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  #1  
Old 03-16-2019, 04:20 PM
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Just venting. So irked with the USPS. Gent in Colorado sent me a small pkg First Class with live plant material on Monday. So should take 3-5 days -- 6 days later I still don't have it. In hindsight, I should have had it sent Priority Mail though it would have cost more. At least then if the plant material is dead upon arrival I might have been able to collect the insurance on the pkg. Don't see how the USPS justifies raising rates when they can't deliver a pkg on time as it is.

Incompetent fools.


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Old 03-16-2019, 05:09 PM
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Perishable items are not insurable with Priority Mail, either.
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Old 03-16-2019, 07:45 PM
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I never buy any live plants in winter.

Keep in mind that Colorado and much of the Great Plains just experienced a horrible winter storm. Substantial weather delays or halts to transportation. Despite the 'rain, sleet or dark of night' slogan of yore, USPS can't help if the weather prevents transportation from moving.

Suggestion for the future, buy in winter, but ask shipping to be delayed until conditions are favorable. I have had no trouble sharing plants by USPS Priority mail. If shipping in winter or mid-summer can't be avoided, pay more for shipping, pay to have plants shipped in a hard-sided ice chest with as much extra insulation as you can manage; pay extra for UPS or FedEx.
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Old 03-16-2019, 08:35 PM
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One of my orders spent 15 days in transit from FL to VA this past January (priority mail). It was warm enough until it was not. Both warm growing dens dropped their leaves, but they are still alive; others are doing OK. Lots of songs and dances around these plants on my part, unfortunately. USPS asked me to bring the plants to post office for inspection after the claim was submitted
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Old 03-16-2019, 08:56 PM
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I received a cattleya from CT in good time. Others mostly on time. I think that if there is some sort of an error at the originating post office, then delivery is skewed and getting back on track in an automated system is difficult. I once had a Phal delivery slip and noticed that the post code on the package was slightly blurred.
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Old 03-17-2019, 10:28 AM
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@OW: Part of what gets me is that it cleared Colorado without problem. It wasn't until it entered my own state (which is not in the "cyclone bomb's" radius) that it its movement slowed to a crawl.

And, yeah, I normally do not ship or receive plants in winter. No other time to get these however. I'd actually be a bit less worried if the plants were orchids ... orchids are surprisingly tough. No, these were some gemmae of a type of Drosera (carnivorous plant).
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Old 03-17-2019, 09:06 PM
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I work part time as a carrier for USPS. I only say this because I have some ‘backroom’ knowledge.

Most packages are sorted by machines and many delays have something to do with a label read error by the machines. Part of the label could be damaged which is causing routing issues, particularly if it’s a problem with the barcode.

Another thing to consider is that weather delays can impact a wider area than the actual even. If mail slows to a crawl then things of higher priority are moved first (express, priority mail, etc). Once things clear, there’s an avalanche of parcels and mail to go through.

Then, of course, there’s human error too. It happens and is unavoidable in entirety. Most folks at the PO want to do their job well and are hard working. Some make dumb mistakes, others are overworked due to staff shortages.

I realize that in the short term this doesn’t help you and by now you know this but I would never advise shipping live plants First Class because it has longer handling times at each stop. I shipped over a thousand plants last year by Priority and fewer than 10 experienced significant delays. Keep in mind that Express is the only guaranteed service.

Tomorrow you should be able to submit a missing mail search on the USPS website. I would do that as it gets an actual human being looking for your package. You can also go directly to your local PO as the Clerks and Postmaster have access to more tracking information than you will (if there is more).

Good luck and don’t lose hope!
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Old 03-21-2019, 11:16 AM
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Well the pkg did arrive. Fortunately, the gemmae wore okay for the most part. Only problem was that in one pack the gemma had sprouted and sent roots into the wet paper towel. Will likely lose many of that batch as the roots of many snapped in attempting to extricate them.
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