Going Postal: The US Postal Service doesn’t redeliver for you!

I’ve recently had a pair of experience with package delivery services that seem worthy of comment.

First, I was expecting a package from UPS. I arranged my schedule to stay home, and the package didn’t come. Finally, at 8 pm, the UPS truck pulled up. The driver told me that the truck my package was on had broken down, and they had needed to quickly redistribute the packages for delivery. UPS drivers are represented by the Teamsters, so I would expect that the drivers who picked up the broken down truck’s load were paid overtime.

UPS delivery at 8 pm!

Wow. The UPS truck breaks down, and I still get my package when scheduled!

Second, I am attempting to get a package that was sent via the US Postal Service. It was for an on-line order shipped on August 16. On Saturday, August 18, the USPS attempted to deliver the package, but I was out of the house visiting friends. They left behind a tracking note that claimed to “redeliver for you,” but it curiously did not have a tracking number. (UPS notices are superior in this respect. The notice has a number which can be scanned by the driver’s computer and linked into the tracking record with no data entry.)

In the past, I’ve found that I can’t actually schedule redelivery for at least three days out. The package has to go back from the carrier to the post office, where it can meet up with your request and be given back to the carrier for redelivery. On Monday, August 20, I went to usps.com and requested redelivery on Thursday the 23rd. The web site helpfully spit out a “confirmation” number. I arranged my schedule to be home on the 23rd to receive my package.

On Thursday, the package didn’t show, and I didn’t hear anything from the USPS.

I rearranged my Friday schedule to be home, in case I was off by a day. The package didn’t show on Friday, either.

On the morning of Saturday the 25th, I went to the post office to pick up my package, on the theory that my confirmation number didn’t mean anything. But, because I am a redelivery-requesting fool, the package was at the “carrier station.” (I should observe here that I like the way that UPS and FedEx packages return to an office at the end of the day, and you can go get them.) The people at the counter told me that the package was out for redelivery, so they didn’t have it.

At this point, I’m wondering what I’ve done to annoy the Package Delivery Gods. Had I never requested an attempted redelivery, my package would have been waiting and I would have had it. But no, I believed that the USPS would try to deliver my package on the date that they confirmed.

The people at the counter gave me the number for the carrier station. I called and spoke with my carrier, who said that my package is coming today. He twisted his ankle and has been out, which is why redelivery is taking so long. All I have to do is drop my plans to leave the house for the third day in a row.

So, if you’re sending me a package, please send it UPS. They can attempt to redeliver the next day, let me pick it up at their office, track on line, and when they confirm a service, it actually happens. On the other hand, if you want me to be annoyed with you before I ever open the box, send it USPS.

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