VERY frustrated with Priority Mail

boone, NC(Zone 5b)

I have been trading around a bit lately, and I mean, I've about had it with priority mail. What's the point of paying for the faster service? I sent a box to Texas on June 5th. It finally was delivered on June 17th, but only after I filed a complaint. THAT'S TWELVE DAYS LATER!! I sent another box to Texas (different trader, different city). I mailed it from here on June 12th. The box has still not arrived even though I received my trading partner's box on the 15th. THAT'S EIGHT DAYS AND STILL NO DELIVERY!! I get confirmation numbers on everything. I PAY out good money for a service, and I don't get the service I pay for.

Is it me? Is it my local post office? Is it Texas?

What's the story here? And what can one do about it? I am about to give up.

Lincoln Park, MI(Zone 5a)

No it's not Texas only... here in MI.I have the same problem not receiving my mail..One box was sent out the 5th and did'nt get to me till the 12th she resent it and it's still not here...Whats up with the PO???I had trees ordered and they were supposed to be here no later then the 15th got them yesterday...All I can tell you is good luck...

boone, NC(Zone 5b)

All I know is I could drive to Texas and back in my 16 year old truck faster than the PO can get my boxes from here to there with their "supposed" fast service. I am really PO(ed). Pun intended.

East Texas, United States(Zone 8a)

don't do that though. think of all that money on gas! Of course, you could map your trip to visit a gillion nurseries along the way, lol

Braselton, GA(Zone 8a)

I feel you! I too did a LOT of trading in the Spring and I feel the "Priority" service was sub-par.

Texas/Okla central b, United States(Zone 7b)

yes it's bad..........I have more problems mailing into Virginia than anywhere......I was told it was something about international security.....not sure i buy that, but for months after 9-11.... I could have delivered it sooner myself.....of course as a Texan, we always think it's them , not us............

Tri-Cities, WA(Zone 7b)

After 9/11 I suspended all trades for the rest of the season because nothing was going through on time. I was selling plants at the time and had a lot of unhappy customers when I delayed or cancelled their orders.

I use priority mail almost exclusively because I have consistently had better luck with it than with UPS or FedEx. The latter two always take longer to get across the country. They have better guarantees, but unless I pay a hefty premium those guarantees are for 5-7 days! No, it doesn't help that I live in the NW and always seem to be sending plants to the East or the South.

Occasionally USPS does lose something. Inevitably it shows up weeks later and I have no redress. I simply send replacements and figure it into the cost of shipping plants. For me it's better to mostly have cheap, quick shipment with very occasional losses, than to have slower or more expensive shipment all of the time, even with the guarantees. Time=health with most plants and I end up paying for the cost of any lost priority mail plants in the higher UPS and FedEx fees and/or higher mortality rate due to plants in transit longer. This is definitely a long view of the situation, having shipped thousands of plants over the years.

I feel your pain, though. It is very frustrating to lose plants, especially more than once, and have no recourse. Amazing how attached I can get to them sometimes, even when I have many of the same thing. When it's a unique specimen plant, though...I start looking at guaranteed delivery again.

I trust you'll let me know if the package I sent you fails to show?

boone, NC(Zone 5b)

tropicalaria, if I were a betting woman, I would say your package will get to me in a timely fashion. You, on the other hand, can expect mine sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

I didn't have nearly this much trouble with Priority Mail last year, but I'm also about fed up with them this year. I have mostly switched over to UPS now, in part because they have a hub half a mile away, so it's pretty convenient. Even packages going to their 4 day ground delivery zones from here are likely (IMO) to get there more reliably than if I ship PM, which has been taking up to a week. I think that lack of guarantee by the USPS makes a big difference, not to mention that Priority Mail tracking is often less than useful.

For packages to 5 day UPS ground zones, I'm still rolling the dice and using PM. Otherwise, I'm going with UPS.

BTW, it's not just PM... I recently sent a small package from MD to GA via First Class Mail, which ought to have been there in 3 days max... it took a week!

Pasco, WA(Zone 6b)

Wow! I'm in Pasco! How weird to see someone from my own town. Do you own a nursery here?

in Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

I have family in Waynesville NC, and it is always slow receiveing anything from there. I can send to New Jersey, KY, GA, no problem. My MIL lives there in NC , and she is always complaining about the mail there.

I love your state. :O)

This message was edited Jun 21, 2006 12:52 AM

Tri-Cities, WA(Zone 7b)

It's always great to find someone local here. Apparently I've been neglecting the perrenial and lily forums or I'd already know who you were! We need to connect up more people in the Tri-Cities, I think. No, I don't have a nursery here. I started to ramp up production when I lived on the West side of the state, but a series of setbacks, combined with the thin margins in the business convinced me I wasn't able to handle the risk involved and still provide for my family. Someday maybe I'll try again. I do miss having acreage for experimenting on, though. :(

boone, NC(Zone 5b)

critterologist, you are making me think about looking into UPS. How does one find out about the ground zones?

Silex, MO(Zone 5b)

LOL- I've been doing really well with PM this year. I just sent an ebay package through UPS and they damaged it. :( This was maybe my second UPS shipment in maybe a year or more (I'd been using PM with no trouble) and now it's damaged and they haven't contacted me (it's been 12 days now since they reported it damaged.) Pretty frustrating. :(

Greenfield, IN(Zone 5a)

I have good luck with parcel post. not too delicate plants do ok. yucca grass iris lili peonies........ I like to send lots of big hunks of plants, and they fit better in a larger box.

I got out of control thinning and boxed up 27 lbs of iris/lilies to mail in a trade for some hosta.(I had no idea I had dug that many) She has a new area in her yard to fill. PIORITY MAIL WAS $$$$$$65 I am not that rich. Parcel post was $$19.

We will see how long it takes to get there.Rachel

boone, NC(Zone 5b)

Rachel, keep us updated. I would like to know how long the parcel post takes. Maybe we should all go back to pony express!

Georgetown, KY(Zone 6a)

I recently had dl mailed to me from Ga to Ky, 3 sperate orders at different times. They were sent priority mail on a Mon and didn't arrive until the next Mon. I now ask and pay for UPS whenever possible. It has never, in over 20 yrs of ordering things from both Mi and Ky, taken over 4 days, and generally 2-3. I love my mail lady, but my packages come late and often damaged. I could kick them from here to there for them to take so long and be in that condition. Yes, things will get damaged, I've had them damaged by both the PO and UPS, but at least it's been less often with UPS and they got here sooner.

Vancleave, MS(Zone 8b)

just a thought. The only time I have had a problems is with sub drivers!!!! I had a package with Del Con delivered according to the P.O. later that same day a man comes to my house with a bunch of mail and my package. Said it had been sitting at his empty rental house that he hadn't been to in a week. Also had another one said con del when I made the complaint it was found sitting at the P.O. where the sub driver decided that I may not be home and didn't even bring it from the P.O. although she scanned it as being delivered. I filed many complaints on this person. She would wag her finger at me to come out to the street to come get my mail. She was so lazy she wouldn't even pull in the drive because it would take to much effort on her part to have to back up!!!!!! So del. con. makes no difference at least in MS.

Braselton, GA(Zone 8a)

When I hosted a RR earlier in the year, the pkg got lost. It took TWO WEEKS to get from KY to TN. These states are close together- not across the entire continent! We could have driven it there a thousand times in that length of time! Thank goodness it was only seeds and not plants. Those poor things would have been dust by the time they got there.

East Texas, United States(Zone 8a)

berrygirl, about the lazy person, you can call the supervisor for your route and complain. Say you don't want her to lose her job, but explain that the wagging of the finger is not acceptable. I've had to complain a couple of times about the newbies, and have noticed improvements right away. Maybe sometimes these people don't get complete training. Complaining w/o being hateful helps them.

Braselton, GA(Zone 8a)

I believe that was Donna with the delivery person problem- lol!

I LOVE my carriers and am very happy with them. Its just the "big machine" of the USPS that I'm disgusted with.

East Texas, United States(Zone 8a)

wake up, vossner!

Livermore, KY(Zone 6a)

A trader sent me a pkg on May 30th, It has yet to arrive. The confirmation number just shows it was mailed from the post office. I hope some has watered those plants in the mean time.

boone, NC(Zone 5b)

snboyken, was it sent priority mail?

Gardiner, ME(Zone 5a)

OMG that doesn't sound good at all.
I am in the same boat waiting on a FULL box of DL I bought.
They were sent on the 12th from Kentucky.The seller is really nice and even called me last night to see if something had changed.We both checked with our postmasters but nothing showed up other that it was mailed on the 12th.

Bought from her several times last year .It has NEVER taken that long and we are really upset about it because the DL are newer cultivars and are not as hardy as the old ones.

But I guess there is hope that they still will arrive.The question is in WHAT @#$% condition ?

Edited: sent by PRIORITY mail

This message was edited Jun 21, 2006 11:58 AM

Archer/Bronson, FL(Zone 8b)

It sounds like a terrible conspiracy. They couldn't shut our country down by other means, so they are now attacking the gardeners!!!!!

Noblesville, IN(Zone 5a)

I know how you all feel. I have had it happen to me several times. It not only is bad for the plants it makes me feel like someone thinks I didn't send my end. You don't get much of what you pay for these days it seems. I want to stop the world and get off of it most of the time.

Belleville , IL(Zone 6b)

When I traded earlier this year I watched for the mailman. I saw him drive right by after putting envelopes in the box. When I went to the mailbox, there was a note saying he was sorry he missed me and I could pick up the box at the post office after three the next day.
I called the post office and told them that he didn't even knock or blow the horn, so how did he know he missed me.I told them to have him redeliver it the next day. He wasn't getting off that easy. LOL
He came the next day and had the box. I may have had to wait the extra day, but I wasn't going to waste gas because he was too lazy to bring it to the door.
The supervisor said she would have a talk with him since he is supposed to try to deliver it, not just leave a note.
Since then he has brought the boxes to the door.

Livermore, KY(Zone 6a)

I assume it was, I thought that was the only way you could get confirmation number. Am I wrong on that? Maybe.

These were plants a generous DGEr donated to my yard, which was empty. I know they will not survive 21 days in a box, if they ever arrive. I just hope someone got them and took care of them.

I have a person from another site that sent a box with confirmation number on the 6th and it is yet to arrive either.

I agree with the conspiracy against gardeners, sounds good to me.

I usually mail first class and so far all of my pkg have arrived. Maybe thats the way to go. Who knows.

(Zone 7b)

Windy, you are not alone. That's happened to me twice in the past two weeks with four different packages. I was under the impression that I had just met the rare jerk postman, but now I realize that everyone is having problems.

Vancleave, MS(Zone 8b)

and didn't they all just get a pay raise???? Increased postage!!!

Tri-Cities, WA(Zone 7b)

Now you've all got me worried. With over a dozen trades and several coops going it would be a bad time for me to start having trouble with delivery--especially in the heat of summer.

My post office and postman are pretty good here, so I'm going to hope it's just y'alls local services that are kickboxing the packages and losing them! Except those that I'm sending packages to. Their postal services need to work too.

Windy, I think our mail carriers were trained (or not) at the same place. I get notices in my box saying they can't find my house. It says on the notice that they will re-deliver it, but they don't. They always blame the substitute carrier. I work the same hours that my PO is open so it's not real convenient to get there.

We've had packages at work returned for address is undeliverable. This is the address that the customer has given us. I look the address up on the PO website and it is a valid address.

Kaycee, WY(Zone 3b)

Well i'm glad that im not the only one that don't get their mail on occasion.
I really wouldn't know which to pick. I have had the UPS deliver my packages to my kids school,with a note mind you to take it home with them when school is out! "Rolling my eyes here" . We get our mail in a town of around 200,and we live outside of town in the country. But come on now...I pay for the UPS to deliver and they take it to my child,while hes in school? Another time i had the UPS deliver to my inlaws which is only a mile down the creek from us,but still i paid for my package to come to my door.
The lady that works at the po office in town...when i ask for my mail,she gets it and then looks it over, and over again and then tells me.."Nothing much good in there today"
Ya, know i so feel like ordering one of them" naughty magazines" and tthen telling her "oh keep it,is for YOUR reading pleasure! LOL
I know i'm wacked but just imagineing the expression on her face would be worth gold to me LOL

Belleville , IL(Zone 6b)

Boy Becky, that sure is funny having your kids bring it home. LOL
My brother worked on a rural route for a while. He said that he knew a nosey mail carrier that would read all the post cards and knew where everyone vacationed. That seems like a violation of privacy.
My other mailman before this one couldn't seem to figure out how to close a mailbox. I went through three mailboxes before I got one that he could just flip shut with the back of his hand. Otherwise, the box dropped open for anyone who drove by to take a peek and see if there was anything in there.
I live next to a woods also, so it wouldn't be very easy to chase down a piece of mail that blew in there.
Probably some of the identity theft is due to poor delivery. I hate those credit card companies who send you blank checks and then announce on the envelope that there are checks inside.
I got one the other day that wanted you to cash a $20 check so they could set you up with some expensive perk. And of course on the envelope it said Check Enclosed. Sheesh.

Shenandoah Valley, VA

I think the USPS is a disgrace. It's not going to get better, though until everyone either stops using it altogether or many hundreds of thousands of people write to their congressman or woman. I wonder how many of the recent postage increases have been because they're losing business to the commercial carriers like UPS?

If anyone is interested in doing that, you can find the address for your rep here:
and here

boone, NC(Zone 5b)

Well, I didn't have problems with Priority mail last year either, but this year I can't seem to get a box anywhere in less than two weeks--with one exception and that was to an address approximately a 45 minute drive from here. I am definately going to try UPS next time. I plugged in some numbers on the UPS site for an approximate weight and size of the package I sent to Texas that took 17 days to get there. I paid a little over $12 using the priority mail with no guarantee. If I had sent the same package UPS ground, it would have cost me $11.52 and would have guaranteed arrival in 5 days using ground services. That settles it for me.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

irmaly, the UPS site has a page that does the ground delivery zones for you when you enter your zip code. Click on "shipping" and then click on "US Ground Maps" under "Calculate Time & Cost." This should be the link to the page for entering your zip code,

I know what you mean.... Priority mail is supposed to take 1 to 3 days, but since it can also take much, much longer than that, the UPS guaranteed delivery time looks pretty good even when it is 4 or 5 days. Just be aware that UPS only counts business days and doesn't deliver on weekends (not without an extra fee, anyway)... so a 5 day delivery package mailed on Monday could still take until the following Monday to arrive. However, UPS packages often arrive earlier than the guarantee date too. My UPS store says perishables such as plants are best mailed on Monday & Tuesday.

(Zone 9a)

We have never had any mail problems at all until recently when we got a new carrier. She is so nice, even came to the door and introduced herself and told us she would be our permanent carrier from now on (previously we seemed to have a different person every day).

Now however, priority mail seems to take forever to get here. A recent trade from LA took 8 days; in our heat that is a real problem. Strangest of all is that I rarely get catalogs anymore. Now does that seem unusual to you?
Living in the boondocks I shop online a lot and normally get tons of catalogs. Not getting all of them has sort of been a blessing - but verrrrrry suspicious.

I have a feeling this new carrier is not cricket. It's a small community and I will have to proceed carefully with a complaint to the Postmaster but something is not right.

Livermore, KY(Zone 6a)

As of yesterday my pkg was still not here.

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