Thursday, January 19, 2012

I will be sad when the USPS goes out of business, but...

I have to say that when it comes to shipment tracking, UPS beats the pants off the US Postal Service.

Case in point-- before the holidays - I was expecting the arrival of a holster I ordered for Himself(more on this later). It was shipped Priority Mail on Tuesday from a city not 150 miles from here. And yet, when on Thursday it had not arrived in late afternoon, the clerk in my local friendly post office told me the tracking number was not a good number.(?!) The movements of my package did not appear at USPS.com until AFTER the delivery. It didn't come on Friday, December 23. Thank goodness the local nice folks at the post office cased mail on Christmas Eve and put the package in one of their lobby lockboxes, because that meant I still got it in time for Christmas present for myself and Himself.

Contrast that with experience this week. I decided to celebrate going back to school with a new perfume, which I ordered from Nordstrom on Sunday. The package went into shipment on Monday afternoon and I expect it to be delivered sometime tomorrow. It came from Illinois or somesuch place, and it's moved like a little rocket on its way to me, and I didn't even request express or fast delivery-- this is just the standard shipping.

I know the USPS has the technology to do the same thing, but I wonder what the kink in their system is? *le sigh*

8 comments:

Tolewyn said...

We've discussed the problem many times Dear Heart. The problem that is killing the USPS is the unified extortion cooperative...umm..err..union. If they have an effective tracking methodology for package shipment, same system could be used to bring the inefficiencies of the workforce into the view of the general public. That is exactly wht they DON'T want to happen, so the tracking system stays broken.

Wow, did that cross some conspiracy-nut line?

Tole

Jennifer said...

It is sad, isn't it. We've been having issues in the office with the USPS just forgetting to deliver multiple crates of mail. It's shameful.

instinct said...

The USPS also has a tiny little problem called the Federal Government which has to approve everything they would like to do.

Ruth said...

I ship things for a living, over 100 packages a day is average. USPS tracking sucks. Its great when it WORKS, but the number of times it DOESN"T work.....

Old NFO said...

Can we say 'union' issues???

Jeffro said...

The USPS has refused to track packages as they leave and arrive at sorting points and delivery offices. They will track Express Mail, and the Registered Mail is still ledgered by hand, but when you buy the delivery confirmation, the only two places data is collected is the point of sale and delivery, nothing in between. Management has always claimed the labor costs would be too high, and it's never been worth attempting in their eyes.

Meanwhile, UPS and FedEx seem to have been able to corral those nasty costs and actually beat the USPS even with actual tracking.

Their motto should be "Less Service, More Money."

I'm pretty tickled I got out when I did - the office I worked at is losing a ton of mail sorting capabilities, and people are gonna be laid off or let go. Crummy service for more money.

Ruth said...

Jeffro, the sad thing about it, due to the shipping software we use I can watch the tracking info on all my packages with no more effort than I want to put out. Some of those delivery confirmations get scanned every step of the way, others, I MIGHT be able to tell the customer has it.

What gets me are the ones where it says "scanned into suchNso city/state on 2/12/11" then "scan out for delivery from same suchNso city/state, 3/5/11" (dates picked at random, the time span was real), and I'm sitting there looking at that wondering where in hell they were hiding the package for three weeks, especically since we've already reshipped the product to the customer cause it was lost in shipping......

TOTWTYTR said...

The actual shipping by USPS is far more efficient than the tracking. Well usually. The last package I had sent USPS was processed at a facility about 10 miles from my house, but then sent back to one about 90 miles of my house because it was sent to the wrong facility.

In fact, the tracking is essentially useless. As Ruth says, the tracking data, when it shows up, often shows up days after the package has been delivered.

I don't think this is a union issue, as the postal workers union seems particularly incapable of doing much in the way of anything.

FedEx and UPS are far more efficient.