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Old 01-11-2017, 10:02 PM
Electronic M's Avatar
Electronic M Electronic M is online now
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I hate the USPS sometimes...caping off a crappy day.

So I split a big capacitor order among two suppliers for cheapness. One is important for a computer rebuild and urgently awaited.

Twas supposed to come today. Tracking indicates it's been sitting 15 minutes away at the local postal center since 11:30AM yesterday....Okay so it should have gotten here here today (tracking projection). Weather sucks today and I shortened my lunch break by eating fast garbage so as to be able to leave early and completely beat the 5PM weather advisory, and have extra time to recap that motherboard.
I get home thinking the box I find may be the package I want...It is not (the other one made it), and I loose time confirming which it is.

I have maybe 27min to ascertain which division (there are ~3) of the postal complex here has it and if it is one of two that is still open, and drive there if it is able to be gotten. So I look up the number and call...A bunch of rings later I get dumped in to their automated 1-800 line (as I later realized).

The USPS automated phone system is the slowest most infuriating thing I can think of....It makes the state DMV feel like the Ritz.

It had to take 10 minutes to sift through all the damn menus trying (in vain) to speak with an actual human being, then trying to figure out what automated option had the biggest (snowball's) chance (in hell) of getting me the answers I seek before trying to rush on slippery roads...All the while the damn system would keep asking me about stupid shit I don't care about and asking me to confirm. After trying to check the tracking via the phone I completely had it with them....That damn system makes it impossible to enter the seemingly 30 digit long number...Via voice it can't understand me, if I try to enter it by phone dial it times out unless I move stupid fast...

I could not even complete the damn call to get to the feedback to leave the TERRIBLE feedback they deserve.

Trying to call literally ruined my chance to show up and claim it....I'd have been better off just showing up.

I'd love to smack the moron who decided to use an automated system to take what I could explain to a competent human in well under a minute (and probably get a solid answer in 2-10 min), and turn it into ~25 minutes of what gradually became me shouting and cussing at a computer and getting nowhere.

And of course the tracking mentions nothing as to why it has been SITTING 15 minutes away for a day and a half or when it is NOW projected to arrive since it missed the short buss.

I can understand a delay if noted/explained in tracking, I can understand the tracking sucking if there are humans available to fill in the void it leaves, but if the system as a whole is lousy and there is not even a way (as far as I can tell) to complain about it...That is just going too far.

I think the USPS just lost some of my future business.
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Old 01-11-2017, 10:47 PM
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I absolutely feel your pain about the stupid automatic phonestuff. I've been going around and around with the damn stupid Social Security Administration. I even went down there in person. They told me everything was fine and dandy. Well it's NOT! They STILL managed to screw up my student benefits.
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Old 01-12-2017, 06:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Electronic M View Post
So I split a big capacitor order among two suppliers for cheapness. One is important for a computer rebuild and urgently awaited.

Twas supposed to come today. Tracking indicates it's been sitting 15 minutes away at the local postal center since 11:30AM yesterday....Okay so it should have gotten here here today (tracking projection).
When I need more info than the online tracking provides, I open an inquiry online - the second or third page has more detailed info, including what "gun" scanned the package.

Post Office or Postal Facility? If it's at the hub (Postal Facility), they don't answer questions, except to another postal employee. They aren't customer service reps, as I've learned - all the customer service is at the post office, online, or at 1-800-ASK-USPS.

My last fiasco was just before Christmas - a package I sent was "out for delivery" for 4 days. An inquiry showed it to be on the carrier's truck, stuck somehow. My aunt had received it 3 days prior. The inquiry later showed the gun scanning it for delivery, but the gun had died before being uploaded, so the data was "delayed" a bit...

Counterpoint - I've never lost a domestic package with USPS, but UPS was a nightmare for me back in the mid-2000s. Two tool sets (crated, 3 Cu-ft) shipped from Maryland to Jacksonville, FL just disappeared - 11 months later they showed up in a US Customs Auction, where we redeemed them before sale. UPS had tried to ship them to Jalisco, Mexico, and was stopped when customs papers had nothing but phone numbers. UPS refused to refund the shipping amount until we had a letter sent from the US Attorney's office in Baltimore.
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Old 01-12-2017, 04:53 PM
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I tried to use the USPS 800 number to stop my mail for a week, after my mailbox post was hit and flattened. The woman who hit it sent her husband to tell me he'd make it good. I was amazed about that, but calling the 800 number was nothing but a hassle. The voice recognition was not good.

I finally got the mail stopped for a week and then it said "please hang on for your confirmation number, which you can use to reinstate your mail if you want to cancel the stop mail" and then they said "or we can call you back if you like and you won't lose your place in line." I picked that second choice. BIG mistake!

So they called back and the obviously East Indian woman wouldn't give me the number. She said she couldn't prove my identity. Oh brother! So she asked for my name, address, phone number and email address and then started keying in heaven only knows what, over and over and I was getting very peeved and asked that she get on with it.

Finally it ended and the survey about the horrible experience I had didn't work and its volume was so low that it couldn't understand any voice commands. A one was a nine. It finally quit in total frustration. So their survey to find out how badly they're doing is even messed up, so they won't ever know.

After the call completed, I checked my email. There was the confirmation number. So she couldn't tell it to me, but she could email it to me! The next day someone from the local PO called me, asking if I had any problems with the stop mail I issued. So this didn't save anyone any time at all.

Later I got an emailed survey and I let them have it. I said phone calls shouldn't be routed to overseas call centers. I'm sure that all fell on deaf ears, but it made me feel better.

And to top it off, the deadbeat still hasn't paid for my $34 mailbox post. I gave him two weeks to replace it himself and then got one and put it up so I could get mail again.

Hereafter all my dealings with the USPS will be in the post office.
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Old 01-12-2017, 11:01 PM
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benman94 benman94 is offline
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My father works for the Postal Service and has for 38 years.

You get the service you pay for. If an item is shipped parcel select, retail ground, first class, etc, it is going to move slower. Priority mail and express mail take priority (thus the names). If you really need the parts by a certain day and time, ensure that you select the appropriate shipping service.

Mail volume is still incredibly high. It always is before and after the holidays, and Amazon and other online retailers are causing some growing pains for the USPS. 13-16 hour days for some of the employees from early December to mid-January are more common. If you can come up with a better system for moving the nation's mail, I'm sure Congress would love to hear it. No other postal service on earth, private or public, provides such a physically vast and populous nation with the uniform and relatively high quality service the post office does day in and day out.

If you had shown up at the processing plant, they'd have told you to leave. Your parcel is still likely in a massive hamper destined for your local post office where it will be sorted to your delivery route and delivered.

The USPS phone system does suck, but it doesn't really matter in your case. The parcel is still being processed. Until it physically arrives at a post office, the clerks at your local office can't do a damn thing. Even if they could, they probably wouldn't. Again, if you need it faster, get off a buck and have it shipped with a better service, like Priority or Express Mail. Your parcels are no more important than anyone else's parcels of the same class. They operate on a FIFO system, and you're getting what you paid for.

It is entirely possible that a departure scan was missed and that your parcel was actually at the post office awaiting sorting down to the route and final delivery. Scans are occasionally missed this time of year. Chalk it up to an overworked clerk.

Finally, the only USPS services with a guaranteed money-back delivery date are express. Projected days will shift, though usually to an earlier date and not later. Weather, both around the corner and across the nation, can modify schedules of flights, trucks, and trains, pushing the delivery date around some. This is totally normal. Bad storms in Alaska often screw up the bulk of the international services for example, because Ted Stevens International in Anchorage is a major USPS hub for 80% of the industrialized world. This can have trickle down effects in other parts of the country as trucks are diverted from normal schedules to deal with large influxes of mail caused by clearing the backlog of international mail.

If the USPS has lost some of your business that's fine, they aren't perfect by any means; just remember that the alternatives are often worse. UPS has damaged many of my parcels beyond recognition, and FedEx misdelivered a parcel of mine (worth north of $5000) to the neighbors. Thank God my neighbors and I got along well. At the end of the day, I find the USPS gets my parcels to my PO Box back home in the states with minimal problems and for competitive prices. One just needs to be patient in a society that is increasingly concerned with instant gratification. Your mileage may vary of course.

Last edited by Celt; 01-13-2017 at 09:33 AM. Reason: edited out political commentary
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Old 01-13-2017, 07:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benman94 View Post
No other postal service on earth, private or public, provides such a physically vast and populous nation with the uniform and relatively high quality service the post office does day in and day out.
Truth! And they deliver to every postal address on earth*.

* even to embargoed countries...
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Old 01-13-2017, 09:34 AM
zeno zeno is offline
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I have to give credit where due. There is no other major
country that you can drop a letter & have it arrive in a
few days almost anywhere in the US 99.999% of the time.
AND at a cost MUCH less. Look at Japan. High density that
should make for cheap service but last time I looked it
cost abt 3 times as much. Tnx PMG Ben Franklin
Sure they have problems but who dont ? Its probably the
only government entity that delivers on its promise. Not
to mention they are probably the only branch not spending
hundreds of millions to prove global warming at ANY cost !

73 Zeno
LFOD !
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  #8  
Old 01-13-2017, 09:41 AM
Electronic M's Avatar
Electronic M Electronic M is online now
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With Mouser there is only one shipping option that includes the USPS...UPS delivers it long distance to the local USPS office who then gets it to my door...If I want to avoid having this mess with them a third time (IIRC I had something a bit like this last year) Mouser orders are going to have to come pure UPS or pure FedEx.

According to tracking UPS did it's work on time, and USPS has been dragging it's feet, but USPS blames UPS for falsifying tracking times .

If UPS knows USPS is not meeting projections then it should not define in it's tracking a single projected date, but instead a range of dates inline with what is actually occurring. USPS's tracking displays no date projection (and aside from telling you something is stuck someplace has virtually no useful info), and a confusing set of terms like 'Accepted' and 'Received' how can you accept something then receive it?...Is accepting some documentation approval and not physical acceptance?...If so then it should say 'documentation accepted'!

At this point all I know for sure is that they are doing a lousy job of documenting what they are doing in a way that is clear and useful to the consumer. If they can't make an accurate date projection then they should fix it or get rid of it...Leaving something broken sit available just makes a company look bad.
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Old 01-13-2017, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeno View Post
I have to give credit where due. There is no other major
country that you can drop a letter & have it arrive in a
few days almost anywhere in the US 99.999% of the time.
AND at a cost MUCH less...
From the standpoint of delivery and sorting accuracy statistics, the USPS is nothing short of miraculous.

My Grandfather was the Postmaster of a Railway Post Office that ran between Detroit, Buffalo, Albany, and NYC from the late 1950s until they discontinued his particular RPO sometime after 1967. They sorted all the mail (down to the individual route!) being delivered between those three cities, plus all the mail for all the small towns and stops along the way. He had to give random periodic assessments to test the accuracy of the sorting clerks on the train. 94% accuracy was considered grounds for dismissal. 96% was an automatic warning, three of which would result in dismissal. This was in the 50s. No big machines, just a guy on a stool in a railcar.

Nowadays with the new automated equipment, sorting errors are even less common.

There's this perception that working as a clerk for the USPS is easy work. It isn't. It's fairly highly skilled and requires, or at least used to require, an uncanny memory. Just ask the men in the National Guard who tried to deliver the mail during the strike of '70. They failed at it. Miserably.

To those individuals, many of whom would probably fail the postal service entrance examinations, who still choose to gripe about the USPS I say this: Go pick the item up yourself if it is truly that sensitive.
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Old 01-13-2017, 10:05 AM
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benman94 benman94 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Electronic M View Post
With Mouser there is only one shipping option that includes the USPS...UPS delivers it long distance to the local USPS office who then gets it to my door...If I want to avoid having this mess with them a third time (IIRC I had something a bit like this last year) Mouser orders are going to have to come pure UPS or pure FedEx.

According to tracking UPS did it's work on time, and USPS has been dragging it's feet, but USPS blames UPS for falsifying tracking times .

If UPS knows USPS is not meeting projections then it should not define in it's tracking a single projected date, but instead a range of dates inline with what is actually occurring. USPS's tracking displays no date projection (and aside from telling you something is stuck someplace has virtually no useful info), and a confusing set of terms like 'Accepted' and 'Received' how can you accept something then receive it?...Is accepting some documentation approval and not physical acceptance?...If so then it should say 'documentation accepted'!

At this point all I know for sure is that they are doing a lousy job of documenting what they are doing in a way that is clear and useful to the consumer. If they can't make an accurate date projection then they should fix it or get rid of it...Leaving something broken sit available just makes a company look bad.
Tom,
My father deals with this ALL THE TIME. This is what the USPS refers to as a "final mile" contract. It is UPS's responsibility to get the parcel to the sorting center or individual post office, then the post office will handle the so-called "final mile" to your house. UPS is notorious for marking items as arrived at a USPS facility or post office when in actuality, they're still on a UPS truck or in a UPS facility. I doubt very much the USPS has your parcel yet. I dislike this service; UPS and Fedex usually drag their feet...
Try checking the USPS-specific tracking number as opposed to the UPS number on the UPS webpage.
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Old 01-13-2017, 10:25 AM
dieseljeep dieseljeep is offline
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Priority Mail.

I buy a lot of odd-ball tubes from ESRC in Florida.
They always ship Priority Mail. It costs a little more, but you get your order 2 or 3 days after placing your order. If you place your order before noon, it comes a little quicker.
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Old 01-13-2017, 10:35 AM
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Adam Adam is offline
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I have had awful experiences with USPS here in Lansing. They loose a package of mine at least twice a year. It usually gets lost in a nearby sorting facility, but sometimes it gets delivered to the wrong street. Once it was on its way to a nearby town, and I managed to intercept it at a post office about 30mi away before it got delivered to the wrong house. If it's stuck in a sorting facility I have always managed to get it after bothering them enough, but once it's delivered to the wrong house, it's usually lost. The people at the house the post office claims they delivered it to claim they never got a package, and while I have no idea whose lying, I loose my capacitors either way

It's happened to me often enough now that if I have the option of FedEx or UPS I'll always take it, even if it's way more expensive - cheap delivery does me no good if I don't actually get what I ordered.

But to be fair, I've lived in 6 different cities, and while I have problems getting my mail on a semi-regular basis here in Lansing, I've never had these problems at all with the USPS anywhere else.
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Last edited by Adam; 01-13-2017 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 01-13-2017, 11:18 AM
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benman94 benman94 is offline
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Adam, start using your Zip+4 for everything if you aren't already. It's possible that someone else has an extremely similar address and that's where the mixup occurs. A Zip+4 can usually prevent this. Each individual valid delivery point (street address, apartment, suite in an office building, PO Box, etc) has a unique number associated with it. Your Zip+4 is most of that number; I think the individual delivery points are only an additional two (or three?) numbers beyond that.
For example, my parents' Zip+4 is 48455-9683. That defines the delivery point down to the carrier and route in Metamora, MI. If I were to write them and put that on the letter, I can virtually guarantee that it will make it to the correct carrier in the correct post office. Then the only part that can get screwed up is when the carrier physically drives to the house and places it in the mailbox.
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Old 01-13-2017, 11:39 AM
Electronic M's Avatar
Electronic M Electronic M is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benman94 View Post
Tom,
My father deals with this ALL THE TIME. This is what the USPS refers to as a "final mile" contract. It is UPS's responsibility to get the parcel to the sorting center or individual post office, then the post office will handle the so-called "final mile" to your house. UPS is notorious for marking items as arrived at a USPS facility or post office when in actuality, they're still on a UPS truck or in a UPS facility. I doubt very much the USPS has your parcel yet. I dislike this service; UPS and Fedex usually drag their feet...
Try checking the USPS-specific tracking number as opposed to the UPS number on the UPS webpage.
I've only got one number and it works on both pages...

BTW: I've got no gripe with those sorting it. It's customer service (what they are telling me) and the user end of tracking that bug me. If there is going to be tracking info given to me I want it to be clear (even to those that don't work for them) and accurate...If UPS is going to give an estimation of arrival then it should be accurate...They should give a range of dates if they can't guarantee it will be there on the single date they give...Or at least revise their date if there is a slow down. I don't care if it is slow as long as I'm kept in the loop. As things sit UPS shows it as not being delivered with a projected arrival time of two days ago (USPS only says where it is now without any projected arrival time)...

I don't like the info I get being inaccurate or vague. I feel as a consumer that it is reasonable to expect to be told the truth, and be kept informed if it changes/be able to ask (if not informed) without undue hassle.
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Old 01-13-2017, 11:46 AM
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benman94 benman94 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Electronic M View Post
I've only got one number and it works on both pages...

BTW: I've got no gripe with those sorting it. It's customer service (what they are telling me) and the user end of tracking that bug me. If there is going to be tracking info given to me I want it to be clear (even to those that don't work for them) and accurate...If UPS is going to give an estimation of arrival then it should be accurate...They should give a range of dates if they can't guarantee it will be there on the single date they give...Or at least revise their date if there is a slow down. I don't care if it is slow as long as I'm kept in the loop. As things sit UPS shows it as not being delivered with a projected arrival time of two days ago (USPS only says where it is now without any projected arrival time)...

I don't like the info I get being inaccurate or vague. I feel as a consumer that it is reasonable to expect to be told the truth, and be kept informed if it changes/be able to ask (if not informed) without undue hassle.
That's certainly fair and tracking info is a weak spot for all the parcel services, but your gripe here is with UPS, not the post office. The post office never gave a projected delivery day, UPS did. The post office won't even give a projected delivery day on a "final mile" package in many cases, for the reasons listed previously. It's the people at UPS that deserve a nasty phone call, not USPS in this case.
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