

Link to the manual is also on the BAUHN website.

Sony Specifications
The sensor is a IMX219 for mobile devices (smartphone or tablets) according to the manufacturer Sony (this is assuming that the sensor is actually a Sony) on their product page here and specification sheet here.

The IMX179 is a diagonal 5.7 mm (Type 1/3.2) CMOS active pixel type image sensor with a square pixel array and 8.08M effective pixels. This chip operates with three power supplies, analogue 2.7 V, digital 1.2 V, and IF 1.8 V, and has low power consumption. High sensitivity, low dark current, and no smear are achieved through the adoption of R,G, and B primary color pigment mosaic filters. This chip features an electronic shutter with variable charge-storage time.
In addition, this product is designed for use in cellular phone and tablet PC. When using this for another application,
Sony does not guarantee the quality and reliability of product. Therefore, don’t use this for applications other than cellular phone and tablet PC. Consult your Sony sales representative if you have any questions.


This photo shows the difference in size for various resolutions. Some Fake 4K cameras will have a sensor that can record at 1440P or 2.7K and whilst the quality of the interpolated image will be better it will still be poor when compared to a real 4K photo or video.

This camera isn’t worth purchasing, ALDI have lied about it’s basic functions and if you have purchased it return it to ALDI for a full refund and lodge a complaint with fair trading and the ACCC. You cannot buy a 4K camera for under $100 so steer clear of other cheap cameras. There are plenty of decent action cameras around for not much more but they will all be HD.

This camera is a rebadged fake version of the SJCAM and possibly the SJ5000X 4K model.

More information on fake 4K cameras can be found at Dashcamtalk here.

ALDI talk up their Corporate Responsibilities amongst other things but it seems this does not apply to the supply of their products. “Providing clear product information” – link.


Does Free for life mean Free for life? Not to SugarSync it doesn’t

One of my favourite online storage services SugarSync announced on the 10th of December 2013 that they were dropping all their free accounts and you had until the 8th of February 2014 to pay for the service or your account would be deleted along with any data attached to it. Their press release can be read here.

Why they made this decision is unclear but the way they handled this doesn’t sit well with me, I’ve been recommending SugarSync for many years and know of a lot of people using their free 5GB service and many more using their paid services. They could have taken the approach that companies like Google have taken with Google Apps (if you had a free account prior to the changes you get the account free forever) and grandfathered the old free users and I doubt that anyone would have had a problem with this.

As a paid user who had just exceeded the 100GB limit on my $9.99 a month plan I was faced with having to upgrade to the 250GB plan for $24.99 a month to obtain an additional 10GB. I contacted SugarSync in September 2013 who offered nothing except upgrade to the 250GB plan.

“I understand your concern. But currently, we don’t have any intermediate plan between the 100 GB and 250 GB. However, you can earn more storage using the SugarSync referral program.”

Interestingly they raised the option of encouraging friends to sign up the free plan as a way to increase my data allowance, surely they knew about the changes coming in a few months?

  • When you refer a friend who signs up for a 60 GB individual or larger plan, you and your friend each earn 10 GB of free storage, which you’ll both receive after the friend’s first billing cycle.
  • When you refer a friend who opens a 5 GB free account, you and your friend each earn 500 MB of free storage, up to a limit of 32 GB.
  • Note  If your friend opens a free account, then upgrades to a paid account, you’ll both receive just the 500 MB of bonus storage, not 10 GB.
  • You won’t receive bonus storage for referrals who did not use your unique referral URL to sign up.

My SugarSync account is now closed, a small part of this was unwillingness to offer anything between 100GB and 250GB and the other is their shutting down the free service after promising to keep this running forever. I like SugarSync but SpiderOak has come a long way since I last looked at it and it was a straightforward transition.

I’ve helped many of the people that I had referred to SugarSync to user alternative services like SpiderOak who offer their free 2GB plan for LIFE. If you would like to trial SpiderOak an additional 1GB for LIFE free use this referral link by clicking here (this also gives me an additional 1GB for LIFE for free).

SpiderOak offers other benefits including encrypting the data before it is uploaded, read below for an explanation as to why this is a benefit.

Your SpiderOak data is readable to you alone. Most online storage systems only encrypt your data during transmission, and do not encrypt the data while it is resting on their servers. This means that anyone with access to the servers your data is stored on (such as the company’s staff) could appropriate it. Or, even if your data is encrypted during storage, your password (or set of encryption keys) is often stored along with your data, thus making your data easily viewable by anyone with access to those servers.

SpiderOak’s encryption is comprehensive — even with physical access to the storage servers, SpiderOak staff cannot know even the names of your files and folders. On the server side, all that SpiderOak staff can see, are sequentially numbered containers of encrypted data. In this way, we are not capable of betraying our customers.

The secret that keeps your data accessible to you alone is your SpiderOak password, which is never transmitted to SpiderOak in its original form. This means you alone have responsibility for remembering your password or ‘Password Hint’ (which you can create to help you remember.) If the password is forgotten, there’s nothing anyone can do to make the encrypted data readable to you again.

When you first run the SpiderOak software on a computer, a series of strong encryption keys are generated. The keys are themselves encrypted with your password and stored (along with your backup data) on SpiderOak servers in their encrypted form.

To be most secure, encryption key generation needs to happen on a real computer — not in a web browser. However, it’s 2013 and people expect to signup for services on the web. We use some Javascript magic to make this convenient.

If Javascript is enabled in your browser when you fill out the SpiderOak user signup form, Javascript code running inside your browser on your computer will hash your password with the bcrypt algorithm before sending it to the SpiderOak servers. Then when you first run the SpiderOak backup software, it will prompt for your username and that same password to authenticate you into your account. The plain version of the password is never sent to SpiderOak.

If you mistrust Javascript for these purposes, you may disable it when signing up for a SpiderOak account. In that case the form will have no password fields at all. Instead of a password a temporary “activation code” will be automatically created for you, and you can use this activation code when you first run the SpiderOak software to authenticate into your account. The SpiderOak software will then prompt you to create a password.

In either case, when you run the SpiderOak software for the first time and authenticate into your SpiderOak account, strong encryption keys for your account will be automatically generated, encrypted with your password, and saved. No trace of your original password is stored. These are the necessary steps to create a true zero knowledge environment.

Click N Collect – why is such a simple concept so hard to implement?

Click N Collect (or Click & Collect and Click and Collect) is a fairly simple concept that in my experience has not been implemented well by any Australian retailer and it appears they have not bothered to put any thought into how the service will operate.

None of the Click N Collect services that I’ve used will permit you to order if the store has no stock (even though the store may actually have no stock like Harvey Norman and Masters) which isn’t logical unless the item is a clearance item so you often have to check multiple stores to find stock instead of using the closest.

Harvey Norman

Ordered two Logitech keyboards during a sale that started on Saturday the 24th of August at a few minutes after midnight, both keyboards showed as in stock. Order confirmation came through at 8:33 the same day showing both keyboards and a delayed order email at 9:40 saying that the second keyboard was on backorder.

On Thursday the 12th of September a ready for collection email was sent at 10:30am, it only included the details of the first keyboard but I assumed the other would be on the order. Included on the order are the store hours which showed trading for the store to be 9:00am to 9:00pm. I arrived at the store at a few minutes after 8:00pm and they were closed, the sign on the door showed they closed at 8:00pm but they allowed me in to collect the keyboards after I explained the times on the email.

To collect I had to provide my drivers license which they photocopied and the pickup wasn’t as fast as it should be. Was told that a tax invoice would be sent to me electronically which it was before I left the store. On the stock situation I was told that there is no link between the online system and the stores and they have to process the online orders manually when staff arrive in the mornings.

I discovered the main keyboard was actually an ex demo or similar with dust etc on it and missing some packaging but they ordered in a new one and swapped it over without any problems. A Click N Collect order for another item on the 21st of October displayed the same hours with the incorrect Thursday times so clearly no-one has bothered to fix that.


Sony camera ordered Saturday night from JB HiFi Mt Gravatt and as per their Click N Collect guidelines I should receive an email that it’s ready for pickup within two hours of the store opening. After ordering the camera I received a confirmation of order email (not a tax invoice).

At 1:30 on the Sunday no such email had been received and there was confusion when I rang as they said initially there was no stock and that it would be arriving shortly and they couldn’t see the order. After discussions with a manager I was told that they had a break in the night before and the cameras were stolen. I asked for the order to be transferred to another store with stock and picked one of the city locations. No confirmation email of the changed order was received but on Monday at 8:30 a ready for pickup email came through (also not a tax invoice).

When I collected the camera I was only given a slip to get me out the door and was told a Tax Invoice was emailed to me.

Email sent on the 16/11/2013 requesting a tax invoice and asking if they have plans to change their click n collect system to send a tax invoice when you collect it.


Placed an orderclick_n_collect_masters_01 for a welder and helmet combo that was showing as in stock and available on the 1st of September and immediately after the order was placed a Tax Invoice is emailed. A check of the stock shows this as still being available at the Tingalpa store on the 15th of September but a call to the store shows no stock and no ETA.

On the 8th of October confirmation that the welder was ready for collection was sent and the welder was collected on the 11th of October. Pickup was easy although the items were not waiting for collection at the Click N Collect counter and took a while to appear from the back.

No updated Tax Invoice has been supplied so I have a welder that has six weeks less warranty. This would be an easy change to the Masters system to send an order confirmation at time of order and send the tax invoice when you collect the goods.

Attempts at contacting Masters by email have been made more difficult by website issues and their removal of any way to contact them except via online chat (only during business hours) and phone (only during store opening hours). For a company that prides itself on customer service why make it difficult for customers to contact you?

edit: I used the online chat feature on their website to contact them, after a while they came back with an email address, I sent an email and a few days later received an updated tax invoice. They didn’t answer the questions I asked regarding invoices being sent out prior to collection instead of at the time of collection.

Early in 2014 I ordered some storage containers using a discount coupon that expired that day from the Springfield store which required purchase over $100 for a $25 discount, received an email saying they were ready for collection (the email only included three items but I didn’t think twice about this as it wasn’t unusual for others to only list a few of your items and not all of them).

Arrived to collect them after a 30 minute drive and they only had three items totalling $20 out of the $120 worth products that I ordered. I raised a few issues with them such as the stock showing as available at the time of order, the fact that they clearly didn’t pick the stock from the shelves in a reasonable time allowing it to be sold, that they didn’t communicate the other items being out of stock and my loss of the $25 discount. It took a while but I managed to negotiate a $15 gift card as part compensation but why is Click N Collect so hard?


Ordered some batteries for pickup on the 26th of August and was advised they were ready on the 27th. Process for collection was slow with the items being held out the back and the amount of checking including collection of credit card details and having to sign for collection was way over the top considering the order was only $18.00.

Dick Smiths (DSE)

I’ve used Dick Smiths Click & Collect service a few times for batteries and have found their website to be particularly unintuitive and whilst the stock has always been waiting it’s out the back and takes them time to find it.

Hewlett Packard, the environment and perhaps too much packaging?

Every major company is happy to promote itself as being green and Hewlett Packard is no exception.

Having worked in IT for a long time I’m used to wasteful packaging like a piece of A4 paper arriving in a box that could take two or three reams (IBM) or a piece of paper and out of date CD (HP Digital Sender License) arrive in a large box flown from somewhere in ASIA but it was the delivery of a management Ethernet port for a HP server that was really over the top.

And yes the box was strapped down using packing straps to the timber pallet which was flown from ASIA using an express courier.

Moving WordPress from shared hosting to a VPS – requests credentials for updates

I recently moved this wordpress installation from a reseller cpanel installation to a virtual private server (VPS) using a cpanel full backup and restoration. Everything went smoothly until I decided to update wordpress and was greeted with the following message.

To perform the requested action, WordPress needs to access your web server. Please enter your FTP credentials to proceed. If you do not remember your credentials, you should contact your web host.

The solution was to change the configuration of PHP and SuExec to have suphp act as the PHP 5 Handler instead of dso.

Confirmation that the setting has been changed.

Refreshing the upgrade page where the credential error occurred and within seconds the upgrade has been performed!



Australia Post’s Parcel Locker system in operation

The original lockers installed at the Brisbane GPO
The original lockers installed at the Brisbane GPO

Continued from The Packstation comes to Australia Post or does it?

The day the system went live I had a parcel arrive, both an SMS and email arrived at the same time. The SMS contained the Locker and Access Code along with the collection date, similar to the information in the email which was more verbose.

Subject: Parcel to collect for Matthew McDonald (C1099) Parcel ID n/a

Hello Matthew

You have a parcel awaiting collection at the Brisbane City Parcel Lockers.

Parcel ID n/a
Date/Time 17 October 2011 7:02 AM
Current Status Awaiting Collection at Brisbane City Parcel Lockers
Location 261 Queen Street
Brisbane City QLD 4000
Locker C1
Access code 172959
Access 24 hours per day, 7 days per week
Time to Collect 20 October 2011 7:02 AM

Important: You will need both the locker number and access code with you when collecting your parcel. If you cannot collect it within 2 working days the article will be removed from the Parcel Locker and placed at the over the counter parcel pick up area at the same site for collection between Monday to Friday 7:00AM to 6:00PM, Saturday 10:00AM to 1:30PM.

Kind regards,
Australia Post

For more information go to
Please note that this is an automatically generated email – replies will not be answered

Arrived at the post office as a few packages were being loaded, they use the same touch screen but go into a different menu that allows them to scan or manually enter the packages, they entered the locker number (customer number), chose a locker to put the parcel into, that lockers button illuminated and pops open, the parcel is inserted and the button pressed to lock the locker.

There was a guy helping the Australia Post employee load the parcels (I assume from the locker supplier) and he congratulated me for being the first to use the lockers.

You enter the locker number and access code, the locker pops open and the area around the button on the locker illuminates. After you remove the package you close the locker but you have to press the button or the locker does not lock and you don’t receive the notification that your parcel was picked up, I assume there is a timeout as the screen was still displaying my pickup until that button was pressed. The guy mentioned that they will need to put some signage up to let you know that you have to press the button in.

After collection you receive an email and an SMS

Subject: Parcel collected for Matthew McDonald (C1) Parcel ID n/a

Hello Matthew

Thank you for collecting your parcel from the Brisbane City Parcel Lockers.

ParcelID n/a
Date/Time 17 October 2011 9:12 AM
Current Status Collected from Brisbane City Parcel Lockers

We hope you are enjoying the convenience of using an Australia Post Parcel locker.

Kind regards,
Australia Post

For more information go to
Please note that this is an automatically generated email – replies will not be answered

My second parcel arrived on Monday the 24th of October however I didn’t receive an email and SMS to advise me but a phone call saying the touchscreen was broken and the system was unavailable. My options were pickup from the registered mail counter or wait for the system to be fixed. If they do keep the system they will want to make sure there is at least one other touch screen available so the system can keep working.

There have been a number of malfunctions with the system that I heard about from Australia Post staffers including

  • Six touchscreens in the country but only two working at one stage.
  • A customer putting his code in to open his locker had all the lockers open.

In February a marketing company contacted me to complete a survey which I did, I found at least some of the questions to be poorly worded and with insufficient options (for example they didn’t take into account that GPO Box holders would want to use this service).

Apart from that there has been zero contact from Australia Post regarding if the box numbers we have been assigned are still continuing.

According to the Australia Post website the locker trial is still running, the Parcel Locker Terms & Condition state that it’s a 3 month trial which can be extended or cancelled at any time.

The Service is being conducted by Us as a trial. It is intended to run for three (3) months but We may decide to change this time period or end the trial at any time. We will advise you by email and SMS when the trial is over. During the trial, the Service will be free for you to use.

However another page on their website now says this is a 12 month extended trial.

Find out how a Parcel Locker can make your life easier by giving it a try – and right now it’s free when you join our extended trial.

  • We intend to run the free trial for 12 months. When you register, you agree that we can ask you what you think of the service. Of course you don’t have to respond to our survey, but we are interested in hearing your views.
  • We will advise you by email and SMS when the trial is over.

Rumour around the post office is that the trial has been a bit of a failure and Australia Post can’t work out how to charge for the service but are committed to it now. This would explain why the trial has been extended for another 12 months.

Changes to Delivery
January 2013

Email received 27th of November 2012

As you may be aware, Australia Post is adding more 24 / 7 Parcel Locker locations across Australia following the success of its recent trial. We are now in the process of establishing an extensive network of Parcel Lockers at 250 locations nation-wide over the next two years.


From 1 January 2013, only parcels which are sent using Australia Post or its subsidiary, StarTrack will be delivered into our Parcel Lockers. Carriers who choose not to use Australia Post or StarTrack to send parcels into our Parcel Lockers have been advised to contact the sender or customer to organise an alternative delivery address.


For information about what happens when a parcel addressed to a Parcel Locker is sent using another carrier, please see the FAQ Can carriers other than Australia Post deliver parcels to the 24/7 Parcel Lockers?.


Where possible, we advise you to check online which shipping provider or carrier is delivering your goods, to ensure your parcel can be delivered to your Parcel Locker address.


The terms and conditions of the Parcel Locker service have been updated to reflect the processes applicable to Parcel Lockers. To read the updated terms and conditions, please click here.


We trust you will continue to enjoy the convenience of using Australia Post’s Parcel Lockers as we add more locations around Australia in the coming months.


Similar setup to the Brisbane GPO
Similar setup to the Brisbane GPO

Replacement Lockers
March 2013

In May 2012 the original supplier of the Parcel Lockers was informed they had not won the tender to supply Australia Post. Pitney Bowes was the lead on the project along with TZ Ltd indicated that it was pricing and failure to integrate the system into the Australia Post network that caused them to lose the contract. More information is here.

Neopost ID is supplying the new lockers for Australia Post with 48 by the end of the 2012 and 250 by the end of 2013 (I assume they mean locations?) at a cost of around 11 million Australian dollars over a unspecified multi year period.

Email dated the 27th of February 2013

Hello Matthew,


We will be upgrading the Brisbane GPO Parcel Lockers, commencing 3:00PM on Friday 1st March 2013. The upgrade is expected to be completed within 48 hours.


This is part of our plans to add more Parcel Lockers across Australia over the next two years and this includes replacing trial lockers with new ones. After the upgrade, you will receive new instructions on how to collect at the new lockers whenever a parcel arrives for you.


If a parcel for you is in a locker when we commence the upgrade, or if a parcel arrives for you while the service is unavailable, you may collect these parcels over the counter at the Brisbane GPO, open Mon – Fri: 7:00AM – 6:00PM, Sat: 10:00AM – 1.30PM. Alternatively, we will load your parcels into the lockers once the upgrade is complete; new Access codes will be advised.


We trust you will continue to enjoy the convenience of using Australia Post’s Parcel Lockers as we add more lockers around Australia in the coming months.

Email dated the 6th of March 2013

Hello Matthew,


The upgrade of the Parcel Lockers at the Brisbane GPO Parcel Lockers has been completed. Thank you for your patience.


Please note that these lockers work differently to previous Parcel Lockers at this location. To collect a parcel from the Brisbane GPO Parcel Lockers, you will need to enter your Parcel Locker Customer ID C1 (which is unchanged) and a one-off access code.


Your Parcel Locker address is unchanged:

Matthew McDonald

Parcel Locker C1

261 Queen Street

Brisbane QLD 4000


To change your details or view any parcels in a locker awaiting collection, please sign in to your account.


Sign in

Please note for quality assurance and security, when your parcel arrives at your Parcel Locker address, we validate your name and Parcel Locker Customer ID. Once your details are confirmed we email and SMS you a one-off access code to open the locker. You will get a new access code each time you use the Parcel Locker service.


For more information about Australia Post Parcel Lockers including location maps and terms and conditions, please click here to visit the Australia Post Parcel Lockers page.


We hope you enjoy the convenience of using Australia Post Parcel Lockers.

Address Change and Software Change
March 2013

Email dated the 18th of March 2013

Dear Matthew


We are upgrading the software that supports our 24/7 Parcel Lockers in order to give you even more choice and control over when and where you receive your parcel.


The upgrade will allow you to register for multiple Parcel Locker locations. It will also allow you to access My Deliveries, our handy online tool, to track and manage all your parcel deliveries.


Following the upgrade scheduled for later this month, your Parcel Locker Customer ID will be replaced with a 10 digit Australia Post Customer Number and your Parcel Locker address will change accordingly.


If you are already a registered user of My Deliveries or have arranged a mail re-direction online, you will have an existing Australia Post Customer Number which will replace your Parcel Locker Customer ID.


You will receive an email with details of your Australia Post Customer Number and new Parcel Locker address after the upgrade. From this time, please use your new Parcel Locker address when shopping online or arranging for a parcel to be delivered to you.


We are working to ensure that this transition is smooth and seamless.


Thank you for supporting our 24/7 Parcel Lockers. Should you have any queries or feedback regarding this information please contact [email protected]

Email dated the 23rd of March 2013

Dear Matthew


We have upgraded the software that supports our 24/7 Parcel Lockers. The upgrade allows you to register for multiple Parcel Locker locations and access My Deliveries, our handy online tool for tracking and managing your parcel deliveries.


You now have an Australia Post Customer Number, which replaces your Parcel Locker Customer ID. Your Parcel Locker address has also changed accordingly.


Please start using your new Parcel Locker address below for future parcel deliveries:


Matthew McDonald

Parcel Locker CN 10012 34567

261 Queen Street

Brisbane QLD 4000


When collecting your parcel, you will need to use your new Australia Post Customer Number

10012 34567 and follow these simple steps:


Enter the last 5 digits of your new Australia Post Customer Number (APCN)

Enter the one-off access code sent to you for that delivery.

Your APCN can also be entered by swiping the barcode below in front of the Parcel Locker scanner.

You can scan your barcode from your smartphone or a printed copy of this email.


Login to your new Australia Post account to view our online services;


Please login here


You will be required to provide a password the first time you login, for security reasons.

Please use the password reset functionality to set a password for your new account.


For more information on the upgrade, please click here.

Have further questions? Please contact [email protected]


We hope you continue to enjoy the convenience of using Australia Post Parcel Lockers.

The format of the email when you have a package to collect is

Hello Matthew McDonald,


You have a parcel to collect at the BRISBANE GPO PARCEL LOCKER.


Parcel Locker location: 261 QUEEN STREET


Access code:


Access: Click here for access and location details

Please collect by:09:48AM on Wed 06 Nov

Please follow the on screen prompts to collect your parcel:


Scan your Australia Post Customer Number or enter the last five digits of your Australia Post Customer Number. (Your Australia Post Customer Number was emailed to you as a barcode when you registered for the Parcel Locker service and is also the number you use when you address your parcels for delivery to your Parcel Locker).

Then scan the barcode or enter the access code above

If you do not collect your parcel by the time advised it will be moved from the Parcel Locker to the over-the-counter parcel pick up area at BRISBANE GPO POST SHOP.

April 2014

So far around 30 packages delivered with only a few occasions when I needed to pick up my parcel from inside the post office, one of these was an upgrade and the other was a failure. I have seen a number of irate people who have been unable to get their parcels out either due to a failure of the system or no-one trained on hand to assist them.

Since the change to the system in early 2013 you need to have two codes or barcodes, one is your customer number and the other the access code which means opening two emails if you want to type these in or scan them from your smartphone/printout.

The old system sent both your locker number (where your parcel is located) and a six digit access code. This wasn’t too bad except the locker number is in the format B7 so required you to enter the locker character first before pressing a few keys to bring up numeric and finally entering your access code.

I would prefer a single email that I need to scan to open the locker, maybe they could have a pin number you enter for ease of use.

The Packstation comes to Australia Post or does it?

I’ve long been interested in the DHL Packstation run by DHL Parcel Germany which provides automated booths for self service collection and dispatch of packages via Deutsche Post and express deliveries from DHL Express Germany. Currently there are nearly 3000 packstations throughout Germany and the DHL goal is that no-one will live more then 10 minutes from a packstation. The manufacturer of the Packstation is an Austrian Company KEBA.

DHL require registration to use the service which is free of charge for private and business, from 2011 you can no longer use the customer number and PIN to access the Packstation but need to use your Goldcard and PIN.

Customers can use any Packstation in Germany, the address format is

Name (Willhelm Schmidt)
Customer Number (85673543)
Packstation and Number (Packstation 111)
Postcode and Town (14109 Berlin)

Not only can you send and received packages from the Packstation businesses can also use them to store parts for service calls. For companies with more then 3000 employees DHL offer in-house Packstations for the use of employees.

Other countries with similar systems include

  • Austria with Osterreichische Post running a service called Post.24-Station. KEBA make the booths for them the same as for DHL Packstation.
  • Estonia with Smartpost running a service called Delivery Point Solution. There is a booth within15 minutes drive for everyone in Estonia. Their system was self developed.
  • Lativa with PostService running a service called Mana pasta stacija (My Post Station). Their system is self developed.

Australia Post recently announced they were going to be setting up and trialling their version of the Packstation which is manufactured by TZ Limited in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

Brisbane GPO, 261 Queen Street, Brisbane City, QLD 4000 (trial from Monday the 17th of October)
St Kilda Delivery Center, 170-174 Chapel St, St Kilda, Victoria 3182 (trial from Friday the 21st of October)
St Leonards Delivery Facility, 2 Herbert Street, St Leonards, NSW 2065 (trial from Wednesday the 19th of October)

56 lockers will be deployed at each location initially – a layout of the trial is available on the Australia Post website.

The Australia Post system will use a customised version of the TZ Courier software and the lockers have been custom designed for Australia Post. Each locker has a individual security code that is emailed to the recipient so couriers can drop off deliveries at the locker. At the three trial locations access will be 24/7 to a secure area. The photo above are the lockers being delivered today to the Brisbane GPO.

Unlike the DHL Packstation system the Australia Post system appears to be tied to a location (although the Customer ID may be usable Australia wide like the Packstation?), I registered for the three month free trial and received an address in the format;

Name (Matthew McDonald)
Locker number which is your Customer ID (Parcel locker C1xxx)
Address (261 Queen Street)
City State Postcode  (Brisbane City QLD 4000)

When a parcel arrives you will receive a SMS and email (The SMS can be set to only be sent between 8am and 10pm or 24/7) which contains the locker number and access code and you have 48 hours to collect the parcel.

You can receive any parcels delivered by Australia Post with the exception of

  • Letters and standard mail
  • Express Post letters
  • Parcels requiring ‘proof of identity’ or payment on delivery
  • Parcels containing wine or other alcohol
  • Parcels larger than our biggest locker, which is 375mm x 600mm x 650mm
  • Multi-parcel deliveries; we can only manage one parcel per locker

I’m not sure what they mean by proof of identity parcels, I assume this is where the person has to provide identification and not just a signature on delivery as the Trial information states (similar to the Packstation terms);

  • When you register, you agree that delivery of your parcel will not require a signature. Instead, your use of the one-off access code will prove your acceptance (and the delivery of) your parcel.

If you don’t collect within 48 hours or it’s too large you have to collect the parcel as per normal during business hours. More information is available here.

Australia Post offer the following additional services at this stage

Missed deliveries – these can be redirected to your Parcel Locker by using the details on the missed delivery card.

Is there going to be a cost after the three month trial? The Packstation has no charges for using it so I hope Australia Post go down the same path.

Will we start to see DHL Packstation type booths popping up around the country? Hopefully yes.

Continued in Australia Post’s Parcel Locker system in operation

Australia Post unveils ‘post office of the future’

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Australia Post is excited to announce plans for a ‘post office of the future’, an innovative store showcasing a range of new services to offer customers greater access, convenience and choice in the way they transact with Australia Post.

The store will offer a dedicated area for online shopping where online traders can fulfil their postage needs, a travel services zone and a private lounge where customers can complete more complex financial and identity services transactions.

In another first, the store will have a 24/7 zone for customers to pick up parcels, vending machines where customers can buy stamps and packaging products as well as weigh and send parcels at any time that suits them.

Managing Director and CEO, Ahmed Fahour, said that this was the first of many exciting changes to transform Australia Post into a more customer-focused organisation concentrating on eCommerce and trusted services.

“Our retail network is key to our strategy and a critical part in shaping the future of Australia Post – the community is changing and we are changing our stores to meet their needs,” said Mr Fahour.

“Our customers have told us they want more options in how they interact with us, so we will be providing them with greater access, convenience and choice in how they do business with Australia Post.”

The Brisbane GPO has been chosen as the first site for the new store, which was also the location of the first PostShop back in October 1989.

“The Brisbane GPO store will enable us to find out firsthand from customers about what services they use and like, which will help us develop future concept stores across the country,” said Executive General Manager Retail Services, Christine Corbett.

The new store will feature six dedicated zones:

  • Online shopping zone for online traders including an eBay corner to dispatch parcels, purchase a range of packaging products and shop online with a range of Australia Post eCommerce partners;
  • 24/7 zone with parcel lockers where customers can pick up their parcel at any time, a vending machine with packaging products and a self-service terminal where they can weigh, and post parcels as well as an ATM;
  • Financial and identity services section where customers can sit down and go through transactions with staff;
  • Travel services zone offering foreign exchange and a range of travel related services;
  • Self-service terminals to allow customers to quickly pay a bill or post a parcel within Australia; and
  • New spacious counters, divided into dedicated transaction types.

The concept store at Brisbane GPO is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Australia Post transforms its parcel service to meet online shopping boom

Monday, 10 October 2011

Australian online shoppers and sellers will be the big winners from the most significant changes to Australia Post’s parcel operations in its 200 year history.

Australia Post Managing Director and CEO Ahmed Fahour said Australia Post’s response to the internet shopping boom includes new delivery options such as the ability for customers to collect parcels from an initial 100 extended hours locations across Australia and access parcel lockers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with customers receiving email and SMS notifications when their parcel arrives.

“These new measures are additions to existing parcel services and come in response to a 10.9 per cent increase in parcel volumes over the last financial year – a figure which can be directly linked to Australians taking up online shopping in record numbers,” said Mr Fahour.

The new services providing customers with more flexibility and choice include:

Extended hours for parcel collection

The ability for customers to have their parcel delivered to a location of their choice from an initial 100 parcel pick up locations across Australia which offer extended hours with many open weekends.

New 24 hour access electronic parcel lockers will be trialled in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Customers can collect their items 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and will receive a SMS notification when their parcel is ready for collection.

New parcel lockers for Post Office Box holders in 24 locations nation-wide by the end of November with more to come.

Trial of new self-service machines for domestic parcels and Billpay at five initial retail outlets, with many more to be operating across the country by the end of the financial year.

Competitive pricing and home delivery service

Australia Post/eBay low cost satchels and boxes priced at a low flat rate to anywhere in Australia no matter how remote or far away.

A new international tracked parcel product called ‘Pack and Track international’ which is a significantly cheaper option. This product offers tracked delivery between the United States and Australia with more international destinations to be added in the future and is available online from today and in retail outlets early next year.

To the door carding requiring our drivers to leave a card under the door, rather than the letterbox, to ensure customers who are at home receive their delivery.

Supporting consumers and Australian retailers get online

  • 60 upgraded business hubs across Australia focusing on small to medium business activity, with the first to be opened in Mount Waverley (Victoria) in November, and 20 to be launched by the end of 2012.
  • Australia Post, in association with our partner Mailplus, is offering free Express Post product pick up for new customers during October and November this year.
  • An online label printing service, Click and Send, that makes it simple for customers to send parcels by allowing them to print labels, pay for postage online and organise courier pick up, all from the convenience of home or work.
  • Our flagship concept store opening in Brisbane in December, which will have a dedicated online shopping area, 24/7 parcel pick up zone and vending machines with stamps and packaging.
  • Helping Australian retailers with their online ordering and payments through our SecurePay business and our Shop In A Box product, which is available online shortly.

“We’re listening to our customers. Australians are receiving more parcels than ever and many of our customers are rarely at home during the day and find it increasingly hard to get to a post office,” said Mr Fahour.

“This is the biggest change Australia Post has ever made in our parcels business since it was set up many decades ago. It will allow us to introduce more services to complement those we continue to offer, such as home delivery and parcel collection at the post office.”

Richard Umbers, Executive General Manager Parcel Services said that while home delivery is still the best option for some people, for others it is more convenient to collect a parcel from a location of their choice which is open for longer hours.

“This year we trialled extended hours and drive-through parcel collection in Sydney and 90 per cent of residents surveyed who took part in the trial told us they wanted the service to continue.

“With our extensive delivery network and the largest retail network in the country, Australia Post is the natural partner for eCommerce in Australia with millions of parcels delivered annually on behalf of online sellers both domestically and internationally.”

These are the initial parcel pick up sites which will operate beyond normal business hours from early next year. Extended hours will be tailored to needs of the local community.




Altona North



Bakery Hill

Baulkham Hills






Bondi Beach




Brisbane City East


Frenchs Forest

Brisbane George Street




Caulfield South

Hunter Connection













Fortitude Valley





North Ryde

Kelvin Grove




Hoppers Crossing

Regents Park


Melbourne, Bourke Street*

St Leonards


Melbourne, Collins Street East

Strawberry Hills


Melbourne, Franklin Street*



Melbourne, Law Courts

Taren Point




Upper Mt Gravatt




Mt Waverley

Wetherill Park








Port Melbourne







Bibra Lake



Canning Vale

Ingle Farm

South Melbourne

East Perth

Kent Town






Melrose Park



Mount Gambier



North Adelaide



Port Lincoln



Regency Park





Osborne Park







Victoria Park

Eastern Shore




Western Shore

West Perth

* Initial parcel locker locations.

McGills Business and Technical Bookstore – Brisbane store closed

McGills last remaining bookstore has closed, McGills in Brisbane followed their Melbourne store which closed it’s doors on June the 5th 2009 after 149 years and now Brisbane closed it’s doors on Thursday the 7th of July 2011.

The Melbourne store closing was covered in the media

Read it and weep: old McGills closes its book

Melbourne newsagency McGills to shut

The Brisbane closing was without warning*, they packed up on Thursday after a period of initially a 20% off sale which was increased to a 30% off sale soon after. Their website only states that Weborders are no longer available.

*I suspected something was going on after the 20% off became a 30% off sale and decided to visit the store and use up my remaining membership reward dollars on discounted books, ended up paying only $8 for nearly $200 worth of books but it was an effort to find useful books. The girl that served me told me I had to use up all my points as they have to close my rewards account. Their website shows that Rewards are not longer available.

This leaves a large gap now in technical books in Australia, I don’t know of anywhere else that has the range of books that McGills kept so I guess I’ll buy ebooks or physical books from overseas. I’m surprised that McGills were not able to continue to operate as a webstore in particular for corporate clients, their website no longer allows weborders (their catalog returns a blank screen) and refers you to the Brisbane store.

And the Southbank Institute of Tafe store has been renamed from McGill SBIT to Campion Bookstore.

I’ve contacted Campion to ask if McGills is gone permanently or if they will be coming back as an online retailer and Campion has responded saying that “Unfortunately, Mcgills has ceased in all aspects including online.” so that’s it for McGills.

At least I have my Safari Books Online account to fall back to, perhaps this is the future of books and physical bookstores no longer have a place?