Okay, first a confession, and then a general rant. You have been warned…
Confession: I threw the receipt away.
it was an accident! I was trying to find my nightstand, which had (once again) hopefully become buried beneath a pile of papers that needed to go into the waste bin. I picked up the note that had the address I was sending the package to and the receipt and said to myself, “It’s the post office; they always do right by Priority Mail.” And away it went.
But then the unthinkable happened.
I reached out to the receiver of the item (a book I had been lent and was returning), only to find out she had not received the package on the scheduled day.
I sent it on Tuesday and it was to arrive on Thursday.
It was now Friday and no package.
And then it was Saturday, and then it was Monday, and then it was Tuesday….
Do you see where this is going?!?
I went online and every post I read made me more horrified. “The Post Office does not guarantee on-time delivery with Priority Mail.” “If you don’t have the receipt there is no way to track the package.”
I however was not to be daunted (immediately) by that. I went to my online banking and found the transaction; I pulled down the cryptic numbers thereon. I went to the branch of the PO from where I sent it and talked to a rather disappointing clerk., who gave me the 800 number to call. I went to my car and fought with the COMPLETELY AUTOMATED (as in, nothing you do gets you to a human and when finally you confuse the automated thing enough for it to send you to a human the new automation says they are having higher than average call volume and can’t help you, then directs you back to the original automation) system, to no avail. I then called my bank, where I spoke with the nicest lady (who also was unable to help, other than thanking me for being a loyal customer). I then went home and sent an email to the USPS “Contact Us” address.
And got a response from a real-live human! From my local post office! Who said without the receipt I could not track the package.
The message also said that the Post Office would continue to attempt delivery and if the package isn’t delivered in 15 days it would be returned to the return address (mine). It also suggested that I ask the intended receiver to check her PO to find out if the package is there, waiting. It also provided the infamous 800 number for her to call. I did all that and guess what?
The package showed up yesterday (Wednesday, an entire week after it was supposed to be delivered).
Mind you, in my original message I indicated that I sent my package Priority for delivery on last Thursday; there was no response to that information.
I could have sent the package for a couple cents almost for it to go bulk rate, which probably would have taken….you guessed it: a week.
I believe in the USPS, I really do. I am saddened that a national system as large as this one does not have up-to-date technology.
With all the press in recent years about the USPS and how there has been consideration to close post offices, change hours, and so on to save money, one might suggest better technology to improve services.
Yeah, it was my bad to throw the receipt away, but if my local grocer can track what I bought last month, why can’t the USPS give me a tracking number?