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US Priority Mail. Negative Experience
Old 11-10-2007, 08:36 PM   #1
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US Priority Mail. Negative Experience

Before I left for Thailand last November 2006.I used USPS Priority mail to send my request for a Thai Visa at the Denver consulate. . It took only 1 week from the time I mailed it and got my passport back, so I did it again 2 weeks ago. I mailed my passport again using priority mail and it arrived at the consulate in Alabama 2 days later, so far so good. I addressed the enclosed return priority envelope back to NYC where I plan to be a week later. The Thai consulate mailed it Oct 31. Priority mail is supposed to take 2 to 4 business days but after 8 days, I began to worry that it was lost. I have an air ticket to leave the country Nov 20 so I made an appointment to get a replacement passport. I found out that I needed original documented proof that I was a US citizen. Apparently scanned copies of my passport or my father's actual naturalization papers with scanned copies of my birth certificate to prove I was his son were not good enough. I went through a bit angst that I might have a problem getting a new passport quickly.
Today, 11 days after it was mailed to me, I finally got my passport, so I am greatly relieved.
To contrast my experience with priority mail, I ordered some items Sunday and Monday from Buy.com and even though I took advantage of their free 7 to 9 business days delivery, the post office delivered the 2 packages in 3 days.
Tuesday, I am going to the post office and lodge a complaint for whatever it's worth.

MJ
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Old 11-10-2007, 09:46 PM   #2
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I remember that Priority Mail's delivery time is couched as "usually" 2-4 days. However, there are no guarantees and if you need it there by a certain time, Express Mail is the way to go. Or, FedEx.
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Old 11-10-2007, 10:40 PM   #3
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I had something take 45 days to get from california to arizona via priority mail. Everything else has gone pretty quick.
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Old 11-10-2007, 10:58 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by bssc View Post
I remember that Priority Mail's delivery time is couched as "usually" 2-4 days. However, there are no guarantees and if you need it there by a certain time, Express Mail is the way to go. Or, FedEx.
I will agree... Express Mail at least has tracking.. Priority does not unless you pay for it and then it slows down the delivery as it is manual as opposed to electronic for the Express Mail...

If you are sending important documents, it is worth the extra $10 or so to have a tracking number you can see online...
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Old 11-10-2007, 11:12 PM   #5
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I don't mail packages or heavy envelopes often enough to make retraining worth the effort, but the post office has totally changed in the last five years.

Somewhere over the years I've becomed trained to put my mailings in a cardboard box, wrap it in brown paper, tape it up, and write the address in Magic Marker. Today when I show up with that type of package, the postal employee reaction makes me feel like I'm giving them old soiled diapers contaminated with radioactive waste.

It's probably easier to walk in there with the object you want mailed and have them give you the free box. (I guess it's free because it fits their automated handling equipment and thus you're saving them money.) Then you can enter your recipient's address in their computer and have it print out their barcoded label (for automated scanning). Seal the box's adhesive strip, slap the adhesive barcode inside the marked area, and drop the package in the wall slot.

I guess it's worth looking over their standardized free package sizes and building up a home postage-supply inventory. No wonder spouse is finding rolls of brown paper at local garage sales.

I greatly prefer the post office's touch-screen kiosk to their staff. When I recently tried to mail a book to the Mainland I was relentlessly upsold on repackaging, prioritizing, overnighting, insuring, certifying, receipting, tracking... just let me mail the package!!
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Old 11-11-2007, 05:34 AM   #6
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I was the lucky one selected to mail in all cases. They are mailed flat rate Priority and the delivery confirmation costs $.65. The number is able to tracked online. I don't know if you can prepay the envelope to obtain the delivery confirmation though.
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Old 11-11-2007, 08:48 AM   #7
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I will agree... Express Mail at least has tracking.. Priority does not unless you pay for it and then it slows down the delivery as it is manual as opposed to electronic for the Express Mail...

If you are sending important documents, it is worth the extra $10 or so to have a tracking number you can see online...
I also agree. Outside of the mental anxiety it cost me, I got away cheap.

I shared my story, so others, especially PTers traveling light, can learn from my experience.

For me, lesson learned!

MJ
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Old 11-11-2007, 08:54 AM   #8
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I was the lucky one selected to mail in all cases. They are mailed flat rate Priority and the delivery confirmation costs $.65. The number is able to tracked online. I don't know if you can prepay the envelope to obtain the delivery confirmation though.
I had a delivery confirmation going to the Thai consulate but one coming to me didn't matter since I would be signing for it. Unfortunately, they don't track the progress of the letter, only if it arrived.
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Old 11-11-2007, 10:05 AM   #9
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I recently bought something from woot.com and it is being shipped USPS. However, the package is being tracked by fedex. I wonder if USPS has contracted fedex to do package tracking?
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Old 11-11-2007, 10:38 AM   #10
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More likely that fedex is carrying the package.

I think all of the major carriers have worked out an el cheapo service options where the USPS does pickup and delivery but the carrier does the backbone movement from hub to hub. The DHL version of it I used was supposed to provide DHL tracking, but DHL palmed me off on the USPS and gave me their tracking #'s. Then the post office delivery guy looked at my long, cliff-like driveway and the 60lb package and decided I wasnt home and brought it back to the post office and waited for me to figure it all out and go get it.
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Old 11-11-2007, 10:39 AM   #11
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Justin, the USPS (may they rot in the fetid urine of a cancerous goat) has a 'last mile' contract with FedEx. FedEx actually moves and tracks the package to the local PO, then USPS does the final delivery to the customer. If you're lucky.
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Old 11-11-2007, 10:40 AM   #12
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USPS-FedEx Agreement Delivers First-Class Service
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Old 11-11-2007, 09:25 PM   #13
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Use FedEx and pay the price.
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Old 11-12-2007, 12:42 PM   #14
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REWahoo what is the status of your mail delivery? Still going though carriers once a week or so?
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Old 11-12-2007, 01:09 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by USK Coastie View Post
REWahoo what is the status of your mail delivery? Still going though carriers once a week or so?
Although the local postal management team has forever tainted whatever limited respect I had for that institution, mail delivery has improved significantly in the past couple of months. By "improved significantly", I mean we are actually getting mail every day, apparently all of it, prior to 6PM.

The USPS just sent out a survey to local mail patrons asking us to give them feedback on mail service but to limit our comments to include only the service we'd received in the last 30 days. Where were they when we had a total breakdown of mail delivery this past summer? Why didn't we get a chance to complete a survey then? Why wouldn't anyone in the postal system give us anything but lame "it's not my fault" excuses for weeks on end?

The response by local postal officials to that situation was unforgivable and they can take their survey and stick it up their...PO box.
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Old 11-12-2007, 03:16 PM   #16
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The USPS just sent out a survey to local mail patrons asking us to give them feedback on mail service but to limit our comments to include only the service we'd received in the last 30 days. Where were they when we had a total breakdown of mail delivery this past summer? Why didn't we get a chance to complete a survey then?
They probably sent you the mail survey last summer. By mail. What, you never received it? Guess they should have fedexed it.
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Old 11-12-2007, 03:42 PM   #17
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Of course they didnt survey you last summer. They knew what you'd say.

And of course they'll survey you now, but limit you to responding about a time period in which they also know what you'll say.

Anyone else figured out that surveys are BS?
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Old 11-12-2007, 04:00 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
Although the local postal management team has forever tainted whatever limited respect I had for that institution, mail delivery has improved significantly in the past couple of months. By "improved significantly", I mean we are actually getting mail every day, apparently all of it, prior to 6PM.

The USPS just sent out a survey to local mail patrons asking us to give them feedback on mail service but to limit our comments to include only the service we'd received in the last 30 days. Where were they when we had a total breakdown of mail delivery this past summer? Why didn't we get a chance to complete a survey then? Why wouldn't anyone in the postal system give us anything but lame "it's not my fault" excuses for weeks on end?

The response by local postal officials to that situation was unforgivable and they can take their survey and stick it up their...PO box.
....thought you might be interested in my delivery (or lack thereof) to ZIP code 75035...is that you REWahoo?

...anyway.....USPS...mailed priority with signature confirmation (no insurance)....addressed to a person and addressed correctly...

...ended up delivered to (who knows where) ZIP code 75034 and signed for by an postal employee WTF because "it wasn't signed when it was delivered".....uhhhh....WHAT!!??....so what's that $2.10 that I paid for signature confirmation for again??

$230 lost in the black hole of Texas (apologies to REWahoo and others )
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Old 11-12-2007, 04:07 PM   #19
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Although the local postal management team has forever tainted whatever limited respect I had for that institution, mail delivery has improved significantly in the past couple of months. By "improved significantly", I mean we are actually getting mail every day, apparently all of it, prior to 6PM.
We didn't get full mail delivery for a year after Hurricane Katrina. For the longest time, we only got letters addressed to us that "looked important", and no junk mail at all. I got maybe a letter or two a week, and nothing more.

At the time, I missed the junk mail, but now I miss the way it was!

I am looking forward to the day when snail mail is officially obsolete.
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Old 11-12-2007, 04:08 PM   #20
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Nope, that's not me, not even close. But the service sounds familiar...
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