jane q. public

send whips of opinion down my back, give me more

Posts Tagged ‘mail

Thanks for screwing me again, USPS

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So I ranted and raved about the USPS as well as the shipment of cloth diapers from China, and I was going to post the [sort of] conclusion to the story, but then I decided not to bother. Today a separate problem cropped up, so I may as well tie up the loose ends so I can tell you why I hate the US Postal Service this week.

Ok, the thank you notes: The second shipment from VistaPrint arrived quickly. I liked them and that was great. Unfortunately, about three days later the postman showed up with the original shipment which had been delivered to the wrong address (my address was correct on the label). Apparently whoever got it took their time turning it in, which sucks, but it’s not their job to fix the mail carrier’s mistakes. I refused the package. That mostly ends that story, though I wonder if they’ll ever pay our claim on the package, or if I just threw $100 away.

Now for the diapers: I heard back from the eBay seller pretty promptly, and he said he’d sent me the wrong tracking number and then gave me the right one. By the time he sent the number, the diapers were already in the US and I got them a few days later. Good enough. There’s no baby butt here yet anyway.

Moving on…

Nowadays when you’re pregnant you get a lot of information on cord blood banking (after the stupid maternity store sells your contact information to any and everyone). Cord blood banking isn’t a bad idea if you can afford it, and especially if there is some sort of genetic disorder in your family, but it’s very expensive. However, if you aren’t able to spend the money on banking cord blood, you also have the option to donate it so that it might help someone else. That is the option that we chose.

The process goes like this: First you fill out a really long form with lots of medical questions meant to screen out cord blood that they can’t use for one reason or another. In the case of the company we had to go through, their form said something about how it could be submitted online, but we never could locate a place to fill it out and submit it via internet. Plus, I’m not sure how they do that since they need two or three signatures from your doctor. The form is then mailed to the company, who must receive it before your 34th week of pregnancy. After that, they send you a collection kit that your doctor uses right after the baby is born. This is then sent back to the tissue bank and you’re done.

We hit a snag. Of course.

At my doctor’s appointment last week she asked if I’d gotten the kit. I’d been so busy thinking about other things that it hadn’t occurred to me that the kit never arrived. This was a little bothersome because I’m so far along – I’ll be at 37 weeks on Friday – and feel like labor could start at any moment (ohpleaseohpleaseohplease!).

So this morning I called the tissue bank to see what the hold up was… The lady checked every which way, but I was not in their computer. They never received my form. In other words, the United States Postal Service bent me over once again.

It doesn’t matter that I have the forms filled out on my computer and that I could take them with me to the doctor tomorrow to have her sign them again – because I’m too far along to submit them now. Thank goodness I wasn’t trying to bank the cord blood because of some genetic risk to my child, but I hate to think that someone else could have been helped by the donation and will now miss out.

But there is my more concrete complaint: The forms contained my full name, maiden name, date of birth, address and social security number. They also had my medical history, which doesn’t concern me. I just hope they end up in the hands of someone who is honest enough to return it or at least just throw it away.

We mailed those forms off before my other problems with the post office began, but I certainly won’t send anything like that through them in the future. Ugh.

UPDATE: Less than a minute after I got done typing this, I got a text from my husband saying that the post office had the forms and he now has them. They were returned, but he has no idea why. He went in to ask them WTF the deal was and they had them. I’m not sure why they hadn’t returned them to us. So I’m relieved that I can shred all of the info now, but I’m still pissed that this happened.

I said a bad word that started with mother and ended with fuckers, but I guess that drama is over.

Written by janeqpublic

March 29, 2012 at 1:40 am

I guess I can’t order anything online ever

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Oh, for heaven’s sake!

So this is a totally different ridiculous shipping problem, which may be the Postal Service’s fault, but probably isn’t.

So, we are doing cloth diapers for the baby, primarily because it is less expensive than using disposables. That said, it’s hard for someone as cheap as I am to spend $13-$20 per diaper, especially while I’m not working. My solution for this was to hop on eBay and look for a deal. This, of course, led to cheap diapers from China. I can’t remember exactly what it worked out to per diaper, but it was less than $5, and maybe less than $4. Big difference.

The first step was to look at the sellers’ feedback ratings, which were good. I had to order from two different sellers, but the product was the same for each. Ten cloth diapers and ten inserts in a brand called Babyland from each seller.

Seller Number One shipped them quickly, but they took quite awhile to get here. I expected that – after all, they were coming from China. Also, I ordered them in late January so I knew they would be here before the baby.

Finally the day came when my package arrived, but it was REALLY small. There was no way there were ten diapers and ten inserts inside. There weren’t. There was one diaper and one insert. I was pissed, but I remained calm.

I emailed the seller, who was super nice. He told me to keep the one I received at no charge and that he would ship out the original order of ten right away, which he did. Eventually I got them and was happy. Everybody makes mistakes, and I’m not going to give somebody bad feedback over something like that.

Meanwhile, I was getting awfully nervous about Seller Number Two. The package had not yet been marked as shipped on eBay. I just kept watching it until one day I got a notification that it had shipped. The listing said that items typically shipped within 3 days, but it took just over a month for the seller to even put my diapers in the mail. Again, I was pissed, but I still had some time before the baby was due, so I decided to be patient.

Unfortunately, there was no tracking number attached to the package. Then I noticed that a lady who had ordered the same item from the seller had just left negative feedback and a note that said “Never received purchase. Seller forgot about my purchase.” That made me a little nervous, so I went ahead and emailed him to inquire about a tracking number.

The seller replied with the tracking number, but there was no “hey, I’m sorry it took me a damn month to mail your package.”

I noticed the other day that the package had arrived in L.A., so I was feeling much better about it. Fast forward to twenty minutes ago when I decided to track the package again. I see a red circle with an exclamation point in it and “Shipment Alert” next to it. Great. WHAT NOW?

Apparently the diapers were indeed delivered today – TO BOUNTIFUL, UTAH. The last time I checked, I lived in Nashville, Tennessee. It also said that the package had been refused, so at least nobody decided to keep it like they did with my kid’s thank you notes.

Now, given my recent experience with the USPS, I could easily believe that they delivered my package to Utah. I’ve pretty much lost faith in that system. However, I could just as easily believe that the eBay seller sent them to the wrong address, given the bad experience I’ve had thus far.

If the seller sent it to the wrong address, perhaps it was actually the address of the lady who left the negative feedback. I don’t know.

Obviously I have to wait until Monday to call the USPS and see what I can find out (and beg them to ship it to me instead of returning it to China), but I was too angry to do nothing.

Having worked entirely too long in customer service, I find it difficult to openly express anger in these kind of situations, so I’ve given the seller one last chance (though I’ll be leaving negative feedback). I sent him a message explaining what I’d seen when I tracked the package and asking if he had a record of where it had been mailed. I also mentioned that I was anxious to get it, since my baby is due very soon. I don’t hold out a lot of hope, but we’ll see.

At this stage, I don’t have time to order more diapers from China – we have just under five weeks until the baby’s due date, but I don’t really expect it to take that long given the most recent news about her size. I guess we will have to buy expensive diapers from somewhere in the US*.

*I can’t find a freaking bricks and mortar store in Nashville that sells cloth diapers! You can get the Gerber pre-folds, but no all-in-ones, pocket diapers or even cloth diaper covers. I know the majority of people use disposables, but it seems like there’s got to be enough of a market for cloth diapers for the stores to have a few.

Written by janeqpublic

March 18, 2012 at 9:25 am

The shipping saga continues

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Our baby shower was last Saturday. It was awesome, and should get its own post when I have the time. I don’t know how many people were there, but there were a lot – and that meant tons of wonderful gifts for the baby. This translates to many thank you notes to write. I was excited about writing those notes on the stationery I designed, but of course, that’s where everything went awry, as I mentioned the other day.

My husband has spoken to a seemingly helpful lady at the post office twice, plus he talked to the mail carrier on Saturday (who said he would investigate and stop by on Monday to let me know what he found out … he didn’t). At the post office, he was told that we could fill out some sort of a claim form, but because the package wasn’t insured, it would be at USPS’s discretion as to weather they give us a “we’re sorry for fucking you” payment.

Here’s the thing: all issues of money, incompetence and unfairness aside, I NEED THOSE NOTES. I had hoped to have them by last Friday so I could get started writing them on Sunday. I have to do as much as I can, when I can, and as fast as I can. I’m trying to accomplish things right now in between bouts of extreme fatigue, not to mention the fact that we don’t have a lot of time before the baby arrives (and after that, when will I have time to write them?) – with the way things are going, I wouldn’t be surprised if she gets here early.

J.R., who writes much better thank you notes than I, would gladly take care of writing them for me because he’s amazing, but he has handwriting that is… a little hard to decipher. Plus, he’s already picking up so much slack for me that I don’t really want to throw anything else on his plate.

Not really sure what to do to get some thank you notes into my hand, I broke down and ordered more today. I’m not sure that I would have done it at the original amount that I spent (which was actually about $10 more than I’d estimated in that previous post), but I managed to find a 50% off coupon*, which was too good to pass up.

So I got the notes for under $40, as opposed to $75ish, and that was good. The next hurdle was Vistaprint’s turn-around time and shipping. I may have mentioned it before, but their shipping is overpriced in my estimation, especially considering how long you have to wait. The standard option is over $8 for an item that may not ship for 14 days. The next option is priority, which is what I chose this time around, and it was over $17! And it will still be up to seven days before they even ship it. They had a rush option where they ship in three days, and that was around $31 – it would have still left my total below what I spent on the original order, but I just couldn’t bring myself to spend that much to ship something unless that meant I’d have it tomorrow.

Unfortunately, when I selected the shipping option, there was nothing to tell me what the actual delivery method was. I knew from experience, of course, that the standard shipping went out via UPS SurePost (that’s the one where UPS brings it to the local post office, then the mail carrier delivers it to somebody else, and you get mad and write excessively long blog posts about it). I had to do way more googling than I should have to come up with not much of an answer here. This is all to say that I’m not really sure what carrier will bring the package, but I’m concerned that somewhere along the way, it may end up in the hands of the USPS.

*Retail Me Not is excellent. I check there every time I make a purchase online because a lot of times, at the very least, you can find a coupon code for free shipping. The 50% Vistaprint coupon I found was probably the most amazing so far.

Written by janeqpublic

March 14, 2012 at 8:41 pm

Please, Mister Postman

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This is probably mostly fueled by hormones and the grouchiness that comes with extreme fatigue, but I am saying a lot of impolite words about the US Postal Service tonight.

I guess I should rewind this a little bit. I designed some cute thank you notes for the baby awhile back – they match the birth announcements I created (details to be filled in later, of course). I searched for the least expensive printer, which led me to VistaPrint. I don’t have much of a complaint against them except that I wasn’t super enthused about their shipping prices. I ended up choosing the most basic one because they were too high, and then it took them a million years to ship it.

This is where the problems began. They shipped via UPS, which would have been fine, except it was one of those stupid things where UPS takes it to the local post office, so you end up getting it a day later than if UPS would have just brought the damn thing to you.

But today was the day that that USPS was supposed to finally bring the package to me. I waited and waited for the mail delivery, only to receive junk mail. I was super pissed, but I tracked the package, which was still listed as “out for delivery.” J.R. said that they probably had a separate truck that made those UPS-to-USPS deliveries, so I chilled out a little. Still the package never came.

I had pretty much given up, but I decided to track the package one last time. Its status had changed to “delivered” – at 11:00 a.m., no less. It’s now 6:35 p.m., and there is no damn package.

I just hope the person they gave it to is nice enough to give it back. I don’t know what they’d do with thank you notes with my daughter’s name on them anyway.

I’d like to go to the post office in the morning and raise hell, but if my USPS app is correct, my stupid post office is closed on Saturdays.

The thing is that I have a giant baby shower to attend tomorrow afternoon, and the shower happens to be for my kid. I really wanted to get started on the notes Sunday because they need to get done before the baby arrives – and with her being so big, who knows when that will be? Plus, I spent a lot of money on the damn things, and I WANT THEM.

I certainly can’t spend the money to reorder them, and even if VistaPrint was willing to work with me on that, I don’t have time to wait to get them reprinted and shipped.

This is a stupid thing to be so mad about, but $90 is a fortune to me, and I feel like I’ve wasted it.

Written by janeqpublic

March 10, 2012 at 6:43 am