06-27-2012, 05:57 PM
#1
User Info
I completed a trade and headed to the local Post Office to send it off. It's important to note that I went unprepared, knowing I could either get a free box and ship priority or buy a box and ship ground.

So I'm basically prepared to buy a box from the PO to ship off some after shave and cologne. I take the box to the counter and ask the woman if I can use some tape or if I have to buy a roll. She asked where it was going, trying to figure out if she can save me some money by shipping priority and using a free, self-sealing priority mail box. She asked if it was glass and I said yes, but I have it wrapped in a padded envelope. She recommended priority mail, gives me a priority box and labels, takes the box I took to the counter (the last of that size in the lobby), and sends me off to do my packaging and labeling.

I finish, get back in line, and am helped by a gentleman this time. He asks what's in the box, if there is any liquid or alcohol, and I stupidly tell him liquid. He asks what it is and I say some aftershave and cologne. He informs me it can't be shipped priority (air), it has to go ground. So I say that's fine, I'll just buy a box and pack it like I originally intended. The woman who initially helped me apologized and I told her not to worry, it's no big deal. At this point I'm fine with what's going on.

So I go to grab the box, which the woman did not return to the lobby, so I have to return to the counter to have the gentleman recover it for me. He hands it to me and I proceed to start labeling and packing. Of course these boxes aren't self-sealing, and I didn't have tape, so I return to the counter to, again, ask for tape. I was originally resigned to the fact that I might have to buy tape, but now I think that I'm buying a box for $2, and we had a little misunderstanding and maybe they can just let me use some of their tape. The gentleman says that they're not supposed to let customers use the tape, but I can buy a roll. For some reason this really bothered me. I said forget it and left. My wife, who was with me, ended up going home to find a box, but she obviously had to make another trip.

So here's what got me so mad:
  1. This could have been avoided if the woman had initially said, "You can ship priority so long as you're not sending liquid or anything with alcohol."
  2. I was purchasing a box for $2. I know the Post Office can't just provide free tape to everybody, but I was buying a box!
  3. The amount of tape I would have needed was about 20". At retail prices, that would have cost them $0.082225. I'll even round it to $0.09. Let's assume it costs them even less.
  4. The Post Office is already out the priority mail box I had to trash.
  5. They were willing to give up the sale of a $2 box over $0.09.
  6. I had been very polite throughout my visit, and the gentleman didn't have the sense to deviate from policy to please a customer.
  7. I'm an idiot. I should have known better than to think I could just go to the Post Office without first having the package ready.
That last one is the one that hurts the most. Sad

4 112
Reply
 06-27-2012, 06:10 PM
#2
  • Dave
  • Moderator Emeritus
User Info
When I didn't work from home, I worked next to the worst post office in history. They were grumpy, slow, and understaffed (but they did at least let me tape boxes with priority tape if I was sending priority). Now that I work from home, I use paypal to ship most everything but when I ship international, I go to my local rural post office. The lady who works the desk has to be the nicest lady in the postal service. She double checks my customs forms and gives me boxes and always double checks to see if anything has come in for me that didn't go out in the morning, My postal carrier is also awesome. If she has a large number of boxes, she gets out of her jeep and carries them to the door, and if she misses something, always comes back and hand delivers it. About once a month or so, I take a dozen doughnuts to the post office and they seem to enjoy it and appreciate it.

116 3,804
Reply
 06-27-2012, 06:15 PM
#3
  • tgutc
  • Senior Member
  • Michigan
User Info
I understand your frustration with the Post Office. Every time I complete a sale and trade and I'm going to ship I feel like I'm trying to out wit them or I won't be able to send my package. Like you said, it seems to always depend on who's waiting on you too.

45 3,955
Reply
 06-27-2012, 06:18 PM
#4
User Info
I should emphasize, in defense of these postal workers, that they were perfectly pleasant. If only the one could have spared some tape, I'd be telling a story like Dave's!

4 112
Reply
 06-27-2012, 06:23 PM
#5
  • Dave
  • Moderator Emeritus
User Info
I can totally empathize with you Todd. Honestly, if I drive by the local Post Office here and don't see her car, I just go back home. When you get good customer service (or give good customer service) people don't necessarily want to return (post office, tech support, etc), but it makes the trip that much easier.

116 3,804
Reply
 06-27-2012, 06:32 PM
#6
  • xraygun
  • Active Member
  • Bainbridge Island
User Info
Folks at my Post Office are pretty nice in general, but I just use the shipping thing in paypal. No interaction necessary unless shipping overseas.

5 270
Reply
 06-27-2012, 06:43 PM
#7
  • uncledave
  • Returned to DE Shaving After 40 years
  • Kentucky, USA
User Info
I can sympathise with you! Here in rural Kentucky we have a mailman who puts out mail in neighbors' boxes and their mail in our box. This happens over and over and over. If you complaing about it he gets worse. I've given up. To beat it all he will leave the post office WITHOUT a package I'm supposed to receive yet he will mark it "delivered" on the Post Office tracking website. He then delivers it the next day (I hope). I've caught him doing this twice. Like I say, it does no good to complain.

It seems to me that pride in one's work has gone down the drain in this country. It's no wonder the post office is losing money with dipsticks like this on its payroll!

0 396
Reply
 06-27-2012, 06:45 PM
#8
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
User Info
I usually ship everything via Priority Mail, even overseas. I go to the post office maybe once a month and grab a bunch of Priority Boxes in different sizes and take them home. When it's time to ship something, I login in to the P.O. shipping thread, type in my information and when it's time to pay, click on PayPal. After that, just print the labels. If it's going overseas, you just fill out the customs info and it prints the correct label.

Next morning I set it out with any outgoing mail and the local postman picks it up. No lines to wait in, no stupid questions to answer.

181 25,131
Reply
 06-27-2012, 07:54 PM
#9
  • gijames
  • Mile High Soldier
  • TN, USA
User Info
Interesting! would you guys happen to have the USPO paypal sign-up page handy?


Thanks!
Biggrin

9 1,684
Reply
 06-27-2012, 08:44 PM
#10
  • tgutc
  • Senior Member
  • Michigan
User Info
(06-27-2012, 06:45 PM)Johnny Wrote: I usually ship everything via Priority Mail, even overseas. I go to the post office maybe once a month and grab a bunch of Priority Boxes in different sizes and take them home. When it's time to ship something, I login in to the P.O. shipping thread, type in my information and when it's time to pay, click on PayPal. After that, just print the labels. If it's going overseas, you just fill out the customs info and it prints the correct label.

Next morning I set it out with any outgoing mail and the local postman picks it up. No lines to wait in, no stupid questions to answer.

Thank's for explaining that Johnny! I had never heard of that. I will be doing that from now on.

45 3,955
Reply
 06-27-2012, 09:12 PM
#11
User Info
I'm rural and my postman drives up to my mailbox every day. I deal with him and he's decent.

Today I put a note in the box telling him I had 2 large flat rate boxes to go and could he come to house and he did so. I handed him the $ and gave the directions, and everything was good.

If anyone asks whats in the boxes I tell them moisturizer, which is true.

I think folks just need to put themselves in the postmans shoes and understand what answers get you what you want and what answers put you in their clutches. After all they're beaureaucrats, they get off on stuff like that, regulations and all. Never mention alcohol, because even alcohol that will put flames out is considered bad. They want whatever to be consumed by fire and have no concept of too low a % to burn.

32 6,524
Reply
 06-27-2012, 11:18 PM
#12
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
User Info
(06-27-2012, 07:54 PM)gijames Wrote: Interesting! would you guys happen to have the USPO paypal sign-up page handy?


Thanks!
Biggrin

Just follow the directions.

https://cns.usps.com/go

181 25,131
Reply
 06-28-2012, 03:33 AM
#13
  • gijames
  • Mile High Soldier
  • TN, USA
User Info
Thank you Johnny!

Smile

9 1,684
Reply
 06-28-2012, 10:05 AM
#14
User Info
Todd, wow, those experiences you guys have in the US are a bit different than in Canada. i have never experienced any negative things at the post office.

89 21,229
Reply
 06-28-2012, 10:27 AM
#15
  • Harvey
  • Senior Member
  • North Hills CA
User Info
Lucky for me I guess Never had any problems in sunny California..I have received things from all over the globe..in a timely manner and never had even one problem ..ever !!!!

6 2,102
Reply
 06-28-2012, 12:36 PM
#16
User Info
You can also order the Priority boxes online and the postman will bring them to you, if (like me) you don't generally pass by your post office as part of your day-to-day.

I am a contractor in IT at a Postal datacenter. I don't deal with post office employees in my job, ever. However, Postal corporate culture is weird and multifaceted. I definitely deal with some people who just go by the letter of policy, and no deviation would be dreamed of. Others act like whatever isn't specifically forbidden is okay. It can make it a real pain to know what to expect.

I was in a similar position to yours, and the woman behind the counter gave me tape to reinforce my Priority box. I even said "do I need to buy my own roll of tape for that?" I mean, it's not like we won't use it.

There's a "Reduction in Force" going on again now - perhaps their supervisor is pushing them to save every penny. Perhaps your clerks are just obnoxious.

10 1,858
Reply
 06-28-2012, 05:49 PM
#17
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
User Info
You can also order boxes on USPS.com that the local post office does not stock such as regional rate boxes. They can come in very handy.

48 20,068
Reply
 06-30-2012, 08:23 PM
#18
User Info
(06-27-2012, 09:12 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote: I'm rural and my postman drives up to my mailbox every day. I deal with him and he's decent.

Today I put a note in the box telling him I had 2 large flat rate boxes to go and could he come to house and he did so. I handed him the $ and gave the directions, and everything was good.

If anyone asks whats in the boxes I tell them moisturizer, which is true.

I think folks just need to put themselves in the postmans shoes and understand what answers get you what you want and what answers put you in their clutches. After all they're beaureaucrats, they get off on stuff like that, regulations and all. Never mention alcohol, because even alcohol that will put flames out is considered bad. They want whatever to be consumed by fire and have no concept of too low a % to burn.

Brain, it's always better to be safe than sorry as my conscious always tells me. They got you camera(at least in our post office they do) when you walk in and if your stuff were to leak in their vehicle or break and you knowingly lied to the post office worker, they'd have you by the nut sack. Plus, there's the possibility of the liquid ruining other mail and packages. It's only $1 or $2 more than priority, so why risk it? Just pay the ground shipping and you won't have to worry.

0 128
Reply
 08-08-2012, 10:17 PM
#19
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
User Info
The USPS acts as if they don't want my business and the clerks get annoyed if I drop off a large load of packages. This is a recent phenomenon. I guess I can have them pick the packages up from me but, it will delay things by at least a day. Definitely frustrating.

48 20,068
Reply
 08-09-2012, 04:09 AM
#20
  • etoyoc
  • Active Member
  • NW Indiana
User Info
(06-27-2012, 06:45 PM)Johnny Wrote: If it's going overseas, you just fill out the customs info and it prints the correct label.

Next morning I set it out with any outgoing mail and the local postman picks it up. No lines to wait in, no stupid questions to answer.
I can't have mail picked up at home. Well, I can... but I am not home during the day and packages vanish from my door. My post office won't accept the online customs forms. They make me stand there in line to fill out the form behind all the people in line with passport forms. Every time I bring something in where I printed out the form from online, the person at the counter acts like they have never seen this online form before in a way that sounds accusatory like I am scamming the post office at which point I get the 3rd degree on sending my package and then it takes days for the customs form tracking to show it has left the post office. As a result I have gone to feeling like it is no big deal to ship international to always hoping no-one international buys anything that I have up for sale.

0 253
Reply
Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)