I have debated for a couple of weeks about whether or not I wanted to write a post about my recent experiences with the USPS. Clearly, it isn’t horse-related, unless, of course, you are trying to send some horse product across the country (or expecting something to come to you) and USPS fails to deliver. And then, I decided to write the post and I put it in the queue after the posts that I had already written. However, the situation has continued to deteriorate and I moved this post to the front of the line…
Last summer, I sent an ID MyHorse tag to a gal who was leaving soon for an equine adventure. It was destined for the Midwest… but it went all over the United States before finally arriving at her home after she left for her trip. Knowing that it was never going to arrive in time, I overnighted a tag to her at my expense.
Alan and I live on a mountain with street addresses that are not even recognized by the USPS! Residents of our mountain have PO Boxes at our tiny Drake Post Office or the nearby Glen Haven Post Office. Our post office is overseen by the Estes Park Post Office. There are a couple of power-hungry gals in the Estes Park Post Office that have made the lives of Larimer County residents miserable.
It has been so awful that we have engaged the help of our House and Senate Representatives. And let me be clear… the issues created by the staff and by the fact that our street addresses are not recognized by the USPS are only a small part of our troubles!
Over the holiday season last year, we had mountain neighbors who never received medications, Christmas packages, or cards. Just last week, an Estes friend was telling me about how she and her husband have their medications filled monthly at the local Safeway, at more expense to them, rather than ever count on USPS to deliver them. She said, “Everyone in Estes would die if we had our medications mailed!”
Thus far, I have shared issues that existed last summer or last year. And then there is now… This could be a very long post, but I’ll cut to the chase…
On August 16th I mailed four packages from our Drake Post Office. Our awesome postal guy, Kiele, was struggling to make his scanner work. (Alan and I have bought him mailing tape to use in the office because he can’t get any supplies from USPS.) In spite of his scanner issues, I received the four little stickers with tracking numbers assigned to each box.
One box was delivered to my son in Orlando on August 18th… Success! Another was delivered to Oregon, one day later than predicted, but still arriving by August 21st.
The third box sent to my daughter in Kansas City landed in Loveland, Colorado, where tracking information stated it was “delivered in/at the mailbox” on August 21st. The address it was sent to and my return address have nothing to do with Loveland. It is likely our mail goes to Loveland before going to Denver. However, why did it dead-end there? To what address/mailbox was it supposedly delivered? No further tracking information was generated. On August 25th it showed up in Kansas City.
But the fourth box… that is the best one of all! It cost us $38 to send, so you can get a perspective of how large and heavy it was. It never tracked after leaving Drake. Eleven days go by with no information. Suddenly, it shows up in Wisconsin on August 26th. I had hope that it might actually get to her. But on August 31st I get a phone call from a town close to my daughter’s home, stating that the “4-ounce” package I sent her was addressed wrong and would be sent back to me. The next day it shows up at her house! And this is how it looked!
Was that the end of my struggles? Sadly, no… it wasn’t. Next week I will blog about our trip to Jackson Hole. I had four packages to send, and my husband needed to mail a check to the guy remodeling our Arizona home. We decided to stop in Walden, Colorado on our way to Jackson Hole to mail the packages. We never blamed Kiele at our local post office… it was what happened after leaving Drake. I figured that Denver was the common denominator, but what could it hurt to try another post office?
My four packages were processed as First Class in one transaction, and Alan’s was sent Priority mail. The mailing date was August 23rd. As of the date of this writing, September 11th, none of the packages have shown any tracking since leaving the Walden Post Office. Was the truck hijacked? Was the driver partaking in the local legal herb?
I have spoken to innumerable postal employees. One guy documented the fact that the container holding our packages did, indeed, make it to Denver. SOME of the mail in that container was delivered. Other packages, including all of ours, were MIA.
In a recent conversation with yet another upper-level postal employee, she quizzed me at length about how I labeled my packages. Was I using “Click & Ship?” Was I covering up the address label with the postage label? (Really???) Somehow, it wasn’t their problem, it was mine. She wanted me to send an example of the packages.
I assured her that I handed over the packages to the postal worker behind the counter and they applied post-office generated postage labels. If they don’t know how to apply them to the package, that is not my problem… That last conversation was a few days ago. She assured me they would look into this. I have heard nothing more, and as of this morning, there has been no change in the status of any of the five packages. No tracking since leaving Walden.
My husband sent a second check guaranteed to arrive in two days. It cost about $26. He sent it on a Thursday. It arrived the following Tuesday…
Never in my life have I walked into a post office and had my blood pressure double and my adrenalin spike. All I have to do at this point is think about the USPS and that happens! I can’t send ID MyHorse tags via UPS as they weigh less than an ounce apiece and the rates would be prohibitive. In a very short time, we will be in Arizona or on the road in the Midwest. I was hopeful that other areas in the United States could do a better job than Denver. The bar is very, very low.
And yet a couple of days ago, a friend in Estes inquired on Facebook if anyone knew how to file a claim about missing packages. She cited multiple packages that were sent to her that she never received. Her friends from around the country chimed in about how many issues they had experienced with USPS. Is anyone else even half as frustrated as I am? How are things in your neck of the woods?
Next week I will resume my “regularly scheduled programming”, starting with Wild and Wonderful Wyoming! Thanks for letting me rant!