USPS vs UPS [What's the opposite of Gloat]

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On Thu, 24 Feb 2005 21:04:36 -0500, Rob Mitchell

The USPS tracking system thinks that a package that I received several weeks ago is still in transit. I'm wondering if they will ever notice.
Tim Douglass
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J. Clarke wrote:

I can do one better. I once mailed a postcard to Slovenia, and they actually got it there. I still don't know where the hell Slovenia is. Score one for the USPS. Their overall average is still pretty dismal though. Strains of why are we funding an incompetent operation to compete with our own private industries in the first place.
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How exactly is the USPS taxpayer subsidized these days?
According to USPS.com, 1982 was the last year for taxpayer subsidies. The federal government certainly pays for mail delivery, but they have to pay someone to do it.
Brian Elfert
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I have mailed thousands of packages via USPS over the last 5 years, and have yet to have 1 that was lost or damaged. USPS is an amazing organization and is superior to UPS for package delivery as far as I am concerned.
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Unfortunately, my record hasn't been as good. I mailed a $180 circuit board last year via USPS Priority Mail to the maker for upgrade. The maker never got it. I didn't use delivery confirmation, so I don't know if USPS didn't deliver or the guy simply lied about it. The guy is always extremely slow, so several months went by before I called him. I filed a report with USPS but was not suprised to never hear anything.
I always use delivery confirmation or insurance now. I only ship maybe 5 packages a year via Priority Mail.
Brian Elfert
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I agree 100 % . For me I avoid UPS unless it's only service. I purchase most of my stuff over internet, and the shape of packages from UPS delivery is just nightmare, from open boxes and contents missing to holes kicked in boxes and or crushed boxes just barely holding the contents inside. Unfortunately they just leave packages on front doorstep and run off otherwise I'd refuse the delivery on boxes that have been opened or are in bad shape. Although lately UPS has been delivering my packages to wrong address, maybe that explains boxes opened. SO far they have been 2 for 2 in 2 weeks delivering to wrong address. Don't even let me get started on reporting a complaint or lost package they are friendly but totally useless.
tall_corn wrote:

and
am
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On Fri, 25 Feb 2005 01:55:09 -0500, Silvan

Statistically, the USPS is one of the most reliable delivery services in the world. They lose a far smaller percentage of the items entrusted to them than UPS does, for example.
Tim Douglass
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Very true about the volume Tim, but there is more to reliability than just delivery. My wife just received something for my daughter that was shipped USPS. It was raining on the day that the mailman delivered the item. The mailman put the item in a plastic bag and hung it on the outside of the mailbox, open end up so that it collected the rain. It ruined the contents. My wife went to the PO and sought remedy and was promptly informed, with all of the disinterest that only a postal employee can display, that the PO is only required to deliver the goods, not ensure their condition. Now that is what I consider to be unreliable. Why bother? If it has any value we use UPS or Fed Exp. The Post Office just does not care and you're SOL when they screw your stuff up. But... they delivered, as promised...
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On Fri, 25 Feb 2005 15:01:30 -0500, "Mike Marlow"

It varies. Both UPS and FedEx have left things in the weather for me, but the Post Office never has. When I am expecting a package, especially around Christmas when the substitute drivers are working, I check every probable and some rather improbable places where they might leave a package. I've still missed some that have sat for a couple of days.
Tim Douglass
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Mike Marlow wrote:

Hafta agree there. I've gotten boxes from FedEx and UPS that had obviously not been coddled, but never anything completely mangled. The USPS OTOH has delivered things mangled almost beyond recognition. They've also pulled the tie it to the mailbox in the rain trick on me, or the jam it in the mailbox leaving the door open to the rain trick.
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Tim Douglass wrote:

The problem with them is not that they lose the items, it's that they lose the destinations. Sent a card to someone I've known for 20 years, living at the same address for 20 years, it came back "address unknown". Funny thing, UPS had no trouble finding the same address within a week of the time that the USPS failed to locate it. And she's still living there years later.

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On the _other_ hand, many years ago, the U.S. Postal Service used to lose my address, on a *medium-regular* basis. I was in my 1st apartment, and you can imagine the fun, when my mother sends me a note with _her_ travel schedule for a trip, gets backs from said trip, only to find the letter in _her_ mailbox, marked "moved, left no forwarding address". Or, when the monthly checking-account statement from my bank got similarly returned as undeliverable -- "no such address".
Now, I was living on this "little" _4-lane_ street, just outside of downtown. There was a dead-end stub of the street in the low 500s, the stretch I was on, started in the mid 600s, and went to the 900s. (where the 4-lane pavement changed direction, and 'migrated' into a different street name) Where the street 'would have been', there was the Freeway, a major diagonal feeder road, etc., and the street didn't take up again until about the 1400 block. Further, there weren't _any_ addresses on the East side of that stretch -- in the 600s, it was the 'back side' of properties that addressed of the west side of the next street east. The entire 700 block was the grounds of an elementary school, that addressed off a cross-street. 800s and up were the back edge a large housing complex, that all addressed of 'internal' streets. Then, on _my_ side of the street, the 800 block was a park, what there was of the 900s didn't have anything addressing on it (both properties addressed from the cross-street). this left 3 buildings in the 700 block, and I think 5 (might have been only 4) old houses in the 600s. Oh yeah, this street is also the boundary-line between ZIP codes. Now, this same _numbered_ (not 'named') street in the adjacent suburb ("_West_ foo", where I lived in the center-city "foo"), is a very upper- scale neighborhood. but the street there _starts_ in the 800s. I *know* that some of the returns were because the mail went to "West Foo", instead of "Foo" -- the 'undeliverable' marking had the zip-code of the PO that did the 'return to sender'.
I *finally* found a way to beat the system, however. I started using the ZIP code for the _other_side_of_the_street_. The one where there weren't any addresses. Apparently, this routed it to a different P.O., where they kicked it over to the 'right' one, *but*, by going in the 'back door', it bypassed 'wherever' the intermittent mis-sorting was happening.
Of course, getting the 'address changes' in with the various places was an *interesting* task -- call the bank, tell them a 'change of address', "only the ZIP code is changed". Their computer insists that the ZIP code I'm giving them is incorrect. Which *is* accurate. I say "I know that, use it _anyway_." Computers can be *STUBBORN* I think they had to get programmers involved, to change the programming -- to _allow_ manual input to over-ride the programmed look-up.
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Silvan wrote:

They seem to have less trouble with Eastern Europe than with the US. I never will forget the Premiere of the Soviet Union with the little schoolgirl who sent a letter to the President of the United States with the correct address only to have it returned to her by the USPS marked "address unknown". Apparently they _were_ able to find Russia to return it to her.
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I have been selling on ebay and via my web site www.vmtw.com for about 5 years. The first package that I sent to Canada went via UPS. The guy refused the package after UPS asked for around $50 brokerage fees/VAT for a $39 item. Every package since then has gone USPS. I can ship a DVD or video for $3.95 by air to Canada and most customers dont pay any additional fees on their end. Scott
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When I sell stuff on eBay, I refuse to sell to Canadians. Why? because of a couple of bad experiences! The first one disappeared outright, no reimbursement. The second one were some plans, appearently the mailing tube "somehow" came open and a 1/2" thick of bound plans disappeared, and only the tube and a few sheets of paper arrived. Never got reimbursed for that one either, despite purchasing insurance beforehand and filing a claim later.
John
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Who was the carrier?
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USPS in both cases. The paperwork wasn't fun either.
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Bummer.
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The dealings that I have had cross-border by UPS would have been laughable if they hadn't been so expensive. They charge at least $25 as a service charge, plus a percentage of the monies collected, plus tax on the whole shebang.
*AND* they don't pay any attention to their own time standards for deliveries, you can't talk to the same person twice when trying to resolve a problem, and the US side of things doesn't seem to have a clue about the Canadian side of things.
There are a couple of times I've tried to buy stuff in the US, and when they seller informed me that they only ship by UPS, I have done without. Way fewer headaches.
Dave O'Heare oheareATmagmaDOTca
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"Dave O'Heare" <oheareATmagmaDOTca> wrote in message

I agree 100% with you. Only problem is when you buy something, tell them that you want it shipped USPS and then they ship it UPS. A few years back, I bought a used DSL modem from someone on Ebay. Told him I'd pay his asking price as long as he shipped it USPS and put the value as less than $50. The idiot shipped it UPS and put the value at $100. It was held up at the border until I paid duty and UPS brokerage charges. I'd already paid the guy with paypal for it, so I was stuck and had to pay those extra bogus charges if I wanted to get my modem. None of that crap aside from a simple $5 service fee when I use USPS.
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