The overwhelming crappiness of FedEx Smartpost as a shipping method is a frequent topic around here. But why is it so terrible? We could have guessed that a partnership between ostensible rivals FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service might not work so well, but one reader with inside knowledge about why it’s so terrible reached out and shared their knowledge with us. The basic reason? The labels are terrible, and confuse the equipment. [More]
H. lives on a rural mail route, and her mailbox is secure, with a lock and a slot just big enough to slide letters through. When a package containing an expensive camera lens went missing recently, she learned that her mail carrier had put the package in the “parcle box.” The what? Oh, the unused but not secure mailbox on her street that some neighbor wrote “parcel box” on a long time ago. H. had no indication that her package had been placed in the box until the mailman left her a note about it. By then, the box had already been stolen. The post office, for its part, insists that the package was delivered as addressed. [More]
There was a time, around approximately 2001, when eBay was a global marketplace where you could easily and efficiently unload items with any market value that you wanted to get rid of. Now, it’s more of a global flea market full of scams and villainy. eBay and its old accomplice, the U.S. Postal Service, worked together to make Keith’s old iPhone disappear into the ether. [More]
When Jessica placed her NewEgg order, she provided them with a shipping address. This turned out to be a waste of her time, since NewEgg just went ahead and picked an address to send the package to out of her PayPal account. Not the one associated with her credit card, or her primary address on the account. Certainly not the address where she actually lives. Their customer service representative’s solution? Wish really, really hard that the person who ultimately received the package would return it so she can get a refund. She hung up and called back until she got someone competent. [More]
When Chris received this package in the mail, he assumed that his mail carrier had crammed it in his mailbox with overwhelming force. That wasn’t the case, though. The truth is more mysterious and much weirder. [More]
Post Office's Plan To Save Itself Involves Cutting Jobs, Ending Saturday Delivery & Raising Stamp Prices
The U.S. Postal Service is in danger of losing billions of dollars in the next few years, so in an attempt to check that money leakage, they’ve proposed some drastic measures, including cutting more than 150,000 jobs. [More]
Victoria mailed some textbooks worth $275 in what seemed like secure packaging. The postal service returned the packaging to her, but the textbooks were never seen again. She opted not to insure the package, figuring that no one could do that much damage to heavy hardcover textbooks. She was overly optimistic. [More]
Robert received a Priority Mail package at college from his mother. The box contained a variety of canned foods: Vienna sausages, sardines, beans, liverwurst, spam, and corn. Which is awfully nice of Robert’s mother, except that the box she sent him only contained fifteen cans of Goya brand beans. Where did all of this other stuff come from? [More]
While less and less of our crucial information comes by post now, that doesn’t mean that it’s okay if a few weeks’ worth of it just disappears into nowhere. Especially when you’re expecting presents in the mail. That’s what happened to Dave’s mail after he and his wife left town for their honeymoon. Expecting cards and gifts after the wedding, they requested a two-week hold on their mail. Evidently, the postal service held their mail, all right, but isn’t too keen to give it back. [More]
David has saved every piece of paper correspondence that he’s received from his wife during their entire life together. When shipping most of their possessions during a cross-country move, the box containing all of these cards and letters was damaged, and the contents lost. They were replaced with an awful lot of random items that don’t belong to David at all. So where are David’s letters? And who are the random people whose mail was stuffed in the box? [More]
Even on days when the only thing in my mailbox is a renewal notice for a magazine I never subscribed to in the first place, the United States Postal service is a fantastic value for the money. But then, I didn’t have the same experience as Tony, where his forwarding order was ignored, and a very, very expensive piece of paper smushed into a small mailbox. [More]
Lana is a little frustrated with the U.S. Postal Service right now. She writes that she received an odd envelope in the mail from USPS–the tear-off advertising sheet from the front of a Netflix envelope addressed to her. An overly conscientious postal employee took the flyer, carefully placed it in a damaged item envelope, and mailed it back to Lana. [More]
Jeff has a quandary. He spotted his neighborhood mail carrier delivering his package in a way he didn’t like. Jeff wants to know whether he should report his friendly, package-tossing mailman to the post office, or whether he should expect retribution.
The Postmaster General announced this week that he expects the Postal Service annual deficit to reach a whopping $7 billion, and he continued to push for five-days-a-week delivery — which would save $3 billion a year. But Congress ain’t too happy about that solution and continues to look for other ways to save cash.
Do you rent Blu-ray discs from Netflix? Have you had any show up with a crack on the outer edge that makes the disc unplayable? Victor just wrote to us that he’s received several Blu-ray discs lately that are damaged, and he’s wondering if it’s just him or part of a wider problem.
Round 2: Fight!