"Better service to our customers" -> Uh, oh! Danger, Will Robinson...!

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Topo, Feb 10, 2003.

  1. Topo

    Topo Member

    I know that the majority of you are US citizens, so you will not be affected by this new case (for me) of "better service... greater headaches", but I wanted to relate it here. Maybe another non-US gaugers have suffered similar 'banditries'.

    Until now, as an european citizen, when I made my 'rolling stock' purchases (and other items like video tapes, dvd, books, and so on) in north-american shops, the only fees to be payed to the seller (apart the items itself) were the mail shipping fees.
    The hobby shop (the sender) payed the USPS fees and charged them to me (the customer) in advance. These fees payed for the shipment itself until my home, including the clearance thru the spanish customs. The custom taxes were always to be paid additionally by me, but as usually it were none (due to the nature and small value of items), all paying ended at the USPS fees.

    Until now.

    Today, I have been contacted for a private courier that have noticed me that they have my package (sent to me for an U.S. hobby shop by plain USPS mail), and I'm required to pay an additional fee of 9.5€ (around 10 US $) for "customs clearance duties" plus "any custom taxes to be due". :confused:

    After some investigation, it appears that the USPS mail have reached an agreement "in order to give better service to our (their) customers" with an european private carrier/courier. The USPS hands to this courier ALL the european mail, and this guys are in charge of manage this mail until their final addresses (me included, I'm afraid). Until here, no claims but, surprise!
    -"DING, DONG! We are Super-Duper Courier, and we have your package on hold. You must pay us a 10$ ransom, er, I mean, 'custom clearance duties' (plus any taxes to be decided), if you want it". :eek:

    Better customer service? I only see a way for having the customers (us) paying twice for the same old work. The sender pay -not less than before- to USPS for the mail shipping, and the adressee pay additional charges to private enterprises for doing things that until now were included in the shipping fees. :mad:

    Maybe I'm only an old dog barking to the moon, but this don't seem any correct to me.
    10$ is an small ransom for my new Kato SD45, but I feel like the 'stupid-with-big-wallet' that every 'wise guy' dreams to have business with. :mad: :( :mad:
  2. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    Here in Canada we have to pay a fee for basetically everything. I try to avoid private couriers cause they're really excessive (happened to me once, I told the vendor to ship it a different way next time), but even Canada Post will *collect* GST (7% of the Canadian value) **PLUS** $5 admin fee.
  3. Bill Stone

    Bill Stone Member

    It would seem that each time the United States Postal Service decides to improve their service, what happens is the price goes up, and the service gets even worse.

    Locally they've removed a number of sidewalk mail boxes, and in newer residential tracts they now refuse to even deliver mail to individual houses, but require people to walk a block or two to a central cluster of mail boxes.

    And some post offices are cutting other services, like stopping to provide passport services.

    Interesting that now they are even ruining their service to overseas addresses.

    Bill S
  4. jwmurrayjr

    jwmurrayjr Member

    Big Government, you gotta love it!:rolleyes:
  5. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    That sux. Maybe you can find a small hobby shop that will send it as a "bonified gift" in which case there should be no duties. The drawback is you can only insure up to the declared value, which you must limit to be considered a gift.
  6. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    The USPS knows no bounds. Do you think that their incompetence can be contained by our borders? Nah. They have jet planes! We're the most powerful nation on Earth. We have the power to screw with everybody's mail service! BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHA...ahem...sorry about that...I was feeling the need to be evil again...

    Speaking of mailbox clusters... Where I live all of us have the same street number followed by a letter (A - P). Anyway, occassionally we go without mail for a few days, then all of a sudden one of us will get EVERYONE'S mail! And the weirdest thing is that they will be rubber-banded together, and the letter on top is always addressed to a different address than the box in which all of the letters were stuffed...

    And there have been several of times that one of us was home, but the carrier couldn't be bothered to drive the short distance to our house to deliver a package or certified letter. She'd leave the little note in our box, and we'd have to go down to the #@%! post office. God forbid, though, that you try to go to the post office at a reasonable hour...they'd probably be closed...

    One time she delivered some dinner plates that were in a box clearly marked "fragile." My wife was home all that day, but instead of taking them to the house, she sat the box on top of the mailbox...

    And another time we were gone for the weekend and came back to find a box sitting on our porch IN THE RAIN. The one day that she could have given us that stupid little yellow note to go pick up a package at the post office, and she just left the box sitting in the rain. And to make things worse, it was for the guy who used to live there before us! Fortunately, we knew where he worked, so we were able to deliver it to him (with no additional delivery fees).

    The carrier on the route where we lived previous to this house almost always came at the same time every day: 2:30 p.m. This one has a strict delivery schedule where she shows up promptly between 12:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., if she shows up at all.

    I think our mail carrier is on the hooch...

    OK, I'm off my soapbox.

    Oh, and if anyone from the USPS reads this message, my REAL name is Rusty Shackelford, and I live in Arlen, TX.
  7. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    --Sumpter gets out soap box, steps up, and-----
    As with all the things that have deteriorated over the last few years, here is just another example of humankind on its self destruction course.
    God only created a finite amount of "intelligence".... We are overpopulating that amount of intelligence, and, in our desire to reach the unreachable, we refuse to think about creating new intelligence. Maybe we all think that's what computers are supposed to make up for.
    --Sumpter gets off soapbox, puts soapbox away, and goes back to building models.-----
    :D :D :D
  8. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Hi Javier, Our postal service looses billions each year but the top management can always seem to find a way to give themselves millions in bonus's each year...How do they do that?....They simply put the screws on everybody else!!!!!...Seems that they have branched out into overseas delivery too!!!

    Hopefully you will be able to find a way to circumvent that private courier foolishness. Maybe if you had your purchases deliverd to a post office box....or maybe even to General Delivery.
  9. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Ya maybe the service sux, and maybe they steal or read our magazines, but you have to admit, they have the best guns! You know what it means when the post office flys it's flag half mast? They're hiring! :D :D :D
  10. kettlestack

    kettlestack Member

    It's the same old story... need money, charge more!!!! :mad:
    Remember when there used to be small businesses around the corner? Then the manufacturer decided to go for "Efficiency" and centralised their spares dept. Now you have to drive to the nearest big city for parts. They use the euphanism "To enable us to better serve our customers" (Makes me sick).

    By the way, even here in UK I see plenty of UPS trucks and am wondering if I ordered something from the States, would they use a "special curier"? I'm not sure I'm going to test it just to find out.

    I have noticed about 8 months ago some USA hobby shops stipulate that foreign purchasers are subject to the hobby shop's "Custom's declaration charge". (Can't win .... sigh).

  11. BillD53A

    BillD53A Member

    The US postal dis-service raised their rates not too long ago, and instead of charging a flat rate for Priority Mail, like they used to, they went to a zone system like UPS has. At the same time, they stopped handling the parcels. Now all parcels are turned over to Federal Express! The post office takes the parcels to the FedEx terminal, FedEx takes them to the destination post office, gives them back, and the Postal Service delivers them. Sounds to me like, instead of the post office taking the European packages and giving them to the other country's post office, now FedEx is giving them to another parcel delivery company to handle. Have you guys in Europe tried to deal with All-American Trains, in Germany? I dont know if it would be any better for you or not...
  12. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Somewhere I have a money order floating around in the USPS.Perhaps it went by pony express and the horse went lame?
    So,I put a tracer on it 4 weeks ago still waiting..I mail another money order after that one and it took 2 weeks to get from Ohio to NY.That is 2 states away.Yes,our dear old USPS still relies on the pony express it appears..:eek:
  13. Topo

    Topo Member

    Enough funny that, until now, I would have swear that the spanish Postal Service were the biggest bunch of incompetents under the Sun. They reached a New World Record this past Christmas, when a letter taked 21 days to travel between two cities... distant 20 kilometers apart. :eek: Geez! A barefoot postman would have need only a fraction of that.

    About this agreement between the USPS and 'General Parcel Services' (as the courier is named) is that the agreement took effect in January 2002, but until now, I have continued receiving my U.S. mail via the spanish Postal Service.
    Four months ago, this GPS courier contacted me for the first time with the same issue than now: they had a package for me and they need my agreement to custom clearance and tax payment, BUT I ALREADY HAVE RECEIVED THE PACKAGE a week before, via ordinary spanish Postal!!! You can imagine the telephone talks with these guys:

    -"Hello, we have on hold this parcel for you from XXXX Hobby Shop, and we need you to pay the custom clearance and..."
    -"I doubt that you have THIS parcel, because I have already received it"
    -"Really? Hummm. Are you sure that the sender have not send another identical package?"
    -"Nope. I have contacted with they, and there is no other shippment"
    -"But... So you don't want this parcel? Be warned that, if you don't pay, we will be obliged to return it."
    -"Good luck! I bet that you will have a bad time trying to return a nonexistent package"

    That time I supposed that it was a mistake, but now I knows better... My package was then just 'lucky', and somehow escaped to the fate that now suffers my SD45: she have become the booty of General Parcel Services :( :mad:

    The very bad news are that this only seems to have started... I have read this "No Logo" book from Naomi Kleyn
  14. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    In Canada we have "Customs brokers" who apparently are allowed to intercept your packages and charge a fee for delivering them. Doesn't happen always, but it's very annoying.
  15. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    I have an idea

    I have an idea here folks. What we need to do is ship a bunch of boxes full of bricks, or sawdust, or dirt or what have you to several fictitious adresses in Europe. When they contact the non-existent recipients to extort more money from them they will be stuck with the damn parcels. Then they will be forced to go into the business of warehousing bricks, sawdust and/or dirt. HAHAHA!

    :D Val
  16. Topo

    Topo Member

    Spitfire. If you read my last post, you will see that the first time this guys tried to do 'business' with me, I have already received the package before I was contacted by them. According to their writing, GPS hold your parcel ten labour days. If you don't reply in this window, they return the package to origin. I suspect that their first notice asking for ramson was lost (this time courtesy of our Postal service :rolleyes: ), and they retourned the package (forgotting to update their records about) but, for avoid the hassle of manage themselves the retournement, they passed it OVER TO THE SPANISH POSTAL SERVICE.
    Some people here, had by chance their only neurone working, noticed that the package wasn't been delivered and, instead of return it to the sender, managed it to the correct 'path' to my home. (I don't expect to be so lucky next time, so I'm afraid that asking GPS to return the parcel won't work...)

    So, the brick/sand shippment can just end at your country postal hub, piled over several other mail, crushing your little package with that long-awaited P2K Heritage steamer!!! :eek: :eek:

    This is awful!! :eek:

    If the things go a bit further, we will end paying to Capone siblings for all the actual state public 'services':
    "Naa, dude. Ya don't need these old police guys. They were outdated and their business have been handed over to our gang. Just pay US and you will be fine..."

    Mamaaa!! I'm scared!!! :(
  17. Ravensfan

    Ravensfan Member

    Best course of action to me is to use another carrier when you order. Forget the US Postal Service. Go with FedEx or another international carrier. I can't believe that it would be that much more to get FedEx delivery.
  18. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    I don't think FedX or UPS will be of any help...this past summer I shipped a 15# package to Belgium....at the buyer's request ( he paid for it) the cost was over $125.00 US....Neither FedX or UPS offer any surface rate to Europe. The USPS cost would have been just a little over $30.00 US but the guy wanted the stuff in a hurry.
  19. YakkoWarner

    YakkoWarner Member

    minority opinion

    For forty-five cents, someone will come to my house, pick up an envelope and deliver it to anywhere in the United States. I think thats a prety good deal.

    For packages, I use fed-ex.
  20. alex_mrrkb

    alex_mrrkb Member

    I live in Canada and I ALWAYS use USPS, never UPS or FEDEX.

    If I want to use FEDEX or UPS I have to send the package at the office (I don't like that) because they both (all?) require me to be present to receive the shippement (I live in an appartment building and the mailboxes are too small).

    USPS transfers packages to Canada Posts, and when the mailman comes, he leaves the package at the post office if it doesn't fit my mailbox. All I have to do when I come home is to take the flyer he left in my mailbox and go th the post office (across the street!) and I get my package.

    I had to discover this the hard way, I order some stuff and it was shipped dy UPS, when I came home there was a "Post-It" on the building door saying I had to call them to arrange a delivery, and if I didn't called in three days they would send the package back ! I had to call and re-direct the package to my workplace and it tooke another week before it finally arrived.

    I never had any kind of trouble with USPS

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