Thursday, April 30, 2009

USPS... what happened to you?

There has been this ongoing issue with one of my packages that has finally been resolved. I hate to crab about it, but I have GOT to get this off my chest.

I had an overseas customer who ordered some of my fiber because of the "Stone Soup Challenge". Her package did not arrive after two months... overseas is slow, but that was a little ridiculous. So I sent a replacement package to a relative that lives here in the states that was about to come over for a visit. Priority Mail. Supposed to arrive in a few days, right?

Twenty days had passed and the electronic tracking showed no movement after the package reached Houston. I made six phone calls over the course of two days, trying to track down that package. I bitched, whined, pleaded, and eventually tried humor and humility... I was *desperate* to have that package be found. I was sure this customer was going to think me a flaky weirdo because I couldn't get a shipment to arrive.

In the midst of all this, the first package was returned... marked up like you wouldn't believe. I'm surprised they could still see the return address.

Eventually, I returned the customer's money. I was very bitter... not towards the customer, but towards the US Postal service. If I couldn't rely on them to send my packages, how could I continue with my business? When the USPS screws up... it costs ME money, gives me tremendous amounts of stress, and wastes bucketloads of my time. I was *this* close to just chucking it all and moving to Tahiti. Or you know, something less expensive.

Well today the family member arrived overseas and guess what? They had received the package. The customer sent my money back once again, but that's not the point. The point is I was completely stressed out because the USPS' electronic tracking system was completely unreliable.

Now I have another package out there, and I have no idea if it has arrived... same kind of deal, there's no movement on the tracking number. I can't do business this way. If they're going to only scan the packages into the system when they feel like it (never) then they need to take the electronic confirmation numbers OFF their list of services.

I'd switch to UPS or FedEx, but unfortunately the same two pound package costs over $11 to ship UPS, and I haven't even priced FedEx recently, but I remember them being even more expensive when I checked a few years ago.

Well, it's a good thing I didn't ask the USPS to refund my postage. Now I'm going to have to start convo'ing all my customers to make sure their packages arrive, and it's going to look like I'm nagging for feedback... which I hate.

Summer is usually my slow season... is it here yet?


  1. There is nothing I hate more than paying for poor service. If someone is giving me something for free, maybe I can accept some frustration but paying for non-delivered packages is lame on USPS's part.

  2. What irked me the most was that every time I called, I got blown off by someone. Like they already had my money, so they didn't need to give any attention to my problem. The customer service people were great, but that processing center up in Houston? NEVER returned my calls. And one time? A guy gave me a phone number and wanted me to do his job for him tracking it down! Ugh.