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Topic: What's up with the Post Office??

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Subject: What's up with the Post Office??
Date Posted: 2/9/2010 12:44 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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What's up with the PO?  I sent out 6 books between the 2nd and the 6th.  Of the six, one sent on the 2nd is out for delivery in Ohio.  The other sent on the 2nd and the rest of the books haven't made it out of Federal Way, WA.  That appears to be a black hole in our postal system.  One wouldl think after 7 days a book would have traveled further than one state away.  Grrrrr.....

Date Posted: 2/9/2010 12:49 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2009
Posts: 706
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It just hasn't been scanned since it was in Federal Way.  No scans doesn't mean it is still there.  Just means:  that's the last time it was scanned.  It is Delivery Confirmation, not tracking.  Any intermediate scans are a bonus.

Date Posted: 2/9/2010 10:27 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2008
Posts: 5
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Kate if you sent it media mail the time is 7-10 days and in most cases you get it sooner depending on weather,holidays..Be patient it'll get there and don't forget the $ you saved by sending it media..

Have a good evening..

Date Posted: 2/10/2010 3:13 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Actually, I'm feeling warm fuzzies for my local post office. Today I took in two bags full of wrapped books to mail, of various sizes from singles to boxes of 4-5 books. Almost no line, and the clerk had me weighed, scanned, postaged, and back out the door with a smile in no time flat!!

Katie, I've been noticing fewer enroute scans of Media Mail. Mine also goes through Federal Way, and there are big gaps of days while the book is traveling (usually without intrum scans). Soon you should see an arrival at unit or delivery scan.

Date Posted: 2/10/2010 8:22 AM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2007
Posts: 9,520
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It is Delivery Confirmation, not tracking. Any intermediate scans are a bonus.


Date Posted: 2/10/2010 9:49 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,212
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Federal Way IS a black hole and books can languish there for days. I think that they have such a high volume of packages there, media mail waits longer than in other sorting centers.

If is lack of scans that has you thinking it hasn't moved, then I think your assumption is wrong and the books are on their way, just without additional scans. Federal Way is good for repeating scans while the book is there. I have seen some get 4 or 5 scans while waiting there.

Last Edited on: 2/10/10 9:49 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/11/2010 1:51 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I used to live in WA and Federal Way (and Bell CA) are like black holes for books. They must have little book spas there that make the books want to linger.

Also this big storm system that seems to be hitting large areas of the country might be slowing down some activity. Many postal centers are probably down to bare minimum employess. While WA may not be getting hit with the storms-they could still be affected (holding trucks back that need to go through bad storm areas and such).

Date Posted: 3/24/2010 11:37 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2010
Posts: 3
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Many 'bulk sorting facilities' have been closed recently. Parcel Post and Media Mail are not First Class Mail and are sent to these facilities to be sorted and sent out. This is , in part why these classes of mail take longer to receive their destination. Also, mail that is not First Class can be set aside if the First Class volume is heavy. That's why at Christmas it's not unusal for Media Mail to take a really LONG time to arrive and in the middle of summer it may only be a day or two to get across the country.

Date Posted: 3/25/2010 12:14 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,804
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The average length of time from mailing to receipt is 9 days. Many packages get to you much faster; some will take more time.

  • MediaMail is an inexpensive and remarkably reliable way to send books around the country (the USPS has an excellent record of delivering PBS books!). It is not, however, the fastest shipping method.
  • MediaMail packages take a variable amount of time traveling between PBS members--some arrive in 4 days, some take a few weeks.
  • PBS allows nearly 4 weeks after a book is marked mailed before declaring the book to be "lost in the mail" if it has not been marked received by the requestor.

What causes the delays?

  • Distance.
    • Books going to or from Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico, Guam, the US Virgin Islands or APO/FPO addresses tend to take longer than ones traveling within the continental U.S.
    • You can tell from which area i the US the book was mailed by looking at the en route transaction in My Account: the state of origin is listed there on the right
    • Distance does not always delay packages: we have heard reports of some packages crossing the country in 2 days, and others taking 2 weeks to travel between town 100 miles apart.
  • Terrorism alerts.
    • When the terror alert level is elevated, USPS tends to be more cautious about packages.
    • Anything labeled Media Mail is subject to being opened and searched, which may postpone it slightly.
    • But it should arrive in good condition. The USPS has assured us that if a Media Mail package is opened it will be resealed before forwarding.
  • Its particular route.
    • Some postal hubs are more congested than others; if your book must pass through one of these, it may slow down its progress. Think traffic jams.
  • Who knows?
    • We heard of one book that took a merry journey heaven-knows-where before showing up at its destination several months later, only a couple of states over from where it started. Who knows where it was all that time? USPS ain't telling.
    • Thank goodness this is quite rare--the USPS has a really superb record of delivering PBS packages!
Date Posted: 3/25/2010 11:03 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2007
Posts: 14
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i'd like to shed a little light on this: my hubby works for the federaloffice of worker's compensation... they take care of our injured postal workers. recently, the post office has instituted new policies that if an injured worker has been on "light duty" for some time with no change in status (really meaning no check up to determine that they can go back to regular work), they are being sent home early to cut down on costs andto "encourage" workers to get checked out so they can be put back on regular duty or moved to a different position that would accomodate their light duty. therefore, there are alot less postal employees regularly working. they are required to get checked out by OWCP to continue receiving benefits.

the los angeles postal system was the first to do this several months ago, and other major metropolitan areas are following, as it has cut down on alot of light duty workers who do not need to be on light duty anymore.