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Who's got mail? USPS woes...

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SunnyCaribe
(@SunnyCaribe)
Advanced Member

Hi everyone,

Each year the mail service in the VI fluctuates, and each year the Delegate takes the USPS to task for inconsistencies.

As of today there has been no state-side first class mail at the Gallows Bay STX post office for a week. I've gotten a few dribs and drabs of catalogs and local mail. I check the PO twice a day, and there isn't even anyone in line at the counter anymore.

I'll be traveling soon, and I'm counting on a delivery before I depart.

Oh, and I want my netflix, dammit! 😛

Anyone else having problems, either at GBS or elsewhere???

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Topic starter Posted : March 9, 2011 8:08 pm
divinggirl
(@divinggirl)
Trusted Member

I've gotten 1st class mail at GBS all week. A package that was "guaranteed delivery" yesterday is still a no show.

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Posted : March 9, 2011 8:27 pm
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

I'm at Kingshill and am getting 1st class, packages, etc just fine.

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Posted : March 9, 2011 8:29 pm
SunnyCaribe
(@SunnyCaribe)
Advanced Member

Well, I've gotten first class mail, but only from the VI and PR since last Thursday.

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Topic starter Posted : March 9, 2011 8:53 pm
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member Registered

Plenty of bills, magazines and catalogs at the Frenchtown PO in STT all week.

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Posted : March 10, 2011 5:26 am
Hiya!
(@Hiya!)
Trusted Member

Have had no trouble with GB post office. But when you have trouble it's generally in PR not on stx. Everything has to go through PR still and netflix always takes a week or two unless you get lucky. I've given up on them and use apple or hulu.

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Posted : March 10, 2011 11:18 am
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

nothing new in that

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Posted : March 10, 2011 11:19 am
stiphy
(@stiphy)
Trusted Member

I'm crossing my fingers that the second American jet that is coming year round 7 days a week in June may lead to a change whereby our mail comes via Miami. Since American has cut back the SJU hub it may make less sense to have stuff come through SJU as there is less lift to get it there than straight from MIA. Totally speculation on my part, and I'm not sure how much of their mail is carried by AA versus other means so it may not matter at all.

Sean

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Posted : March 10, 2011 11:34 am
Jim Dandy
(@jim_dandy)
Trusted Member

The mail comes on via an air freight contractor. I believe it is Star. You see their DC3 cargo planes at the airport. There have been a couple of fires in their planes in recent years.

Jim

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Posted : March 10, 2011 1:18 pm
stiphy
(@stiphy)
Trusted Member

I thought they had dropped Four Star (assuming that is who you are referring to) after the fire in 2009. Having USPS is great but the inconsistency of service is a real hassel. One time you priority mail yourself something and it takes 3 days, the next time it takes a month...I just wish they would sell a service other than express with some sort of consistent delivery window!

Sean

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Posted : March 10, 2011 6:42 pm
Hiya!
(@Hiya!)
Trusted Member

This is why I always use parcel post and insure it for a few bucks. Usually comes as fast or faster then priority for a much cheaper price. At least when I have a choice. So often we just get screwed by having to order over the internet.

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Posted : March 10, 2011 8:03 pm
stjohnjulie
(@stjohnjulie)
Trusted Member

On St. John, I have NEVER had Parcel Post take less than 3 weeks. It almost always takes 6 weeks, sometimes longer. I didn't have a stitch of mail in my box yesterday! Very unusual. A box for a business and four people...we always have something in the box.

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Posted : March 11, 2011 7:02 am
Hiya!
(@Hiya!)
Trusted Member

Julie, have you tried insuring your parcel post? I was told many many moons ago this was the key. Don't know if it's just island myth but it's worked for me more often then not. Usually I get things within a week or two. But I have never lived on stj. 🙂

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Posted : March 11, 2011 1:18 pm
stiphy
(@stiphy)
Trusted Member

I've shipped things Parcel Post and Priority Mail the same day. Both were in the same size box and had relatively the same weight. Sometimes the Parcel Post stuff arrives BEFORE the priority. This tells me there is something seriously wrong with their system. If there is a package that is set to go out Prioirty it should go before something sent out Parcel Post if they were shipped the same day.

It seems too like if you send something priority it will either get there in 2 days or it will take 2 weeks. It's almost like it goes into a queue when it arrives and if that queue is full it doesn't go to the front of the line the next day, it goes behind all of the stuff that arrives the next day and sits until a day comes where there is extra space for it.

I would love to know what kind of queuing algorithm they use for packages and mail. Maybe they use none at all which wouldn't surprise me with the level of inconsistency I see. It seems like such an easy thing to fix but as a software engineer I know better than to think I know more about how something works than the people who work with it all day and I am probably oversimplistic in my thoughts. I will just say that if Fedex/UPS can consistently deliver packages in a 1-2 day window there is no reason why USPS shouldn't be able to.

FWIW, I insure everything I send here...we've had stuff lost/stolen when we didn't insure but never had a problem with insured items. Like Hiya! says, may be island myth but in my anecdotal experience it has proven to be true.

Sean

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Posted : March 11, 2011 1:34 pm
Hiya!
(@Hiya!)
Trusted Member

I use the Gallows Bay Post Office and I always here the ladies that work there tell new comers that priority does not work like it does stateside it may be 3 days or 3 weeks. They almost seem angry at their stateside counterparts that tell people it will work the same. 😉 So I figure why pay more?

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Posted : March 11, 2011 1:54 pm
beachy
(@beachy)
Trusted Member

We always insure for at least $50.. as it seems to help insure the box's arrival. We were told that PP goes in a container in PR, and they wait till the container is full before shipping it over to stx...so it could be quick, or slow. Also told that most magazines come the same way..not certain if they are in the same container though, or if they just let them accumulate in something else. Some magazines, like Time and Newsweek, pay extra to get them to send them on without the hold.
The extra FL flight will not likely help our mail delivery as PR is the routing it takes. I can't see the USPS changing their system to take advantage of a flight that might not even last...and we've seen two AA flights a day to stx before, for a while, and then they stop.

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Posted : March 11, 2011 2:42 pm
pamela
(@pamela)
Trusted Member

I had a package shipped on Monday the 7th Priority Mail and it still not here.

Pamela

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Posted : March 11, 2011 6:50 pm
Juanita
(@Juanita)
Expert

I don't know if this is of interest to anyone else, but I have been known to buy an item, or two, from QVC. If shipped "off-shore, priority", it's always here in about 3 days. There usual method is off-shore NON priortiy, and that takes about a week to 10 days. The priority shipping charge is exactly the same as the non priority. The only difference is they don't give you the easy return label. If you send it back, you need to call, get an address and make your own label.

I discovered it by accident, when I needed something in a hurry, and was williing to pay more, so I clicked on their options and found it the same price.

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Posted : March 11, 2011 8:43 pm
SunnyCaribe
(@SunnyCaribe)
Advanced Member

Well it all came in a heap today. Two weeks worth of Netflix discs, some junk, a bill or two, and a large package I ordered on Monday from NYC.

In over 20 years here, in business, I've had one letter go missing (it was a check, so most likely it wasn't mailed at all) and two dvds, one from blockbuster and one from netflix. I've had much better, prompter, cheaper and more reliable service from the Postal Service than from UPS, FedEx, DHL or FourStar. But now and then there is a loooooooong lull in the service, such as happened over the last 10 days, where the PO is a ghost town and my box is a wind tunnel.

The insured parcel post trick often works, except when it doesn't, so use it with caution and don't count on it for critical stuff.

I consider any parcel that arrives in fewer than 7 days to be a gift.

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Topic starter Posted : March 11, 2011 8:59 pm
STXBob
(@STXBob)
Trusted Member

It's almost like it goes into a queue when it arrives and if that queue is full it doesn't go to the front of the line the next day, it goes behind all of the stuff that arrives the next day and sits until a day comes where there is extra space for it.

A queue would be the desirable algorithm (FIFO). The behaviour you're describing is a stack (FILO).

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Posted : March 12, 2011 1:26 am
stjohnjulie
(@stjohnjulie)
Trusted Member

When I do have stuff sent to me via Parcel Post, it is always insured. I use insurance and Delivery Confirmation on everything. Although it seems to help it actually arrive, it has little or no bearing on how fast it arrives. BUT, the online Click N Ship labels, on a Flat Rate Priority Mail box, do seem to help speed along delivery.

On St. John...Parcel Post is 3-8 weeks. So that makes me really curious as to why St. John is so different! We get our Express Mails on time, for the most part. The only place that never seems to make it by the guaranteed time is coming to/from Alaska. I have a brother that lives there and we always send stuff Express Mail, no matter the cost, because we always get our money back for delayed delivery 🙂

In my years, I've had things delayed, lost, stolen, damaged, partially picked through, you name it. I can fill out a claim like nobody's business!

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Posted : March 12, 2011 8:28 am
robbySTX
(@robbystx)
Advanced Member

I sometimes experience the same thing ( from the Richmond STX Post Office)....
No mail for over a week, and then one day I get a big heap of mail !!
Something "ain't" quite right!!

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Posted : March 12, 2011 9:41 am
stiphy
(@stiphy)
Trusted Member

It's almost like it goes into a queue when it arrives and if that queue is full it doesn't go to the front of the line the next day, it goes behind all of the stuff that arrives the next day and sits until a day comes where there is extra space for it.

A queue would be the desirable algorithm (FIFO). The behaviour you're describing is a stack (FILO).

Lol...another software guy here 🙂

Sean

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Posted : March 16, 2011 2:47 am
Juanita
(@Juanita)
Expert

Always fun at Richmond when you get a "second notice" to pick up a package. One of the ladies likes to crank on you for not picking it up the first time you got a notice. I'm sure you know the rest of the story.... WHAT first notice????

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Posted : March 16, 2011 1:29 pm
roadrunner
(@roadrunner)
Trusted Member

How long will the post office hold your mail if there's overflow from your box when you're off island for an extended time? Is there a rule on that, or it is just "as long as they feel like it?" And then where does it go? Return to sender?

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Posted : March 16, 2011 6:18 pm
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