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Another Post Office P.S.A. Is Required...

Discussion in 'The Breakroom' started by DBR, Feb 8, 2014.

  1. DBR

    DBR Loaded Pockets

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    I made the mistake the other day of listening to another inexperienced U.S. Postal Service Employee. Or, hey, maybe they were just trying to get over three times as much money out of me. Anyway, I wanted to send something First Class International Letter, it's a lightweight knife. They told me that I would have to get a Global Priority type of shipping in order to have any tracking.

    I paid almost $9.00 and they were quoting me almost $30.00...

    So, I believed them...something I know after years of experience I should never do.

    Turns out, on the receipt, there is the Customs Form Number and that is a tracking number, at least with the Canadian Postal Service.

    I should know better...I even asked the guy, "Are you sure? Because now we receive tracking numbers for First Class letters and packages..." And he reaffirmed, "Not for International."

    So...all of you guys, don't even have to ask them. Just look on your receipt before you leave the counter and if it has the Customs Form #: ________________ just like that, that is the number you put into canadapost.ca to track.
     
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  2. rsitter

    rsitter EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    for usps, the tracking number only works untill it leaves the country, with first class.
     
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  3. twoisone
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    twoisone EDC Junkie!!!

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    Weird. The last few items I have been sent to me in Canada with USPS first class I have been able to track right to my door.
     
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  4. jrandom

    jrandom Loaded Pockets

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    Canada may be different, I had to return an item to Portugal two months ago via USPS. It didn't weigh much (a SAK cadet), it cost me $24... if I wanted to be able to track it to destination would have cost me $65+.
     
  5. DBR

    DBR Loaded Pockets

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    So far, I have tracked it into Canada. It is not a USPS Tracking Number, it is a Customs Form Number that is being used as a tracking number via canadapost.ca
     
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  6. flatblackcapo

    flatblackcapo EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    In my experience if you want three different answers to the same question just ask three different USPS employes the same question. I had the same problem shipping a knife international. 1st time I was quoted 76.00 ,same package 2nd try " oh we do not offer that service at all", 3rd try same package 34.00. What the heck!!! I chose #3:p
     
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  7. DBR

    DBR Loaded Pockets

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    They really are goofy. I was trying to send a Kershaw pocketknife to Australia about ten years ago and I wanted a Global Priority Box, right? I wanted it protected and the envelopes were not padded but simply light cardboard glued together. So, they didn't have them at my post office so I went five miles away to another one and the cashier asked me why I had to have a Global Priority Box instead of the Global Priority Envelope and I told him what I said above and he said, "Well, what are you mailing?" And I told him politely but firmly that it really wasn't any of his business what a customer was mailing and then he pressed and, in a moment of stupidity, I said, "It's a common pocketknife." Then came the startling response, "I would have to inspect that before you can mail it." (!) I told him that there was absolutely no postal regulation whatsoever that gave him the authority to demand inspection of an item before it was shipped. They guy was an :censored: and obviously, given the track record of that organization, was probably going to try to steal it.
     
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  8. BarksAtCats
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    BarksAtCats Loaded Pockets

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    The USPS is a government sponsored business and, like everything else on the U.S. government payroll, one is bound to run into more than one's fair share of meatheads. I am NOT saying everyone who works for the USPS is a meathead. It is simply that a government sponsored business is going to reward longevity over creativity, ingenuity, a desire to succeed, and everything else. Unfortunately, this means that we, the hapless customer, are stuck with options like UPS (who essentially has a monopoly, has set their prices accordingly, and could not care less about me), FedEx (who really only wants to do business with other businesses as opposed to individuals like me), and DHL (a decent shipping option but very difficult to locate.)

    Edited to add: ...but I'm not bitter... ;)
     
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  9. DBR

    DBR Loaded Pockets

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    That pretty much sums it up. Funny thing, I saw the same, now retired, USPS Cashier/Sales Associate, a few weeks ago, in a post office. We just looked at each other...we remembered each other. Hahahaha! He didn't get a knife, the guy in Oz did though.
     
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  10. EveryDayBeer
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    EveryDayBeer Loaded Pockets

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    They are trained (really, required) to upsell services to customers. Like plenty of other retail employees, there are questions they have to ask. Not sure if they have any type of quota, but there's sometimes a Customer Service supervisor within earshot.

    I'll leave it at that, before I start rambling. ;)
     
  11. DBR

    DBR Loaded Pockets

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    There is absolutely nothing in the regulations about questioning someone about why they need a box over an envelope. It's simply none of their business.
     
  12. DBR

    DBR Loaded Pockets

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    Oh, in case you were talking about the original problem. If their customer service relies on lying to the face of the customer, I don't respect them, their employees or their supervisors. Don't care and it doesn't excuse it or explain it away one little bit.
     
  13. EveryDayBeer
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    EveryDayBeer Loaded Pockets

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    The guy was probably being nosy, you're right. As for asking in the first place, I meant upselling services ("Are you sure you don't want to mail it Express?") versus asking "WHAT'S IN THE BOX!"

    Or he could've been asking why so he could recommend better packaging. I wouldn't ship a knife in an envelope or bare in a larger than necessary box, for example. Have had the unpleasant experience of a box of kitchen knives fall at me without sheaths, poking through a box. :eek: Guess it depends on how he asked the question.
     
  14. Mike Keith

    Mike Keith Loaded Pockets

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    I work for Royal Mail in the UK and can confirm that international tracking codes are somewhat unreliable things. Different countries offer different services, the service you pay for in country of origin may not always be available in the destination country.

    A prime example are, in fact, packages from the U.S. I've seen quite a few that are marked on the packaging as "Signature Required", but when scanned at the delivery point, come up in the system as standard tracked, no signature. Conversely, I've seen several that DID require signatures, but which were not immediately obvious. At first look, they appeared to be just a standard package until I spotted a trackable barcode on a little sticker in one corner.

    I'm not saying you should pay over the odds for the premium services, but if its an item of value and you want to be certain of tracking all the way to recipient, it's worth doing your research first to be certain what service you DO need to be using.
     
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  15. CSM-101
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    CSM-101 EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Yep. Many years ago I needed to return a match grade barrel for a Ruger 10/22 to the manufacturer, a noted custom firearms parts company. They called me very upset when they got the package from USPS due to the fact that the shipping tube had been ripped in half and was empty (!). They said they would have refused receipt but the guy just dropped it at the door.

    I called the post office to file a complaint and the first thing they asked me was "Did you insure the package?" When I told them I didn't they said
    there was nothing they could do... I asked them WHY I needed to buy insurance to protect me from THEM stealing my stuff! Needless to say
    they didn't have anything else to say after that and told me I was out of luck.

    ... and people wonder why I hate USPS.
     
  16. EveryDayBeer
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    EveryDayBeer Loaded Pockets

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    @CSM-101 The package might not have been stolen. Just handled badly. Heavier objects tend to protrude through their packaging unfortunately. Saw this a lot with items being returned to Harbor Freight. I knew where the air compressor without an address was going, your barrel may not have been as fortunate. Or the carrier might've been an avid shooter. Either way it sucks and shouldn't have happened.
     
  17. hunter s gatherer
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    hunter s gatherer EDC Junkie!!!

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    ^^^^^^ Man, that's like the ol leave a :censored: in the bag at the doorstep, light it and run .... Very disheartening.
     
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  18. CSM-101
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    CSM-101 EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    It's possible, but I've heard a lot of stories about firearms parts being stolen. Several years later I needed to send something back to Colt,
    while talking to them they said they had LOTS of problems with packages being "lost"... so much so that they had a different address for returns
    that had nothing about "Colt Firearms" in the address.
     
  19. DBR

    DBR Loaded Pockets

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    USPS Insurance is a totally different boondoggle altogether. Be prepared to prove that the item in question was worth what you have in insurance and be further prepared to be told that you will not be receiving that full amount. I have been to that rodeo as well. E-bay item, this is over ten years ago, too. I brought them a printout of the auction, this is what it is worth and this is why I purchased this much insurance on it. When you are the federal government, you can commit the crime of fraud whenever you want to. It mostly depends on who you get when you roll the dice and have to talk to them. I have had people bend over backwards to try to help me and other people couldn't care less.

    I had another incident where CountyComm said that they did not receive a $40.00 USPS Money Order in the mail and the USPS said that they could track it to see if someone cashed it, but that would cost $20.00! Unbelievable! I told them, it's a 50/50 chance that it was one of your employees or CountyComm's employees responsible for the loss and I have to pay you $20 more for you to find out something that you should want to find out on your own?

    It really is infuriating at times, to say the least.
     
  20. EveryDayBeer
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    EveryDayBeer Loaded Pockets

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    @DBR Usually the ones that get busted for theft aren't arrested, simply drummed out. Told to quit or they'll face charges. They should be facing charges anyway but it saves money and bad publicity to do things this way. They don't even do the shoe-walk around the building any more. Too afraid to hurt the thief's feelings or piss them off (you've heard of going postal?).

    I didn't know there was a charge for lookups of money orders. Why bother if you're not getting that part of the money back? That sucks.