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Postal Quirks Rant
Old 04-22-2011, 09:46 AM   #1
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Postal Quirks Rant

I posted recently that I'd sold an old auto part on EBay. So, I packed it up in a cut down box from Costco and mailed it yesterday morning. Yesterday afternoon it was sitting on my porch! WTF!

The package has a sticker saying that the box indicated that alcohol was inside (it was an old wine box), thus it couldn't be mailed. So, I took a black magic marker and obliterated all the writing on the box and marched back to the post office. No good, they said, it still has a picture of a bottle of wine!

After indignant protest and flailing of my arms, a supervisor interceded and agreed to take back the box. Now I'll have to see if they actually mailed it or just tossed it in the dumpster.

I've noticed that service from the USPS varies widely depending on individual employee.
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Old 04-22-2011, 09:56 AM   #2
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Last year when I bought some stamps, the clerk told me some standard-sized thank you notes I was sending were too small and would need extra postage (he held one up next to a template). I measured another one when I got home and of course they met the USPS standards.
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Old 04-22-2011, 10:10 AM   #3
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The postal system is getting obsolete...not to mention the 8 or 10 billion dollar deficiets they are having in 2010 and 2011. It is supposed to be self supporting through it's fees not tax dollars. Time to develop and begin to implement a plan to transition to private industry. FEDEX, UPS, DHL (I don't really like DHL) have already grabbed a large portion of the money making mail type activity (express, overnight,...amd even standard/cheaper shipping from the USPS. I know USPS has some unique functions that the commercial companies aren't authorized for (like shipping lower levels of Govt. classified documents - registered of course)...but that;s why planning needs to start now.
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Old 04-22-2011, 03:04 PM   #4
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I'm sure after this many years on the planet, we all have plenty of stories about the Post Office. Overall, I'd have to say I've been satisfied (if not thrilled) with their "product", price and service.

Regarding their people, while they are not always correct in their advice (I too have had things come back that I mailed at the P. O. which they said had enough postage), they are generally pleasant and easy to deal with. There are exceptions of course. I'm guessing that those who wish to keep their jobs are nice, if for no other reason than FedX and UPS are breathing down USPS neck.

I for one do not want to see the USPS go away. I think FedX and UPS need the competition - flawed as it often is.

As an aside, for those of us sending long distances (bi-costal or Alaskans and Hawaiians) USPS ships for the same price as if they were shipping to the next city. Has it's advantages for me as I often ship stuff 5000 miles. They also have MANY more offices than FedX or UPS.

I think my biggest beef is the wait-time if I go to the P. O. to mail something. My local office has 5 customer counters. I don't think I've seen them all staffed at once - even at Xmas. Sometimes the line stretches out the doors to the parking lot. Longest wait time has been 45 minutes. No excuse for this IMHO. But, other than that Mrs. Lincoln... Oh, and YMMV.
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Old 04-22-2011, 04:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travelover View Post
The package has a sticker saying that the box indicated that alcohol was inside (it was an old wine box), thus it couldn't be mailed. So, I took a black magic marker and obliterated all the writing on the box and marched back to the post office. No good, they said, it still has a picture of a bottle of wine!

After indignant protest and flailing of my arms, a supervisor interceded and agreed to take back the box. Now I'll have to see if they actually mailed it or just tossed it in the dumpster.
It is against federal law to ship alcohol via USPS. If there's reason to think there's alcohol in the package they can't take it. The supervisor that gave in to your unacceptable tirad should be hoping his union rep can save his job.
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Old 04-22-2011, 04:50 PM   #6
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It is against federal law to ship alcohol via USPS. If there's reason to think there's alcohol in the package they can't take it. The supervisor that gave in to your unacceptable tirad should be hoping his union rep can save his job.
So they can take my word for it that there is no bomb in a plain brown wrapped package, but if I have a picture of a wine bottle on a cut down box, my word is no good?
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Old 04-22-2011, 05:24 PM   #7
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Trouble is you guys live in Megacity. My Postmaster lets me pick up packages on a Saturday when the window is closed. Lets my neighbor pick up my mail with my phone call. Calls me when I have a package, and lets me birdwatch from her back porch, if an interesting bird is coming to her feeder.
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Old 04-22-2011, 05:32 PM   #8
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So they can take my word for it that there is no bomb in a plain brown wrapped package, but if I have a picture of a wine bottle on a cut down box, my word is no good?
Yep Don't have to like the rules, just have to follow them.
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