helen-louise (baratron) wrote,

  • Mood:

About parcels and postage.

I am grumpy about the fact I ordered some t-shirts from the US at the end of November to be Christmas presents, and I still don't have them. They were posted on 11th December, with an estimated arrival date according to the US Postal Service of 17th-22nd December. I'm absolutely certain the problem isn't with the USPS at all, or even with the "extreme weather" - rather they are sitting in Mount Pleasant Sorting Office waiting for someone to decide how much VAT and import duty I need to pay on them. I know this is the most likely source of delay because Mount Pleasant stamp parcels when they arrive there, and I frequently observe a lag of 4-5 working days before the parcel turns up on my doorstep! This means Richard, Tim and Peter are all minus one of their presents, and we won't have another postal delivery until Tuesday. Bah.

In contrast, I ordered a monster for my mum to be sent via CityLink. I ticked the "PM service", and was mildly surprised to be woken by the parcel at 11.30am. Checking my email, it turns out it was supposed to have been delivered the previous afternoon, and I had a highly apologetic email explaining the delay. That would have been a turnaround time of less than 24 hours. I know you can't really compare international and domestic mail, but Richard often orders stuff internationally to be sent by courier, and typically the packages arrive within 3 days. A lot of the courier companies manage email or a phone call first, so you can pay the Customs fees by credit card before the parcel's delivered, or have the right amount of cash ready.

Note to self: Unless the price difference is astronomical, or you're not in a hurry AT ALL, always tick the courier option when ordering from abroad. At least then you get a tracking number and can find out WHERE ON EARTH IT IS.
Tags: christmas, moaning, tim+peter, wuzzie

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