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Ina Steiner on EmailIna Steiner on LinkedinIna Steiner on Twitter
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

7 thoughts on “USPS Tells Small Biz Owners to Meet with Local Postmasters”

  1. Small Business.
    It’s a Buzz Phrase to those who work for others.
    We are small business because we are one man entities.
    We don’t Want to “grow” our business.
    It’s fine just the way it is.
    Just charge us less, and quit playing games.

  2. Holy cow. While I’m sure there are many competent USPS employees, there are certainly more than enough incompetent ones to go around.

    Our local post office could be better-managed by untrained monkeys. Constant complaints on local social media neighborhood group about missing mail, mis-delivered and mishandled mail, etc.

    Rented a box at the local USPS branch about two decades ago, discontinued it when a postal employee argued with me about a package that had been languishing in their custody for a couple of weeks. I was told, “We put a notice in your box EVERY day… it’s about time you got here, we were getting ready to return it to sender!”

    The package notice I’d presented to her that day was the FIRST and LAST one I had received… on a delivery for which I’d been anxiously awaiting, as it was a (now late) birthday gift for my husband. Told her perhaps they may have been putting a notice in A box every day for the past three weeks, but it was apparently the WRONG box.

    Removed the box key from the chain, told her to stuff it, collected my package and departed.

    I wouldn’t trust the post office with my business, ever. Been waiting on an order shipping from NY to TX, left the vendor 2.5 WEEKS ago, and shows “in transit to next destination” for two weeks now.

    No, if you value your small business, run AWAY from the post office, not towards it.

  3. My small business is a 1-woman plus husband helping with the grunt work. My observation is nearly opposite of The End’s. I treasure our good relationship with our Postmaster, but I do not look to him for business expansion. He already has his hands full, although he indeed could explain some of the programs the news release mentions, which, unless you’re a start-up, you’ve probably learned about already from other sources.

    Experts at news releases, are they !! Let’s start with, why not a link to “Postmaster Finder” (although maybe there is one, if this is posted on their blog, which I do not read) ?

    My experience with “USPS” is that they seem to shove everything they can down onto local Postmasters who already are nearly overwhelmed. I gave up using the 1-800 number because every single time, if I had a problem, they would route it back to our Postmaster. The last time I called the 800 number I cut the woman off, asked her and when she confirmed that was what she was going to do, I told her I would never use it again because (truthfully) I needed help ABOVE our Postmaster’s level. I used to be able to call for assistance, but finally also gave up trying to call the Customer Service number I had for our main area facility – alwaysalwaysalways busybusybusy.

    I rely on our local Postmaster. In my experience “USPS” expects him to know everything and take care of everything despite seemingly constantly changing policies and equipment. There seems to be little help or instruction even for the simplest things. When I filed for insurance on a lost Priority package, he had to look up current requirements. Earlier, when I followed up with USPS about the unsuccessful search that was done for the package, who did they “blame” ? The Postmaster on the receiving end! (when almost certainly it had been lost in one of the sorting facilities or trucks along the way). And the worst was USPS rejecting my claim in the first place, saying it was filed “after deadline” when there WAS no deadline for ending the search and filing the claim. Nobody bothered to read the claim except for the filing date. I appealed and WON.

    I realize I’m working with a rural post office, but I had the same experience with the post office I used in the state capital city. It was obvious that window staff (and the Postmaster) work their heads off under less than ideal conditions.

    Postmasters ARE my valued business partners, but I do not need to bother them about postal service options I will never use.

  4. Nothing against the postmasters themselves but I can already see this will be a sales pitch at best. Buy this extra service at additional costs something something profit.

    It’s like when somebody tells you the answer to your problem is to put together a business plan. “What does one look like; what should be in it?” I ask. “LOL idunno” is always the answer. Or the various clowns like Derpy Weiner or Darth Dominic telling me to “price competitively” AKA undercut Ollies and Big Lots (because undercutting Walmart and Amazon isn’t enough). “How can I charge less when my costs are X Y, and Z, all non-negotiable?” I ask. “LOL, find a way to get stuff cheaper” they say. Gee, thanks, that’s _so_ helpful. What do they do for an encore, tell poor people to buy more money?

    Idiots. How dare the USPS put its staff in this position.

  5. I’ve unsuccessfully tried to contact our postmaster quite a few times over the years. I’ve called and left messages. No reply. I’ve gone to the post office and left notes for the postmaster. No reply. We may have a different postmaster now; I don’t know. One vast improvement that is needed is to have real-time tracking of the rural delivery trucks, like the system that SuperShuttle uses (a smartphone app that shows you where your driver is on the map, minute by minute, while you are waiting at your hotel for your pickup). It’s very hard to run a business when you have no idea when the rural carrier is going to pick up your outgoing mail and packages. I keep track of my “mailman” times. Here is a sample for each Thursday this year, starting with January 10th.
    1-3 5:09
    1-10 12:43
    1-17 1:12
    1-24 2:36
    2-14 3:05
    2-21 2:11
    2-28 3:56
    3-7 12:55
    3-14 2:42
    4-4 <1pm
    4-11 12:25
    4-18 1:53
    5-2 12:37
    5-9 <11:15
    5-16 < noon
    5-23 12:15
    6-6 10:20
    6-13 10:50
    6-20 12:07
    6-27 9:28
    7-11 11:03
    7-18 10:58
    7-25 9:13
    8-1 10:47
    8-8 11:00
    8-15 10:15
    As you can see, they don't come at the same time every day. It's important for me to know if I have time to get an order out. If SuperShuttle can do it, why can't the post office do it?

  6. Solution to problem is to arrange with the carrier the earliest time he might come and have your stuff ready. We had the same problem. We talked with the carrier and agreed that everything will be ready and on the porch by 12. Now if she comes early she knows that the stuff won’t be there until 12 so she will have to return. If she comes at 12.01 she knows it will be there. We treat her with respect and she does the same. A little bit of co operation and conversation can solve the pick up problem. Try it, It might work.

    1. I totally agree. Set up a time that is the earliest and work from that. I myself bring it all to the Post Office in town. It gives me a chance to see what is going on around the area.
      I also have known all of my Postmasters for over 40 years now and they know what I like and they take excellent care of me.

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