Friday, December 30, 2011

USPS
A Four-Letter Word!

When Ben Franklin invented the United States Postal Service, he never, ever envisioned what it would become in the 21st century.  If he had, old Ben would have come up with a better idea!  Half the time, the clerks in the Post Office don't even understand the weird postal rate schedule that is now in place.  I've had things returned to me for insufficient postage after they were weighed and paid for at the direction of a postal employee in the Post Office! And perhaps my favorite is that the postage is canceled and you have to buy the entire amount again even though it was a postal employee mistake...   grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.......

To be fair, it's probably safe to say the the USPS delivers millions of pieces of mail each year, and most of it is handled quickly and delivered in a timely manner.  What brought on this rant was a package I mailed just recently.  I confirmed with my branch of the Post Office that Priority Mail was still delivering in two to three days, and was assured that was true - four days at the longest.  Allow me to share the tracking information with you from the USPS website:

Track & Confirm
Search Results
Label/Receipt Number: xxxx xxxx xxxx xxxx 8400 75
Expected Delivery Date: December 19, 2011
Class: Priority Mail®
Service(s): Delivery Confirmation
Status: Delivered

Your item was delivered at 1:00 pm on December 28, 2011 in BIRMINGHAM, AL 35242.

Track and Confirm
  Enter Label/Receipt Number.

Detailed Results:
Bullet Delivered, December 28, 2011, 1:00 pm, BIRMINGHAM, AL 35242
Bullet Notice Left, December 27, 2011, 4:37 pm, BIRMINGHAM, AL 35242
Bullet Notice Left, December 27, 2011, 4:36 pm, BIRMINGHAM, AL 35242
Bullet Out for Delivery, December 27, 2011, 10:36 am, BIRMINGHAM, AL 35242
Bullet Sorting Complete, December 27, 2011, 10:26 am, BIRMINGHAM, AL 35242
Bullet Arrival at Post Office, December 27, 2011, 10:18 am, BIRMINGHAM, AL 35242
Bullet Processed through USPS Sort Facility, December 26, 2011, 12:09 am, BIRMINGHAM, AL 35222
Bullet Depart USPS Sort Facility, December 25, 2011, COPPELL, TX 75099
Bullet Processed through USPS Sort Facility, December 22, 2011, 10:13 pm, COPPELL, TX 75099
Bullet Depart USPS Sort Facility, December 19, 2011, SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84199
Bullet Processed through USPS Sort Facility, December 18, 2011, 6:17 am, SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84199
Bullet Dispatched to Sort Facility, December 17, 2011, 6:24 pm, CEDAR CITY, UT 84720
Bullet Acceptance, December 17, 2011, 2:09 pm, CEDAR CITY, UT 84720
Eleven days for Priority Mail to go from Southern Utah to Birmingham, Alabama.  A package I recently mailed to Japan arrived in 6 days!  I guess I should have sent it parcel post instead, as the delivery time for that service was 7-10 days.  The Post Office's explanation:  "We have no control over the route the mail takes once you give it to us."  No kidding!!!!!

But like you, I grit my teeth and worry every time I drop something in the mail.  I would use FedEx or UPS in a heartbeat if they weren't three times as expensive.  That being said, maybe we are all getting what we're paying for.

Thanks for letting me rant.

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