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John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
USPS Doesn't Place a Priority on its Priority Mail Service for Packages ;-( on 12/10/2012 15:28:41 MST Print View

Are any of you hikers out there Postal workers?

I understand "Christmas Rush" and all that but why does the USPS sell something that is supposed to be better than standard parcel post but isn't?

I sold some items on Gear Swap. 2 items were sold and shipped via USPS Priority Mail Service. 2 out of the 4 arrived at their destinations. The other 2 are still in a holding pattern somewhere out in "postal space". ;-(

The latest that any of these items were supposed to be delivered was Friday the 7th of December. I've checked the tracking numbers repeatedly and according to the USPS neither package has moved an inch since December 5th! ;-P

I have two "customers" that have paid for their gear and have nothing to show for it except a tracking number. It's embarrassing to me and I'm sure frustrating to them.

FWIW I ordered a piece of gear myself from a trusted supplier and it was shipped USPS Priority Mail also. My gear is also out there in "postal space". My gear was shipped on the 7th and hasn't moved since the 8th. According to the USPS web site I was to expect delivery on the 10th, today.

I'll exercise some patience and wait a little longer but the two hikers that purchased my gear should be getting a little frustrated with the USPS by now.

I don't blame them one bit!

Party On,

Newton

Evan Chartier
(evanchartier) - M
USPS on 12/10/2012 15:33:59 MST Print View

I am not a postal worker (I do not work for USPS), but I do work for my university's mail room as a student worker, and we get a lot of USPS stuff. From what I have heard around here (upstate NY) the postal service shut down one of their main sorting facilities I believe in Utica, so now all the mail is routed through Syracuse. I hear that they are floor to ceiling over there, and thats on a good day not in holiday season. I am not sure if it is a general trend with USPS, but around here they are cutting back on facilities. Even today USPS called our mail center to ask if we had any outgoing mail that they should come pick up. My boss told them no, which means that they will only come again tomorrow morning- which is funny because I had just paid for something priority mail 10 minutes earlier to send to another BPL member. Again, not sure if this is a general thing going on right now with USPS (budget cuts? Deficit?) but thats what I noticed from my job in the mail center....

I hope my package makes it!
Evan

a b
(Ice-axe)
Re: USPS on 12/10/2012 15:51:39 MST Print View

This is the busiest day of the Postal year.

I think that may be why things are a little sluggish.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
USPS Doesn't Place a Priority on its Priority Mail Service on 12/10/2012 16:32:17 MST Print View

I ordered a couple of minor items from ZPacks at the beginning of November. They shipped November 2 and the tracking showed that the items left Orlando, FL (presumably the sorting facility) on November 3. Now I realize that Oregon is diagonally at the opposite end of the lower 48 from Florida, but ZPacks orders have always arrived in 2-3 days. This one didn't come and didn't come. I contacted Matt at ZPacks after a week, and we each contacted the USPS at our respective ends. The USPS people said to wait another week. Matt offered to resend the order (evidently they self-insure for small stuff), but I decided to wait a while. Three weeks later, the package turned up in my mailbox! There was a big gap in the ether between its departure from Orlando and its arrival in Portland, and who knows where it went--around the world several times, perhaps?

At least the package is finally here and ZPacks isn't out any extra cost! BTW, Matt, who is running the firm while Joe and Sheryl Valesko are hiking in New Zealand, seems quite a capable and friendly guy! I also have to praise highly their fleece mittens--very lightweight, soft and warm, and a nice fit over my Smartwool glove liners and under my MLD eVent rain mitts (a little big, but I'd rather not have them too snug). So far it hasn't yet been cold enough here to need them, but no doubt that will change soon!

And yes, the USPS is cutting facilities. Despite the fact that it's one of the very few agencies authorized to be subsidized according to the US Constitution, they are currently expected to at least break even, and they are not. Because of accounting changes regarding the expensing of post-retirement benefits, they are taking a big hit on their financial statements this year. Remember the flap over all the recent closings of small post offices (most of which they had to back off from) and possible elimination of Saturday delivery (also backed off)? They have to make up the difference somehow!

On the other hand, I can't say enough good things about the outstanding service and the friendly people at my local post office! They are truly dedicated people!

Edited by hikinggranny on 12/10/2012 16:34:10 MST.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: USPS Doesn't Place a Priority on its Priority Mail Service on 12/10/2012 17:28:08 MST Print View

"I can't say enough good things about the outstanding service and the friendly people at my local post office!"

I second that. I just went to my local post office to send out seven items by Priority Mail. Total time for waiting and the transactions came to twelve minutes. Note that this was supposed to be the busiest day of the year.

--B.G.--

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: USPS Doesn't Place a Priority on its Priority Mail Service on 12/10/2012 17:49:23 MST Print View

In the 10 months I have lived in the Us I have never had any issues with USPS, but twice have had issues FedEx and Ups.
As I live in the boonies a reliable postal service is very important to me.

Patrick Browning
(optimator) - F
USPS on 12/10/2012 17:50:35 MST Print View

I mailed a jacket priority on Saturday from Medford Oregon to Allen Texas. It arrived there today. That surprised me!

a b
(Ice-axe)
Re: Re: Re: USPS Doesn't Place a Priority on its Priority Mail Service on 12/10/2012 18:12:08 MST Print View

I had similar experiences as Stephen and Patrick.

My EE quilt came from Minnesota to my door here in Ben lomond like it was strapped to a rocket.. the package was still white and covered in frost..

Also just bought some truck parts off ebay and they made the USPS trip from Florida in three days priority mail.

Could be that having a PO box in a town of 4,000 souls makes it a day faster for me? Doesn't really figure..

USPS never lost a single one of my resupply packages on any of my hikes either.
One box went from Sisters, Oregon to Timberline lodge in two days.

Then again, UPS forwarded a package from Muddy Gap Wyoming to Lima Montana for me for free with a single phone call.
Frida of UPS in Rawlins Wyoming is the most awesome person ever!

Really never had a bad postal experience that i could blame on the service.
Golite mis-adressed a package and the Post Mistress at Echo lake refused to hand it over, but she was just following procedure.. not really any fault there and they did eventually give me the package when i had Golite contact them.

Adam Kramer
(rbeard) - F

Locale: ATL, Southern Appalachia
Re: Re: Re: Re: USPS Doesn't Place a Priority on its Priority Mail Service on 12/10/2012 18:14:33 MST Print View

in all my selling on gearswap, i always use usps.

to this day, only one thing has gone missing. someone, somewhere is drinking from a stolen kupilka cup. i hope they spill some hot chocolate on themselves.

Edited by rbeard on 12/10/2012 18:31:16 MST.

Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
USPS Priority Mail tracking useless on 12/10/2012 18:28:29 MST Print View

I've ordered a fair number of things Priority Mail for delivery to a PO Box.

Tracking is pretty much useless. For days after shipment, all I see is that the package was accepted for delivery.

Then immediately AFTER delivery, a whole long list of dates and waypoints shows up. Sometimes all I get are originating PO and delivery PO, with big time gap in between.

Delivery times can be anywhere from two days to over a week, with no correlation to time of year, seller, or originating location.

OTOH, UPS and FedEx deliveries to my doorstep have been almost flawless, with very useful tracking.

Except one nationally known retailer who managed to send a package via UPS - addressed to the PO Box. Doesn't work. Had to drive across the county to pick up from UPS, with UPS guy shaking head mumbling "how did they do that?"

I don't buy from that company any more.

spelt the enigmatic
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
Re: USPS on 12/10/2012 18:35:26 MST Print View

The Postal Service's financial straits were externally imposed. They are looking at closing even more sorting facilities to make ends meet. Like public transportation: cut services...fewer people use it...can't pay the bills...leading to another cut in services...and repeat. Something to write your congresspeople about if you are so inclined.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Re: USPS Doesn't Place a Priority on its Priority Mail Service on 12/10/2012 18:51:29 MST Print View

I do not have any issues with the local branch of the Post Office where my packages were mailed from or the Postal employees therein.

What bugs me is the disconnect somewhere behind the sorting facility wall.

Once my 2 packages got to that point they have just seemed to languish there.

Now I have begun to get PMs simply saying "still not here". I feel responsible and I am trying to maintain some semblance of patience. But it bothers me that someone who paid in good faith had their package shipped in good faith and somewhere someone decided not to keep the faith.

Party On,

Newton

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
USPS Priority Mail on 12/10/2012 19:56:57 MST Print View

The difference between USPS and UPS or Fed Ex is the USPS Priority package says it's a Priority but there is no guarantee by them whatsoever. It's priority when it arrives on time but when it doesn't it's not. Says as much on the fine print.

Our mail service is in for a lot of change. They keep changing things at our local office and mail is constantly returned to people saying "undeliverable" although we have been at the same office for 30 years. The local carriers are usually great but they keep having to put up with supervisors that don't know their routes. I hope they can "sort" things out.

Joseph Reeves
(Umnak)

Locale: Southeast Alaska
USPS Rocks on 12/10/2012 20:03:55 MST Print View

I live in Alaska's capital, Juneau. UPS and Federal Express charge excruciatingly outrage prices for shipping to Juneau in particular and Alaska in general. USPS Priority Mail is a fraction of the cost and is delivered to my PO Box, where I can stop by at just about any time of the day or night and pick it up. There is no comparison of service and price with UPS -- which is actually even worse in Alaska than Federal Express. Companies that don't ship USPS don't get our business.

Harris Goldstein
(hmgolds) - F

Locale: Minnesota
I think that's a bit unfair on 12/10/2012 20:38:33 MST Print View

I've shipped a lot via USPS and have found Priority Mail to be pretty darn reliable in delivery time. Their tracking sucks, but better service than UPS and cheaper.

This time of year you have to expect delays by all carriers. Yesterday, UPS (not USPS) sent me an automated message saying a package I'm expecting was to be delivered today. Today (Monday), they sent me an email saying the new delivery date is Thursday. Reason: "circumstances have occurred that have caused there to be a new delivery date and/or time". In one day, UPS pushed out the delivery date by 3 days.

Daniel Saunders
(Boulderman)

Locale: Front Range
Did you provide the buyers with a delivery confirmation # so they know you shipped it? on 12/10/2012 21:15:35 MST Print View

If you did, then it's out of your hands, and you shouldn't feel bad. They know you dropped it off, and you have no control over it. If they wanted something expedited, they could've paid for fedex or UPS.

dave e
(hipass) - F

Locale: Los Angeles
usps on 12/10/2012 21:31:29 MST Print View

"Despite the fact that it's one of the very few agencies authorized to be subsidized according to the US Constitution, they are currently expected to at least break even, and they are not"
When was the last time our wasteful military industrial complex broke even?I d like to see the Defence Dept/M.I.C. held to the same standards-hah!


I shipped a 12x9x6 box via usps regular first class service on Friday from LA and it arrived today in Omaha for $5.70.
For small packages usps is about 1/3 to 1/4 the price of fedex/ups.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: USPS Rocks - for most.... on 12/10/2012 21:39:54 MST Print View

"I live in Alaska's capital, Juneau. UPS and Federal Express charge excruciatingly outrage prices for shipping to Juneau in particular and Alaska in general. USPS Priority Mail is a fraction of the cost and is delivered to my PO Box..."

The "outrageous prices" are most likely realistic.

UPS and FedEx aren't subsidized.

The USPS is operating at a huge deficit. This sort of service is why.


I live in a rural community. My mail is delivered by a contract carrier. When a package is to be placed in my pedestal box it is scanned and marked as "Delivered". When it goes into the wrong box I have NO recourse, nor does the shipper. Fortunately I have good neighbors, and we routinely "re-deliver" each others mail and packages. I drove 4 miles down the road to deliver a box of needles and insulin - with "Delivery Confirmation" requested by the VA hospital.

Joseph Reeves
(Umnak)

Locale: Southeast Alaska
Re: Re: USPS Rocks - for most.... on 12/10/2012 23:12:37 MST Print View

"The "outrageous prices" are most likely realistic. "

Free shipping anywhere in the 48 contiguous states seems to be the norm of late. Most of that shipping comes through either FedEX or UPS, yet the same piece could cost me $30-$50 to ship the additional 1100 miles from Seattle. So, with your logic the free shipping is the more realistic price. It's about gouging not subsidy.

Jason G
(JasonG) - F

Locale: iceberg lake
usps on 12/10/2012 23:40:44 MST Print View

I've only had one issue with USPS and that was a pair of hipbelt pockets from Zimmerbuilt that didn't come. tracking said they were delivered but I was handed the mail from the mailman that day and they weren't there. A few days later I talked to my mailman and he didn't really remember. I called the main office to file a report and they pretty much said I was out of luck. About 3 weeks later my mailman rang the bell and said he had delivered the package to a neighbor 3 doors down! and they JUST gave it back to him! wft neighbor! that wasn't very neighborly! You can't walk 3 doors down and give me my package!? much less just leave it on the front porch so the mailman can grab it the next day!
I had ordered them right before a yosemite trip too so didn't get to use them. i was left taking my pack off to reach my snacks, camera and chapstick. :(