Thursday, January 24, 2013

USPS shipping delays and wait-instead-of-ship-second policy

We frequently have emails from impatient users who haven't received their delivery by the expected date.

Usually it goes like this (actual quote):

"As of this date, 1/23/13, the below referenced shipment has not been received. It was ordered on 1/8/13 and shipped on 1/9/13. The USPS site has not updated shipping  since 1/9/13 and today is two weeks.
Can I please get a replacement shipping? If I should receive the initital package, I will advise and promplty return. Thank you."

This is actually quite polite as far as request goes.

We may add a few more here when they arrive today or tomorrow.

When we receive a request like that we usually check the online tracking information and find out that the package is still "in progress", so we get back to the aggrivated aggravated buyer and make them even more aggravated by telling them that we've shipped on time (as can be seen) and that delivery is out of our hands.

To which they usually respond that this is not their problem, that they have customers (or TVs) waiting and that should we only ship another package they'll promptly return the duplicate when it arrives.

Most commonly the package just "disappears" somewhere during transit and goes MIA for days before it shows up.

Like in this case:

Sometimes the tracking information doesn't even show the package as picked up by the carrier, often until the day it arrives at destination at which point it shows all in one day and one place.

This is fairly common for USPS, but we haven't seen it with UPS so when a customer cried wolf around Christmas and UPS did not indeed show the package as picked up we first called them and then, because custome kept crying we sent another package.

Of $140 value.

But how could you leave someone without a TV at Christmas and New Year , especially when carrier information shows package was never picked up.

Must be still somewhere in your warehouse , right?


Package showed up two weeks later, just as the second one we sent (which also was not "picked up" until after Christmas - apparently a UPS mishap around holidays).

Think the customer returned the extra power board?

Wrong again!

When I have enough time I'll find the tracking numbers and the communication with that customer and post them as well.

For now, though, if you read those you should know why we wouldn't rush a second package when the first one is delayed somewhere in transit.


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