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Topic: Need help tracking a package

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Subject: Need help tracking a package
Date Posted: 3/19/2013 10:10 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 602
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A friend sent a box of DVDs to my PO Box (from SC to WA) on Jan 30. I know it was Jan 30th because the postage is one of those counter strips. They put the wrong city, but the zip and PO Box # are correct. It looks like they sent it Media Mail (although oddly enough I don't see any media mail markings), because they only paid $4.33 postage and it's heavy. 

I just received it today, March 19. There aren't any markings on the package indicating a reason for the delay. One side of the box says "505 12/3" but my box number is 77633 so I assume that is from a previous use of the box. The other side of the box says 77633, my box number, but no date. No signs of forwarding or postage due or anything like that. 

It has one of those tracking labels that the public can't track. I tried calling the 1-800 number, but the operators had gone home for the day, and the automated system wouldn't tell me anything useful. They say a return receipt might be available through my PO, but I would like to avoid that. 

The tracking number is 9552 1104 6207 3030 5618 37

What I am trying to figure out is if the package has just been sitting at my post office for the past month. I am SO SO sick of them not being able to find my packages, and being total jerks about it. I had a slip about a month or so ago for a package and they couldn't find it, so they said the person putting out the slips must be dyslexic and wrote down the wrong box numbers. 

I've had it up to here with this branch, and I am probably moving away in a few months, so I am getting ready to complain about all of the ridiculous things that keep happening here. I've been worried that they'll be even worse to me, but at this point the only thing I absolutely have to interact with them about it package pickup. 99% of my mailings are electronic, and the rest I can go to a different branch for. 

If I call and talk to someone at the 1-800 number tomorrow will they be able to tell me when the package arrived at my PO? Would the "return receipt" tell me that? Any other suggestions?

Date Posted: 3/19/2013 10:26 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2007
Posts: 833
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Not sure exactly what the folks who answer 1-800 number can do for you. However, if you take that tracking number to that other branch you mentioned in your post, *they* can run it for you.

Also, if the "good" branch is in the same general area, it probably has the same area supervisor as your PO Box branch. Ask them for his/her number and don't wait until you move... You should be able to complain and have the supervisor keep your name to themself.

Good luck!

Date Posted: 3/20/2013 1:53 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Yes, ask the 1800 number exactly where and how to file a complaint.  Keep track of every incident you can think of, and dates if possible.  Only a few postal terminals have access to the internal tracking information (ask the 800 helpers), but IIRC part of the reasoning behind this program was to be able to pinpoint in-house problem areas...such as yours!  Hopefully a customer complaint will cause the data to be reviewed and the culprits revealed! 

BTW - don't let them blame the Media Mail sorting, which for our area is Federal Way.  I live near there and it seems to be very efficient.  My incoming MM scanned at Federal Way is always delivered the next day (and sometimes the same day), they really sort and re-distriubute quickly.

ETA - Frankly Becca, I've been surprised at your inferior mail service...North Puget Sound, right?  Here in the South Puget Sound, we have excellent postal service and well trained staff is the norm.



Last Edited on: 3/20/13 1:55 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/20/2013 11:59 AM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2007
Posts: 833
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I will say that I have yet to bring a tracking number to any USPS branch where they couldn't get the information off of it. FWIW, not all of them have true "terminals". In fact, most are small branches and they use their computers, which may have different access than the POS terminals.

That said, if Denise says that you can ge tthe information directly from the folks at the 1-800 number, go for that... No gas is burned in the process and you can do it from the comfort of your living room!

Date Posted: 3/20/2013 2:57 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Not really sure, I've just heard that those 'internal' tracking numbers are not viewable at all USPS terminals? Not like tracking purchased by customers, which is accessable online and at USPS locations.  Maybe one of our postal employee/members will stop in with better info smiley

Date Posted: 3/20/2013 4:26 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 602
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Yeah I don't know what it is with this branch, it's not like it's just one employee or one incident. I reviewed them on Yelp and gave them 2 stars (mainly because they have an APC and a package pickup window, though both are hit and miss), most other reviewers gave them 1 star, most also complaining about how rude the clerks are. 

I called the 1-800 number, they weren't able to pullup any scans other than the package shipped January 30 and I received it March 19. I know media mail can be slow, but we've all sent and received a million books, and it's just very rare that a package would be legitimately held up in transit that long. My guess is that this is the package that I got a slip for that the clerk couldn't find. Maybe it got turned around backwards and just sat there for a month. 

They asked if I wanted to file a complaint and I said yes. Someone from my branch is going to call me (supposedly) within the next 24 hours. I hope this doesn't make things worse for me or my mom, but at least I am moving away soon and my mom doesn't receive packages there and she doesn't mail packages _that_ often. I should teach her how to use the APC ;) 

Date Posted: 3/22/2013 3:16 PM ET
Member Since: 9/9/2009
Posts: 916
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deleted



Last Edited on: 3/22/13 10:59 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/22/2013 10:41 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 602
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Melisa thank you so much for confirming my suspicions. I have copied and pasted this information into a file, so if you want to delete your post it would be OK. I don't want to get you in trouble. 

Date Posted: 3/22/2013 11:11 PM ET
Member Since: 9/9/2009
Posts: 916
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..



Last Edited on: 3/25/13 9:10 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/22/2013 11:16 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 602
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No one from my local PO has called to follow up, which they were supposed to do yesterday. But that's the least of my concerns at the moment. I made the mistake of not writing down the complaint number at the time. *sigh*

So this story just keeps getting better. I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried. 

Yesterday I had to mail about 50 packages. I was running late, thanks to my 41 weeks pregnant body taking an unplanned nap after lunch. I needed to get to a track meet about 35 minutes dead east of where I live, and the PO that my PO box is at is 30 minutes west, so there was no way to get out there. 

So I went to the PO close to my house. I apologized profusely for mailing a zlillion packages from there with the wrong origin zip, but they were super nice to me and went out to my car and picked up the packages.

Unfortunately, someone there didn't like my combo of PayPal and APC postage on the padded FREs, so three of those (oddly not all of them) have scanned as being delivered to my post office. Which is the second time this has happened (last time it was with a Regional Box) and I don't think they are scanning them right as they leave that PO, but whatever. So they last scanned this morning as being "Out for Delivery" at my PO, which doesn't really make sense since it is a PO Box (usually it would say "Notice Left" but whatever. 

I get to the post office this afternoon and check my box. No sign of my my returned packages, but I did receive a package from BabySteals, which is odd because I didn't remember ordering from them lately, but whatever. Of course I forgot to write down the DCs on my returned packages, but I was able pull them up on my phone and write them on a slip of paper. 

So I go to the package window. Ring the bell. Wait two minutes. Ring the bell. Wait two minutes. (Remember the window clerks are really mean and usually just yell at you to go to the door, so it's worth the wait at the package door usually). Ring the bell again and finally someone answers. Lucky for me it's a supervisor guy. I've only interacted with him a few times, there's usually a very nice lady who answers the door who is kind of an airhead. 

I give him the DCs and ask him to find my packages. He disappears for about 5 minutes. In the meantime, I decide to open the box from BabySteals. It's something I ordered last fall. I thought I had misplaced it, but looking at it,  I realize I never got it in the first place. I am baffled as to why they would be re-sending it to me, there's no note inside or anything like that. So I look at the label on the box... Shipped Sep 17, 2012. What?! That can't be right...

So I quickly pull up the DC on my cell phone. Scanned by my post office as delivered on Sep 19. Ummm what? I never got it until today... 

So the guy comes back with some printouts. He says the packages did scan at their PO, but he can't find them. He suspects that they already got sent back out for delivery to the proper recipients (they should NOT have been returned in the first place). So now I need to wait and see if any new scans show up or what. Fingers crossed that they really did leave the PO. 

He also had a pack of Regional A boxes with him that I ordered. More on that later. 

So I ask him about the box I JUST RECEIVED dated September 17. He is baffled. He says there is no way they could have used or re-used a label with such old postage, it would have scanned as invalid. And BabySteals is an AWESOME shipper, never had a problem with them before and they are always very prompt. Unfortunately, with DC that old, it will take him 24 hours to pull up the full scan history. He takes the package, makes a copy of the label, and takes down my number. I thank him for looking into it, and mention that I've been having problems receiving packages there. 

When I got home, just for fun, I typed in the tracking on those A boxes he gave me. Yeah they were marked as notice left on 3/19. And I was there 3/19, had two slips in my box, and got two packages, so the airhead lady just overlooked it *sigh*

I don't even know what to do at this point. This is so ridiculous. I am giving it until Tuesday before calling the 1-800 number again, we'll see what happens with those returned packages and whether or not anyone calls me back about my formal complaint. 

Date Posted: 3/22/2013 11:26 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2007
Posts: 833
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Wow, Becca!

Date Posted: 3/23/2013 1:48 AM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 602
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In a turn of good news, the three packages that were sent to my PO from the other local one got scanned tonight at the sorting center in Kent, which is where everyone else's got scanned yesterday, so hopefully they arrive without any further drama. I will give my PO props for recognizing that there was no need to return the packages to me. Debating whether or not to file a complaint against the Kenmore PO. They are so nice that I really hate to do it, but I would also like to be able to mail stuff from there without stress. I think the solution is suck it up and pay for stamps.com so I can more easily do proper postage for Regional Rate, Padded FREs, plus then I can ship international and parcel post without going to the counter. 

Date Posted: 3/23/2013 2:04 AM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 602
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At this point, I am over the rude staff at my PO, their lack of understanding of the DMM, etc. I just want my packages to get to me. If I sign up for stamps.com I should be able to avoid the counter the rest of the time.  

There are clearly some major problems at this PO with how packages are labeled, stored, delivered, etc. My parents don't normally get packages at the PO, but sometimes they have to pick one up for their street address if it needs a signature or whatever, and they have also had problems with things disappearing and not being delivered on time. 

I don't know if the best answer is to try and sit down with the postmaster or whoever at the PO with a list of all of the delivery problems I have had, or if I should leave a massive paper trail via the 1-800 number and hope that someone gets held accountable. I'll see how the next few days go. Hopefully I actually get a phone call from my PO, since they owe me two of them now. 

Date Posted: 3/23/2013 9:24 AM ET
Member Since: 9/9/2009
Posts: 916
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Ifyou are 41 weeks along I have a feeling none of this will matter to you soon once the bundle of joy has arrived and consumes your heart, your time, and your ablitity to get a good nights sleep.



Last Edited on: 3/25/13 9:11 AM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 3/23/2013 11:51 AM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 602
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Here is the DC from September: 9400110200793391222900

I contacted BabySteals and they confirmed that they had not re-shipped my product. Unfortunately, since it was scanned delivered on Sep 19, it's just my word against the post office's, so I'm not sure how seriously they'll take the whole thing. 

I would love some district management names. I will try to work with the managers at this PO first, but my parents have been having problems with them for like 20+ years, so I'm not super optimistic. 

Date Posted: 3/28/2013 3:38 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 602
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Well the baby arrived yesterday, but no follwup phone calls from my post office :( 

Date Posted: 3/28/2013 5:08 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2007
Posts: 833
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WOOHOO!!!! MAZEL TOV on your new addition!!!

Date Posted: 3/28/2013 9:23 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Congrats on the Baby!!

I don't think we are in the same district, but the Federal Way district number is 253-214-1800.  Try calling and ask where to report your problem (above the local PO)  I would think someone would be very interested in a package scanned delivered months late, in addition to the multiude of other issues you've mentioned.  Maybe once you find where to file a complaint, you can share it with family and neighbors...the more complaints, the more likely something positive will happen (like retraining). 

We used to have an awful mail carrier, and there were finally enough complaints that we started receiving customer satisfaction post cards and other feedback.  PO was finally able to release the unsatisfactory employee and hire a great replacement.  It can work, and USPS is often receptive to improving customer service when they know there's a problem.

Date Posted: 4/21/2013 8:43 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 602
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Got another heart attack from my crappy post office. I've been waiting on some custom diapers for over 4 months. They finally arrived in the US last week and shiped to me on Monday. Friday evening, I was like "hmmm, where are my diapers?"  I checked the tracking and they were scanned as delivered on Thursday. 

I went to the PO Thursday and picked up some packages but that definitely wasn't one of them. 

Saturday I needed to be at a track meet bright and early, but I wasn't going to let this stress me out all weekend. PO opens at 8:30 on Saturday, so I was there at 8:20. I checked my box... oh hey there's another key to a package pickup box... oh hey there's my package. It must have been put out Friday (I didn't go that day). 

Really stressful. What can you do once the PO scans your package as delivered? It's your word against theirs and they would NEVER scan anything wrong :( 

Just another thing to add to my list. I've been busy with baby and haven't done anything yet, but I am going to file some more complaints with the 1-800 # when I get a chance. 

 

In better news, we are moving in a few weeks! I hope Lopez Island has a good postmaster :) I plan to visit soon and check out the PO, among other things. Maybe I'll even be able to get package pickup at the new house! 

Subject: I'm interested in baby, & a track meet less then a month after-sheesh
Date Posted: 4/21/2013 10:03 PM ET
Member Since: 9/9/2009
Posts: 916
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Date Posted: 4/22/2013 3:14 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Yes, keep reporting this issues to the 800 number, be specific and include DC numbers for packages you didn't receive.  Can you file claims?  How about the vender?  With any luck your PO may be required to get your signature for packages...which will prove your problem wink

Best wishes on the baby, track meets, and improved PO service!

Date Posted: 4/22/2013 1:38 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2007
Posts: 833
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"Best wishes on the baby, track meets, and improved PO service!"

Ditto!

Date Posted: 4/22/2013 10:15 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 602
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As far as I know, I have eventually received all packages that have been shipped to me. I have some Bookmooch books missing, but usually that's a sender not sending, I don't have any way to prove my PO lost them. I'm also pretty sure I've had some Priority Mail supplies not arrive to me, but I usually order them and then forget about them, and they don't give you the tracking, so I can't say for sure. 

It's the misscans and letting packages sit around the PO for weeks or months without notifying me that is the problem. And the really rude staff, but that's a different issue. 

Date Posted: 5/23/2013 11:09 AM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 602
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Only a few days until I move away... only a few days until I move away...

Saturday, I swing by the PO to see if they had any Game Board boxes. I forgot to order some in the midst of moving, and I was able to get some at this PO a few weeks ago. The clerk grumpily goes back to check, and can't find any, tells me that I need to order this stuff online. I was like, "Yeah, I normally do order stuff online, but for some reason I don't seem to get it all..."

 

Yesterday I had a slip saying I needed to sign for something sent registered mail. Which is odd because I am pretty sure the package was just sent insured, but whatever. Oddly enough the tracking is not working for it either. *sigh*

So I go to the package window to sign. The guy comes back with both my package and a pack of OBOX-7 boxes dated March 30. "These are old, do you still want them?" 

*sigh* 

Oh and in other news, the USPS website does a poor job of showing that the Game Board boxes are in 25-packs, they have it listed different than every other item in the store. So I now have 500 on the way instead of 20. I called and they can't cancel the order. Goody. Half are going to the PO mentioned above for my mom to pick up, which means they'll probably yell at her, the other half are going to my new PO where they're just going to think I am nuts. 

mistie -
Date Posted: 5/23/2013 1:29 PM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2007
Posts: 2,024
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well, for the ones going to your current post office, if you don't actually want them - just leave them there - it will probably take them a few months before they notice LOL.

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