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April 18th, 2014

Horrible service from USPS

Trigger warning for likely pet death.

I am moving across the country from the suburbs of Chicago to Las Vegas on Saturday. I had a lot of pet fish, and while I was able to rehome several, I decided I wanted to take nine of my favorite and more difficult to find fish with me. I had my father set up a tank on the Las Vegas end and, with the help of a local fish store (Aquatica in Tinley Park - cannot recommend them enough!) got my fish bagged up and ready to ship. For reference, the fish are individually triple bagged, with oxygen from a diver's tank in the top 1/3 of the bag. These were all packed tightly into a Styrofoam container with some cold packs for the Vegas heat. I shipped them Priority Mail Express (1 day shipping) with the US Postal Service. They were supposed to be there by 3 pm today (April 17th).

Supposed to be.

After they were not delivered, I checked the tracking. There had been no updates since they "left" the Chicago sorting facility at 9:15 pm April 16th. I called customer service and the response was essentially, "We'll start an inquiry and someone will get back to you." Shortly after hanging up with customer service I got an email saying they had been processed through the sort facility... in CHICAGO! They are still here! They never left! There has been no movement since that last email update.

So all my fish at this point are scared, hungry, and running out of air. My favorite fish out of the bunch is also the largest, which means she'll run through that air first. I have had her for at least 3 years. I'm looking at potentially nine dead pets (and I love my fish like most people love their dogs and cats).

If there are no updates tomorrow morning I am going down to the sort facility myself and attempting to save whatever fish I can.

Semi-update: Got off the phone with the express mail research department. The associate spoke to her supervisor (I wanted to be be set up with the supervisor myself, but she was on another call/busy) and I am supposed to have someone assigned to my case within a half hour. They are supposed to call me immediately once that happens. If the fish are still in the Chicago facility like tracking says they are then I will have them drive the package directly back to me. They won't give me the address of the sort facility because they don't give that information to customers. I'm putting my Google-fu to use on that one.

We'll see if any of this actually happens.

Son of Update Called again. Apparently the agent called the Las Vegas post office at noon to see if the package have arrived yet. It didn't. And then she never followed up by calling the Chicago facility to see if it had actually left yet. It's 4:30 in Chicago and 2:30 in Vegas. Granted they still have time, but these fish have been in transit now for 48 hours, which is way way too long.

I've gotta say, I'm looking forward to the day the postal service collapses and the incompetent fuckwads responsible lose their jobs. Economy be damned.

Update: the Legend Continues Called again. "They'll get back to you on Tuesday." It will have been nearly a week by then. It's been close to 72 hours already. Fish are definitely dead. To say I am upset is an understatement. If anyone knows of who I can call/contact to at least try to get something done, I'd appreciate it.

Insert witty update title here THE PACKAGE HAS SCANNED IN VEGAS. They are out of the sorting facility and hopefully on their way directly to my Dad. Will update with list of survivors, if there are any.

Update 4: Updates IN SPACE Dad just got the box. It appears everyone is alive! Praise Poseidon, it looks like they all made it. Dad's still going through the bags, so there might be a fatality I don't know about yet. Two of the bags broke from rough handling in transit, so Pearl and Shebly, my two favorites, were swimming around in the open for who knows how long.

My aquarium guy is getting a cake or pizza or something. Seriously, if you want fish and you're in the south/southeast suburbs of Chicago, check out Mario at Aquatica in Tinley. He is the reason any of them survived at all. Also they have sharks.

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