Postal service mistimings

15 07 2013

I’m not sure if Australia Post or the US Postal Service is at fault, but I’ve had three parcels sent to me from friends in various parts of the US in the past couple of months and two of them have taken an AGE to get to me — far longer than I would have expected for the ‘First Class International’ postage fees my US friends paid.

The first parcel was sent from a town in Connecticut on 4 May 2013 and I received it on 21 June 2013 — some 47 days later. There were no signs of inspection by any security or customs agencies, so that doesn’t explain the delay. The parcel wasn’t overly large or awkward.

The second was sent from San Diego, California on 31 May 2013 and I received it today (15 July 2013) — some 45 days later. With this one, my friend had paid $16.75 postage and her local Post Office told her it would take ‘5 to 7 days’ to reach me. Based on previous experience, I knew that 5 to 7 days was overly optimistic, and figured it would be more like 15 days. But 45??? Like the parcel from Connecticut, there was no evidence of customs or security agency inspection. Again, the parcel wasn’t large or awkward.

The third was sent from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on 26 June 2013 and arrived on 12 July 2013, some 16 days later. Postage paid was about $31. No evidence of security or customs inspection. This parcel contained two books and a calendar, so it wasn’t overly large or awkward either.

The 16-day time frame is what I expected for all of them, based on my previous experience with getting things from the US, not 45 or 47 days.

I don’t know which postal agency was at fault for such tardiness, though my local Post Office lady says ‘it’s likely the US’; well, she would say that, wouldn’t she, seeing as though she works for Australia Post! I wonder if the budget cuts to the USPS are starting to affect general and international postal services.

Lucky I wasn’t in a hurry for any of the parcels I received….

See also:

Update: I sent a parcel on 24 June from Western Australia to Connecticut. It arrived on 3 August, some 40 days later. My Connecticut friend said this: “I think the slow mailing times are a temporary result of some consolidations in the larger distribution centers in the US postal systems. Some tightening on customs rules might be jamming things up, too. Just as TSA guidelines made inspectors lose perspective and spend too much time inspecting elderly folks in wheelchairs and little kids’ teddy bears at one point, some printer cartridges filled with explosives caused mail inspectors to lose perspective on packages.”



2 responses

16 07 2013

The budget cuts for the USPS have nothing to do with the lack of good service. Such service has been the ‘norm’ for a long time and has brought much consternation/frustration to many here. The mystery really deepens when the service can’t figure out the reason for the loss of business (going to FedEx and UPS) and blame it on e-mail/internet. Hmmmm. Perhaps if they would look at there own customer service record the clues would become obvious!!!!

25 08 2013
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