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Did you know... WHY the Post Office has far worse service now than in past years, and how to best deal with it?

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Added: 02/16/2015

Last week I discussed the ways in which the Post Office (and UPS and Fed Ex) have far worse service than they did in the past in addition to their having drastically raised their rates. This week I want to discuss WHY I think this has occurred, and what are the best ways to deal with it.

First, the WHY. One of the customers who had a Registered Mail package inexplicably "lost" in the system, with no tracking and no action on the part of the Post Office (other than to say that if it never shows they will pay the insurance in 30 days) is around my age, and he offered this story:

"Thanks. I was just talking with someone about mail delivery in general, and unfortunately the standards don't seem to be what they used to be. There are days when mail isn't delivered at all, and I normally get some sort of mail every day. I've learned that in my area, when a letter carrier retires, they don't reassign the route to someone new, they lengthen everyone else's route, so if you got mail earlier in the day, you now get it later in the day, if at all. I don't just think it's happening in my city, but I've heard of similar instances elsewhere.

I used to be in charge of shipping and receiving for the world headquarters of a company. The Chairman of the Board sent a Registered letter from White Plains, NY, to lower Manhattan - a distance of less than 25 miles. It took two weeks for the letter to arrive! I had a contact is the White Plains Post Office at the time (this was many years ago), and I requested a letter from him detailing how and when the Registered letter was delivered. With Registered Mail, there is supposed to be a record of each and every stop along the way (this was before electronic tracking). When I received the letter, of the 14 days that it took to deliver the letter, where there was supposed to be a record of where the letter was each day, all the customer service representative could say was "UNKNOWN". That was then, this is now, and the whereabouts of the current Registered package is unknown, so the bottom line seems to be is that you pay FAR more for the service now, and are getting less for what we pay.

I do hope the package is found and delivered, but if that's not the case, I am reassured to learn that I will be getting a full refund in addition to the shipping I paid [Note from Bruce: bizarrely, the Post Office does not cover this, but we at pay this for the few packages that never turn up as we had already told this customer.]

Thanks again for all your help. I hope I'll be hearing from you soon with good news!"

This is Bruce. I think this customer surely hit on the likely reason for the service being so much worse than it used to be (that they are cutting back on staff and loading more on the remaining people). Also, their current "tracking system" is, to be kind, "a work in progress". It all depends on human beings scanning packages and entering data correctly, and in these days where one person does the job that one and a half or two people use to do, LOTS and lots of mistakes are creeping in. We are seeing lots of examples where the wrong entry is selected on the tracking, so that it shows a package as being "undeliverable" when it is actually on its way, and also where the wrong city or even country is selected!

In addition, we are seeing more and more packages damaged, mostly on those sent TO us, because we use such great packaging. I strongly suspect that machines are more and more handling packages where human beings used to, and a machine can crush even the strongest box and tube.


I am working on improvements, but for now I have implemented two important changes:
1) We are no longer sending by Registered Mail, unless these is a specific reason to do so. Why? Because that USED TO BE the safest method for sending items, as they never got damaged or lost, although there never was much in the way of tracking, until after the fact. But now that we know the Post Office IS damaging and losing Registered Mail packages, we no longer will send that way (except in rare circumstances).

2) We will increase our efforts to pack EVERY single order as though a "gorilla" will be playing with it, now that we know that the Post Office is FAR more rough on packages than they used to be. Surely this is worth while given that most of what we sell is either difficult or impossible to replace, and much of it is quite valuable.

We will continue to look for other improvements and changes we can make to deal with these issues, and of course we will continue to inform you of those changes and improvements when they are implemented.

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Also, please read the following three pages of in-depth Customer Reviews of our company - Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, which shows you in our customers' own words exactly what makes our company and our auctions so very different from all others!

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Postal Mailing Address:
Bruce Hershenson, P.O. Box 874, West Plains, MO 65775. 
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phone: +1 417 256-9616     fax: +1 417 257-6948
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