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USPS doesn't even merit being described as 'it sucks'!

Discussion in 'General EDC Discussion' started by Moshe ben David, Jul 13, 2019.

  1. ran23
    • In Omnia Paratus

    ran23 Loaded Pockets

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    A few weeks ago, I was waiting on a ebay purchase. Finally 'out for delivery'. About Noon it switched to 'go pick it up'. (my mail comes late afternoon then). I gave it 2 days then went to Package Pick-up to find it was closed and moved out of town. I had a copy of the web site Tracking # and was maybe 20 in line in front of me. When I got inside and gave it to them, it took about 10 minutes to find out, it was not there either. "Out for delivery again'. I did get it.
     
  2. indigo_wolf

    indigo_wolf AKA Breezy

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    Have you had the shipper initiate a package trace request?

    At least that way, it kicks it out of the automated system, to a USPS employee tracking it down.

    ATB,
    Sam
     
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  3. Cobra 6 Actual

    Cobra 6 Actual Loaded Pockets

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    Many years ago I worked briefly for the USPS. First, as a clerk, then as a carrier.

    The one thing I took away from the whole experience: any time I receive a package from the Postal Service I am truly pleasantly surprised.
     
  4. Sentinel-14

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    No, I haven't: I wasn't aware you could do that. That said, the packages are processed through a hub in my state so I know they're close: another few days at most. Still have one more out in la-la land though. I'm trying to cut them some slack because of the holiday shipping crunch, but they don't make it easy...
     
  5. EveryDayBeer
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    EveryDayBeer Loaded Pockets

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    I will try to keep this brief. USPS has been seeing Christmas-level package volumes since March or so when the first lockdowns were in place. Since then, covid has closed down entire facilities or ground them to a halt due to not having enough people to actually run the machines. Top that all off with what I believe were record levels of snow on the East Coast. Add in the fact that most people wait until the last two weeks to ship anything and then blame USPS for the delay. Oh one more thing, UPS and FedEx were refusing packages so USPS would have to pick up the rest.

    The reason your packages are in limbo is because there are facilities with entire rows of trailers parked in the yard. They're not going anywhere, there's nowhere to go, sometimes it's simply a space issue (inside the building) and other times there's no one to unload them. Meanwhile where I'm at, yes we're seeing ten day old mail coming from the East Coast. We process it locally the day it arrives because my plant has been fortunate to have very few covid related staffing issues.
     
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  6. Sentinel-14

    Sentinel-14 Loaded Pockets

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    Well, I did say it was "more a gripe at the circumstance and the system in general." That is, I don't blame people. The circumstance being the plague slowing everything down, and the system not being designed in a way to provide decent tracking.

    I'm allowed to gripe at the circumstance; we all are, as long as we dont go blaming individual people for a circumstance beyond their control. And I did explicitly say "this isn't really anyone's fault". I'm not mad at people not being at work because of the plague: I'm mad at the plague for screwing up normal life.

    I figured the trailers were in a yard somewhere waiting for processing. The frustration was that the system couldn't tell me where. I understand that package location isn't updated (likely can't be) until the package is removed from the trailer and processed thru the facility. I get that.

    Say a package goes on Trailer B and left Location A. The system updates to say it left Location A.
    Trailer arrives at Location B, but will be sitting for an indeterminate duration until the staff can get to it. System still says "In transit"
    This is where my problem is. The trailer should also be tied into the system, so that the system can update to say "arrived at Location B: awaiting processing" That's loads better than a pointless, tells-nothing "in transit".

    Doesn't even seem like it'd be terribly hard. The workers had to be told by the package handling system to put the package on a specific trailer, because the trailer was bound for the right location, so the package handling system knows which trailer the package is on. The only improvement seems to be that that system needs to be tied into the package Tracking system. Further, the trailers themselves need to be checked in upon arrival at a location. Then the package handling system will be told the trailer's new location, can pass that on to the Tracking system, and the tracking system can update to let a person know that the package is at a place, waiting processing.

    I've waited days for packages to leave a facility before. Arrive one day, 2 days later it processes, another 2 days it finally departs. That's okay: I understand the facility is likely overworked, but the system is at least telling me it knows where my stuff is. it alleviates the fear of "did it get lost?"
    But "in transit" tells me nothing, and that's the frustrating part. Some places like Amazon will just send you another package if it gets lost or stolen: Ebay vendors usually dont, especially if you're buying vintage stuff that's difficult to find. So of course I'm going to obsessively track my packages to make sure they dont get lost, or sit on the porch at work (inviting theft, and it's a very real problem there) before I finally go get them.

    In the end, the packages I originally griped about arrived, 20 days after I originally ordered them, and 14 days after the original expected delivery date. I'm not saying that to indict anyone: only to show just how badly this whole plague thing has messed up our mail service, and to provide a bit of context to why some people are supremely frustrated with it right now. :(
     
  7. garza

    garza Loaded Pockets

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    My delivery issues with USPS date from around 2008 which was well before the current pandemic and election cycle. The service level has declined over the years. I have opened cases with postal inspectors with no resolution for gift card theft and musing packages included in the daily informed delivery email.
     
  8. EveryDayBeer
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    I can tell you where the problem is with this right now. The actual scan points for the trailers (to denote arrival, load/unload etc) are on the inside of the trailer. Usually still sealed and locked if they're parking them in the yard. I don't think the system even has flags set up (internal notifications) for Express or Registered (which can include human remains and needs to be expedited) because it is a patchwork system. It needs a lot of work.
    Every few years we get one old timer (or an entitled new timer) that thinks the stuff in Dead Mail should be theirs. Yeah sure let's throw away a career for a $50 gift card pal. Eventually enough customers complain that the OIG will show up and forcibly remove the poop-bag (trying to be PG-13 here) from the workforce. The good thing about gift cards in the mail (rather than cash) is they are easy to trace and most retail locations have cameras.

    As for the decline in service, I could write a novel or two. I will spare everyone unless prompted.
     
  9. Sentinel-14

    Sentinel-14 Loaded Pockets

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    indeed it does. Putting all the scan points inside is beyond ridiculous. System definitely needs an overhaul for sure.

    I'd say that depends on the nature of the commentary. If you're going to defend why service has declined and offer apologies for it, I doubt it'd go over well. We're mad and want the system to get better, not be given excuses for why it sucks. I say this tongue-in-cheek: I'm not ragging on you personally or anything as I'm reasonably sure you have no direct power to effect change at the USPS. ;)
    On the other hand, if you want to offer up scathing indictment for why the service has declined, then by all means do: this is a hate thread after all. :p
     
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  10. EveryDayBeer
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    EveryDayBeer Loaded Pockets

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    I don't really want to get started. I will say the delay for mail coming from the East is now down to only five days old (from the previous ten days plus) and I have heard that is because they are mandating people (the ones that show up...covid is ongoing) to work seven days a week. We have seen record high package volume the last few days (at my plant) because they're finally catching up out there. This means our carriers are back into penalty overtime to run all those packages.