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USPS Network ‘Severely Disrupted,’ Suspends Guarantee

USPS Network 'Severely Disrupted' by Weather; Suspends Guarantee

Sellers are still dealing with the ramifications of late deliveries caused by a brutal holiday-season shipping logjam, and now they are dealing with another nationwide shipping disaster.

The USPS said its national transportation network has been severely disrupted by winter weather events, leading it to suspend its Priority Mail Express Money-back Guarantee.

The suspension is retroactive, running from Friday, February 19, through Thursday, February 25.

Monday’s announcement follows:

“The national transportation network has been severely disrupted by the multiple winter weather events across the country. The situation has affected USPS transportation and processing capabilities. Therefore, according to the Domestic Mail Manual Section 604.9.5.5 Priority Mail Express money-back guarantee is suspended nationwide as of Friday, February 19, 2021 through Thursday, February 25, 2021.”

UPS suspended its service guarantee a year ago (March 24, 2020) due to the pandemic. Last week, it too warned of service disruption due to recent storms, stating, “Although your location may not be impacted by weather, the movement of packages in the network may be impacted by weather conditions in other areas.”

FedEx had also suspended its money-back guarantee due to COVID-19, and an announcement on its website today also warns of weather-related pick-up and delivery delays, and warned scanning and tracking information may also be delayed.

As we reported on Friday, eBay and Amazon advised sellers of what steps they were taking to manage buyer expectations and protect sellers’ performance records.

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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). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

12 thoughts on “USPS Network ‘Severely Disrupted,’ Suspends Guarantee”

  1. First COVID, now the weather? I still haven’t seen the science explaining how these things effect USPS to such a drastic extent (packages that are supposed to take 2 to 3 days taking 6 WEEKS), but UPS, FedEx, and Amazon are barely effected (maybe it’s a little more frequent that a package is a day late). The variable is DeJoy’s intentional sabotage of USPS, not COVID and not the weather. For months after U.S. COVID lockdowns, I saw almost no difference in USPS operation. The issues started when DeJoy took over and then they got much worse just before the election when all the machines were removed. They must think we’re all complete idiots!

    1. Don’t blame DeJoy. He walked into a mess. He needs to straighten out the mess. Ask for enough money to tear the post office down and rebuild it into a modern 21st century post office, with infrastructure like AMZ.

      1. No, DeJoy is certainly to blame. He didn’t “walk into” this level of disruption. He purchased it. You are correct in your assertion that USPS needs to be rebuilt but we have enough evidence about the previous administration to understand that their vision of the 21st century is defined by self enrichment. That’s the “mess” we’re currently experiencing and it won’t be resolved until he is kicked to the curb.

    2. Fed Ex transports USPS Express mail on its planes and Fed Ex is the problem here. We had Fed EX Express Overnight Packages just take 9 days and 5 days to get to us. This is not just a USPS problem but a Fed Ex problem.

  2. The descriptions bear no relation to the actual services. I received a Priority Mail Envelope from the USPS fulfillment center in Kansas City. That should take 2-3 days. Hahahaha…more than a week later it arrived. First Class Mail is not better.

  3. Job security (even for poor performance and abuse of packages)? GUARANTEED! Pension? GUARANTEED! Good service and timely delivery? Nah! Fuhgettaboutit!

  4. What gets me is that they made this retroactive. I sent an Express package out on Monday morning and specifically checked that the guarantee was not waived. Now, after purchasing the service, they roll an exception back to Friday.

    What other entity is allowed to sell you a service then freely renege days later??

    1. Check your receipt it should state in on that. The guarantee has been suspended since last week.

  5. @brother20 The decision to discontinue delivering First Class Mail via air has nothing to do with FedEx. This USPS problem, which morphed into the issue it continues to be to date has EVERYTHING to do with decisions made by the person who purchased his position and guaranteed disruption to his failed manager. There’s no effective way to spin this. FedEx’s issues are limited to verifiable weather events. USPS is responsible for the current USPS disaster. It is explained by corruption.

    1. Fist Class mail is still being transported on planes, the standards have not yet been changed. The topic was on Express Mail which is transported by FED EX for USPS. Know your facts. If you want to discuss mail being delayed now that is a whole other story which is many factors and the big one is staffing issues do to Covid.

  6. @227272

    “What other entity is allowed to sell you a service then freely renege days later??”


  7. If some of the postal service’s union employees actually showed up for work and quit slow walking and delaying parcel departures from USPS facilities, we might not have gone down this path.

    Delayed shipments and arrival scans for deliveries that are made days later was a pre-Covid 19 phenomena.

    It’s time to privatize the postal service and dump the union employees and the government’s interference with USPS operations.

    DHL, FedEx, and UPS are privately owned operations who actually get parcels delivered, without providing the overly generous sweetheart deals that companies like Amazon (who is actually looking to cut FedEx and UPS out of the shipping loop) receive from postal service.

    Why is it that in recent years, everyday Americans seem to bear the cost of last mile delivery for huge, privately owned corporations?

    If the US government oversees USPS operations, how is it that the general public is unable to view the contracts that the postal service has with multinational corporations?

    In order to avoid overloading their existing infrastructure and continue providing shipping services for small businesses, during the last quarter of 2020, UPS limited the amount of shipments it would handle from high volume shippers like Amazon, Newegg, and Walmart.

    As a result of the newly instituted practice, UPS experienced minimal non-weather related shipping delays during the previous holiday season and it did not appear to effect the firm’s bottom line.

    The postal service could learn a thing or two from UPS’ 2020 shipping initiative.

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