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The USPS is probably the traddest way to ship things. I've bought some things off of eBay recently, and some of my packages (shipped priority!) are three days late and still not here yet. I know we've had a lot of snow in the Midwest, but this is unacceptable for an organization whose unofficial creed is: "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."
Also, I don't find their tracking particularly useful. The estimate for a Priority Mail package to where I live said it would be here TODAY, but the tracking says it has only been processed at the origin. Is this normal- I've never had any of these problems with the USPS before, but granted, I don't use them a lot.

This may not be the right forum for this, so I'll add- What are you wearing while wrapping presents (if only the postman would get them to you on time!). I'll start it off- I'm wearing an LE Flannel shirt, Paul and Shark sweater, and some LLB jeans today, while wrapping presents and drinking cocoa. It's going to be a white christmas in Wisconsin, no doubt about that.
 

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Also, I don't find their tracking particularly useful. The estimate for a Priority Mail package to where I live said it would be here TODAY, but the tracking says it has only been processed at the origin. Is this normal- I've never had any of these problems with the USPS before, but granted, I don't use them a lot.
Yep. It's delivery confirmation, not package tracking. If you need complete tracking from the USPS, you need to use Express Mail.

USPS Faq entry

And their times are estimates, not guarantees, again, unless you use Express Mail.
 

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I think we can thank Fed Exp, UPS, and the package delivery firms for the Post Office being as good as it is. When I started in the mail order business in the 1960's UPS was the only alternative and I could only use them for shipments to California, a couple of major cities in AZ and NV, and air shipments to Chicago and NYC when they were not on strike back there. At that time UPS did not cater much to non-business shippers either.

After a few years I could ship by UPS to all states West of the Mississippi and a year or two later to all states. Then along came Fed Exp and DHL and the postal service had to get better to compete for packages.

The Post Office is far from perfect, but it is a zillion times better than it once was.

All that is not much help if you are still waiting for your packages - I hope they arrive soon.

More trivia: I had one item that was too large for the Post Office or UPS that I had to ship Railway Express - they made the Post Office look good. I am sure they have been gone for a long time now.

In the early 70's, UPS stopped Saturday deliveries and I predicted the post off would do the same. I also predicted that pot would be legal by the 80's or 90's. Sometimes my crystal ball is very cloudy.
 

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The USPS is a government run organization, you can't really expect much efficiency. Also, their package tracking system is useless; all it tells you is when it was shipped and when it was received, and that's usually updated like 3 days after the person actually receives it.
 

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UPS guarantees delivery dates even for ground shipments, which makes them preferable when I'm shipping clothes to a hotel at the start of a vacation (I always add one extra day just in case).

Until last month, I had no problems with UPS, only with FedEx. Once I shipped a package via FedEx from the office supply store in Middlebury, Vermont - they failed to put the address on the box, so it was shipped up Route 7 to Burlington, then sent right back and sat there until I called to complain about it not arriving.

Last month, the four boxes I shipped from Vermont (UPS, from a Staples) arrived beaten up and broken. Seams were completely open on two of the boxes, and one looked like it had been completely opened on one side - it and the contents were delivered in a huge plastic bag.

I called UPS around 1pm on the expected day of delivery, because it had started to rain and if they were there I was going to run home at lunch and bring the boxes inside. They told me they hadn't. When I got home at six they were beaten up, broken, and WET.

Still waiting on claims for three of the boxes - one for $30, one for $40, and one for $85. The latter is for cleaning of the items in the boxes that I couldn't just run through the washing machine. That box, according to UPS, hasn't been delivered YET.
 

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In my experience, USPS priority and first class mail consistently take three days from Madison to the Annapolis/D.C. area.

For relatively fast service without the cost of overnight, I like FedEx second day. It is probably the best value for the money.
 

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The USPS is great at one thing; delivering a letter to any address in the United States for 42 cents. Unbelievable achievement if you think about it.
For relatively fast service without the cost of overnight, I like FedEx second day. It is probably the best value for the money.
I agree with both of these statements.
 

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Do you know that USPS Priority Mail is actually handled by Fedex? So if there's a problem blame them.

I think the USPS is great, amazing value...good service. This time of year you can imagine their volume goes through the roof so I would expect some longer shipping times.

Danny
 
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