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Topic: 1-800-ASK-USPS and USPS tracking are the worst :(

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Subject: 1-800-ASK-USPS and USPS tracking are the worst :(
Date Posted: 5/9/2014 12:08 AM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 602
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My post office is usually great, but apparently all of the packages I sent out April 23rd got scanned as delivered instead of accepted. Oops. This is pretty common, it has happened to pretty much ALL of my friends who ship a lot. 

Unfortunately, the USPS website hates this. Once a package gets a delivery scan, they will not show any additional data on the website. 

One of the packages was going Priority Mail to the Netherlands. I got an email yesterday from a confused customer wondering what was going on. 

So today, I go to my post office and speak with the Postmaster. She downloads the internal tracking, which shows my package cleared customs in the Netherlands on May 1st. However, the paper she printed says, DO NOT SHOW TO CUSTOMER. DO NOT GIVE CUSTOMER A COPY. So she won't let me take it or take a picture of it. 

I have heard of people getting this information emailed to them, so I call the 1-800 number. It went something like this...

3:17 place call. You now have to say "Operator" 6-7 times to speak to a human. 
3:41 get off hold and speak to a human. Human is totally clueless.
3:46 transfers me to international. 
4:36 (yes, been on hold 50 minutes), USPS hangs up on me. I was on my landline, it was definitely a problem on their end. 

Try calling the customer care center for my region, but they are already closed for the day. 

4:42 Call back and am on hold again
5:21 answered by someone who got extremely offended when I asked to be transferred to a supervisor because I already knew she couldn't access the internal tracking, AND she didn't even know what I was talking about. 
5:24 transferred to a lead, who tells me that I am going to have to send an email via the website. 

Over two HOURS of my life wasted. 

So I am totally screwed here... I shipped a PFRE, and USPS does not offer insurance on those, so I have insurance through a 3rd party. I am totally freaking screwed thanks to this screwup. PayPal will side with the buyer because I can't prove they received it, and the insurance won't honor the claim because I can't even prove I ever shipped it. 

I did every.single.thing perfectly on my end, but thanks to a screwup at my PO, and poor programming on the USPS website, I am probably going to be out over $100 :( 

Date Posted: 5/9/2014 3:39 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Yuppers, I've wasted big chunks of time attempting to reach the correct USPS person/dept.  And if they promise to call you back, ya got maybe 50/50 chance of actually receiving that return call...maybe.

Regarding the insurance and claim..that really sucks.  Any chance the package will still arrive?

Date Posted: 5/9/2014 11:01 AM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 602
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Yeah, I still feel fairly confident the package will still arrive, but it does make me nervous that it cleared customs in the Netherlands a week ago and as far as I know has not arrived. I wrote back to the buyer when they first emailed me and then again yesterday and have not heard back yet. I won't try to file an insurance claim unless the buyer confirms they have not received the package in another week or two. 

Date Posted: 5/9/2014 1:47 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 602
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Yay finally a helpful person! I called my regional customer care office (they were closed by the time I tried to call yesterday), only had to wait on hold for 3 minutes. The person I spoke to knew exactly what I was talking about, and said to call her back if I had a dispute or needed to file an insurance claim and she would doctor the internal tracking in a way that would make it OK to give it to me. Yay! 


https://ribbs.usps.gov/locators/find-cam.cfm is the link to find your regional customer care center