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Thread: Is USPS trying to rip us off?

  1. #1
    Shivering Isles resident diosoth's Avatar
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    Is USPS trying to rip us off?

    One post office in my area gives out free tracking numbers on first class packages. Another charges money for the same. Lately I've also found that many packages that SHOULD be eligible for first class are being forced into the priority mail bracket, despite not coming close to the 13 ounce weight limit. There has also been inconsistent pricing from day to say- I was able to mail 2 Star Trek figures to someone for $2.30, while a Lego Unikitty which weighed barely half cost $2.50. That's just my experiences- I read postal horror stories online of mail carriers that refuse to deliver packages and only leave slips, amongst other such poor service. I hear their insurance service is still an utter joke when it comes to paying out claims.

    I have to say I'm getting sick of this. They do not stock standard equipment at every PO. The local town PO doesn't even have a proper scale and register, doesn't give out receipts, and they have to write the postage price on the box and process it in the back. I had to gripe to their corporate line last year because the local PO would slap on the tracking number, then not give it to the customers, rendering it pointless especially if extra was paid for the service. Their postage rates and policies seem to vary from PO to PO and from day to day. They keep raising postage costs, while it seems their quality of service worsens. I know the USPS has been in major trouble for years, and this is partly why- I think everyone is getting sick of them. UPS and Fedex offer proper tracking that tracks every step of the way while USPS still offers this archaic thing which only sort of tracks progress and takes up to 4 hours to update online. They still do not guarantee transit times. Worst of all, I get different prices and different service from each individual PO I go to.

    So is this incompetence or deliberate? Are individual postmasters setting their own policies?

    If their business is in trouble, the fact they're not doing much to actually instill faith into their customers is probably a good portion of why. I would actually consider shipping many of my outbound packages UPS if only they had a close by location to do so from, and if UPS, Fedex and DHL would just open more locations they could easily compete better with the PO for package delivery.

  2. #2
    plastic vice Phil.Pastel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by diosoth View Post
    I hear their insurance service is still an utter joke when it comes to paying out claims.

    My understanding is they don't do collectibles. I rarely bother with this service.
    "The better you get at this job, the more dangerous it becomes."

  3. #3
    Heroic Warrior goluphi's Avatar
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    This is why I print all of my postage online. I was tired of going into post office and gambling on what kind of service I would get, and what I would get charged. When I print at home, I know exactly what I'm getting, what I'm paying for, and if I'm right at the threshold, I can try to make the package a little lighter to save a couple bucks. It doesn't take much - you can print from USPS.com or from PayPal (and I'm sure there are other sites too, although avoid Stamps.com, because they charge a monthly fee). It also saves time - no more standing in line. I would recommend it to anyone. Get a scale on Amazon for $20, and it pays for itself.
    Hey, if you want to wallow in the negative, go nuts. Sure, things aren’t absolutely perfect, and people passionate about a property can get all keyed up about things. But I don’t collect toys to be miserable. So I’d rather think about the things that do excite me
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  4. #4
    Master of My Soul MOTU_Maniac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goluphi View Post
    This is why I print all of my postage online. I was tired of going into post office and gambling on what kind of service I would get, and what I would get charged. When I print at home, I know exactly what I'm getting, what I'm paying for, and if I'm right at the threshold, I can try to make the package a little lighter to save a couple bucks. It doesn't take much - you can print from USPS.com or from PayPal (and I'm sure there are other sites too, although avoid Stamps.com, because they charge a monthly fee). It also saves time - no more standing in line. I would recommend it to anyone. Get a scale on Amazon for $20, and it pays for itself.
    I absolutely LOVE Stamps.com, but you have to ship enough items per month for it to be worth it. They give all sorts of discounts AND most importantly they allow insurance to be purchased on First Class International. If an item is lost or damaged I receive a refund within 1 week. It is the only way to go for me.

    But for someone that doesn't ship as often as me in order to benefit from the $15.99/month fee from Stamps.com, I would definitely start printing your own postage on USPS online and schedule pick-ups. No more visits to the Post Office.
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  5. #5
    Heroic Warrior Stratos*Major's Avatar
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    I live in a small town...I'm not used to the hours...
    The open at 9 am and close at 5pm.
    Thursdays it's only 10 am - 1 am.
    That being said the post office ladies love me...lol
    They always make sure I get the best price. They've even tapped up my boxes for me.
    Or if I don't have the right sized box they will pull one to decrease my shipping costs.
    I hate the hours but the ladies are great.
    The post office in a nearby town (10 minutes away)...SCARY as hell. It's like you've walked into a prison! AND the people at the counter treat you like you are a prisoner. I've been there once and never again.

  6. #6
    Heroic Warrior Nekk-ra's Avatar
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    I think USPS is a shining example of a government-run enterprise. This is not a compliment.

    There are 3 POs withing 5 miles of me. Each one is only open a handful of hours a week, and have no computers. Therefore, they have to look up in manuals what the postage might be, and I grew tired of getting grossly overcharged. So I either go to the PO in the town that I work, or the one located in the town that is the county seat (both over 15 miles away). Except for one obnoxious jackass who thinks his stupid comments are the height of hilarity, the workers at these locations are all nice and try to get me the best rates for my packages.
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  7. #7
    Master of Shapeways He-bro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by diosoth View Post
    One post office in my area gives out free tracking numbers on first class packages. Another charges money for the same. Lately I've also found that many packages that SHOULD be eligible for first class are being forced into the priority mail bracket, despite not coming close to the 13 ounce weight limit. There has also been inconsistent pricing from day to say- I was able to mail 2 Star Trek figures to someone for $2.30, while a Lego Unikitty which weighed barely half cost $2.50. That's just my experiences- I read postal horror stories online of mail carriers that refuse to deliver packages and only leave slips, amongst other such poor service. I hear their insurance service is still an utter joke when it comes to paying out claims.

    I have to say I'm getting sick of this. They do not stock standard equipment at every PO. The local town PO doesn't even have a proper scale and register, doesn't give out receipts, and they have to write the postage price on the box and process it in the back. I had to gripe to their corporate line last year because the local PO would slap on the tracking number, then not give it to the customers, rendering it pointless especially if extra was paid for the service. Their postage rates and policies seem to vary from PO to PO and from day to day. They keep raising postage costs, while it seems their quality of service worsens. I know the USPS has been in major trouble for years, and this is partly why- I think everyone is getting sick of them. UPS and Fedex offer proper tracking that tracks every step of the way while USPS still offers this archaic thing which only sort of tracks progress and takes up to 4 hours to update online. They still do not guarantee transit times. Worst of all, I get different prices and different service from each individual PO I go to.

    So is this incompetence or deliberate? Are individual postmasters setting their own policies?

    If their business is in trouble, the fact they're not doing much to actually instill faith into their customers is probably a good portion of why. I would actually consider shipping many of my outbound packages UPS if only they had a close by location to do so from, and if UPS, Fedex and DHL would just open more locations they could easily compete better with the PO for package delivery.
    Print your own labels.

  8. #8
    Shivering Isles resident diosoth's Avatar
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    I don't own a printer or a scale. Nor should it be MY responsibility to bypass what amounts to overcharging and fraud on the part of the service that handles the mail. Let them run things on a standard scale where every PO actually charges the proper amount.

    If a casino tried to tweak their equipment to cheat, they'd be in severe trouble. I don't know why the USPS shouldn't be under the same scrutiny.

  9. #9
    Gorilla beastussapien Beastmangler's Avatar
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    I think a lot of it has to do with Congress expecting them to turn a profit.

    I print and ship from home but I remember one time I missed a pick-up and went to a nearby Post Office to drop off my package. Mind you, the postage was paid for and the package was ready to be entered into the delivery system, I just missed the pick-up because the Postal Worker showed up early.

    When I handed the package to the clerk at the Post Office, he told me that they would allow, yes, ALLOW, me to send it through their Post Office this time but that they would deny me next time because the postage paid was addressed to an area with a different Post Office and that that other Post Office would get "credit" for the service they would provide. The other Post Office is only 5 miles away.

    I was dumbfounded!

    The clerk then told me to change the zipcode on the package if I planned to continue to use them in the future.

    I just figured that they must be competing with other Post Offices to continue to stay open instead of focusing on good service.

  10. #10
    Reaper of Crom Riddle of Steel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by diosoth View Post
    I don't own a printer or a scale.
    Then get one. In all honesty you'd be AMAZED how much money you'll SAVE once you start printing on-line. The discounts PER package vs. the PO can easily be in the DOLLARS not cents on this stuff.

    The money saved ALONE never mind the constant aggravation and hassle of doing it in person will pay for the scale and printer in NO time trust me...

    Printers are DIRT cheap these days even for a pretty good one that will more then do the job along with the scale.

  11. #11
    Master of My Soul MOTU_Maniac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riddle of Steel View Post
    Then get one. In all honesty you'd be AMAZED how much money you'll SAVE once you start printing on-line. The discounts PER package vs. the PO can easily be in the DOLLARS not cents on this stuff.

    The money saved ALONE never mind the constant aggravation and hassle of doing it in person will pay for the scale and printer in NO time trust me...

    Printers are DIRT cheap these days even for a pretty good one that will more then do the job along with the scale.
    Agreed 100%. You can buy cheap scales.
    Out of the night that covers me,
    Black as the pit from pole to pole,
    I thank whatever gods may be
    For my unconquerable soul.

    It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishments the scroll,
    I am the master of my fate,
    I am the captain of my soul.

  12. #12
    Reaper of Crom Riddle of Steel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MOTU_Maniac View Post
    Agreed 100%. You can buy cheap scales.
    Yep, and make sure it's digital. You don't wanna be fooling around with trying to determine pounds and ounces and what not with a needle like you would see in the produce department back in the day when you would plop your apples in the basket..

    Although those may still be around...Haven't seen them in awhile tho

  13. #13
    Master of My Soul MOTU_Maniac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riddle of Steel View Post
    Yep, and make sure it's digital. You don't wanna be fooling around with trying to determine pounds and ounces and what not with a needle like you would see in the produce department back in the day when you would plop your apples in the basket..

    Although those may still be around...Haven't seen them in awhile tho
    Hahaha. That is the type of scale we used back in the day when I grew up on a fruit and vegetable farm and we sold produce.
    Out of the night that covers me,
    Black as the pit from pole to pole,
    I thank whatever gods may be
    For my unconquerable soul.

    It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishments the scroll,
    I am the master of my fate,
    I am the captain of my soul.

  14. #14
    Shivering Isles resident diosoth's Avatar
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    A scale can be had for around $20, but those are just scales. The combo scale/printers are expensive. I do know some people don't bother with scales and guess weight- and I have actually had a few people over the years ask me to commit mail fraud using this trick, because they wanted to pay 4 ounce postage on a 2 pound box- and I've had a couple sellers pull this trick on me, only to backfire and I have to pay a postage fee at the PO.

    Printer? Well I don't own one because I never need to print anything except posters- all of which I tend to have done at large size on card stock, and I'm not getting that on a home printer. I've had no use for one. I'd also need to find one with refillable in cartridges, because I'm just not spending $20 or more on a new ink cartridge every time it runs out. Plus my outgoing traffic on packages these days is pretty light- I have little to sell and what I do I tend to have better luck selling to neighbors than online.

    It still doesn't change my point- this is not something anyone should have to do in the first place, because the USPS is really dropping the ball on how their post offices are run.

  15. #15
    Master of My Soul MOTU_Maniac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by diosoth View Post
    It still doesn't change my point- this is not something anyone should have to do in the first place, because the USPS is really dropping the ball on how their post offices are run.
    I agree. I think the smaller the post office the more troublesome they are to deal with..at least in my experience. I have a very small post office just 2 miles from me, but they are just like you described. So, IF I have to go to the post office then I drive 10+ miles to a larger PO that is much more professional.
    Out of the night that covers me,
    Black as the pit from pole to pole,
    I thank whatever gods may be
    For my unconquerable soul.

    It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishments the scroll,
    I am the master of my fate,
    I am the captain of my soul.

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