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12-19-2020 04:49 PM - edited 12-19-2020 04:53 PM
I'm waiting on 3 packages. The first, they still don't know exactly where it is. It was once presumed lost. But it's now somewhere in a major distribution center in my state. For the second, I just got an email from Post Office saying they found my package and it's on it's way to my zip code post office. 3rd package is still stuck in the status: Package Received at Post Office. But they have to "accept the package first before it can be delivered. Should be there for delivery this Monday. "Exhausted" 2 out of 3. And I still have hopes for the first one. That was the Ann Taylor Cashmere sweater.
12-19-2020 06:01 PM
12-19-2020 09:24 PM
My QVC ordered started in a warehouse 5 miles from me. It went south to Philadelphia, spent a day or two there, and is now sitting 6 miles from me for the last 7 days.
The tracking just stopped. I sent an email to the post office and the reply I got was, "We will look into it." I think there is a large building where they just dump the packages. Then once a day someone goes in and randomly pulls packages to deliver that day. I have not been a winner yet, ha ha.
This is becoming a bad habit of the post office. They know that Christmas comes at the same time every year. I know the pandemic doesn't make it any easier, but we have been living with it for 9 months. It's nothing new.
12-19-2020 09:31 PM
USPS has just given up, I think. I know for a fact they don't deliver mail more than twice a week to my complex, I have a package that should have arrived 3 days ago that just stopped tracking at the last station (and it was sent from 10 miles away), and I am just fed up with them. Every day in my informed delivery I get the message about how they are so buried under packages there may be delays, but frankly this has been going on for close to a year. There were a few weeks during summer where NO mail was delivered.
I try to never order anything that has to be mailed anymore and if I can pay to upgrade to Fedex or UPS ground, I do.
12-20-2020 07:20 AM
Santa might be late this year.
An overwhelmed U.S. Postal Service has been struggling for weeks to deliver packages, veteran employees said, warning that holiday gifts might not arrive by Christmas as tens of thousands of packages pile up inside Philadelphia-area processing facilities.
“Don’t be using the post office right now, because we can’t deliver the mail,” said Laurence Love, an assistant clerk craft director who operates mail-sorting machines at the Philadelphia Processing and Delivery Center.
Facilities across the region are so full of packages, there is barely enough room to walk, employees in Philadelphia, Lehigh Valley, and South Jersey said. In Allentown, about 10 trailers filled with mail are sitting in the parking lot, with no room to unload the items.
In Philadelphia, there are packages dated from before Thanksgiving scattered across the facility, employees said. Last week, a miles-long caravan of dozens of delivery trucks filled with mail waited for hours outside the Southwest Philadelphia site because there was no room to unload the parcels.
People across the region say they are seeing their items scanned into processing plants but never scanned out. Packages have taken so long that customers are demanding refunds from already-strapped businesses struggling to survive the pandemic.
The widespread delays are caused by a massive staffing shortage due to rising coronavirus cases, long-term job cuts, and a liberal pandemic leave policy, combined with a record rush of holiday packages as more people shop online. On top of that, private express carriers like UPS and FedEx, similarly seeing record package levels, cut off delivery service for some retailers, which has funneled even more parcels through an already overwhelmed Postal Service.
The delays shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone — employees, union leaders, and outside experts have sounded alarms of an impending holiday-time disaster for months but believe the agency failed to adequately prepare and hire enough temporary workers, exacerbating the backlog and delays.
“You’re not gonna get your Christmas presents because we don’t have the people and the ingenuity to do it,” said Love, an employee of 35 years.
The USPS also warned customers of a busier season, with the peak week being Dec. 16 to 21, and urged people to send gifts early. Still, it is messaging to customers that parcels sent by Dec. 18 could be delivered by Christmas, even though Philly-area businesses have reported packages sent as early as Nov. 27 remain undelivered, with no tracking updates of their status or location.
In response to a request for comment, the agency shared a news release that cited record package numbers, an employee shortage due to COVID-19, and airlift and trucking “capacity challenges” as reasons for the delays. USPS said it has hired holiday staffers, expanded delivery and retail hours, leased more vehicles, and expanded technology to enhance package tracking.
“The Postal Service leadership team, the unions and management associations are all working in close collaboration to address issues and concerns as they arise as we focus on delivering the Holidays for the nation,” the agency said in the release.
Employees called the conditions inside embarrassing and borderline dangerous.
“You can’t even move, that’s how much mail we have in that building,” Nick Casselli, president of the American Postal Workers Union Local 89, said of the Philadelphia plant.
“In 33 years, I have never seen it this bad,” Andy Kubat, president of the Lehigh Valley Area Local, said of the Allentown facility.
Representatives from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have recently visited the Philadelphia and Allentown plants to inspect the conditions, reports show. A spokesperson for OSHA did not respond to requests for comment.
The backlog comes at the end of a tumultuous year for the Postal Service, after new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy instituted cost-cutting operational changes that resulted in widespread mail delays this summer. Those changes — some of which were meant to better situate the agency to deliver packages amid declining letter-mail volumes — were reversed in the fall after federal judges intervened ahead of the election.
While it doesn’t appear any corporate-level changes are playing a role in the current holiday backlog, employees say the agency failed to adequately prepare.
Employees warned of the impending holiday disaster in October, as the diversion of resources toward delivering election mail meant packages started piling up. They never fully recovered from that, and then the tsunami of holiday parcels hit, and now Philadelphia employees worry it could take well into January to clear the backlog.
No good data exist to offer a comprehensive look at package delivery, unlike letters, but reporting shows the current delays appear countrywide.
“It’s all throughout the country, not just Philadelphia,” Casselli said.
Philadelphia residents and businesses said they’ve watched packages sit in facilities in St. Louis and San Diego for weeks via the tracking system. In Cleveland, dozens of trucks waited in a 12-hour line to drop off and pick up USPS packages.
Every year, the Postal Service hires tens of thousands of seasonal workers to handle the holiday influx. In the early 2000s, Kubat said, the Allentown plant would hire a few hundred temporary employees. Since 2018, as letter-mail volumes declined, the number hired dropped dramatically.
This year, despite early predictions of a swamped holiday rush, only 30 temporary employees were hired to work the Allentown plant, he said, and retention has been low. About 10 contracted workers quit in the last two weeks because of the grueling hours, Kubat said. “One woman quit before her first day was even finished.”
“It’s too little, too late,” he said. “They are working them to death.”
Ray Daiutolo Sr., USPS spokesperson for the Philadelphia area, declined to provide information on the total number of temporary hires made in Philadelphia. Casselli said the package-sorting section of the plant added only 48 temp workers.
The peak of online ordering — which was forecast to surge 33% year-over-year for November and December, to a record $189 billion, according to Adobe Analytics — has converged as peak coronavirus cases take hundreds of postal workers off the job.
More than 200 Philadelphia postal employees have tested positive for COVID-19 since Nov. 20, Casselli said. About 10 Allentown workers have contracted the virus in the last two weeks, said Kubat, who is quarantining after being exposed at work.
Across the South Jersey region, more than 120 postal workers have tested positive since Dec. 1, according to daily reports reviewed by The Inquirer.
Already-struggling small businesses are feeling the impacts. Sellers on sites like eBay and Etsy have said it’s taking upward of three weeks for priority packages to arrive, and merchants say customers are asking where their orders are.
Patti Lyons, the owner of Peace Valley Lavender Farm in Doylestown, said they have used the USPS to ship their handmade lavender-infused products across the country for 20 years. Delays this year, she said, are the worst she’s ever seen.
At least 40 packages sent on Dec. 3 have yet to be received by customers, she said, with tracking information showing the items logged into the Fountainville, Bucks County, office or Philadelphia processing facility, but never scanned out to their next destination. Customer complaints come in daily, she said, and about 10 have asked for refunds.
Lyons said they’ve added UPS as a shipping option, though it’s more expensive for customers. She said they will add a warning on their website about the delays, but worry it could deter customers from ordering altogether.
“We have already sent out an email saying this is what’s going on, that we are really sorry and we need to be patient,” she said. “But that’s not getting people’s packages to them.”
Susan Murphy, the creator of Jawnaments, the small business that makes Philly-inspired ornaments, said 327 packages she mailed are in limbo. She dropped off a portion of the batch at the Fishtown post office on Dec. 5, and the rest at the 30th Street location on Dec. 11, but they have yet to be scanned into the system as even being received.
“Anything I brought to the post office on Dec. 5 or after, in bulk are AWOL,” said Murphy.
She said she receives about a dozen emails daily from customers asking about their orders. At least one person has demanded a refund and threatened to write a bad review. She has since added a banner at the top of her Etsy page warning people about the delays and that she cannot guarantee delivery by Christmas.
She’s trying not to blame the postal workers — she even took doughnuts to the Fishtown office this week to ease employees’ stress — but said it’s hard not to grow frustrated.
“We need reindeer and we need Santa to come in and help the United States Postal Service,” Murphy said. “I’ll buy Santa a Citywide Special as soon as he’s done.”
12-20-2020 07:40 AM
Yes, I just wrote on another thread that we ordered our Christmas Cards the day after Thanksgiving and we still haven't received them. Needless to say, they won't make it to our family and friends until January. Ugh.
I also ordered a really cute ornament on November 15th. It was a personalized one with our dogs on it. That's not here either. The last update for tracking was December 8th. It's in California and I live on Long Island. I tried to reach customer service, but they aren't accepting calls. All you can do is email them and now there is a waitlist to get a response. That won't make it on my tree this year, but as long as I get it at this point, I'll be happy.
I'm trying to be understanding about these things. Having shipping delays shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, especially since we have been fairly warned. However, when something takes over a month to reach me (with a guarantee that it will be here in plenty of time), I can't help but get annoyed. We really tried to get our orders in super early, but I guess they weren't early enough. I should have ordered in October. lol
12-20-2020 08:32 AM
When I realized two paper statements for December had not arrived yet, I submitted payments online. There is a shipped order that had an expected delivery date of Dec 9. It has not yet arrived and the tracking number has been useless for information.
That said, I am quite regularly receiving bulk mail from sources such as Spectrum, My Pillow, Anthem Insurance (for both my deceased husband and the previous owner who moved 9 years ago), hearing centers, store fliers, etc.
@IamMrsG This is a very important point. I am always amazed when people say they didn't receive their paper bills and are now being charged late fees.
People need to take responsibility for their bills as you did.
We pay most of our bills online but DH's medical bills we do pay by mail.
Sorry you DH has passed away.
12-20-2020 10:00 AM
I've had a ShopHQ item stuck in the staus Transferred to Post Office. The original delivery date was the 15th. Still in that status. I'm just glad it's actually inside the post office.
It's not. "Transferred to post office" just means it was loaded up to be sent to your post office. Once it arrives tracking info will be updated to say "arrived" at post office.
12-20-2020 10:22 AM - edited 12-20-2020 11:37 AM
Here's my Sunday morning rundown.
The gift I mailed to my friend, one town over on Dec. 10th is STILL, as of my tracking it this morning, sitting at the Atlanta distribution center, where it has been since the night of the 10th. 10 days with no movement and it's literally going one town over. Not the end of the world, but I really like what I got my friend this year and hope it makes it eventually.
I have an ebay package coming to me, not Christmas related. All it says is that it's been shipped and is delayed. I have no idea how far it's gotten. It's way past late at this point.
I also have a package coming from Etsy, a Christmas gift for my sister, ordered in plenty of time. It shows that it left Virginia, days ago, and no updates since then, just "delayed".
And finally, my best friend mailed a package to me from Utah. It's totally MIA.
12-20-2020 12:06 PM
Has anyone used the USPS Where is my package form? I just filled it out and hope to light a fire under someone to deliver a package siting in Indiana.
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