My dad got me a really nice cast iron pot for Christmas, which was obviously much too big for me to put in my luggage back to Chicago, so he shipped it first class via USPS. Accidentally, he used my old address (from a little less than 6 months ago, and I had set up for my mail to be forwarded, and was told by USPS that it would be good for a year), which is about a half hour drive from my address now. My old apartment manager, being the very nice woman that she is, called me on Jan. 3 to tell me that I had a package that was delivered there for me, and what did I want her to do with it. The office there isn't open on the weekends and closes at 6, so there's no way I'd be able to pick it up unless I took a half day off work, so I told her to write my forwarding address on it (which the post office should have done in the first place) and put it back in the mail. I wait.
And I wait (in the meantime, I received another package from my dad that I had to pick up at the post office to pay some extra postage, and it had a gaping hole punched in the box...nice). Last week, I'm starting to think this is kind of ridiculous, so I give my old landlady a call to find out what happened. It took her a few days to get back to me, but she said she wrote my new address on it, and the postman said he took it back to the post office to be forwarded. At this point, it's taken longer for the package to travel 25 miles than to travel from New York to Chicago. I called the number for my local post office, and the woman I spoke with (being surprisingly nice, for as annoyed as I was), said it could take up to 3 weeks for the package to be delivered because they're still dealing with the Christmas rush, and to give it another week, and to check with the sender to see if it was returned to him (it wasn't).
This weekend, I went down to my local post office to talk to someone face-to-face. The woman there says she doesn't have any packages waiting there for me (I thought maybe they just forgot to give me the card saying I owed some postage), and that unless my dad had bought insurance or used deliver confirmation (gee, good to know now, thanks), she couldn't really do anything, and had absolutely no helpful suggestions whatsoever. So this morning I called the post office by my old apartment. The guy I spoke with was pretty friendly, if also pretty unhelpful. He said to call back tomorrow morning, and he would check with the postman who delivers to my building to see if he remembers what happened to my package (yeah, because I think he's going to remember a box from 3 weeks ago, it's not like he delivers mail every day or something...). He also said that forwarded mail gets sent to a processing plant, and told me to try calling there. So I do.
This woman...I've done retail and customer service and all that, and my boyfriend used to work at the post office (he also thinks this whole thing is stupid), but I'm getting fed up. I tell her my story, and she also asks why my dad didn't buy delivery confirmation or insurance. How about because we didn't count on the incompetencies of the post office to move a package 25 miles down a straight stretch of highway? She tells me she can't help me at all, and doesn't even know why I called, because she can't track one package for me. And when I ask her for any kind of suggestion or help, "Well, why don't you try the complaints department?" Because I'm just trying to get this resolved with the least amount of hassle possible! (And for all my searching I see no "Customer Complaint" or "Customer Service" number on the USPS website. other than the main 800 number, which I can't call right now from work)
So, any suggestions? (And yes, my co-workers have gotten a kick out of telling me "That's what you get for trying to ship pot through the mail!" Har har har ;-))