Dear Martha: You are part of the USPS failure.


For two days in a row, USPS failed to make a scheduled Express Mail Pickup.  I wrote to customer service asking for assistance, and this was the reply:


On 2/27/13 2:03 PM, eCustomerCare National wrote:

Dear Crick
I understand your concern that our carriers do not check each mailbox located at the door every day for outgoing mail. However, since 1929, Postal Service policy has required a city delivery carrier to collect mail from a mailbox on the house only when he/she has mail to deliver to that box. Unfortunately, carrier made the mistake and  scanned the wrong pick up slip which could happen as carrier has more than one  pick-up on their routes.   Sorry for the inconvenience.

Martha Quintanilla

Supervisor Customer Service

Palo Alto, CA.  94303

On 2/27/13 3:08 PM, I replied:

Dear Martha,
Either I was not clear in my message, or you did not read it.  I will lend you the benefit of the doubt and assume I was not clear.

    Though it is hard to imagine how one could confuse a question about a specific Pickup Request including confirmation # WEC79698282 with a question to which one would answer, “carriers do not check each mailbox located at the door every day for outgoing mail.

Follow that by your smarmy remark of, “since 1929, Postal Service policy has required a city delivery carrier to collect mail from a mailbox on the house only when he/she has mail to deliver to that box” makes it just short of impossible for me to give you this benefit of doubt.

Doubt or not, there is no expression of incredulity strong enough to express my reaction to your response.

For your records and use:

I (twice) subscribed for Express Mail pick up at my front door (confirmation e-mails attached).

The first time, I received a notification of pickup complete – obviously false as the package was still at my front door.

The second time, today, I intercepted my carrier who told me that his supervisor is supposed to provide him with a piece of paper with instruction for Express Mail pickup – which, he claims, was not provided to him.  He gladly took the package anyway.

The issue, as I, the customer, experienced it, was that

    1. I used the Express Mail pickup scheduling service as instructed
Pickup Details
Next Day Pick Up for…CRICK WATERS
Confirmation Number Pickup Date
WEC79628428 02/26/2013
Total Packages Weight Location
1 1 lbs. Front Door
  1. the package, leaning against the front door, was not picked up.
  2. i received an incorrect confirmation that the package was picked up
    Thank you for shipping with the U.S. Postal Service.
    This is to confirm that a successful Carrier Pickup was made as requested:
    
    Pickup Date		Pickup Time	Total Packages	Weight	Location
    			1			1		Front_Door 
    
    Carrier Pickup Confirmation Number: WEC79628428

    Yet, here it lay in plain sight at the front door, just as noted in the pickup request(s):

    Image

  3. and the intended recipient of the package received an e-mail indicating that the package was on its way
  4. I then, again, scheduled for Express Mail pickup
    Pickup Details
    Next Day Pick Up for…CRICK WATERS
    Confirmation Number Pickup Date
    WEC79698282 02/26/2013
    Total Packages Weight Location
    1 1 lbs. Front Door
    Additional information:
    SECOND REQUEST. IS THE PACKAGE TAKEN BY MY REGULAR CARRIER? OR IS IT A SEPARATE PICKUP?
  5. And then again, my carrier did not pick up the package.

Fortunately, I happened to be home when my carrier dropped today’s mail and was able to speak with him directly.  I cannot come to believe that “Unfortunately, carrier made the mistake and  scanned the wrong pick up slip” — since when I spoke with him, he plainly and clearly stated that he had not received any pickup slips.  So of course, there did not exist for him a “wrong” slip to scan.

Regarding your excuse, “which could happen as carrier has more than one pick-up on their routes” — I just don’t know where to begin.  Everything from “they delivery millions of pieces of mail every day managing more than one mailbox a day” to “so that’s why FedEx, UPS, etc. are eating your lunch.”

My incredulity knows no bounds.

Sincerely,
Crick

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5 thoughts on “Dear Martha: You are part of the USPS failure.

  1. Crick – somehow I think you might be inclined to use Federal Express or UPS next time you need to send a package overnight! Hope the package finally made it to the correct address and in time to meet the objective of sending it Express.

    Joe Berry

    1. Exactly! Took me three months to assemble the contents of the package (collection of family pics and vids for my Mom’s Nov ’12 birthday). Overnighting seemed a bit incongruous if you know what I mean. USPS Express Mail is $5.80 vs $30.00 for UPS 2nd day air. I’m a huge fan of USPS Express Mail – buy the customer service … ouch!

      1. Unfortunately if you do confront a mail carrier or the USPS about your issue in my case not dropping off the mail your accused of threatening the mail carriers live and have your mail placed on a ten day hold. I don’t complain much about the government but I had enough. I talked to the carrier supervisor and he told me it’s her word against mine. I later in the conversation reminded him I had several witness to her threats in not delivering my important mail and pictures of the incident. Anyways needed to vent sorry to high jack your thread.

      2. conner, get to know your Congressman’s staff. Seriously, you might be shocked at the support you can get. It takes some people skills but call in your state your Congressman’s office and be very nice, very calm and professional. Just state you want to file a complaint about a Federal entity. Don’t let anyone tell you that the USPS does not jump when Congress calls, they do, from personal experience dating back over 20 years. The Congressman’s office will have a person who is in charge of taking complaints about Federal entities, agencies, departments, etc. They’ll ask you to send the complaint in writing along with a standard privacy release form so they have approval to talk to others about your personal matters. Hopefully, if you’re clear, concise and not overly wordy, overly emotional, just state the facts clearly, you’ll be shocked at the results. I’ve used my Congressman at least 12 times now, and this is multiple people over years in several different states. And in every case I was really, really satisfied with the results! Good luck to you.

  2. Interesting story, I’m glad to see you posted this, more people need to publicly complain. I would suggest even though it’s been a while you follow up your complaint. USPS Customer Service are contractors. I would consider complaining to the local Postmaster as well as the local delivery supervisor. But “blood is thicker than water”, these people all work together you know. I would suggest you also complain to your local Congressman, especially if you have more problems. Don’t take no for an answer with your congressman’s office, say you want to initiate a Congressional Inquiry about your local mail problems. Believe me, they get complaints often. You know mail carriers have been known to vindictively not deliver or pick up mail from people they’re mad at, so you might want to consider that as well.

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