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Tue Mar 23 2010 11:54:57

USPS Package Ping Pong

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

To the Editor:
I thought you may be interested in seeing this. The link displays the USPS "Track & Confirm" data for merchandise that I shipped to West Salem, OH on March 12th.

On the positive side, the shipment traveled between Maryland and Ohio in one day! And... at least the USPS workers are diligently scanning the Delivery Confirmation barcode.

However... it's amazing to see how my customer's item is stuck in a loop between three nearby sorting facilities. Each of these three cities is within an hour's drive of West Salem... but for the past TEN DAYS it's been traveling back and forth and visiting the same facilities over and over.

It's worth noting that this is the address of a regular customer that I've never had difficulties with shipping to by USPS. Also, my software will automatically confirm the accuracy and correct format for the address... it adds the "plus-4" zip code... and it includes a barcode for the zip code. (You'd think that all these things would ensure a SPEEDIER delivery... but unfortunately, not this time.)

Thankfully, my customer is very understanding and sympathetic to me regarding this situation. If it weren't so darned frustrating, we'd probably be laughing at the absurdity of it all.

Many thanks for all that you do. I enjoy your newsletter and website.
Best regards,

Comments (20) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

USPS Package Ping Pong   USPS Package Ping Pong

by: eBuyer Feedback This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Tue Mar 23 12:00:05 2010

Better be careful with this one.  If the buyer ever decides that ''enough is enough'' and files a claim, eBay will see this ping pong and after a few days declare the package will arrive beyond the expected time-frame.  Then they'll be giving them a full refund.

USPS Package Ping Pong   USPS Package Ping Pong

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 23 12:11:55 2010

LOL seems to me USPS better clean up their expediting of items before they think about another raise!

USPS Package Ping Pong   USPS Package Ping Pong

by: matt

Tue Mar 23 14:09:02 2010

We've had this same thing happen where they kept mailing from the east coast all the way back to the west coast four or four times (and we are in Wisconsin). When I see that happening, we send another item. This has happened probably 3 times.

USPS Package Ping Pong   USPS Package Ping Pong

by: Charlie.Foxtrot
Web Site

Tue Mar 23 14:35:19 2010


GOOD NEWS!! After making one additional stop in Akron, my customer's package was finally delivered on Tuesday afternoon. Everyone is relieved... and perhaps someday we'll be able to find some humor in it (but not today.)

As I mentioned in my original email to Ina... I'm very fortunate that this was being shipped to a repeat customer (who's also an eBay Seller). The fact that I had already established a relationship with her, and her own perspective about shipping problems allowed her to be very understanding about this situation. (This could have just as easily been a first-time customer, with no appreciation of USPS glitches... resulting in not-so-pleasant reactions.)

IN ANY CASE... MY HOPE is that other eBay Buyers will see this post in Ina's blog, and will realize that it's NOT always the Seller's fault when the delivery is delayed.

Best always,

USPS Package Ping Pong   USPS Package Ping Pong

by: The Dancing Bear

Tue Mar 23 15:41:32 2010

This is exactly the type of thing that can happen when you replace humans with automation and you forgo customer service in lieu of reducing employee's wages. While this sort of "ping pong" is not exclusive to the USPS, it is a product of the 'leadership" of Postmaster General john Potter, whose chief interest in the past 10 years has been to "lift the salary caps" of himself and his closest pals. Up until just a few years ago USPS employees were told "if you know where an item goes, do what you have to do to get it there." Now we are told to "kill" or return anything that doesn't have the exact correct address and the like. Our pay system is very complicated and the USPS refuses to pay employees to correct mistakes and get a mail piece where it is meant to go over fear that it might actually amount to an extra dime in an employee's paycheck.
Tell your congressmen (and women) that Potter must go to clear the way for the USPS to return to its original intent and to once again value "customer service."

USPS Package Ping Pong   USPS Package Ping Pong

by: Jarhead

Tue Mar 23 17:04:15 2010

As a recently retired PM with almost 30 yrs service I can attest to the above
'pingpong' printout. What doesn't get said here is that when I called these facilities to try and get things untracked I was treated like a bothersome nobody. Seems like those closest to the mail (and the customer) are treated as crap by those in the plants and higher mgt who are farthest from the mail. It is this 'deadwood' that is sinking the USPS as much or more than the drop in volume.

USPS Package Ping Pong   USPS Package Ping Pong

by: earl

Tue Mar 23 21:11:24 2010

I do not see where it says what caused the problem and how it was corrected. Typical USPS

USPS Package Ping Pong   USPS Package Ping Pong

by: Gary

Wed Mar 24 00:05:44 2010

Demand an explanation from your postmaster.
I know your postmaster has no control over this but keep the heat on until you get an explanation.
Your local postmaster is about the only person that cares about your business

USPS Package Ping Pong   USPS Package Ping Pong

This user has validated their user name. by: Bill

Wed Mar 24 02:16:52 2010

You need to email the USPS from the web site with the complaint and tell them that this is very disruptive with your business. They do reply to you and let you know what steps are being done to alleviate the problem. If nobody says anything it never gets fixed. In the years of dealing with them I have seen heads roll at times but never the idiots in Washington.
It does not hurt to let your congress person know also.


USPS Package Ping Pong   USPS Package Ping Pong

by: Marvin This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 24 03:46:49 2010

USPS learned its lessons well from ebay. Scan the same package over and over, then at the end of the year claim how many packages they process. Next raise rates to offset the extra cost of processing all these packages.

The corrupt activities of ebay and paypal over the years serve as a role model for business and government. The greed and corruption spreads like wildfire to all aspects of commerce.

If all this greed and corruption makes you sick at least now you are covered.

USPS Package Ping Pong   USPS Package Ping Pong

by: steve

Wed Mar 24 04:22:34 2010

we need to charge the customer extra for the additional processing!!!!!


USPS Package Ping Pong   USPS Package Ping Pong

by: Terri

Wed Mar 24 05:13:32 2010

The seller usually is to blame when this happens (as shown in eBay's childish detailed seller ratings). Luckily you had an understanding buyer, who also sells, but not everyone is that lucky, and most are not.

I sent a package from the US to Canada by USPS a few years ago. It took 2 months for the recipient to receive it. When she did finally receive it there was a sticker on it that said re-routed from Iran!

No wonder people use UPS more often to ship packages, and more are paying their bills on line!

USPS Package Ping Pong   USPS Package Ping Pong

by: lenrac4

Wed Mar 24 05:58:41 2010

Many times (but not all) this is the result of reusing a box and not obliterating or removing any other numbers or barcodes that could be read by the sorting machines as zip codes.

USPS Package Ping Pong   USPS Package Ping Pong

by: ZzTopshlf

Wed Mar 24 14:58:07 2010

Hey Everybody, let's let the government take over our healthcare!

What could go wrong?

Sir, you have cancer.

No, wait, wrong person, you're fine.

No, wait, you do have cancer!

Um, no, we were wrong you are fine.


USPS Package Ping Pong   USPS Package Ping Pong

by: Another Wronged Seller This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 25 02:45:58 2010

Three weeks ago, I received a package in my door. It was a returned product that I mailed in 2007 and haven't even sold since 2008. Label was correct and intact. Nothing else was indicated on the package to see what went wrong. Of course the USPS tracking number has long expired. I asked my carrier and they told me they couldn't tell me anything about it. It merely showed up to be delivered to me.

Two weeks ago, a customer complained about a package that was overdue. tracking showed no scans for a week after I shipped it and than 3 scans a few hours apart ( local bulk mail center and two scans from zips nearby to the buyer) Both of the latter scans showed unknown status in unknown city only showing a zip code. Customer received it three days later and left low dsr scores for shipping time and price with a pos feedback that says ''shipping took forever but finally received''

USPS has glitches all the time and hardly a week goes by without one or two problems, most of which I get blamed for by the customer and get my DSR's slammed.

USPS Package Ping Pong   USPS Package Ping Pong

by: lizandemma

Thu Mar 25 08:21:57 2010

A buyer from the US(I'm Canadian)wanted to send me cash for payment in the amount of 1800.00. More then a month later the enveloppe arrived.USPS had sent it to "Hamilton, Bermuda" instead of "Hamilton, Ont. Canada" which was clearly written on the enveloppe. All the cash was intact, though, so I guess there's a happy ending to my story.

USPS Package Ping Pong   USPS Package Ping Pong

by: norma carlyon

Thu Mar 25 08:51:30 2010

I have never lost, received late, or any of the hellish adventures some of the customers have experienced. I use only USPS... and I live in a tiny town where we pick up our pkgs and mail at the post office in town.

USPS Package Ping Pong   USPS Package Ping Pong

by: 100tonsofstuff
Web Site

Thu Mar 25 14:56:27 2010

After a yr of not selling on ebay, just using my own site, I have listed again.Yes I do use USPS but take precautions. 1st, unless you get your pkg pkd up & the carrier has to scan it, your drop off post office does not, I said not scan your package until it reaches the main po. That means that unless you ask them to scan it or add insurance & have to pay, they will not scan you package. So how far is it to your Main PO? From my local PO to the Main PO is about 15 miles. Anything can happen inbetween - maybe an accident or pkg loss anything & so your pkg is in no mans land till it is scanned. I speak from sad experience. I sold a lovely cruet to a mid-west person & sent it in my box w/a clickNShip Label(PayPal). My buyer emailed me & then I called him. All he got was the shipping label. His carrier handed him this label - no explanation. I went thru the long process of a claim (item was insured) & the Postmistress said "they don't care - it becomes a training exercise for the handlers - you will never recover it." She was right. The item if it survives gets sorted & sold at auction, even if there is paperwork inside. For my money, I prefer FedEx - they have reduced their rates & now have Home Delivery & pkg is tracked/scanned immediately at drop off (UPS does not do this).
The USPS teamed up w/FedEx as I recall so why isn't ebay a partner?
So get that pkg scanned by all means, don't just drop off & do buy insurance.

USPS Package Ping Pong   USPS Package Ping Pong

by: ebay_universe

Thu Mar 25 17:22:41 2010

Yes ZzTopshlf. What can go wrong when your business is cash payment at pickup and Ebay boosts your z50com seller search everytime you make these posts?

USPS Package Ping Pong   USPS Package Ping Pong

by: Sam

Sat Apr 3 23:14:11 2010

Very unusual. But I have nothing but great things to say for the USPS. For us, the speed and reliability far exceeds UPS and FedEx Ground. We ship 100% of our packages via USPS 1st Class, Media and Priority, and they do a great job for us. FedEx has hounded us to do business with them, so we gave it a try on 3 ground packages. One was lost, one mysteriously came back to us (they didn't know why), and the other one made it 6 days later (3 longer than USPS at about twice the price). We've shipped about 7500 packages in 2009 and only ONE got lost. And that was a package to Brazil.

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