I am very nice to my post-person, who has been very helpful to me by picking up outgoing packages that I have prepared for my book and ebay-stuff sales. There is no way that I would be able to make regular trips uptown to the post office. Yes, I know that is the mailperson’s job to pick up my label-affixed outgoing mail. I actually put my money where my mouth is and give him a gift card for Christmas…which is the only way that I know that a customer can give the carrier presents under Postal Service rules. It’s a small token amount, but I do appreciate the service. I’ve had the company, PadreVenturesLLC since 2009, and I do only online sales
About a month ago my mainframe computer died. The poor thing was ticking along with minimum bugs, until it just died…the kiss of death blue screen and all. A lot of stuff got wiped out, but thanks to WordPress my blog library saved the day regarding photos and miscellaneous other. The most painful loss was my app for my postage service (Endicia) through which I prepare shipping labels. Called Dazzle, it not only keeps my mailing forms and customer information dating back several years…most noteworthily tracking information.
After I got the mailing system restored and accomplished the coordination with Amazon and my other book venues, I was soon back in business. Except that my mind had to resurrect the nitty gritty of setting up the addresses and packing slips, etc.
So three orders came in as I was performing the restoration, and the return address (mine) and that of the recipient on the form was not to my liking. Two of the orders went out as they were supposed to, but one hit a snag. There was some extra information in the customer’s mailing address, which I discovered later.
Here where I live in Ohio our mail is delivered (and collected) by a little mail truck, and taken back to the post office at the end of the day. Then, it is sent on to Pittsburg (in this case,) and in due time (just a couple of days,) it is dispatched to the Los Angeles, California USPS distribution center…pending final destination to a customer’s address in a suburb of Los Angeles.
Tracking information is remarkably detailed: the package left my Post Office on April 4, arrived in LA on April 9; then, according to the long, detailed history of the tracking record, it bounced among at least three LA distribution centers for weeks—apparently every morning the package was loaded onto a delivery truck (In Transit) and every evening it was unloaded; the next morning ON, the evening OFF. for three weeks!
The customer contacted me to see if I could find out what was going on, because the tracking information made no sense at all. That’s when I started following it. After the third week I refunded the customer’s payment through Amazon, and I asked her if she would keep me informed about the final destination… if any. Yesterday, April 30, the package arrived at the correct address in LA.
Finally! The original packaging (a bubble-padded mailing envelope) had been destroyed to the extent that all that was left was the book and the packing slip inside the original plastic bag. The book is badly damaged, the hard cover corners smashed in, various other trauma. But the best of all is the interaction with the post office.
The book and its packing slip had been placed in a plain brown envelope with a hand-written address and the USPS logo in the return address box. There is no tracking information or explanation included. But gee whiz—I am so impressed by the personal service.
If you have ever wondered what happens to lost mail… hear this! Orphaned or beaten up packages or there contents go to a “Processing Exception” department, where a postal employee personally handles the package (in this case any way.) Since my package had been reduced to a little plastic bag with the original packing slip (and the book,,) it’s obvious that a Real Human had to do the ultimate disposition.
I need to make a point: this was not some insured package, it was sent Media Mail, and bottom line… after fees and expenses… my profit is less than a dollar.
(Just for fun, google “Processing Exception” for an informative and quite entertaining FAQ. )