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Topic: Anyone had an issue with post office "holding" books?

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Subject: Anyone had an issue with post office "holding" books?
Date Posted: 4/30/2011 3:32 PM ET
Member Since: 12/30/2009
Posts: 465
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On two occasions I've ordered half a dozen to a dozen books on paperbackswap.  It seemed like they took a long time to arrive, and then all of the books or most of them arrived on the same day (all from different senders).  Both times I had senders PMing me saying the book was marked as received on the scanner and asking me to please mark it received, but I hadn't actually gotten the books yet.  It seemed like the post office was holding back some of the books that arrived until they thought they all had, and then had them delivered all at once. 

I called and asked, and they denied doing this.  Since then though I hadn't had this issue.  Anyone else have this happen or am I just being paranoid?

Date Posted: 4/30/2011 3:44 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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My first thought was that if it is a smaller facility, they may be letting packages build up for a few days and then sorting/delivering them all at once. The PO that I send mail from does this with outgoing packages. I think they have to have a certain amount of media mail packages in the bin before it gets picked up. I sometimes get a little miffed when I bring in books to be mailed and they sit there for 5 days.

Date Posted: 4/30/2011 4:03 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 54,837
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I've had this happen, and have seen others mention it as well.  My experience was short-lived, but frustrating.  A summer or two ago we had a substitute mail carrier for several weeks...*frequently* during that time I had the problem if books being marked "Delivered" and not making it to my mail box for 1 or 2 extra days...never longer than that.  I don't know how it comes to happen, and I also found if I asked about it they said "no, we can't/don't do that'...and yet....

Date Posted: 4/30/2011 4:04 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,662
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When I first moved to this house, I would be missing a magazine per month from my subscriptions. A different one each month, even of magazines that had been successfully delivered already to the new house.

I don't know what was happening to them ... all I know is that I finally went in after 4 months to complain about it and I never missed another issue of any magazine at all since them.

I just had a package scanned as delivered to me on the 16th ... it appeared in my mailbox the 29th. Don't know what they did with it in the meantime.

Overall, though, I don't have to many issues with them.

Date Posted: 4/30/2011 4:10 PM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2006
Posts: 4,978
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I've never had that specifically happen, but my packages frequently get marked "delievered" long before I see them. 

Date Posted: 4/30/2011 5:38 PM ET
Member Since: 1/22/2011
Posts: 2,388
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Jonascat,

You are not being paranoid. Although I personally believe just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they are not out to get me. But I digress. My post office does this. They won't admit it, but 3 or 4 days out of the week I get nothing, then Friday-bam- 10-13 items. My messages always  say I have 1 or more to marked received, but I can't until they show up.

Date Posted: 4/30/2011 5:40 PM ET
Member Since: 12/30/2009
Posts: 465
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I don't think I would mind if it were just one or two days difference.  My dad worked in the post office his entire life, so I know how hard it is to be a carrier.  I can understand wanting to do the book delivery all at once.  But both times there were books in the stack that had been marked received as much as a full week ago, and I felt really bad for the sender. 

Date Posted: 4/30/2011 11:31 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,384
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Last year, my standard mail carrier went on vacation.  All the books from that week and a half were scanned as delivered but weren't.  My carrier was quite upset about the huge stack of packages that the sub refused to deliver.  My books were just the tip of the issue.  The sub wasn't even delivering the priority mail packages. 

Date Posted: 4/30/2011 11:52 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,167
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My local PO is awesome,  packages showing 'delivered' the are always in my box that day.  But, according to other member posts...not the case in all areas (unfortunately).

If you're concerned, discuss the matter with your post office.



Last Edited on: 5/2/11 4:25 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/1/2011 12:44 AM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2009
Posts: 332
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It sounds as if you have a carrier (or substitute) who has days when he just can't be bothered. If you call and ask to speak to the Carrier Supervisor, and point out the pattern with your package deliveries, he may investigate and the problem may disappear. Don't mention your suspicions that it's the carrier's or the PO's doing, since that just makes them hostile, and of course, nothing is ever their fault. (I worked for the PO for 5+ years; anything you've heard or imagined about the PO's inner workings, or the lack thereof, is probably an understatement.)
Date Posted: 5/1/2011 4:00 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,696
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I have this problem with both incoming and outgoing mail. I'll have days when I'll take packages to the post office to be mailed out, and discover that the packages I brought in a week EARLIER were still sitting in  the bin waiting to go out! And our part-time carrier never seems to deliver packages either, he just leaves a note in the mailbox if he remembers, for me to come and pick them up, while our full-time mailman will bring them right up to the front porch.

Date Posted: 5/1/2011 4:35 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,321
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Lori said "Although I personally believe just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they are not out to get me."

I love that!! Lol!

I have a great carrier -- I give her a small gift at Christmas.  Often a gift certificate to our local book store.  Or homemade cookies or something.  We're on a long and somewhat scary route -- lots of dogs, I'm told -- and I want her to feel appreciated and happy here.  I do not want to go back to having to pick my mail up from the neighbor two blocks away (same number, different street) as I did when we had years of substitute carriers on the route.

We all count on good mail delivery, and we sure feel it when something is wrong!

Date Posted: 5/1/2011 9:39 PM ET
Member Since: 9/4/2009
Posts: 291
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The one thing that I have noticed is that No Books are delivered on a Monday.  I am hoping that the large amount of piled up mail (over Sunday...?) causes the carrier to wait until the next day -Tuesday-to worry about the books.  I am having fun with all the rubber bands the carrier uses to attach the book boxes/parcels to the mailbox, and to band them together so they won't slide around in the bins or in the car...

Date Posted: 5/2/2011 4:27 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,167
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Could be some truth to your observation Jackie.  Postal employees tend to complain about the heavy amounts of mail on Mondays...wonder what will happen if Saturday delivery is dropped?

Date Posted: 5/2/2011 4:34 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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Only ever had  one issue with USPS. And it was due to a sub mail carrier. So I called, called again spoke to the supervisor, he told me he would speak to the sub. Nothing happened so I left a note ON my mailbox for the mail carrier. Thankfully it was my regular guy who wrote he did not have the package but would look.  It turned up the next day.. I think the sub did not wish to lug around packages and left it for teh regular guy to deal with.

I never blamed anyone when I called to speak with people, I just wished to know where my package was and could it please be redelievered like I had indicated on the card.

Date Posted: 5/2/2011 5:01 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,185
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Even though some POs scan a package as delivered prior to delivery, they are not supposed to (that's what Arrival at Unit and Out for Delivery or OD are for). If you see a high volume of mail being delivered days after they've been scanned - file a complaint so they stop doing it and do it the right way.



Last Edited on: 5/2/11 5:01 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/2/2011 7:35 PM ET
Member Since: 11/17/2008
Posts: 1,110
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I once PM'd someone a week after a book was supposedly delivered to them (per Details). They said they hadn't received it yet and checked with the local post office--and the book had fallen behind a counter and wasn't found until the receiver asked the post office to look.

Date Posted: 5/2/2011 9:08 PM ET
Member Since: 12/30/2009
Posts: 465
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Well, at least I'm not the only one with mysterious happenings at the local Post Office!  I always feel bad for my carrier around my birthday and Christmas.  I get Amazon gift certificates every year and just go on a massive spree.  He'll do his route and skip us, then drive the jeep into our driveway and make the delivery of the packages.  I don't think he's the one holding back the packages- as other people have noted, it seems to happen more with substitute carriers (which we often have as our regular postman has health troubles). 

The one thing I do get annoyed with our regular guy for is his refusal to take Netflix envelopes.  I don't know what the issue is, but he always leaves them- even when I turn them so the red side is out so they're more visible. 

Date Posted: 5/3/2011 3:01 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,167
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OK, if today is Monday my PO delivers Media Mail packages . . . have I mentioned recently that I  heart  my local Post Office staff?

Date Posted: 5/3/2011 2:22 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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I don't know about delivery, but I have noticed that outgoing Media Mail frequently hangs around at my local post office before being sent on the road.  Perhaps it is the same on the incoming end -- Media Mail isn't the highest priority, so they deliver other classes first or wait for a "critical mass" of MM?

I know a couple of postal folks have posted here, but you might consider posting your query in the Postal section of the forums, where several USPS employees who are PBS members give us the straight dope and resolve mysteries like "what on earth is so fascinating in Bell, CA that my book spent 4 days there?" . ;-)

Date Posted: 5/4/2011 4:05 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,167
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"what on earth is so fascinating in Bell, CA that my book spent 4 days there?"  LOL Elizabeth, my book was sightseeing in NJ this week.

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 5/4/2011 7:14 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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I can't prove it, but I'm pretty sure my post office does this sometimes.  At one point I was getting a lot of books...like 5-10 a week, and they would typically all come on the same day, usually Saturday, where they have part-time carriers covering the routes.    



Last Edited on: 5/4/11 7:15 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/4/2011 8:37 PM ET
Member Since: 1/22/2011
Posts: 2,388
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I'm thinking of renting a PO Box, just to get books every day. $48.00 every six monthes and $6 for key rental. It might be worth it.

Date Posted: 5/6/2011 4:08 PM ET
Member Since: 5/15/2005
Posts: 1,328
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I've noticed that a number of books being delivered to me with delivery confirmation show that they arrived at my local post office, and then the same day indicate a notice was left with me, when in fact, no notice was left. These same books are then delivered normally in the next day or two. Today I was home all day, and again a book I'm waiting for shows that a notice was left. And while I got mail today, there was no notice that delivery was attempted. And I know there's no problem with my mailbox (we got a really large box when I started swapping books). Since it happens on packages with confirmation, it probably also happens with my non-DC packages. 

I know my small local post office cut back on employees and hours so I can only assume that when they can't get all the mail out the same day, they hold media mail packages until they have more time or room to get them out. A little frustrating for me and possibly the sender as well. I'm not sure I want to complain about it, but I'd really rather they not mark them as if a notice was left when that's not the case.

Date Posted: 5/6/2011 9:19 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,167
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Actually Lsressler, that sounds more like an internal communication problem.  A few years ago our old delivery person would do thist type of thing (also leave 'attempted' slips when I was home all day and knew it was a lie).  Towards the end, our mail was often delivered after 6pm.  After many complaints by many customers, the employee was replaced. 

Consider discussing the situation with your postmaster, they many not know this is happening.  It's not normal procedure.  Since Media Mail is not required to be delivered on a particular schedule, there's no real point to the slips or tease scans.  Maybe your local staff thinks they are doing customers a favor by letting them know their package is in town?  Maybe some civil discussion would be helpful to everyone?