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Slow and missing mail..The new norm a comming.


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I ship a fair amount of stuff by FedEx and I was talking to the clerk last week when I dropped off a package for shipment.  I asked her how busy they had been.  She told me that with the start of Covid in March, March on has been like a "normal Christmas rush" and everything since then has been just more.  She said that at that location they normally hire 3-5 persons a year, this year they hired 30 to try to keep up.

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13 hours ago, rocketraider said:

That's when you start going up the chain of command, looking whoever in the eye, and tell them this is the way it's gonna be. If it's a store card, if it means cutting the card in two in front of the store manager and closing the account, do it. They will then have to refund the overpayment.

 

Sometimes you have to play hardball.

 

Other Terry- is that by chance Antique Week? The Dec 22 and Jan 5 issues both got here today. Dec 22 paper has an orange sticker w the number 5 and some type of barcode on it. To their credit both of these are the largest issues I've seen all year. 1/5 has 32 pages! I think the biggest one since the plague started has been 24.

Yes, one of only two periodicals I get that will get priority reading when they arrive (Antique Automobile is the other). 

Let me read yours when you're done - mine have not arrived here yet.   By the time I get them, the advertised auctions will be history. 

Terry

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All but one auction within driving distance was over when mine got here! Probably just as well. One side "benefit" (🥴) to the plague has been I have less clutter and more cash since I haven't been able to hit any auctions.

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Just got my first shot and wondering how much of the changes will become permanent. Many are realizing the financial benefit of working from home (I figuresd $250/mo and an extra hour and a half per day). Malls are not doing well, much more online sales, which brings us back to the snail-mail issue.

Been running 50-100 orders a month, mostly Amazon. Since several warehoses nearby most come through on time or early.

Every two or three months, something gets lost Part of the problem is that most consider an item "shipped" when the label is created. Had one such with a "label created" by USPS on Dec 2nd, arrived at PO on Dec 27, Delivered Dec 30. USPS was great, vendor not so.

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56 minutes ago, padgett said:

Part of the problem is that most consider an item "shipped" when the label is created. Had one such with a "label created" by USPS on Dec 2nd, arrived at PO on Dec 27, Delivered Dec 30. USPS was great, vendor not so.

I had a similar situation in December. The UPS label was printed on 12/4 and was considered "shipped" by the vendor. On 12/14 UPS actually picked up the item and delivered it on 12/21. On 12/14 UPS forgot to scan the item when it left their depot so the item appeared to be lost. (That is a whole other story.)

 

 

It is kind of funny that the package they forgot to scan was not a tiny box that weighed next to nothing. On the contrary this package was about 3 feet tall about 2 feet wide and 1.5 feet deep and weight 71 pounds. Not exactly hard to miss.

 

Gotta give credit to UPS for getting the job done considering there were about 3 BILLION packages to be deliver by the major delivery companies between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The package arrived in good shape and before Christmas which was nice.

 

 

 

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I've had this happen occasionally when buying on E-Bay.  The seller generates a shipping label and enters it against the item to be shipped.  The E-Bay system then thinks the item is shipped.  They also think the seller has met a milestone when actually the item is sitting in a pile of stuff he will take to the post office, UPS, Fedex, whomever when he gets around to it.  That's not fair to the carrier.  They can't ship the item until they have possession of the item.  I check the tracking numbers and if we are at day 5 after the label was created and the shipper's tracking shows they haven't received the item to ship yet I send a note to the seller.

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Also have learned that certain locations (e.g. Jamaca, NY) are for transshipments (e.g. China Post or KWT INTERNATIONAL) and even though USPS in NY is waiting, it has not even left China yet.

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Moved from a moderate size suburban city (90k) to a rural area 13 miles away almost 30 years ago and we have suffered the post office ever since.  Our township has doubled in size to now about 6k residents in 36 sq miles and has 5 different post offices delivering mail.  This process dates back to the 1850s.  Our mail is addressed as and delivered by a post office in the next county.  One funny result is receiving Jury Duty notices for the suburban county which requires attendance in a urban area.  (No thank you) THREE TIMES we have notified the County Clerk we don't live in that County. 

 

Anyhow when moving here, our Rural Route mail was delivered by a contractor 'Mario' using his personal POS vehicle.  Often the hatchback would be open and packages crammed in the back looking as if they were ready to fall out.  On the day of OJ's White Bronco chase we were on our way out of town.  Stopped to check our large-size mail box to find a 6" stack of items, none of it for us.  It appeared the carrier dumped mail for the rest of the road, about 1 mile, in our box. 

 

Mail packages have been found in the muddy road late at night and as others have mentioned finding neighbors' mail or expired junk mail is the norm.  Made a series of complaints and escalated them through the POOM & Regional Office at one time as the delivery became abysmal.  This resulted in the carrier appearing on our porch, pounding on the front door and ranting that numbers all look the same to him.  Later I was told since he had no business on our property (house 800' off the road) we should have filed assault charges against him.  He did such a crap job that the post office hired him. 

 

We pay $$$ every year for a PO Box to try to minimize delivery problems and delays.  Most months our paid periodicals arrived damaged, shredded, wrinkled but junk mail always is in good condition.  Some of the counter clerks are very nice, helpful and knowledgeable.  Others do the minimum work possible and very poorly at that. Twenty years ago we were waiting for a 4' long package from Alaska.  The sender never provided the tracking but said he sent it Priority Mail.  Finally gave us the info and tracking showed it had been sitting in our post office for over 3 weeks.  With that knowledge I went there and asked for my package.   The (nice helpful) clerk said they had been tripping over it and wondered why we didn't stop by the counter to pick it up.  Who was responsible for putting notices in our PO Box?  The lazy clerk who did everything possible to be a jerk when trying to send many packages (sold on Fleabay for a while when laid off 10 years ago).  The nice clerk retired and the lazy clerk got promoted, go figure.  At least we don't have to deal with him at the counter anymore. 

 

I manage product sales for a small non-profit including calendars so this time of the year is the prime time for mailing.  A check from a past-pres took 32 days to travel 250 miles.  Priority Mail packages take 3 weeks from midwest to Colorado, etc.  Just last week, received a check mailed 12/14. 

 

But this is what astounds me, went to the downtown post office yesterday to get my mail from the PO Box, drop off some packages and buy stamps for our office.  They were out of rolled 1st class stamps and have been out 'for a while'.  WTH?!?!?  Isn't selling stamps a core part of the post office's business?!?!?!  And this was not the first, nor second, nor fourth, fifth or sixth time I've encountered this problem and not just at this location.

 

Backtracked to the main post office in town to buy stamps and asked to speak to the post master.  The reasons she told me why they were out of stamps:

 

* stamps are mailed to the post office with packages and due to heavy mailing activity delivery has been delayed

* when I suggested they plan ahead and buy more she said they were limited on how much inventory they can order

* asked if a Special Delivery couldn't be done using postal service vehicles to distribute stamps to various post office locations in the area and she started mumbling about union and other nonsense. 

 

I could go on and on about post office problems (10 days to mail a letter 2 miles from the post office where I dropped it in the Local Slot when that was still available).  Unfortunately it does seem to be getting worse every year. 

 

Another example of how NOT to run a business!!  Limiting the post offices for the quantity of products they need to sell?  IMO idiocy. 

 

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a) just received a mailer for a roll of "forever" stamps. Sent a check and received in a few days.

b) "My" post office is about three times further than the nearest that I pass often. Gerrymandering at work.

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Topic is bordering on political.  I still ship and receive and support the Postal “Service” (not a business) and just hope that “Forever” stamps aren’t referencing delivery time....

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On 1/9/2021 at 12:10 PM, Walt G said:

I just hope the check I sent the Hershey Region for my flea market spaces arrive for the Oct. 2021 event!

USPS is no better then UPS, I can well understand and appreciate the huge increase in use of mail service to deliver goods due to our pandemic, but that is no excuse for shoddy service or just so many mistakes . Will it get worse?

JUST TO FOLLOW UP- there is hope yet! I mailed my check to the Hershey Region on January 3. Enclosed a note with my e mail address asking that they send me a short e mail that the check did arrive , that's all. Well yesterday I got a telephone call from AACA saying that yes the Hershey flea market check did arrive but it will take several weeks possibly to mail me a confirmation. WOW THANK YOU AACA!! Courtesy is paramount!  What a great club and conscientious people. I told who I spoke to that written confirmation can come any time, need not be instant , I was just happy to know the check didn't get lost . That news , that made my week. 👍

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If really concerned can always send as priority with tracking. Mostly I just use my credit union's BillPay.What is the dues this year ?

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We've been getting duning notices for bills before the bills arrive. The senders blames the USPS.

We usually get 16-18 Christmas cards from Germany and this year only one.  When we talk to our friends there, they ask

did you get our Christmas cards yet?   NOT YET.  (Mid January)

When in business, we depended heavily on the Post Office and 

first class mail.  I see why I'm so happy to be retired.   

Now I'm waiting for AACA Tour info. ordered when the previous AACA  Antique Automobile magazine came.  Yesterday the new magazine came and still no tour info, for the April tour in Florida.

I sent another post card request.

I can't get the Tour web site to work either which is not the fault of the USPS, but frustrating.  Makes me wonder if headquarters ever got the original request.

 

 

                                       

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Cautionary tale....

 

A couple of weeks ago, I sent some parts manuals to someone and told the postal clerk 'Media Mail'.  This shouldn't be a big deal but the clerk sent them via 'Library Mail' instead.  The receiving Post Office held the package for underpayment and the buyer had to pay $14.00 extra to bail it out.  I reimbursed him and all is well.

 

The moral of the story is to read the payment receipt before leaving the PO.   I've dealt with this clerk a number of times with no issues.  I'm not going to 'make waves' about this because I want to keep things friendly at the PO.

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That's why I make people repeat to me what I've asked of them and then tell them correct, or no and I repeat the request till they get it right.

 

 Doesn't always work but you have some recourse when it doesn't.

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I'm sending out payments now in 2 day prioity mail envolopes which isn't cheap an has no guarrentees of timely arrival..

 

What peees me off with the USPS is we've been paying for premium services  for longer then our current issues but rarely received the premium services as claimed.

At one time the didn't have the caveat"but not guarenteed".

A day or so late 3 day priority mail was an anomaly.

 

I still want to know whats happens to our undelivered mail?

Is it plain  stolen..or found 60 days later and sold on Ebay?

It HAS TO BE SOME PLACE!

.

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46 minutes ago, Flivverking said:

I still want to know whats happens to our undelivered mail?

Is it plain  stolen..or found 60 days later and sold on Ebay?

It HAS TO BE SOME PLACE!

.

I give three young friends a subscription to Hemmings Muscle Machines for Christmas every year.

 

2017 I sent the renewals, and two months later noticed the check hadn't cleared. Called Hemmings, payment had not been received. Sent another check, went thru normally.

 

5 months later the bank the orig check was drawn on closed their local branches which would have forced me to drive 80 miles to handle any face-to-face banking. That didn't interest me at all, so figuring that check was lost, I closed all the accounts and moved them to another bank.

 

Sept 2019 I get a letter from Hemmings for a bounced check fee. I had the bank statements proving the 2017, 2018, 2019 checks had gone thru. HMN sent me a copy of the check that had bounced DATED 2017 and drawn on the account that had been closed two years earlier. It had finally been delivered TWO YEARS LATE. Where a postage-paid business reply envelope had been for two years, who knows?

 

I sometimes wonder if it's part of a larger plan to push us towards a totally cashless society, with all transactions done electronically. Cash can't be tracked as easily as electronic transfers. I don't want authorities knowing my every move.

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I never really noticed much about the mail until tracking became common. The routes and item takes just defy logic. Anyone who would want to improve their image wouldn't show stuff like that. Maybe tracking should be ended.

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Rocketraider's issue with Hemmings certainly lowers Hemmings in my estimation  quite a bit for even even thinking a 2 year old check should be valid and then to bring it to a customers attention for bouncing..

Who does their the accounting and book keeping?  

 

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Nice thing about my credit union "bill pay" feature is that it documents everything and is able to trace it.

01/14/2021    DESCRIPTIVE WITHDRAWAL - ANTIQUE AUTOMOBILE CLUB OF A - BILL PYMT   Payment     -$45.00

Last paper check mailed was to PO for stamps (received a few days later).

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46 minutes ago, Flivverking said:

Rocketraider's issue with Hemmings certainly lowers Hemmings in my estimation  quite a bit for even even thinking a 2 year old check should be valid and then to bring it to a customers attention for bouncing..

Who does their the accounting and book keeping?  

 

That's how I argued the returned check fee away. That and a promise to cancel 5 Hemmings publications subscriptions if it didn't go away.

 

Whoever does their deposits obviously never looked at the check's date, which I always write as 16 January 2021 for example- odd enough in US to get noticed. Most financial institutions won't honor an uncashed check over 6 months old anyway.

 

The issue was resolved in spite of the postal service fiasco.

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To be fair to Hemmings it’s volume of mail received a day in a circulation department that causes something like that. I owned a computer service bureau that specialized in magazines. That is all we did before the C19 killed the business. We had 112 magazines and most were free trade journals but 8 were consumer PAID pubs and 2 of those were about the same circulation size as Hemmings. We would receive an average of 3500 to 4000 pieces of mail a day for those two magazines alone. We averaged 15-20,000 pieces a day for total mail. Half of that was change of addresses and the other half was new or renew orders. Open, sort, batch and create deposit tickets -  time is money. Get it done and into the bank, the bank checks the date when they are doing the electronic coding. Think about a bank account, they always have you do a signature card. Do you think they actually check that against every check you write?  No way. They cash it, if you complain they check as that is the exception not the rule and it cost less to do the exception. How many checks have you seen go thru without a signature? It is very seldom they will reject one in a company deposit that has a couple thousand checks in it as again it’s an automatic process and cheaper to fix a complaint later than check every one. 
dave s  

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37 minutes ago, SC38DLS said:

They cash it, if you complain they check as that is the exception not the rule and it cost less to do the exception. How many checks have you seen go thru without a signature? It is very seldom they will reject one in a company deposit that has a couple thousand checks in it as again it’s an automatic process and cheaper to fix a complaint later than check every one. 

Gee I guess I should not have told my bank that I found a deposit made to my checking account today that I could not reconcile.

Because the deposit was just made today there was no transaction history to speak of yet. Just "Deposit" and the dollar amount.

No doubt that the person whose account did not get credited will scream bloody murder if it does not show up in their account. 

 

I am guessing that the USPS actually delivered a check to this person in a fairly timely manner given the amount of the check has been in the news a LOT in recent weeks if you are a married couple.

 

No doubt once my bank reconciles their branch deposits the deposit will disappear from my account and hopefully get to it's rightful owner. 

 

BTW, I received a Christmas card yesterday (01/15) that was mailed from Georgia on 12/16. Not the worst or best I have seen these last few months. I am still waiting on Christmas Cards from some other people. Maybe they can double as Valentines Day cards. LOL.

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6 minutes ago, charlier said:

Gee I guess I should not have told my bank that I found a deposit made to my checking account today that I could not reconcile.

Because the deposit was just made today there was no transaction history to speak of yet. Just "Deposit" and the dollar amount.

No doubt that the person whose account did not get credited will scream bloody murder if it does not show up in their account. 

 

I am guessing that the USPS actually delivered a check to this person in a fairly timely manner given the amount of the check has been in the news a LOT in recent weeks if you are a married couple.

 

No doubt once my bank reconciles their branch deposits the deposit will disappear from my account and hopefully get to it's rightful owner. 

 

BTW, I received a Christmas card yesterday (01/15) that was mailed from Georgia on 12/16. Not the worst or best I have seen these last few months. I am still waiting on Christmas Cards from some other people. Maybe they can double as Valentines Day cards. LOL.

No you did the right thing by telling them. Eventually they would have corrected it as you say, the rightful owner would have complained OR the banks reconciliation for the branch would have caught it - most likely the data entry operator made the error and the check digit would not balance when the reconciliation was done and it would be corrected. Again it’s less costly to correct one error than check thousands of transactions. 
dave s 

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1 minute ago, SC38DLS said:

No you did the right thing by telling them. Eventually they would have corrected it as you say, the rightful owner would have complained OR the banks reconciliation for the branch would have caught it - most likely the data entry operator made the error and the check digit would not balance when the reconciliation was done and it would be corrected. Again it’s less costly to correct one error than check thousands of transactions. 
dave s 

 

Thanks, I know I did the right thing. I was just kidding. No doubt the bank might have flagged the transaction after I called. The bank told me if the deposit is still on my account on Tuesday to contact them.

 

From what the bank said when the bank processes it's daily work that is when they actually check the deposit silp's account number and cross check it against the account number the teller keyed in. Those that don't match are flagged and kicked out for more manual reconciliation. Saturday's work is not processed until Monday but with the holiday this coming week it falls to Tuesday. That is also the reason 84% of the deposit is not available (ie on hold) until Wednesday.

 

Totally understandable it's less costly to correct one error...

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On the flip side, my wife ordered something from Amazon around 9pm on Saturday evening. By 8am Sunday it was on our porch. Funny all the stuff I order from there takes a week!

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