Why Won't USPS Let Me File This Complaint?

Usually when we reprint a customer complaint, it’s because the complaint itself deserves public attention. But the reason we’re posting Consumerist reader Sarah’s letter to the USPS isn’t because the world needs to know about her smashed up shipment, but because the USPS’ website won’t let her file the complaint.

According to Sarah, she attempted to file the below note using USPS.com’s complaint form, but was told it could not be accepted because it contains a prohibited word. But neither she nor we can figure out what that word may be.

She thinks it might be “bloody,” I think it might be her use of emoticons. Is there anyone out there familiar with this kind of filtering that might be able to advise?

Hi there!

I recently returned from a trip to Boston for St. Patrick’s Day. Having lost my job a month back, and being a 29-year-old who lives with her parents, it was a very necessary and enjoyable break from my life. Part of that was buying a few gifts for my family – one of those gifts being a bottle of bloody mary mix from Cheers for my pops. We enjoy a morning cocktail just as much as the next guy or gal 🙂

Having only taken a carry-on on my flight, I opted to mail back the extra things that weren’t immediately necessary at home: my hair dryer, a new pair of shoes, my suede boots , the ridiculously expensive hair stuff I got from the Lush store, and the Mary mix. The hair stuff was individually wrapped in Ziplocs, and the Mary mix was triple wrapped with bubble wrap. Additionally, the box was stamped at least twice with the word ‘fragile.’

I chose USPS because you guys have ALWAYS done a beautiful job of shipping anything I’ve needed shipped, quickly and with no problem. So I wasn’t concerned with this shipment either.

Unfortunately, the box arrived yesterday in not such great shape. My awesome mailman came walking up with it (I was so excited!), and as soon as my mom grabbed it she said, ‘This is wet.’ My heart sank.

Sure enough, the box was all mushed around and the bottle of bloody mary mix had broken. What in the world?? Of course it leaked onto my suede boots. I now have no idea what a delicious Cheers Bloody Mary tastes like – guess I could lick my boots. Oh, perhaps I could try and turn my hair dryer on and see if I can shoot some into my mouth? I mean, it did soak plenty of it up. But then I fear I’d mess up my hair! Thank goodness my Lush shampoo is safe.

As you can see, I’ve lightened up, but yesterday I was incredibly upset. I’d filled out two new applications and sent off another resume, got a no on both apps and of course will never hear back from the job I sent my resume to, and THEN my awesome stuff from Boston showed up not awesome. Broken, actually. I was steamed.

So, my suggestion is, please stop throwing boxes with such wrath and anger. Maybe if a person loading a truck has a problem with his or her boss, sit the two of ’em down for a beer summit. I’d say a bloody mary summit but I think we know now what kind of reaction that’ll elicit.

Thanks for your attention, have a lovely day! 🙂

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.