Explain this to me . . .

Yet another of my crazy United States Postal Service problems. It seems to me that no one is minding the store at the Post Office, and the way problems are solved is beyond my comprehension. Is it only me or do postage prices continue to go up while the service spirals down? This is all so frustrating, not only for me but small business owners and the citizenry alike.

Here’s the story of why I am in a total snit!

On December 17th, I took two packages to the Post Office in Tumwater, Washington. Both packages were going to the same address in Sweden and both were in tightly sealed, well labeled Priority International Mail (PIM) flat-rate boxes. Identical in every way. I mailed them both the exact same day and time. Total cost for postage = $86.50!

FYI, shipping time to Sweden for PIM is normally 6-10 days, as stated on the USPS website. Given it was in the middle of Christmas mailing season, I thought it could take up to three 18 days for delivery, and that was all okay as long as they finally arrived in good order. There used to be a Surface Mail option for mailing to foreign countries, which took from 4-6 weeks for delivery, but that service was done away with a couple of years ago. One of the primary reasons a person uses the Priority International Mail service is because of the “speedy” arrival times. This has now become a trust issue to contest!

Here’s the scenerio as of today, January 19th, 2010!

BOX #1 = Took 28 days for delivery. Days in Customs = 20 days.
Routed through Los Angeles, California.

Label/Receipt Number: CP27 7183 932U S
Class: Priority Mail International Parcels
Service(s): International Parcels
Status: Delivered Abroad

Your item was delivered in SWEDEN at 3:26 PM on January 14, 2010.

Detailed Results:
Delivered Abroad, January 14, 2010, 3:26 pm, SWEDEN
Attempted Delivery Abroad, January 14, 2010, 8:20 am, SWEDEN
Attempted Delivery Abroad, January 13, 2010, 10:05 am, SWEDEN
Out of Foreign Customs, January 11, 2010, 12:05 pm
Arrived Abroad, January 11, 2010, 12:05 pm, SWEDEN
International Dispatch, December 22, 2009, 7:25 pm, LOS ANGELES CA
Acceptance, December 17, 2009, 1:02 pm, OLYMPIA, WA 98501

Box #2 = Not delivered yet. Days in Customs = 34 days so far!
Routed through Canada! Why?

Label/Receipt Number: CP27 7183 929U S
Class: Priority Mail International Parcels
Service(s): International Parcels
Status: Into Foreign Customs

Your item is being processed by customs in CANADA.
Information, if available, is updated periodically throughout the day.
Please check again later.

Detailed Results:
Into Foreign Customs, December 31, 2009, 8:59 am, CANADA
Arrived Abroad, December 31, 2009, 8:59 am, CANADA
Acceptance, December 17, 2009, 1:00 pm, OLYMPIA, WA 98501

No new information has been posted to the tracking in nearly three weeks.

International postal trade must surely be suffering.
Are we being duped into paying higher prices for slowboat postal service?
Is there no kind of international agreement to set a standard?
Where are the checks and balances?
Is the USPS website just a cruel joke?
What happened to postal accountability?



3 responses to this post.

  1. I certainly don’t blame you for being in a SNIT…(love that word which one doesn’t hear very often!) And, you rightly should be frustrated….what indeed has happened to package 2 You said it right when you mentioned higher prices, lower services. Keep us posted.


  2. So frustrating.


  3. Hi did you ever find out what happened? How long did it take to receive the parcel? I am tracking a parcel as well, although it has only been 10 days but the status Into Foreign Customs, April 21, 2010, 7:25 pm, CANADA has not changed since April 21.


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