Friday, April 16, 2010

I've never been one to jump down the throat of a seller when an item has not arrived in a timely fashion. Sometimes real life interferes such as the sudden death of a loved one, a traffic accident, a snow storm, etc. Normally a couple days after I haven't received my item I'll send a politely worded email to see what's happening.

I received such an email from a wonderful customer of mine in Canada. Three weeks after I shipped out her item international priority mail (not in a flat rate box) she had still not received her item. Now this disturbed me greatly as I had upgraded the shipping on my dime to international priority mail to the tune of $19. I assured her I would investigate and get back to her that day. I first tracked the package on the post office website. It only showed that I had printed a shipping label on 2/19/10.

So I drove down to my local post office and spoke one of my favorite postal clerks. He tried to track my package but got the same information that I already had.

Stumped, I went home, got back on the post office website and emailed asking for an update on my package. Two days later I received an update that my package was in customs in New York. The following day the package had been shipped on its way to Canada. Two days after that the package was in my customer's town and the following day I was advised via email that the package had been delivered.

So tell me this. Why is it that from February 19, 2010, the date I printed the postage and mailed the package to March 13, 2010 when the package was scanned in customs there were no internal scans on this package. Normally when I send a package international priority mail the package goes to the Lehigh Valley, PA post office facility and then it goes to either the New York international facility or the Secaucus, NJ facility and is scanned in the day it arrives there.

I took my information back to the post office again to one of my favorite clerks who informed me that it looked like customs had had my package for 3 weeks. I felt that was not a satisfactory answer so I filed a claim for a refund of my $19.

I waited patiently for the postal supervisor to make a decision. A week went by and still no decision. So I went to the front counter at the post office and asked when they were going to make a decision. My favorite clerk told me to give the supervisor another day or two as she had been very busy. So I waited. Two days passed and I decided I had waited long enough. I didn't go to the post office this time as I was not very happy and did not want a face to face confrontation. So I called and spoke to the supervisor. I was told that my request for a refund was denied and that the package had sat in customs for 3 weeks. I was told that the post office had no control over what customs does or how long they hold a package.

Still not satisfied, I filed for a refund on the post office website. Three weeks went by (the site says someone will email you back within 2 business days).

Well I decided to call today to find out what the post office had decided to do. Their decision was no decision. Since the local post office denied the claim the people who respond to claims on the website did nothing including not responding within the appropriate time.

So there you have it folks. Another example of a formerly great service deciding not to be accountable. As there are no internal scans on file for my package I have to presume that my package sat in a postal warehouse for 3 weeks before the post office deigned to look for said package when I sent in my email request for them to look for it.

Thank goodness my customer was a peach and gave me glowing feedback even though it took a month for her item to arrive.

My suggestion for anyone sending out packages is to request an update on the status of your packages via the USPS website. That seems to have finally gotten my package going in the right direction. I can only guess where that package would be had I not done that.

However, that said, the post office sure does know how to make a great commercial!


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Dingmans Ferry, Pennsylvania, United States
We are the owners of Mod Mary's Vintage on Etsy.