Thursday, April 19, 2012

Seriously USPS?!?!?!

I know that the US Postal Service is not trying to drive me crazy.  I know they aren't trying to destroy my business.  But the thing is that about at least 25% of my business is overseas (mainly in Europe).  And about 75% of the more expensive items I ship are going overseas.  And somehow I just got a note from a second unhappy customer who is rightfully unhappy because they haven't received their shipment and it's been five weeks.

And I know what has happened.

Because it happened last month and caused me to send out a second package to replace the first when finally, after nearly two months, the initial package arrived, having apparently been sent "by sea" by the USPS.

Deep breath.

I did not use parcel post.  I did not pay for parcel post.  The other packages all get there in about a week.

But that UPS store down the street is looking more and more appealing being a) closer and b) I imagine less incompetent (I'm already annoyed about having to drive twenty minutes round trip to pick up a package during very limited hours (10-3) only to find out that it was small enough to fit in our box).

And I know that this means I'll be sending out another silk snood to replace the one that's floating somewhere on the Atlantic, because I can't very well tell someone that "it will probably get there in another four to six weeks... that's what happened the last time the USPS really messed up an international order..."

After the last shipment I asked them to track the international packages but was informed I'd have to pay $30 for express or demand a signature upon arrival and pay $12 for the package to be tracked via registered mail.  Because I don't want to charge between $15-$30 to ship internationally I haven't gone that route.

So yeah.  UPS.  It looks like your about to get my business.  Fed Ex isn't an option since back in California the Fed Ex guy would refuse to drive out to pretty much any home in our town and would just dump all the packages at the local grocery store without calling anyone.  Sometimes over a week later someone in the family would stop by to pick something up and be told that there'd been a package there for a while...  So Fed Ex is on my non-shipping list too.

And I really hope that package gets there in the next few days.  The USPS is pretty much destroying my supply of dupioni silk...


  1. Oh I feel your pain. I am from Australia and live in New York... Christmas cards I sent on December 10 did not arrive until January 20. That is normal first class mail that should take about 7 days. I have had 'priority post' packages take four weeks. Packages that my mum sent to my PO Box went missing (got rid of the PO Box very quickly as they were even returning magazines to sender!) and now my parents pay all that extra money for tracking etc just for piece of mind. It is a scam of the highest order. :(

    A package I just sent them for Easter got there on April 16 :(

    So sorry to hear of your problems with them - especially when running a business. It really is unacceptable. :(

  2. Don't forget about DHL. My office uses them for many, if not all, of our smaller scale packages. I haven't compared their prices, so I don't know if it will work for you, but they seem to be able to cross the pond in a timely manner.

  3. It's possible that it isn't always the USPS system that is messing with your packages. If you are shipping overseas, your items will have to deal with customs. That can be sticky and things get "lost" rather frequently in that transition.

  4. The reason I tend to think it's on our side is because the local office is so incompetent at delivering our mail to us. I've wondered if it's a "in the south" thing, because we didn't have problems like this in California. My parents do delivery confirmation and we'll know that a package got here over a week earlier... and they'll finally put in a tag in our box instead of leaving it after like seven days... or they won't deliver anything and we'll finally go and ask with another package and find out it's been sitting in the warehouse here. It's so bad that I instantly tend to suspect it's on this side (that and the fact that they were passed customs at a port and they should have gone through Frankfurt I guess if they were by air, like I'd paid for!).

    I'll have to check out DHL too! It's amazing that's so difficult to find shipping these days that's reliable!


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