Bewildered Kiwis are being told they've signed for their own parcels on delivery, only to discover the courier drivers have taken the liberty of doing it themselves.

People expecting to sign for a package are finding the item already delivered, with the online tracking system showing it was signed for in their name, by the driver.

"Maybe they think it's not even a bad thing just to forge your signature. That is a really bad thing to do," said Kathy McLelland.

The Christchurch woman was expecting a delivery of chocolate, and discovered the box had been left at her front door. The tracking receipt said it was "signed for by Kathy", alongside a scribbled signature that was not her own.


McLelland was most concerned because she has a small dog that sometimes managed to get into the front yard, and could have gotten into the chocolate.

"I thought it was terrible because there's a reason why you're paying for a service that requires a signature.

"I think the service, the signing service, has, like, no value at all, because they were just signing it, so ... "

New Zealand Couriers, which delivered McLelland's parcel, have apologised for two incidents in which the driver signed on the recipient's behalf.

"We have investigated these two cases. In both cases the courier has breached our delivery policies," said spokesman Mark Troughear in a statement.

"In both cases the courier has left the goods as identified by the pictures, writing in the receiver's name and moving on to the next delivery.

"The software in the scanner requires a signature or some marking 'on glass' to enable the courier to close the job, and so to shortcut the process the courier in both these cases has written a name on the scanner.

"They obviously have no knowledge of what a receiver's signature looks like so are not attempting to copy or forge a signature, but have in these cases written the receiver's name.

"They advise this has happened after they have knocked on the door, received no response and made a decision to leave the goods."

Troughear said the correct process should have been to leave a card notifying the recipient they'd tried to drop off the parcel.

"NZC does not condone under any terms couriers leaving goods when a signature has been requested and secondly and most importantly, writing in the receiver's name.

"NZC has very clear operational procedures and where we find a courier has transgressed will in the first instance re-educate them on the company policies and if it happens again a more formal disciplinary path is followed.

"Ultimately repeated instances may mean a courier could lose their contract with NZC."

In another incident, Milford woman Peggy May spent a couple of days looking for her parcel after the online tracker told her it had been delivered and signed for by her. She eventually found the package in her letterbox, but was irritated someone had signed for it for her.

"I think it's wrong - what's the point of having the system if they don't bother [getting a signature]?"

May said Courier Post delivered the package.

An NZ Post spokesman said it always investigated thoroughly when a customer said a signature hadn't been obtained.

"We always regret and apologise for any items being delivered outside our service standards."

Paul Doocey from Consumer NZ said they had received complaints around packages that were 'signature required' deliveries.

"It comes down to the courier company actually engaging with them and taking it seriously."