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Going Postal on the post office

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by bassturtle, Dec 8, 2004.


  1. bassturtle

    bassturtle

    Apr 9, 2004
    So a little over a year ago I sold this really cool early 60's Gretsch guitar to a guy over in England. He wanted me to ship it via the Post office because it was way cheaper than anything else. I'm going to break down the events of this ordeal into a list. I think it'll be easier for everyone to understand why I want to kill someone.

    -Sold guitar to guy in England in early August 2003.
    -Ship it through the PO via "Air Mail". I didn't want this guitar to sit on a boat. This was supposed to take about a week.
    -After 3 weeks the guitar still isn't there.
    -Post office tells me to chill out that. They say don't file a claim yet and they are sure it'll show up.
    -5 weeks goes by and still no guitar. The Post office tells me (literally) "There is no way for us to track our packages once they've left the US until it arrives in England." The customer cancels his credit card transaction (which I understand) leaving me with no guitar and no money for the guitar.
    -6 weeks after shipping still no guitar. At this point the PO discovers that the guitar was accidently shipped via Boat and NOT by air. So they say "Well, it'll probably take about a month to get there since it's going by sea. Don't worry about filing a claim just yet....it'll get there." They also reassure me that they'll pay me back the difference since I paid for Air mail.
    -By mid-December there is still no guitar. So I go and file a claim at the Post office. They tell me it'll probably be several months before I hear anything from the claims department.
    -I call the claims department in February and they tell me that they are working on it.
    -After another month I call the claims dept again and this time they tell me that they have no record of my claim being filed. So, I'm supposed to back to my local branch and get another form filled out. They apologize for the hassle and get me called back down.
    -I file a second claim form and get told the same thing - "It'll probably be a couple of months before you hear from the claims department."
    -Over the course of this past summer no one called me. I had to constantly keep calling them. Then in August (one year after I shipped the guitar) they tell me that they, once again, have no record of me filing a claim. At this point I just snapped. It had been a year and I was still getting jerked around. I think my yelling finally got through to them cuz they put me in touch with the lady who's in charge of the all the claims filed locally here in town. This lady was very cool. She apologized up and down, and was the ONLY person who was remotely helpful.
    -I end up having to fill out the claim form for the third time, but this time this local claims lady sends me a confirmation letter letting me know they recieved my form and have begun working on it.
    -Everything seemed rosey until today. I got a letter in the mail that basically said - "We haven't found your lost item yet, so if you'd like to continue with the claims process please fill out these attached forms."

    You've gotta be s***ing me! Of course I want you to continue the claims process! I want my money or my guitar! Why the hell do I have to fill out another form?!?! I'm just amazed and bewildered at this point. Can they possibly stall anymore? IT'S BEEN A YEAR AND A HALF!

    Does anyone else see how insane this is? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!!!!!!!!!
     
  2. NJL

    NJL

    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    take this to your US Congressmember or US Senator's office...
     
  3. Bassic83

    Bassic83

    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    It'll show up- I think I saw one in Mexico...seriously, that sux. The USPS is usually pretty good about shipping stuff. I sold a set of pickups to a guy in Finland- I just popped them into a padded envelope and off they went. 5-6 days later got an email from the buyer, and guess what???
















    They got there just fine.

    Sorry about your hassles on getting this resolved, I'd ask for a district-level supervisor or higher. Start climbing that tree. Shake it a bunch as well. If they make you fill out a claim for again, I'd start adding money to it to cover the appreciation of a vintage instrument.
     
  4. NJL

    NJL

    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
     
  5. bassturtle

    bassturtle

    Apr 9, 2004
     
  6. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    Don't mail a guitar, especially when another country's postal system is involved, unless there is some reliable, package-specific tracking available. Yeah, it's cheaper, but not worth the pain in the ass.
     
  7. DigMe

    DigMe

    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Wow...that stinks. I've always been lucky with the PO I guess..both domestically and overseas.

    One time though when I was living in China my wife (then girlfriend) thought it would be nice to send me some hard-to-find chips and salsa with some other things she was sending me for Christmas. The Chinese post office decided to open and inspect that particular box, which she had carefully and painstakingly packed in an attempt to keep the chips as whole as possible. Well, apparently they got everything back in the box sort of helter-skelter and couldn't find a place for the chips, so the opened up the back of chips, poured them all over inside the box, carefully flattened the bag and laid it across the top of everything else. Brilliant.

    brad cook
     
  8. bassturtle

    bassturtle

    Apr 9, 2004
    Yup. I figured that one out lol

    I've had my issues with UPS and FedEx, but at LEAST they could tell me where my package was.
     
  9. bassturtle

    bassturtle

    Apr 9, 2004
    Story of the day :D Classic.
     
  10. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    Before UPS started tracking individual ground shipment packages with bar codes and numbers, sometimes they could be a bear to deal with when a package didn't show up. Nevertheless, I don't remember any incidents where the package wasn't eventually located and re-routed to the correct address, but sometimes it took a while.

    And if you'd ever had a stray piece of baggage when you traveled back before the airlines tracked them individually, you may remember how it felt to have to remember distinguishing features of your missing bag. "It's a garment bag, gray, no, maybe khaki, some obscure store brand that I don't remember, and it has my name on a tag …" Yeah, that'll stand out from the rest. Fortunately I didn't need the clothing in it right away, but I think I should've gotten the garment bag's additional miles! ;)

    There wasn't any tracking or registration or ID number assigned to the guitar package, was there? How did they determine that it shipped by sea instead of by air?

    I've generally had good luck with shipping and receiving stuff by post, but it's usually been stuff that fits into a reasonable-size box or a mailing tube. When I lived in Connecticut, in a medium-size town of about 30,000, I was particularly spoiled because my wife and I lived on a street with a long name that often was misspelled, mangled, truncated, and such. Mail and packages got to us anyway without any apparent delay, whereas UPS and FedEx had trouble with parcels that were missing the unit number.
     
  11. bassturtle

    bassturtle

    Apr 9, 2004
    There was a number, but after it left the US and got on a boat they say they have no way to track it until it arrives in England. The way the determined it was shipped by sea was of the size. I over packed the box just to make sure it was going to be safe and they said the box deminsions were too large for an overseas flight. To which my question was "Why was I not told this when I shipped it and PAID for Air?"

    The dude at my local branch said that the boats don't make direct trips. The boat the guitar is on could have made several stops to pick up and drop off more packages before heading to England. That's the way it was explained to me, anyway.

    The entire situation is just dripping with incompetence.
     
  12. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    I think I'll just buy and sell gear to people who drive on the same side of the road as me.

    That is totally lame dude.

    -Mike
     
  13. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Did you insure the instrument against damage or theft?
     
  14. NJL

    NJL

    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    have you called your US reps yet?
     
  15. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Wow, after that much time I think I would be calling them every day asking for status.
     
  16. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    That sure seems to be the case, on several levels.
     
  17. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    Maybe they should raise the price of stamps so they can hire more competent people?

    -Mike
     
  18. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Sounds like those postal workers have been watching a bit too much Back To The Future.

    [​IMG]

    I imagine your customer's decendant will be receiving a nice guitar about 150 years from now.