The very annoying US Postal Service (USPS)

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Vash01, Aug 17, 2011.

  1. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Julia, Elena, Anna, Liza, and Vera

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    First of all, please allow me to apologize for the length of this post.

    Until recently my feelings toward the US Postal Service were fairly neutral. I even sympathized with them at times because fewer people are using them. Since last year though I started seeing how incompetent they were, and getting worse. I heard from others what had happened to -for example, their certified mail that never reached the destination, not getting reimbursed when an insured parcel was not received, mail being placed in the wrong boxes, and so on.

    It all culminated in my most recent experience. I was on vacation for a month. I had my mail held at the P.O. for 30 days, which was the maximum length of time they hold. When I returned, I fully expected to find my mail delivered, as I had requested, in my locked mail box which is about 50 yards away from my home.

    Instead, the friend who picked me up at the airport told me that when she went to my house to check if everything was OK, she found a bundle of accumulated mail at my door. I found this shocking because the PO always expressed concern over leaving mail overnight in LOCKED mail boxes, because mail thefts have taken place in this city. For them to leave it outside my door, inviting someone to walk away with it, was opening door to identity theft and other possible crimes.

    I called the USPS 800 number to complain about it. They recorded my complaint and forwarded it to my local PO. The supervisor from that PO kept leaving me messages on my work phone at odd hours when I could not possibly be there. That was a small matter. However, when I finally did reach her, she was extremely rude, and defended leaving the mail outside. She said it could not fit in the mail box, so the PO did me a favor in leaving the mail outside, otherwise I would have to go to the PO to pick it up. I would have rather gone to the PO to pick up the mail than to risk getting it stolen.

    First of all, there are two very large mail boxes with locks next to the group mail boxes we have in my neighborhood. Whenever an object cannot fit in the regular mailbox, the mailman leaves it in the big box and leaves the key in my mailbox, so I can get it. From the size of the bundle, I dare say they could have fitted two of those in the large mail box. So her claim had no merit. I tried to talk to the woman but she kept interrupting and not letting me speak. She was one of the rudest person I have ever dealt with. She went as far as saying that since I received the mail, it was not stolen, so it means they did the right thing.

    How can I assume that someone did not remove a part of the mail from my doorstep and how can the PO say that I received ALL the mail? Theoretically it cannot be proven. I asked for her supervisor and I was told she was on vacation. I had enough of this nonsense and I hung up.

    I called the USPS 800 number again to see who was the highest authority for USPS in Arizona and I was told there wasn't any, other than the local PO, meaning the person I had talked to. It was shocking to me that they had no concern at all for the customer. When I said I wanted to write a letter to the USPS (I had already experienced what happens when I try talking to them by phone), I was given the address of 'Consumer advocate' in Washington DC. I don't even have to guess that my complaint will find the trash can without anyone of significance seeing it. Even if they did, I have already seen the attitude of postal workers- they can do nothing wrong, even though I keep seeing the mistakes they make. Everyone makes mistakes, but it's their attitude that is most bothersome. A simple apology would have satisfied me in this case.

    I will still write to that address they gave me, but I have no expectation of anyone from the USPS admitting what they did was wrong.

    I am thoroughly disgusted with the USPS, and if I had a choice, I would not use them at all. Someone at my work said it was going to be privatized. May be that's the only way they will improve, because a profit seeking business is not going to slam a customer like that.
     
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  2. overedge

    overedge where's the remote?

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    That really sucks. I can see why you are so POed.

    Being an evil Canuckistani I am not sure of the "chain of command" for the USPS, but would it do any good to contact your congressperson's constituency office to see if they could put you in touch with someone at the USPS who might take your concerns seriously?
     
  3. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

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    For years and years they had no reason or desire to improve or worry about customer relations. Now it is a must but they haven't figured out how to do it, it seems. I do agree, the ONLY way they will give a damn is if they are privatized and ideally, in competition. I don't know if there will ever be competition on a large scale, though.
     
  4. Spinner

    Spinner Where's my book?

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    So funny you post this now. I sent a package to a friend in Australia on July 21. She just told me it still hasn't arrived. When I put the customs form number in the tracking tool on the USPS website, all it says is they received it at the location I dropped it on that date. No other progress. I'm going to stop by there tomorrow to find out where the hell it is. I truly hope they didn't lose it because one item is not able to be replaced. Grrr....
     
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  5. Flatfoote

    Flatfoote Active Member

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    Ya wanna bet? I get treated like crap by CSR's all the time in all kinds of businesses.

    That aside, it really sucks you had to endure that. Perhaps their attitude is the way it is cause they know there's nothing you can do about it.
     
  6. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Julia, Elena, Anna, Liza, and Vera

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    That's part of it, I am sure.

    What's CSR? Customer Service Representatives?
     
  7. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Julia, Elena, Anna, Liza, and Vera

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    Thanks. The thought to write to a senator did cross my mind. I may do it and see what happens.
     
  8. UMBS Go Blue

    UMBS Go Blue KWEEN 2016! YES WE KWAN!

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  9. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Julia, Elena, Anna, Liza, and Vera

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  10. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

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    Customs numbers are not the same thing as tracking numbers. I (cautiously) ship worldwide on eBay, and they caution over and over again that you cannot use customs numbers like they are tracking numbers, because they are not treated as such by postal workers. In order to have true international tracking, you have to buy it separately - typically at about 3 times the postage price :shuffle:

    Most likely, Australia customs has your package. Unfortunately, customs can be wildly inconsistent in their release of packages.
     
  11. John 3 17

    John 3 17 Well-Known Member

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    Similiar thing happened to me in Feb. I mailed a parcel "International Priority" to the UK and was told it should get there in 7-10 days. Yeah, right! I kept checking the customes tracking number (which the PO told me to do), too, and it never changed from the drop-off date! Finally, after five weeks, I called my local PO to ask them to check if the parcel ever made it out of the office (lots of friends have had this charming experience). The lady was not rude but assured me that that just couldn't possibly happen :rolleyes: But guess what? Exactly one week later it magically appeared in the UK at my friend's house! Gee, ya think maybe my call had something to do with it? Naaaaah.

    ITA with the other posters that privatization is the only hope for it. Right now it's only "good enough for government work" :blah:

    -Bridget
     
  12. Flatfoote

    Flatfoote Active Member

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    Yes. CSR=Customer Service Representative. :)
     
  13. Sassafras

    Sassafras Well-Known Member

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    Several months ago I renewed my passport. The carrier delivered the new one to someone else on my street and a 7 year old kid brought it over to me. Needless to say, I was not amused. Spoke with the local postmaster. Wonder if he ever even brought it up to the carrier.
     
  14. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

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    When I got my last passport, something had happened to the envelope in route presumably. It arrived in town with only two letters of my first name, the last letter of my street and my apt number, and the zip code readable. The envelope read like this:

    Am
    d St. #1
    (zip code)
    The rest was smeared to the point of being unreadable.

    The local post office checked their records and then with the district court clerk to see who had filed a passport app recently and a carrier delivered it to my door to see if it was mine.

    I think the competency issue depends on your post office.
     
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  15. Badams

    Badams Well-Known Member

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    I agree.
     
  16. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    Me three. I've had way more problems with Fedex and DHL than I've ever had with the USPS or UPS.
     
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  17. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

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    I'm getting fed up with their hours. Our local PO is open 9-5 M-F and now 10-3 Saturdays, making it borderline impossible for anyone with a job to get in without leaving work (especially those of us known to work Saturdays.) And they will have a line out the door, but one person working the counter while the other does something else. If they would get an APC to put in the lobby, I'd be fine. Of course, it would also make more sense not to lock the FREE Priority Mail packaging up when they're closed, too, so I can't even get a packing label after hours.

    But they don't care and will never change, unless their protected status is eliminated. They know we can't send first-class mail any other way. But if there was a UPS store in our town, as far as packages go....
     
  18. Karina1974

    Karina1974 Well-Known Member

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    You know, the more I read about the USPS, the less surprised I am that a friend, who retired 6 years ago after 30 years as a City Carrier, but remained active with the union typing up the local NALC chapter newsletter and going to the national conventions, told me in May that he had just typed up his last union newsletter. I never did ask him why; when I see him Saturday, maybe I'll run this topic by him and get his take on it.
     
  19. antmanb

    antmanb Well-Known Member

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    :rofl: I was waiting for this :rofl:
     
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  20. Karina1974

    Karina1974 Well-Known Member

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    :rolleyes: ...Or I'll ask him and keep to myself whatever it is I find out. I don't see anyone else here saying "I work for the USPS..." or "I know someone who was a career employee with the USPS, and I'll ask them for their take on the situation..."
     
  21. Jem X

    Jem X Looking forward to Worlds!

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    Back to Vash01, yes you should call and complain to your congressman, and if possible, give the name of the supervisor you spoke with. The congressman's office will contact the USPS office you dealt with, and the office will be required to look into it and report back to the congressman's office. It's possible that nothing further will happen, but it's also possible if enough complaints come in - especially with names- that personnel could be reprimanded or transferred around.
     
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  22. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    Corporations generally won't apologize because that means they admit wrong doing, which can bite them in the butt if there is latter prosecution for some reason.


    Sorry you felt like their response was not adequate, but I really don't see what the issue is. The vast majority of the mail in this country is delivered to unlocked locations. Unless the mail is sent certified, it is not considered to be secure.
     
  23. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    This. It might have made your day more pleasant if she had been nice but...
     
  24. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

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    If you have a PayPal account, a scale that measures ounces and a computer with printer, you can buy your own shipping labels online. It works for US mail only, but it's a godsend for anyone who does online sales. My post office is tiny and often only manned by one extremely chatty woman, luckily it does have an APC but that also does not do international packages.

    I could NEVER find the link while logged into PayPal, but someone in another community posted this and it works like a dream:
    https://www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_ship-now
     
  25. nikjil

    nikjil Active Member

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    The post office is awful. I sent my best friend a birthday package and sent it delivery confirmation. The USPS said it was delivered but my friend never said anything. I finally asked her and she never got it. She was on vacation, returning the day it was delivered, and her mail was being held at the post office until the next day. When she asked why a package was delivered when her mail was on hold the postmaster gave her some ridiculous story about how requesting a hold didn't mean that your mail would actually be held because the post office does not check the mail against your hold requests. They also said that it was not delivered by her regular postman but rather by some employee who goes out if there is extra or late mail or something like that. They told her the package must have been stolen. My friend thought that was unlikely because it was a large envelope rather than a box and based on the time stamp on the delivery confirmation there was only around an hour or so between the delivery time and her arrival back home. She eventually questioned the guy who delivered it and he admitted that while he remembered the package, he was unfamiliar with the neighborhood and didn't recognize the house and thought he had delivered it to the wrong place. The post office wouldn't do anything to make up for this.

    I've also sent packages delivery confirmation to NYC that either never arrived or arrived but were never confirmed and was told that was just the way it was in New York and postal employees there don't bother to scan the delivery confirmation.

    It live in a small town and the post office is ghastly. There's not enough parking, there's generally only one person on duty and the lines are always long because there isn't a stamp machine in the post office.
     
  26. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Julia, Elena, Anna, Liza, and Vera

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    USPS is not a corporation, it is a government agency, like the one I work for. If we make a mistake, we admit it and we are much nicer when someone complains.

    I don't care what happens to those vast locations you mentioned. My PO specifically had warned people in the past not to leave their mail overnight in their LOCKED mailboxes for the possibility of theft. For THEM to carelessly leave it outside my door (not in an unlocked mailbox, which is the case in some cities) is inexcusable. I do have an issue with it.

    P.S. I do know that my brother who lives in California has a mailbox without a lock and his mail was getting stolen a few years back. A neighbor seemed to see the theft while occurring and warned my brother. We have locked mailboxes here in Phoenix for that very reason.
     
  27. Susan1

    Susan1 Active Member

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    A couple years ago, I received a package FROM our local post office which contained half of the VISA bill I mailed three weeks before. (It was sliced right in half.) The half they returned had my return address on it, so it's not like it took them that long to track me down. Needless to say, my VISA bill was then overdue - which meant interest and a service charge. I called right away and told them. And I mailed a new check, along with a letter and the old half of check. They removed the interest from my account but I still had to pay a service charge. I also went to the USPS website and lodged a complaint. I never heard back.

    I've also received electric bills on the day they were due 2-3 times. The last time, the lady I talked to said they had gotten that a lot from people in my city that week. Maybe they all went on vacation at the same time?

    Yeah, I know that would be a good reason to pay my accounts online, but I am old fashioned and like to have a paper record of everything.
     
  28. Louis

    Louis Tinami 2012

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    The USPS is terrible.

    BUT.... being able to send a letter anywhere in the country for 44 cents or whatever it costs now is pretty damn cheap when you think about it.

    I don't see any reason why it shouldn't cost $2 or $3 to mail a letter and suspect that the low postal rates are probably some form of corporate welfare (though I have not done any research on this).

    Privatize it but also allow the USPS to charge whatever the market will bear for its services. That's my $0.02 at least.
     
  29. Karina1974

    Karina1974 Well-Known Member

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    I currently pay every bill online except for my Dell account, because once it's paid off, it's paid off until/unless I buy something else from them. Every single bill site I use allows me to print copies of my statements. National Grid, my gas/electric provider, even gives me my PDF e-statement in exactly the same format as it looks if I were to have it mailed to me. Sprint and Time Warner do the same.
     
  30. deltask8er

    deltask8er Well-Known Member

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    Postal Service proposes cutting 120,000 jobs, pulling out of health-care plan

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/polit...th-care-plan/2011/08/11/gIQAZxIM9I_story.html

    So everything is going in the wrong direction.

    Which probably means customer service will worsen.

    This is a tiny detail, and maybe they charge for this now, but last time I moved I did not pay anything to officially change my address or have mail forwarded for the first year. Considering how many Americans change residences every year, why not charge for something like that? That would add a few million a year (which in comparison is just a few cents a year to a typical household, but...).

    The anthrax attacks in 2001 probably didn't help, either. http://www.cbsnews.com/elements/2008/08/01/in_depth_us/timeline4314016.shtml I STILL carefully open my mail since that happened. :shuffle:
     
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