USPS Says Guaranteed Overnight Isn't Guaranteed. What?

Dorothy found out that the USPS’s guaranteed overnight delivery doesn’t apply if you use their Express Mail boxes, because “Letters get stuck up in the top of the box all the time. Sometimes, it takes days or even a week before we find them.” Hey post office, maybe you should try to check the top of the box every day. Problem solved!

We sent a letter via guaranteed overnight shipping with USPS. On the evening of June 4, we purchased and printed the label, attached it to the envelope and mailed the envelope the following morning (June 5th). I dropped it in the Express Mail box outside our local post office.

When I checked the website, I found the letter wasn’t delivered until June 11th. I called the toll-free number and had an odd exchange with an operator.

First, I must tell you that my father has worked for the USPS for over 30 years. My brother-in-law has worked there for at least 15 years. My sister and I both worked there. We not only know how the system works, but we also know how stupid some customers can be. So while many people complain about the USPS, I understand how things work and the frustration that comes along with it.

When I spoke to the representative, she checked my letter and found the same information I did. She then insisted the delay was probably due to it being a P.O. Box. I told her that we sent another letter guaranteed overnight to the same P.O. Box a few weeks ago and it was delivered the next day.

She then gave the example, “If you mail four packages at the same time from the same place going to the same address, they might all get there on different days.”

At that point, I replied, “Not if they were all sent guaranteed next day.”

She then told me to take my receipt to the post office and request a form 3353 to see “If,” I qualified for a refund.

I did that and was told the guarantee does not extend to items left in the Express Mail box. It only applies if you bring the item to the counter. If that is the case, why would they even offer Express Mail via their website? When you purchase it online, you do so in an effort to avoid the lines at the post office. Also, nowhere on the website, while purchasing the Express Mail option did it state that items needed to be taken to the window/desk in order for the guarantee to apply.

I asked her, “Where on the box does it say that?” She then told me she had handed my form over to her supervisor.

I was given my full refund without any further discussion, but we did have to wait for half an hour while all this occurred. Although the supervisor did not want to give me the refund. She actually explained, “Letters get stuck up in the top of the box all the time. Sometimes, it takes days or even a week before we find them.”

Um…you’re not helping yourself out with that little tid bit.

As soon as it happened, I thought to myself, “I must pass this along to the Comsumerist.” So, there ya go.

Has anyone ever heard of the guarantee only applying to the window? My father has never heard of any such thing nor did I find anything on the box or online.

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