US Postal Service - Deeply inefficient or just slow?

A girl I work with, who is anglo-American tells me that the USPS is one of the worst in the developed world. Truth or hyperbole?

I have had 2 attempts to get a small parcel of ALICE spare parts sent to me here in the UK from 2 different suppliers in the US. One in NY state and another in NC.

The first package was lost before it left the US. That was 7 weeks ago now and the sender has refunded me.

The second one hasn't moved (according to the tracking ref) for 8 days now.

Is this normal? Am I wasting my time and should employ a private courier at vast expense for $13 dollars worth of ALICE parts?

Rgds - Walt

PS: I know that there has been a Veterans Day holiday last monday, but this is poor service, by anyones standards.


I don't know if it's just bad luck for you, but every time I've used USPS I've had packages delivered faster from the US than Royal Mail have delivered from within the UK.


Kit Reviewer
Bloody useless old boy. I'm pretty sure that the US doesn't have Post Offices, they have Space/Time Portals instead. Your post will arrive some time after we colonise Mars.

Which is why everybody in the us uses Fedex or DHL.
I got home today and the SECOND set of parts was on my door step. Posted NC afternoon of the 25th and here on the first. That's as good as, if not faster than RM. Wonder if the FIRST set will turn up shortly too?

The USPS may be the worst in the world but I wouldn't tell them that.

You know what happens next........
USPS supervisors have been given special role play training to avoid such problems

Super: O'Brien, what are you doing?
Super: Great. Keep it up. You're doing a grand job. Take the rest of the day off.
Great fan of USPS.
Gear takes under a week to reach South East Asia from the States.
The Royal Mail 2-3 weeks and more normally than not in a plastic bag as they've damaged the packaging.
Mind you with who appear to ship out of the Fatherland it appears to be the reverse with the States taking a few weeks.
EMS from here to Blighty under 4 days.
It recently took me three weeks to send a package to Maryland because Royal Mail forgot to mention, when I asked for the fastest possible delivery to the US, that I needed to fill in a customs form. Due to increased security after someone sent a dummy bomb on a UPS flight, every package from the UK to America must have a customs form attached.

By contrast, a package from Maryland was picked up FedEx on Wednesday and delivered to me 48 hours later.

FedEx for the win. It cost more but you get what you pay for. And you get it on time.
They put on the appearance of being a tad slow but I've never had a problem with a delivery.

I did have a problem with boxhead land though. I sent a package (containing beef jerky) on the 29th March, it arrived in Frankfurt and was passed by customs to the food inspection lab where it was inspected and fucked off as being unfit for human consumption on the 8th of April, on the 26th of May boxhead customs finally send the thing back to me ................ what was it doing for 6 weeks in customs?????

Before anyone asks why did I send the jerky in the first place, I was asked to and was told by the individual it was ok ...... ******* officers, eh.

FYI every package leaving the USA must have either a customs form or label completed, that is entered into the computer along with the senders and recipients details whilst the sender is stood at the counter. I have even tried to send magazines in a clear plastic bags so that it is clearly visible what is being sent...........customs label.
They're rapidly going broke. Last year USPS went in the red $8 Billion. much of this due to both internet instead of snailmail and employee benefits packages. My father was a postman from 85 to -02 and retired with full benefits. I was sitting in Baghdad in 2005 and found out after he died that I became the beneficary of his pension for the next 96 months.

IIRC they arent federally funded like NASA or DoD, but have to fund themselves through services and congress has hamstrung them with regs
Never had a problem with the USPS (hope I'm not tempting fate). Unlike the UK the mailman/woman also picks up mail to be sent from our mail box - saves a trip to the post office.
The personnel working in the village Post Office are polite and friendly. The mailman will often make the trip down my driveway if he sees me working outside to deliver mail personally rather than simply placing the mail in my mailbox. Mind you I live in a rural area where everyone pretty much knows everyone else.

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