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USPS, bad weather, bad luck, or 3rd world service? A long rant
Old 02-28-2010, 12:41 PM   #1
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USPS, bad weather, bad luck, or 3rd world service? A long rant

In the past, the few letters I mailed always arrived at their destination in a reasonable time frame and I was never "aware" that any mail sent to me, was ever lost. Fast forward to the present. I received a surprise check of $955 this past November at my AZ mailing address. As I live in Thailand, I had my friend using a postage pre-paid envelope mail it to my bank in San Diego, November 11th. After waiting 4 weeks, I was advised to stop the check, which I did. It finally arrived 6 weeks after it was mailed. I had the replacement check mailed directly to the bank, Jan 6th. It has yet to arrive. With both checks, I called the bank to have them check around the office. I also called the issuing labor union to make sure neither were cashed.
I also recently spoke to Ally, another bank I use, because my 2009 1099 did not match my YTD interest on my December statement. I was told they mailed out a small check sometime last year, which I never received as well. Why they even mailed the check instead of depositing it to my online savings account is another matter. The main point is the check was never received.
What the F$%k is going on with the USPS?
To further complicate my mailing dilemma, a credit card was mailed Jan 14th to Thailand which also has yet to arrive. Over the last 3 years, I have had at least 6 DCs and CCs all arrive within 2 weeks so I am not sure if the USPS is failing me again or the Thai PS? I have had mail delivered to Thailand already that was mailed the 1st week of February.
I called the USPS customer service to voice a complaint that they investigate a possible problem with the San Diego branch. I know they can't search for my mail since there was no tracking number. That was a wasted effort as I got a meaningless email reply.
Thank goodness, I don't rely on the USPS too much, since when I can, I choose to have my documents available online.
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Old 02-28-2010, 01:31 PM   #2
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FWIW, in my experience the postal inspectors take problems like this very seriously, and they will investigate it. Sounds like the San Diego office has a problem.
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Old 02-28-2010, 06:04 PM   #3
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Our mail service in New Orleans hasn't really returned to normal since Hurricane Katrina (when the post office was even refusing to deliver at all to many occupied homes and instead requiring those people to pick up their mail at the post office for the indefinite future). Complaints were lodged, demonstrations were organized, media were contacted, and eventually the post office begrudgingly began to deliver mail from time to time. Even now, we only get mail delivered about every other day (though supposedly it is every day, but it just isn't). And about a third of the time, I get a neighbor's mail instead of my own, and I am not exaggerating. Often my mail does not arrive. This situation caused me great stress because I was worried about not getting some vital retirement stuff from OPM, but I did get it so thank goodness for that.

I have my bills paid by automatic bank deduction, for obvious reasons.

The postal service here is very nearly just a junk mail distribution service at this point. I am open to positive changes and hope they do occur.
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Old 02-28-2010, 06:57 PM   #4
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My recent experience has been the exact opposite of the above. My daughter is studying abroad in Dublin, Ireland. Went to the post office and sent her a 20 lb. care package Saturday at 11:30 am. Arrived at her house in Dublin Wednesday am. Seemed almost like fedex service to me. I was shocked.
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Old 02-28-2010, 07:55 PM   #5
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A couple of years ago I had my mail held for a week when I was out of town and requested that the accumulated mail be delivered after the mail hold end date. There was no mail in my box on the day it should have been delivered so I went to the PO the next day and they couldn't find anything. Still no mail in my mailbox. The next day a woman stopped by with my bundle of mail, she had her mail held at the same time and received her mail plus all my mail. I was sure ticked off about that screw up by the PO.
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Old 02-28-2010, 08:01 PM   #6
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A new thread on a recurring theme...

USPS rant
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Old 02-28-2010, 10:21 PM   #7
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I feel lucky. Nothing to complain about. I send mail out, it gets delivered. People send mail to me, it gets delivered. The mail carrier smiles and waves, I smile and wave back.

Isn't that the way it's supposed to be?
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Old 02-28-2010, 10:24 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Walt34 View Post
I feel lucky. Nothing to complain about. I send mail out, it gets delivered. People send mail to me, it gets delivered. The mail carrier smiles and waves, I smile and wave back.

Isn't that the way it's supposed to be?
I suspect thats the way it is for most people. Certainly is for me. I can count on one hand the number of losses or broken items I've had. Only the dissatisfied are likely to comment in a thread like this.
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Old 02-28-2010, 10:34 PM   #9
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I pay most of my bills online because a few years ago the post office up here lost two checks I mailed about a month a part for a couple of bills. I filled out a form but never heard anything AND couldn't find a real person to contact on the phone. If I do mail anything I send it out of a different post office. So far I haven't had a problem. After 30 years I no longer trust the local post office.
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Old 03-01-2010, 06:38 PM   #10
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Maybe I've just been lucky, but I have gotten great service from the PO. I live at the bottom of a hill and even in the ice and snow my postman gets out of his truck and hauls packages down to the doorstep. When I needed to send my FIL's ashes to another state for burial, they gave me step by step instructions on packaging and even loaned me a roll of paper tape for sealing the box. I plow out the snow in our neighborhood and I make sure the mailboxes are accessible to his truck.
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Old 03-01-2010, 11:39 PM   #11
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...Only the dissatisfied are likely to comment in a thread like this.
I'll bite, if this were a poll, I'd say, five stars, very happy, and I'm sending and receiving a LOT of snail mail these days, even had a pleasant trip to the post office today for assorted stamps.
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Old 03-02-2010, 02:12 AM   #12
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I've had good luck with the USPS. Very few screwups over the decades. The mailman usually delivers packages to my door, walking down a long icy walk and through a gate, in order to place it under the eave out of the weather. There may be a few bad apples out there in the USPS... but just try to mail something in India or Egypt.
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Old 03-02-2010, 06:52 AM   #13
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USPS to propose 5-day mail schedule, major cuts

Say goodbye to Saturday mail delivery.

I thought this was interesting in light of all the recent news about underfunded pension plans:

Quote:
USPS has already begun taking the axe to its budget. The agency made $6 billion in cuts last year, reducing its workforce by about 40,000 employees and chopping overtime hours, transportation costs and other expenses. Congress passed legislation allowing the organization to cut retiree health benefit payments by $4 billion.

Despite those measures, the agency still expects a net loss of $7.8 billion in fiscal 2010.

USPS employs about 600,000 workers, about half of whom will be eligible to retire in the next 10 years. Potter said the agency has historically overpaid into its pension fund, and would reap significant savings if it stopped prefunding its retiree health benefits.
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Old 03-02-2010, 08:30 AM   #14
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Say goodbye to Saturday mail delivery.
I don't know why they're dragging it out... they should go to Mon/Wed/Fri delivery now and skip all the angst & drama (and severance) they'll spend getting there.

Either that or jack up the 1st class letter price to 60 cents now and get some breathing room. IIRC USPS is still underpriced compared to its equivalents in Europe, Canada, and Australia.

REW, with the delivery quality in your area you wouldn't even notice a change to 3x/week...
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Old 03-02-2010, 09:15 AM   #15
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Ours is hit and miss in a decent size US city. Stuff goes missing. We frequently have misdelivered mail left in our mailbox, so I assume at least a few percent of our mail is sent elsewhere. Every once in a while, we will get a piece of our mail that has been misdelivered to someone else and it will be redirected to us with a helpful note from someone in the neighborhood. Not sure if this is the sort staff at the local USPS office or the mail carrier's fault, but it is definitely 3rd world service, even though we are paying 1st class prices. Our post office is in the hood with a lot of 3rd world residents, so maybe the USPS is just trying to make folks feel at home??

Right now I have a certified express package with tracking number that I keep signing their release forms for and doing the online redelivery request. It's still MIA. It's probably service of process on me as attorney for a client. Grrrr... Our post office is about 1 mile away. So MJ, if they can't make it a mile with my mail, I doubt they could cross an ocean.

I transact almost all my business via the internet, so I don't really rely on the USPS for anything in general. But every once in a while I use them, and it would be comforting to know that what I send will reach its destination with 99.9xxx% success rate.
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Old 03-02-2010, 10:05 AM   #16
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I feel lucky. Nothing to complain about. I send mail out, it gets delivered. People send mail to me, it gets delivered. The mail carrier smiles and waves, I smile and wave back.

Isn't that the way it's supposed to be?

Same here. Good service from the USPS in the Midwest.
Although there is a big article in the USA Today about USPS going to 5 days! Times they may be a'changing! I can live with 5 day service myself, since most of my mail is email today.
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Old 03-02-2010, 10:07 AM   #17
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....Not sure if this is the sort staff at the local USPS office or the mail carrier's fault, but it is definitely 3rd world service, even though we are paying 1st class prices. Our post office is in the hood with a lot of 3rd world residents, so maybe the USPS is just trying to make folks feel at home??....
US actually pays less for postage for 1st class mail than Mexico, where it costs 7 pesos, or 55 US cents, to deliver a letter within the country. I don't know how other "third world" countries compare. (I think our postage is the bargain of the century anyway.)

Here's a nice time-wasting site where you can find postage rates around the world: http://www.atms.ch/rates/

Maybe we're lucky but we've never had trouble with our mail. Only once did I mail a package that went missing for a few weeks, about 10 years ago, and that was a Priority Mail package (go figure). A friend paid for tracking and certified services for a car title she sent and although the letter was actually delivered without a problem, neither the tracking nor certified services were done (to this day her tracking number shows the letter is still at the post office of origin--no scanning done). So maybe it's the extra services that cause the problems.
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Old 03-02-2010, 12:53 PM   #18
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I have had great success with both Canada Post and USPS going both ways. I remember that Oracle once sent me some advertising from the US and the only parts of my address they got correct were my name, country and postal code. They had the wrong town, street and number and I still got it. Canadian first class letter is 58 cents.
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Old 03-02-2010, 01:55 PM   #19
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...snip... Not sure if this is the sort staff at the local USPS office or the mail carrier's fault, but it is definitely 3rd world service, even though we are paying 1st class prices.
After a few mis-deliveries I called a USPS supervisor and was told that (at least in this case) the carrier does the sorting. Most of our mis-deliveries are to/from a house about 300 feet away on a different street but with the same number we have. It is not a terribly bad situation because both parties are good about seeing that the mail gets to where it belongs except for stuff that is obviously junk. Most stuff we just put back in the box with the flag up -- no note required. If it looks important or financial, drop it in a secure box.

Brown and Fedex have made the same mistake but the USPS makes it more often; it might be interesting to know the mis-delivery rate for the three.
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Old 03-02-2010, 02:10 PM   #20
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After a few mis-deliveries I called a USPS supervisor and was told that (at least in this case) the carrier does the sorting. Most of our mis-deliveries are to/from a house about 300 feet away on a different street but with the same number we have. It is not a terribly bad situation because both parties are good about seeing that the mail gets to where it belongs except for stuff that is obviously junk. Most stuff we just put back in the box with the flag up -- no note required. If it looks important or financial, drop it in a secure box.

Brown and Fedex have made the same mistake but the USPS makes it more often; it might be interesting to know the mis-delivery rate for the three.
Those are the typical misdeliveries for us. We live at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, and we often get mail for 1600 Connecticut, or 1600 K street. I'm assuming they get some of my mail, but I rarely see anything forwarded to me with a note or anything.

I've never had anything misdelivered by UPS/fedex, and I ship a lot of very critical stuff for work. And if there is ever a question about "where's my package", UPS/fedex knows, and can re-route if necessary. You do pay 5-10x the price for the service though.
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