I create custom made cosplay props of various sizes. They range from the small (jewelry) to the VERY large (a 62 inch sitar, a 56 inch cello case..) When the client requests their props to be shipped, I always get shipping up front since those big props cost a LOT to ship.
In mid-January, I called USPS because their website, I thought, was malfunctioning. Every time I entered in the dimensions of the box to calculate how much it would cost to ship, it would give me a very odd error. I double-checked I was in the right section. ("Large Package, 12x12x12 or LARGER") Note that bolded bit. "or larger" Obviously my 60x18x26 package is 'or larger'.
So I called the local USPS (remember, this is a month ago) and spoke to a gentleman. He agreed something was up with the website and went to give me my calculated postage. He said it would be about $120.00 dollars to ship it to my client in FL. That it would be delivered on Wednesday the 25th of Feb. if I shipped it on Saturday the 21st of Feb. by the service we had finally agreed on. Not surprised at how much it was, I thanked him and went about my business.
Tuesday, shot my client an email saying this package would be shipped on Saturday. Thursday, I called late in the day so I could double-check the cost of the package so I could send out my paypal-request to my client.
Again, the person I spoke with suggested the website. I told him about the odd error that kept happening when I entered in my dimensions for my package. He put me on hold, tried it himself, and agreed there was something going on. He told me to hold on for a few minutes while he tried to figure out what was going on and how much my shipping would be. After about five minutes on hold...
Only to find out that USPS... won't ship a package of that size.
I almost shit a brick. WHAT?! I was told you guys could and we had come up with a price a month ago... the man said he was sorry but he had no idea what I was talking about. That the dimensions of the package have to be less then 130 inches. Even MORE confused, I added them up.
60+18+26 = 104. Whut? Oh NO. You had to have the GIRTH added into that as well. O.O;;;;;; WHAT?
I told him, "Why isn't this on the website? It indicates that the largest package size is 12x12x12 OR LARGER. Right there on the website!" He was confused as well, and after several more minutes, we found that the (?) button beside the 12x12x12 or larger... says that it has to be smaller then 130.
I thanked him, and hung up.
So basically, they lied through their teeth when I got my initial shipping cost. Everything was fine until then. Cue me freaking out and trying to find another service to send a package this large for less then 200 dollars (that took some effort -.-).
Goddammit USPS, you made me miss my shipping date and screwed me out of a cheaper send (I would have sent the package earlier and saved client and me money if I had known USPS wouldn't send it!)