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"USPS Quandry " Topic

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custosarmorum Supporting Member of TMP16 Oct 2018 7:52 p.m. PST

I had some miniatures painted in Australia and they were shipped via tracked International Airmail on 23 August and arrived at the International Service Center in New York on 1 September. Since then there has been nothing.

About two weeks ago, the painter had Australia Post make an inquiry with the USPS and I received a letter from the USPS International Research Group with a case number asking if I received the package, which I had not. In the meantime I have been to the local post office three times with the tracking number and all they can tell me is it arrived at the ISC New York, which I have known for six weeks. But I am getting no real action from them and when I give them the case number from the International Research Group , I only get blank stares (one clerk even told me that he had never heard of that part of the USPS.

At this point, I am very frustrated and thought I would see if the collective wisdom of TMP has any advice on how to proceed.

Thanks in advance!

coopman17 Oct 2018 5:06 a.m. PST

I have a package coming that has supposedly been sitting in my local post office "awaiting acceptance" since October 4. I will be paying them a visit on Saturday with the tracking number. I really don't expect them to do anything other than tell me "we'll have to check into this". Very Frustrating. I hope that your package shows up soon.

Garryowen Supporting Member of TMP17 Oct 2018 5:18 a.m. PST

I have heard of foreign packages sitting a long time in customs, or security or something. But you would think someone would know.

A lot of people think tracking eliminates the need for insurance. This may be an example of that not being true.

When I was a kid, sixty years ago, insurance USPS insurance was about 1-2% of the value. Now it is much higher. That should say something. They aren't very confident of it arriving in good shape.

Good luck with it.


Sgt Slag17 Oct 2018 6:53 a.m. PST

File a formal complaint with your local Postmaster. Failing that, look up the offending Postmaster in NY, and file a formal complaint, by Registered Mail adressed to him/her -- this is the legal method required by Courts. It puts the recipient on notice that it is a legal matter, and they can expect to receive notice from a judge to follow if they do not comply. Cheers!

coopman17 Oct 2018 10:02 a.m. PST

We recently had three local postal workers arrested and charged with stealing greeting cards (which might contain cash) and letters containing new credit cards. So you never know how much of that may be going on.

And the number of erroneous deliveries is horrendous. Let's say that my street address is 504 Elm Street. I have gotten packages for 524 Elm Street, 544 Elm Street, 524 some other street, 504 some other street, etc. I just think that many of them don't really care how well they do their jobs as long as their truck returns empty at the end of the day. I know that many of the USPS people are good at what they do, but there are a bunch of them that are not. And there is the recent example where a postal worker unloaded his cargo on the side of the road & went home because he couldn't handle the stress of delivering the mail!

rmaker17 Oct 2018 12:07 p.m. PST

Part of the bad delivery problem, I've been told by a fellow gamer who works for USPS, is that, under the immediately previous administration, it was considered discriminator to refuse to hire a person just because he (or she) was functionally illiterate.

Personal logo ACWBill Supporting Member of TMP17 Oct 2018 2:34 p.m. PST

The Postal Service in the US is still under the mistaken impression that they have a government job. They stink at customer service and will not change until a true competitor appears. UPS and FEDEX are not that.

custosarmorum Supporting Member of TMP17 Oct 2018 5:48 p.m. PST

Thank you all for the thoughts and advice. The customer service from the USPS in this instance certainly has been atrocious in that the local post office hasn't made any effort other than printing out the tracking history showing me that the last scan was at the ISC New York -- something I can do online. I intend to ask to speak to the local postmaster and if that doesn't yield an effort to start some kind of trace of the package, I will, per Sgt Slag, send a formal letter of complaint.

I have also found a help line for the International Research Group (so it actually is a part of the USPS -- which I will point out to the postmaster) on the USPS website and will call them with the case number I have to see if that works. I will let you know how things turn out!

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP18 Oct 2018 10:43 p.m. PST

You should ask the sender to file a claim, now, if they can.

There are waiting periods though.

It's possible the shipment can take up to 6 – 8 weeks to arrive, but since it's in country, that shouldn't be the issue.

Custom's clearance/inspections are taking a lot longer now, too.

custosarmorum Supporting Member of TMP19 Oct 2018 12:59 p.m. PST

Thanks, Thresher. The send has file an official inquiry and this generated a response from USPS International Research Group.

We are at the eight week mark since the package was sent and it has been in the International Service Center in NY for about seven.

I know customs may be the hold up but would expect the USPS to get some confirmation from Customs…

jowady20 Oct 2018 4:17 p.m. PST

The USPS has some stupid rules. A few years ago I bought a camera from someone on evilbay in NYC, I lived in El Paso at the time. He sent it insured. When it didn't come I asked him to check on it. He told me that the USPS won't look for an insured item for a month but they will look for an uninsured item immediately. I figured this couldn't be true so I called the USPS and sure enough it was true. They did put me in touch with my local Postmaster who discovered that the package was at my local office, the just had not gotten me the notice and he told me to come in and get it. After waiting through the 20 minute line I finally got to the window where I was asked if I had never received the notice or if I had lost it as though that made a difference. I told her I never got it so she then asked how I knew it was there. "I'm psychic," I told her, "now let's go talk to the Postmaster". I finally got my package.

BTW, for the poster above who thinks this all started under Obama let me assure him that these problems predate his administration, I personally have been having problems since Nixon and I'm sure they predate him.

The upshot? Check with a Postmasterfirst thing Monday morning.

custosarmorum Supporting Member of TMP24 Oct 2018 1:02 p.m. PST

Here is the latest. After hours of trying, we were able to get in touch with someone at the ISC in Jamaica, NY. Turns out the package was scanned there, but was never passed through to customs and as a result can't be tracked any longer(?)… so I filed a Missing Mail claim (including pics of the painted miniatures) with a center in Georgia and received a confirmation saying if the package meets USPS search guidelines, they will search for it and, if found, deliver it. What irks me the most is inquiries were lodged five weeks ago and neither the seller nor I were informed. Had I not been relentless, I would still be under the misguided impression it was just sitting in customs and I should be patient frown.

I am not very optimistic but will wait a couple of more weeks -- it is now two months since the package was sent.

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