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Topic: Hawaii Mail Problem Using Media Mail

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Subject: Hawaii Mail Problem Using Media Mail
Date Posted: 1/2/2009 11:54 PM ET
Member Since: 11/7/2008
Posts: 25
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Since November, I have had nearly every book I sent out using Media Mail end up reported as missing.  As of today most of them have arrived after being reported missing, but there are still a handful missing.

 

I mentioned this at the post office this week and a postal employee told me media mail sits until a shipping container is filled, possibly for weeks, then it goes out on ships, then it goes onto semi trucks and for some reason is routed through New York.  Our regular first class mail and priority mail goes out on jets.  Consequently, my books mailed with first class postage show up quickly, but my media mail ends up lost for who knows how long.  I asked the postal employee twice to make sure I heard her correctly, and she confirmed this is what happens to my media mail, and this is why all my books have been missing.

 

Now, it seems to me the only way I can participate in PBS is to post small paperbacks and send them first class, as anything else I send will either cost me an arm and a leg or be reported missing because it takes too long when it sits waiting for a container to fill up. 

 

Is anyone else in Hawaii having this problem, or is just us lucky stepchildren on the Big Island?  :(

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 1/3/2009 11:47 AM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,135
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Yes, this is the normal treatment for Media Mail. It also happens in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and I assume American Samoa and Guam have the same setup as well.

- if you use printable postage, you get instant credit. Your books will still go lost, but you will get the credits for sending them.

- other members are required to mark your books received from their Transaction Archive pages if they arrive after the system marks them lost; even if they already got a second copy. It would be a kindness to send these members a PM and let them know the book is on the way from HI and will take longer, so they shouldn't order another copy.

This strategy will give you the maximum credits with the minimum postage expenses:

* if the package weighs less than 11 oz, send it First Class with stamps (max cost will be $2.70)

* if the package weighs between 11 oz and 16 oz, send it Media Mail with printable postage (cost will be $2.84)

* if the package weighs between 1 and 2 lb, send it Media Mail with printable postage (cost will be $3.19)

 

Date Posted: 1/3/2009 1:57 PM ET
Member Since: 11/7/2008
Posts: 25
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Why use stamps when sending first class?  I think I used printable postage on some of my first class packages.

Date Posted: 1/3/2009 3:25 PM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2007
Posts: 1,642
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I think that Cathy meant that since your 1st class mail moves faster (and therefore is unlikely to go lost), using printable postage probably wouldn't be a "good buy" to maximize how quickly you get a credit.  For anything sent media mail, using printable postage will give you your credit right away instead of you having to wait until the other person receives it.

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 1/3/2009 4:40 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,135
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Yes, that's exactly what I meant Barbara. Thanks for clarifying!

Date Posted: 1/4/2009 12:21 AM ET
Member Since: 11/7/2008
Posts: 25
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I see.  For convenience, though, I print first class at home as well, since our post office opens late, closes for lunch and then closes early also.  It's a race to see if you can get there when someone is working and there isn't a coffee klatch going on. 

So not worth the aggravation to deal with the post office if I can avoid it.

 

Date Posted: 1/5/2009 12:50 AM ET
Member Since: 10/8/2005
Posts: 782
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Patty,

I live on O'ahu. I've been lucky this year. Only a couple books took a few weeks, but some got there in 3-4 days even going Media Mail. I've been with this site for many years. The holidays are the worst time for Media Mail. I'm sure it will get better. I only send First Class if its cheaper than Media Mail.

The first year I was a member I had 17 books "Lost" all at once, but they all got there eventually. 

Date Posted: 1/5/2009 1:39 AM ET
Member Since: 11/7/2008
Posts: 25
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I'm showing 10 books 'lost' right now, all sent media mail.  I just had about 16 checked off in the past 3 weeks by people who have received them.  Of the 10 showing lost, some have been delivered but I have been unable to get the receivers to check them off in their transaction history, or in one case the receiver tells me she is unable to do this because she checked something that says not to ask her again, but she sent me credits as an apology. 

 

Of 29 books I've mailed out in 2 months, 10 are showing lost, and for all I know will remain 'lost' forever.  I'm tired of PMing people asking them to mark them received when the post office shows them delivered.  I know they got them, what's the deal?  I look like I'm the one who isn't mailing them when in fact they are being delivered.  The only ones that were not a problem were the 3 I mailed first class.

 

If I can't get the person who received the book to mark it when they get it, what recourse do I have?

This hardly seems worth the aggravation.

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 1/5/2009 12:21 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,135
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If you are using PBS Printable Postage or PBS Delivery Confirmation services, then you are not responsible for getting other people to mark the books received. You don't have to worry about it or get aggravated. Just let it go.

PBS has all the scan records for DC that is purchased through the site. You are not the one who will look bad if books that have a "Delivered" scan are not marked received.

Date Posted: 1/5/2009 5:22 PM ET
Member Since: 11/7/2008
Posts: 25
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But don't people see how many 'lost' books you have when they request a book from you?  Or am I thinking of one of my other trading sites?  Right now I look like I don't mail out my books or something because approximately 1/3 of them are showing 'lost.'   Or am I worrying about nothing?

 

 

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 1/5/2009 8:52 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,135
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Only the site administrators can tell how many lost/damaged books you have.

Date Posted: 1/6/2009 4:47 PM ET
Member Since: 11/7/2008
Posts: 25
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I must be thinking of the other site, then.  No worries, then, other than finding the ones that are still legitimately lost.

 

So far I have 4 that I know were received but they remain 'lost' in the system because the receiver can't or won't mark them received. In one instance I understand she can't because of an errant click, the others I don't understand at all.

I have 3 that I have filed reports on and have no idea where they are.

.And I have one that was received at the wrong address I'm trying to either get back or forwarded to the right person by sending money for postage.

Then there are 2 that were finally both received and marked received.

 

Yeesh. 

Date Posted: 1/7/2009 10:03 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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I'm surprised that some click on some button won't let her go into the Transaction Archive and mark the book as received.  if I were her, I'd ask the site owners about that.   but she gave you a credit so that works out...but that is still weird

Subject: Media Mail from Puerto Rico
Date Posted: 1/7/2009 3:28 PM ET
Member Since: 12/29/2008
Posts: 667
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Sorry, my browser messed up...

Anyways, what I was trying to say was that I just had a book go from Puerto Rico to California... Media Mail... in 4 days.  So either in Puerto Rico they airmail the Media Mail to Florida first, or I got extraordinarily lucky.  Either way, there's no way that book took the trip on a ship as it would still be on the ship (generally nearly 1 week from San Juan to Miami/Tampa by ship).

I have three more books on their way to the mainland right now (TX, IN and FL), so we'll see how long they take too.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that book marked as received so soon :)



Last Edited on: 1/7/09 8:44 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 1/12/2009 9:16 PM ET
Member Since: 9/11/2005
Posts: 905
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I am sitting here right in the middle of the country (NE) so don't have the problems that those of you in the "hinterlands" do, but I have sent a lot of books to almost everywhere and had some of them go "lost" but I think that almost all of them eventually got received.  The recipients all resurrected them and marked them as such, too.  The ones, i have found, that take the longest are those that go to APO's that may be anyplace in the world.  Interestingly, you must fill out a customs form for all of them, and you have to use one of the long forms (white) if your package weighs over 1 pound.  You only need a long form for other international packages if they weigh over 4 lbs.  Why this is, I have no idea.

Date Posted: 1/13/2009 1:22 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Sis lives on Maui, so I've heard the container complaint before.  One year her Christmas presents sat on the dock in containers until Maui USPS had "time" to sort and deliver. . .several weeks after she started hunting for her "lost" packages.

I'm now a big fan of Delivery Confirmation, printable right on your shipping labels.  It's 17 or 18 cents on printing and about the same in additonal postage.  But when shipped this way you get immediate credit, and then you can watch the shipping progress with the "details" button.  You can also notify the receiver of your situation, and they can also track a DC book from their end.  This should relieve stress for you both.

DC makes it very obvious when a book requestor doesn't log the book in right away, I just had one that had been delivered over a week before.  But no need to feel cranky, 'cause I already received credit through DC.

Date Posted: 1/14/2009 7:04 PM ET
Member Since: 11/7/2008
Posts: 25
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All of mine had delivery confirmation, but there was no way to know where they were until they were updated by the post office.  So far, they aren't updated until after I've heard from the receiver that they got the book. 

 

Delivery confirmation doesn't seem to help much.  One book says it was delivered, but the person never got it and thinks her mailman just left it in the lobby of her building where anyone could have picked it up.  I understand her point, it wasn't really received, but how irritating.  How come some postal carriers will leave a package unsecured and others won't? 

 

 

Date Posted: 1/15/2009 4:18 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Sounds very frustrating Patty, hugs for you.  Oh the woes of living in Paradise.  That may sound snarky, but really isn't.  Islanders have to put up with alot of crap nobody knows about and most other states wouldn't tolerate.

I've asked, but my carrier won't leave mail on my porch. . .we live rural & have a large dog, so I'm confident of safety.  But to leave personal mail in a communal lobby?  That's irresponsible, she should contact her local Post Master to discuss the situation. 



Last Edited on: 1/15/09 4:20 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/19/2009 12:44 AM ET
Member Since: 11/7/2008
Posts: 25
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Thanks.   I've almost located all of them now, but I'm sure that one walked off. 

Date Posted: 1/26/2009 10:45 AM ET
Member Since: 12/29/2008
Posts: 667
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As an update:  From Puerto Rico, all of my sent Media Mail has arrived at the destination in less than a week, usually 4 days.  So Media Mail from here to the mainland is via airplane for sure.

However: the two Media Mail to me that have made it so far took 14 days and 15 days.  I think it's fair to say that Media Mail from the mainland to Puerto Rico is by ship "normally".  The DC on several enroute right now are indicating they are accumulating at Jacksonville, FL, so I even know where they are putting them onto a ship.  sigh.  The time aboard ship seems to be 7-8 days from Jacksonville, FL to here (likely Catano, PR).  This seems about right.

First Class is fast both ways still, so if I order a single small book, I can still get it quickly.