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|Wed Apr 2 2014 12:33:42|
USPS Sets Records Straight on Scanning 'Misinformation'
This is in response to the March 26 letter, "eBay Seller: USPS Tracking Leaves Much to Be Desired."
We regret the inconvenience the customer experienced with USPS Tracking(TM) when attempting to track items recently mailed at an unspecified location within the Postal Service.
If the customer was provided inaccurate or incomplete information by a postal official, we apologize and encourage the customer to contact us so we can ensure that our employees have the correct information.
Unfortunately, there were numerous errors in the customer's letter. To set the record straight, the Postal Service is not charging for items scanned at local Post Offices. If a postal employee is telling the customer something different, we would like to know more information about this discussion so we can take corrective action to avoid miscommunications going forward.
Here is how the process is designed to work.
USPS Tracking is built into the price of the following classes of parcels shipped using online eBay labels: Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, Standard Post (formerly Parcel Post) and First-Class Package Services.
There is no charge merely to scan parcels at the retail counter at a local Post Office, for prepaid eBay packages.
Every item accepted at the retail counter at a local Post Office that has a USPS Tracking number must be scanned, whether the customer requests it or not. By the time the items reach the first processing facility, they will have had two scan events.
The customer wrote that "a supervisor told me that there is not tracking on delivery confirmation or signature confirmation until it reaches its destination." Again, this is incorrect information and we would like to correct it.
The Postal Service replaced "Delivery Confirmation" in 2013 with USPS Tracking(TM) as it better reflects our end-to-end tracking, from the acceptance of a package to final destination, including confirmation of delivery.
By the time a package leaves our processing site, it will have had at least two scans. It will receive four more scan events by the time of delivery.
Contrary to what was stated in the letter, Postal Service carriers are required to perform an acceptance scan on all prepaid, barcoded parcels that they pick up from customers.
The letter states that scanning at a mail processing center may not be done if the barcode on the package is not visible. Not true. In some instances, if the barcode is not visible, the package will be re-oriented by hand. However, the majority of package mail volume is processed by mail processing equipment that scans 360 degrees and validates the barcode at the same time.
We recently changed the description for missent events to simply show that packages were processed through or at the location where the event occurred. The events still display on our USPS Tracking external website. "Missent" is no longer used because it was shown to unnecessarily alarm customers who thought their packages were lost and would not be delivered.
The Postal Service is making tremendous progress through its investment in technology innovations to achieve 100 percent visibility in mail and package delivery. Our national performance is averaging higher than 95 percent in scanning all mail and packages we are processing and delivering.
We regret the March 26 letter was posted with so much misinformation and believe this response will help to clarify and educate eCommerceByte viewers and customers of the Postal Service about our scanning practices.
U.S. Postal Service