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Problem with the US Post Office

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by Tom Lewis, Nov 24, 2018.

  1. Tom Lewis

    Tom Lewis

    Feb 24, 2000
    Let me first say that I have used the US Post Office for many years sending and receiving packages. 99% of the time they have been great. I personally know many of the Post Office workers in town and they are quality people.
    This week I got this in the mail. It was a piece of cardboard in a plastic bag. The bag said, "We Care" and "Please accept our apologies".
    There was nothing about any kind of reimbursement.
    I contacted the sender and they are sending out a replacement.
    It seems like when the Post Office destroys a package they should offer to replace it.
    I guess they delivered the piece of cardboard so they could say it was delivered.
    Several years ago the Post office damaged a knife I sent to a customer. The Post Office denied my claim and I was fortunate to get the damaged knife back.
    Since then I have not insured any packages. My feeling has been they the Post office will deny any claim, so what's the use of insurance.
    Anyone have any experience along this line?
    [​IMG]
     
    [email protected] and BITEME like this.
  2. Randy3000

    Randy3000

    680
    Jun 3, 2017
    Did they just rip of the flap off the box that had the shipping label, or is that actually all that is left?
     
  3. Tom Lewis

    Tom Lewis

    Feb 24, 2000
    That's all that was in the plastic bag.
     
  4. Scott Hanson

    Scott Hanson KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 6, 2014
    I ordered some knife supplies online a couple years ago and USPS sent them to the wrong address to a vacant house. I never got a hold of the owners of the house so I was out $30.00 in materials. I complained to USPS and they knew they sent it to the wrong house and told me I had to the company sending the product reimburse me for my loss. They never paid for the loss of materials. What’s worse yet asis USPS sent two more of my packages and I to same vacant house which I retrieved myself. After the third mistake I had a pretty unpleasant talk with post office manager, have not had a problem scince.
     
    [email protected] likes this.
  5. HSC ///

    HSC /// KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 7, 2012
    I never insure,
    I use signature confirmation. That’s my insurance
     
  6. Scott Hanson

    Scott Hanson KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 6, 2014
    This is a really good idea.
     
  7. drew1972

    drew1972

    143
    Oct 17, 2015
    I do the same
     
  8. john april

    john april KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 27, 2006
    i have over two thousand ebay feedbacks, mailed and received a lot of stuff over the years. i use the us postal insurance quite a bit, along with signature confirmation. i pack very well so any damage cannot be blamed on the packing job. the post office will inspect everything when you file a claim. i have only had 2 insurance claims, and the post office paid both of them. i hear UPS refuses insurance claims much more than usps, so i try to avoid them.
     
    Mr. Tettnanger likes this.
  9. Horsewright

    Horsewright KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 4, 2011
    We've had way more problems, mostly theft, with the USPS then with UPS or Fed Ex. We've mailed thousands of packages with all three. Any claim with the PO will automatically be denied. They denied one of ours even with their Postal Inspectors theft report attached. They paid on appeal. Getting repaid from the PO is arduous, hours of calls, stacks of paperwork. Lost more in time than the insurance paid. UPS twice mis delivered a package. Both times had a check with in a week. Fed Ex was two weeks.

    Our general rule of thumb for us if the package is over $100 value its shipped Fed Ex or UPS. Under $100 we'll ship through the PO. We do ship often to some extremely rural areas where only the PO goes though. Fortunately haven't been bit in a while.
     
    12345678910 and running bird like this.
  10. P.Brewster

    P.Brewster

    Jul 25, 2007
    I have a lot of experience shipping with USPS, and some experience with UPS. Both have engaged in funny business at some point or another.

    • I use third-party shipping insurance. I use EasyPost to make USPS, UPS, or FedEx labels, but the insurance comes direct from EasyPost. They are very easy to work with.

    • USPS Signature Confirmation is great, but I did experience major funny business on several occasions. Several times, the package was delivered without obtaining a signature. Another time (in 2018), the carrier forged the customer's signature and left the package on his porch. I pressured the delivery office and received written acknowledgment that the carrier forged the signature.

    • As a sender, I've received the 'We Care' bag once - I assumed these bags would always be sent back to the sender but obviously that's not always the case. Ridiculous. I've learned to tape the packing list to the contents - that way there is some hope of recovery in the event that the box rips open during transit.

    • USPS Consumer Affairs is very effective at getting stuff done if you're hitting a roadblock with the normal channels. https://ribbs.usps.gov/locators/find-cam.cfm
     
    Mr. Tettnanger likes this.
  11. Pinoy Knife

    Pinoy Knife

    965
    Aug 9, 2002
    i found if you call the local Postmaster,and politely express what is going on they do look into it,sometimes get it resolved as They The (Postmaster) is responsible for those working under him/her.
    if there still is nothing done say thanks and then call the "Postal Inspector". as long as there is tracking info they will find out what happened . i think they are like "Postal Cops" and enjoy their job...
     
  12. Tom Lewis

    Tom Lewis

    Feb 24, 2000
    The local Post Office doesn't answer the phone, so calling the local postmaster is out.
    Signature confirmation is a great idea.
    How would one go about contacting the Postal Inspector?
    P. Brewster, thanks for the contact information about the USPS Consumer affairs.
     
  13. razor-edge-knives

    razor-edge-knives Moderator Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Apr 3, 2011
    Yeah usps insurance is a joke. That's why I use private insurance when shopping) shipping through them from stamps.com) which is amazing at the claims process in the 2 times I've had to use it.
     
  14. AVigil

    AVigil Adam Vigil knifemaker working the grind Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Platinum Member

    Feb 17, 2009
    USPS signature confirmation and heavy packaging tape on all seams and across the box. Good tape will keep the box together, it will come mangled on occasion but still intact.
     
    12345678910 and Big Chris like this.
  15. Greenberg Woods

    Greenberg Woods Wood Fanatic and Rosewood Addict

    Dec 27, 2013
    I have had a lot of issues with USPS, mostly with international buying and selling. The insurance is almost useless, I use it basically because I find it makes packages less likely to go missing, mainly when I am having boxes of amboyna shipped back from K&G.

    As for tape, I learned my lesson years ago. Every box I send is cocooned in packing and strapping tape. I have no faith in any care being taken in my pacakges, so there is never anything loose to rattle around and the box is taped int oa solid mass.
     
    AVigil likes this.
  16. 12345678910

    12345678910

    Jul 13, 2009
    That photo looks like straight up theft.

    Like you say, the label counts as delivered - where's the rest of the package


    If that was sent to you, there's nothing you could have done to prevent it, but

    Our packages get picked up at a local variety store with a postal outlet contract run by some family just in from some asian location.
    No English spoken, written or understood - you have to go at a certain time to catch the little girl home from school, but not yet in bed.
    The lady who sorts packages has dangerous stabby thumbnails - and every package has a thumbnail hole in it.
    all very sketchy

    Techniques I use

    No free space inside - don't let it battering ram itself out.
    Package within a package - box within a box
    If possible I line the box with thin plywood.
    Wrapping the internal package in plastic so when it gets left out in the rain - the item may stay dry
    I wrap the tape all around the box in all three directions covering every inch of box
    Even the cheapest dollar store tape is a dollar a roll.
    Tape is the cheapest insurance

    I use wood glue to assemble the wooden and cardboard boxes - it takes me a week to prep packing materials but the multiple
    layers of glued cardboard are very stiff and sound.
    Multiple addresses - address labels computer printed the size of the box face on all six faces and inside the internal box.
    -it makes it easier for them to read the address and harder to relabel and divert my package.
    I may take photos of the item, the wip packaging and the finished package
    Tyvex envelopes and fiberglass tape are unrippable
    all that takes time, but high value stuff may be worth it and it takes way less time than trying to make any claims.


    Insurance claims are always denied, it's cheaper that way. You have to appeal until it gets approved.
     
    Mr. Tettnanger likes this.
  17. Boxer .45

    Boxer .45 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 11, 2015
    I have a hard time imagining that they were able to mysteriously salvage the shipping label almost unscathed, yet they couldn't find the rest of it contents of the package and shio it in whatever condition it may lie. I mean, is there a pile of stuff all along the conveyor belt so thick you cant decipher an actual product?
    Also, supposing some picked up said product, do they not hire people with any integrity or encourage any? I used to work at UPS twenty years ago and the security was pretty heavy. Not only were the dock managers walking around, but when you left you had to go through a metal detector and show inside any lunch or other type bags.

    Not that it would fix everything but I used to tell my crew that it was more than just a job, we were taking care of our customers and they were trusting us to take care of them and make them safe, and we needed to build something they would be proud of and we could be proud of providing those things. I know its not politically correct or "okay" to put that responsibility on your staff in todays world, but it seemed to mean something to my guys.

    Really USPS should offer to make it right, I don't know when they stopped or decided taking care of their customers was no longer a thing. Its pretty sad and they ought to be ashamed at stuff like this. Some damage to the box and maybe if the package wasn't well packed a damaged product, but the OPs picture is pretty sad if thats the new USPS or businesses at large.
     
    12345678910 likes this.
  18. Karl B. Andersen

    Karl B. Andersen

    Jul 27, 2003
    Not directly on-topic, but if you have a knife damaged in shipping, it's not their fault.
     
  19. ron_m80

    ron_m80 KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 1, 2009
    My post office has made it very clear to me, they do not want to ship knives. Everything is fine until the package fails, if they see a knife, I will not see it.
     
  20. Tom Lewis

    Tom Lewis

    Feb 24, 2000
    Fortunately it was a $13.00 air filter that got lost. I bought it through Amazon and they are sending out another one. This time they are using Fed EX for shipping. My concern is it might have been something of real value.
    Thanks for all the suggestions.
     
    Horsewright likes this.

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