Archive for USPS

A non-update update to the USPS Fraudulent Delivery Saga

Posted in Mail Day with tags , , , , , on January 25, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

Earlier this month I wrote pieces (first and second) about my local Post Office screwing around with delivery confirmation, and even went as far as to mark a “Signature Required” package as delivered even though the item was sitting at the post office for several days before an actual attempt at physical delivery was made.

Ut was the latest in an on-going poor delivery model that my local USPS branch has been employing. I went to the post office on January 18 at 9:15 a,m., and was told by woman working a the window that the managers were not on duty until 11:30 a.m. that day.

Frustrated, I left my name and phone number and a brief synopsis so that ANY MANAGER could call me back. I’ve been awaiting a return call ever since.

I sort of let the issue sit. I probably should have gone to the post office this week to try to settle the issue in person, but I had other things I wanted to do, and other errands that needed to get accomplished. Also, I had already gotten my package thanks to my brother-in-law who was nice enough to go sign for it at the post office in the middle of last week.

I digress. This week I received a notification that a new Roger Clemens card was “delivered.” I grabbed my mail earlier int he day on Thursday, Jan. 24, so I sorta knew what the deal was when the Delivery notification came through after 3 p.m. I figured the USPS was still scanning packages a day earlier and that it would arrive today, Friday, Jan. 25.

Well, guess what didn’t show up today? That’s right, the card that supposedly was delivered.

So I called the local Postal Office and the phone rang dozens of times with no answer. Fed up I decided to call the 800 national numbered and had to navigate my way through a phone tree until I finally got an option to speak to a live person. Sadly, the automated message advised that there was a 35 to 52 minute wait, and then advised that the operators only have the same information that is available online.

Knowing this was wasted effort, I hung up the phone and decided to call the local branch again. This time the number doesn’t even ring — it’s just goes to a busy signal.

Looks like I’ll just have to wait this most recent episode out and then try to make contact again in person next week when I have time off of work.

Stay tuned.

Proof USPS lied about “Delivered” COMC package

Posted in Mail Day with tags , , , , on January 15, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

Oh, USPS, ya’ll got some explaining to do …

Yesterday I wrote about the package that was mailed from COMC (Link) in Washington to my address in the San Francisco Bay Area. The item, which requires a signature, was marked as “Delivered” by the USPS at 4:26 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019, despite the fact that the item was never signed for or delivered at all.

I expected it to show up Saturday, Jan. 12, given my local USPS poor habit of fraudulently marking these as delivered a day earlier. No such thing arrived.

Lo and Behold what did I get in my mailbox Monday, Jan. 14? Not the package, but one of those glorious pink notices advising “Sorry We Missed You…,” effectively summoning me to the Post Office to sign for my item.

Call me stupid, but why would someone have to go sign for package that was already “Delivered?” Oh, that’s right … because it wasn’t.

This is PROOF that my local post office is continuing this scam where upon employees scan the items as “delivered” a day early to improperly inflate the success rate of it’s timed delivery service.

The Good News is that the COMC package is not lost, and has not been stolen. In fact, it’s exactly where I suspected it was the whole time — the damn Post Office.

The Bad News is now I have to figure out how to make time to get to the post office to retrieve the package — a sometimes daunting task given my work schedule that essentially keeps me from my hometown from sunrise to sunset.

I’ve also now got to find time to get in contact with the local Post Master to demand this branch stop this practice. It really undermines the integrity of the entire process; causes lots of stress on the consumer, and ultimately puts many of us who buy, sell and trade via the Internet at risk.

COMC package marked “Delivered” by USPS … only it wasn’t.

Posted in Mail Day with tags , , , , , , , on January 14, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

We all have our share of mail nightmare stories. My most recent tale, however, is the latest in an on-going issue that leads me to wonder if the USPS may be committing fraud.

The Washington-based card consignment website recently shipped my latest purchases to me via USPS Priority Mail, and in customary fashion, COMC used the “Signature Required” option to ensure safe delivery. I’ve been a user of the site for almost a decade now and really have had no issues with purchasing and delivery.

My most-recent package was shipped on January 9 and was set for delivery on January 11. Because of the package required a signature I was constantly paying attention to the mail that day. I checked it frequently; a relative was home the entire day, and half way through the day I checked the shipping history and saw that the expected delivery date was changed to Saturday, January 12. Fine, I could live with that.

But when I checked the delivery history later that night, the status showed as “Delivered” at 4:26 p.m., which obviously didn’t actually occur.  Sadly, I knew what the deal was.  Back in November I had a similar situation involving some game-used baseballs. The package was marked and scanned as delivered late in the afternoon/early evening but the package did not actually arrive at my doorstep until the next day.  I spoke to my letter carrier, who has been working the route for several years, and he told me that it is customary for packages to be scanned at the office a day early, but not actually arrive at its destination until the next business day.  The letter carrier told me it’s not something he personally does, or even agrees with, but that’s the practice by the local post office. He said if the package is showing as being “Delivered” late in the afternoon or early evening, then it’ll in all likelihood show up the next day.

In that matter, my package did not require a signature. It was merely a Delivery Confirmation, and since the package was hand delivered to me the next day I didn’t raise a stink other than to mention it on Twitter.

But in this most recent matter, the package DOES require a signature, and it appears the post office went ahead and marked the item as delivered.  And so Saturday, Jan 12, rolls around and I check the mail again. A relative was home all day. And guess what? No package was delivered … and none of those pink “Signature Required” notes were left in the mailbox either.

And if you’re wondering if the package was stolen off the doorstep, the answer is no. We have the “Ring” doorbell system and it was not activated by any person seeking a signature for a package, or anyone taking packages.

It’s now Monday and I am livid that for the last 48 hours I’ve been stressing out about a package that may or may not be delivered today. I even checked the site again today and the status has not changed.  And when I requested via e-mail the proof of delivery, the scanned box for the “signature” is blank.


Whether or not this package arrives today, this will result in me contacting the local Post Master, and even calling the national complaint line in hopes of ending this practice of scanning packages early.

Pardon me in my thinking, but isn’t the USPS committing fraud by scanning these packages as delivered when in fact they are sitting in some office and not at the recipient’s address? Does this not call into question the validity of the entire confirmation and tracking process? I mean, they do charge extra for these services and they are set to not only gain monetarily from these special services, but are also skewing their success rate by using this practice.

Don’t get me wrong, not all USPS transactions fall under this umbrella. But this specific act of scanning packages as “Delivered,” a day early, needs to stop. Surely I am not the only one to experience this.  Please leave a comment if you have experienced the same or similar.

A game of “20 Questions” with the Post Office clerk

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , on September 22, 2010 by Cardboard Icons

Like many of my collecting cohorts, I make several trips to the post office a month. More times than not I use the APC, Automated Postal Center. I love that blue machine. It allows me to get in and get out as fast as possible. Unless of course I have to ship items outside the country. Then I have to get in line like all the other technology-fearing people who wonder what it is that I am doing at this machine.

One of the things I hate most about having to use the counter at the post office is the incessant questioning from the clerk. I’d tolerated it in years past because the questions were pretty basic: How would you like to ship this? Will that be it?

But then came Wednesday, when it occurred to me how many questions they really ask you. I had three padded envelopes to ship, two of which had to head to Canada. So after filling out the little international customs declaration forms I was called to the counter. Here is a (loose) transcript

Clerk: Hi, how can I help you today? (Question 1)

Me: Fine, thanks. I just need to ship these two to Canada regular mail, and then this one domestic.

Clerk: Anything liquid, fragile,  perishable or potentially hazardous? (Question 2)

Me: Um, no.

Clerk: How would you like to ship this? Express? Priority? (Questions 3, 4, 5)

Me: Just first class on everything.

Clerk: Insurance against loss or damage? Want to track this item? (Questions 6,7)

Me: Nope.

<<Clerk stamps two small envelopes, applies postage and then reaches for the domestic envelope>>

Clerk: And this one? Express? Priority? (Questions 8, 9, 10)

Me: Just first class will be fine.

Clerk: Anything liquid, fragile, perishable or potentially hazardous? (Question 11)

Me: Nope

Clerk: Insurance against loss or damage? Delivery confirmation? (Questions 12, 13)

Me: No.

Clerk: So just regular mail, then, huh? (Question 14)

Me: Yep.

<<Clerk applies postage to domestic envelope>>

Clerk: OK. Any book of stamps? (Question 15)

Me: No, I’m good.

Clerk: Packing material? They’re colorful … (Question 16)

<<I shake my head, chuckle>>

Me: Nah …

Clerk: OK. So that will be it? (Question 17)

Me: Yep.

<<I deeply exhale in frustration>>

Clerk: Cash, debit or credit? (Question 18)

Me: Debit is fine.

<<I attempt to hand my card to the clerk, which has been protocol for years even though the reader is on the counter.>>

Clerk: No, you swipe it, sir.

<<Clerk confirms total on computer, motions for me to swipe my card>>

Clerk: Cash back? (Question 19)

Me: No.

<<Clerk grabs receipt and hands it to me>>

Clerk: Anything else I can help you with? (Question 20)

Me: No, that’ll be it thanks. Have a good day.

<<I exit lobby>>

Twenty questions. Seriously? I mean the questions were appropriate and all, but that is a whole lot of questions for mailing three packages. Half of the queries could have been eliminated if she had listened to my initial instruction instead of acting like a robot.