At work (public college), we wanted to test that our postcards were actually getting delivered to our students. 

So, we asked 10 staff members to fill out the postcards with their own (home address) information to see how the post office would do:

  • 6 of the 10 (60%) arrived in 2 days (including the person who lives the furthest away, 64 miles)
  • 2 of the 10 (20%) arrived in 3 days (somewhat interesting in that 1 of these 2 lives within 2 miles of the college)
  • 1 of the 10 (10%) took 4 days
  • 1 of the 10 (10%) is still not delivered (as of yesterday, the third day). 

 

Even though a postcard is not a package...I thought others might find this interesting as we occasionally have posts about items going astray while being delivered. Like your gas mileage, your results may vary!

Tom 

 

Original Post

Up until 15 years ago IIRC, we could mail a letter from our local post office (eastern Ohio) and it would make it's destination as far away as California in three days, you could bank on it. Then the government decided to build a new post office in Steubenville (county seat, Dean Martin's hometown) and make it the are distribution center. Really nice post office, even had a food vendor. That lasted less than 5 years IIRC. Now it's just another post office, and all our stuff heads to Pittsburgh. Now we are lucky to have a letter make it in a week. locally let alone cross country.

Dave

 

 

 

Saving Tinplate One Piece at a Time

I sent all tax stuff registered this year, which, oddly, was to a first time far address, and it got there!  A friend has problems, with getting mail held, and delivered.  I am not amused...what can you trust?

??Another one of THOSE!!??  What you want to sell is not what I want to buy!

MNCW posted:

In our area some bad hombres were breaking into the blue post office boxes so the post office had to alter them to have a welded insert where you could just fit in a letter through a slat.

blue po boxes

Tom 

Tom...the PO is still  looking for a package I mailed to California in the beginning of Dec 2018...It was delivered the end of Jan 2019...but they insist they are still looking for it....it seems you can't call off a search........joe

KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON...W.S.CHURCHILL

 

Joe Krasko LCCA 17199

I stopped using the post office, too unreliable. I now use only FedEx. No Issues.  I ship a lot of small boxes to someone 2 hours away, With the P.O. it would take up to 3-4 days to get there. FedEx always has it there the next day using ground or Home delivery. Price difference is minimal

Clete

joe krasko posted:
MNCW posted:

In our area some bad hombres were breaking into the blue post office boxes so the post office had to alter them to have a welded insert where you could just fit in a letter through a slat.

blue po boxes

Tom 

Tom...the PO is still  looking for a package I mailed to California in the beginning of Dec 2018...It was delivered the end of Jan 2019...but they insist they are still looking for it....it seems you can't call off a search........joe

Joe/Neighbor,

I had the same thing happen earlier this year. 

I always felt the USPS tracking was better than everyone else's lately, but then I had the issues like you. I actually had 2 similar ones. My problem started when the delivery person scanned the items in each case as "delivered," when they weren't! One was actually delivered 2 hours later and the other one arrived 2 days later. once it is scanned as "delivered" you no longer get any updates, so you are then at the mercy of whichever USPS worker has access to your package(s).  Apparently, when there was bad weather for those two deliveries, it was easier to mark it delivered, throw it back in the truck and deliver it when things got better. 

Speaking of USPS searches, I actually got an email from the USPS saying my search had expired earlier this week...here were the helpful tips that were meant to make me feel better, that you can look forward to, when your search ends:

  • Put a return address on the outside of all mailpieces
  • Include a label with your name and complete address on the inside of packages

 

Tom 

MNCW posted:

 ...your results may vary! 

Tom 

 

Obviously very wildly.  We live in a mostly rural area, although not too far from the DC/Baltimore mega-metro area.  We have had no issues with the local post office, and items seem to arrive quickly (I have never timed it).  The folks in our post office know us by name, and we give them gift cards at Christmas.  Maybe that is why we have had no issues.

We also have never had any issues with either UPS or FedEx.  

Ron

 

TCA, TTOS, NCT, LCCA, PRRT&HS

 

Volunteers don't get paid, not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless!  Author Sherry Anderson

colorado hirailer posted:

I sent all tax stuff registered this year, which, oddly, was to a first time far address, and it got there!  A friend has problems, with getting mail held, and delivered.  I am not amused...what can you trust?

Why are you mailing "tax stuff" at all in the information age?  Post office now delivers only junk mail and packages to my house.   Physical mail boxes are far less secure than electronic mailboxes.

What, me worry?  

conrail5065 posted:

The most important question here is what happened to the tenth postcard?

My assumption is that it didn't make it out of the college, or the employee didn't fill it out?

I'm sure it will turn up and there also is nothing to the rumor that I needed it for shimming up my track to make a superelevated curve! 

Tom 

Registered mail has a signature trail following it at each stage of a transfer of the item. It is about as secure as you can get short of driving it and handing it to the addressee your self. It does slow down the mailing though so its only used to "really track" an item. 

Tom- I have heard that postcards are the lowest priority for the USPS. We did a charity mailing years ago via postcards and many people told us that they received them days after the RSVP date on the card, and we mailed them weeks in advance.

For packages I only use UPS or Fed Ex.

Bob

Three Rails Are Better Than None 

Fearmongering. This just plays into "gubmint can't do anything right" whereas the reality is that OUR government does one helluva lot right.

I have not had an item in the care of the United States Postal Service fail to be delivered or received. Quibble over transit time but that would require a lot more testing than (10) postcards. 

Lew

Growing old is so much more fun than the only alternative.

conrail5065 posted:

The most important question here is what happened to the tenth postcard?

My assumption is that it didn't make it out of the college, or the employee didn't fill it out?

That is certainly possible. I work for the USPS and it is also possible that a postcard due to its size can fall into the nooks and crannies of the machines that process mail. Not a really fair test in my opinion. It would have been better to mail 10 letters. In my life of mailing letters some 35 years only one letter never got there. I never did find out what happened to it. One letter took 4 months to go to a town here in NJ but it got there. 

Phil

TCA Member

NYCHS Member

MTH RR Club

No delivery system is perfect, regardless of what you pay for it.  Some may be better than others at certain functions or locations, but that may depend on a variety of factors outside the customer's control.  It's pretty much your money, your choice and hope for the best.

Perfection only appears after we leave this life.

Chuck

Columbus, OH Union Station
Columbus, OH Union Station

 

 

Hudson J1e posted:
conrail5065 posted:

The most important question here is what happened to the tenth postcard?

My assumption is that it didn't make it out of the college, or the employee didn't fill it out?

That is certainly possible. I work for the USPS and it is also possible that a postcard due to its size can fall into the nooks and crannies of the machines that process mail. Not a really fair test in my opinion. It would have been better to mail 10 letters. In my life of mailing letters some 35 years only one letter never got there. I never did find out what happened to it. One letter took 4 months to go to a town here in NJ but it got there. 

Just my opinion, but I thought the USPS came out OK in this. I actually had left out one postcard that I just added in, someone who received it on the 4th day...so 90% were received in a reasonable period. 

Having said that, my wife's father also was a post office worker who made special deliveries. I never knew him since he passed away when my wife was young. 

Tom 

I'm looking to put up the Woodland Scenics Post Office onto my layout. I can guarantee that once it is in place the mail from my little people will get to them on time. They currently have to travel miles just to send a letter.  BTW: I love the GRPOE experiment!!!

Railway and Locomotive Historical Society

New York Central System Historical Society

NNY (No Name Yet) Railroad - Owner and Operator

 

Fed Ex and the USPS have the best records for me. Fed Ex has been late a number of times on "guaranteed delivery time", the USPS has never been late. Fed Ex lost zero; USPS has lost a couple... likely mis-deliverys thrown away or kept by an idiot. I think the junk mail is responsible for a lot of mistakes. Too much fiddling with oversized flyers for the carriers and a great possibility of something like a postcard getting lost inside loose pages of un-bound/un-secured multi-sheet/folded ads. I get mail with the correct numerical address, but wrong street name all the time. Usually with a hefty load of junk mail. Once every other month I'd say I'm knocking on a door with a bill in hand.

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





We occasionally also get our neighbor's mail, too.

The best though was where my brother-in-law lives, around a mile away. He found a plastic bag in the street with approximately 80 pieces of mail for people on his block...bills, letters, etc. Ahh, just what you want to hear about in the age of identity theft! 

Tom 

We did a test of our company mail in the 1990's using the USPS in Western Oklahoma and mailing to Denver,Co.  It took 2 days to get to Denver, Co and up to 3 more days to go from the 7th floor to the 21st floor in the same building.

Keith Johnson

I've been collecting old postcards for quite a while...holiday cards 1904-1914, and "linen" finish cards 1930s and 40s. Back it the very early 1900s, they served almost the function of emails. Few people owned a telephone. In urban areas mail was delivered twice a day, in some cities 3 times a day. It was possible to get a same-day answer to your card. On most of my "used" old cards, addresses are minimal...Hetti Smith Newtown NJ.

I have stopped considering eBay items from Canada. Their postal system has a poor reputation. I once received a well-packaged item that looked like it had been run over by a truck. It was stamped "Received US Customs Damaged". Yes, the seller returned my money.

Closer to home, I once received a letter from someone 80 miles away. It was in great condition, and postmarked 6 months prior. No explanation offered by the post office on the envelope.

Be careful when talking about the post office my friends.  As Kramer learned from Henry Atkins, " “I'm a postmaster but I'm also a general and it's the job of a general to, by God, gets things DONE!” . 

 So we know what happened to that mailman with the last postcard.

The_Junk_Mail

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Clete posted:

I stopped using the post office, too unreliable. I now use only FedEx. No Issues.  I ship a lot of small boxes to someone 2 hours away, With the P.O. it would take up to 3-4 days to get there. FedEx always has it there the next day using ground or Home delivery. Price difference is minimal

I'll present an opposing view.  I've had several packages crushed by FedEx lately, and they simply refused the insurance claim, so it's somewhat pointless to buy insurance from them!   On the flip side, USPS crunched a package, and that insurance claim was settled satisfactorily.  Overall, I've had better luck with USPS than either UPS or FedEx, and I ship and receive dozens of packages every month.  FedEx is cheaper for heavier items, but I've learned you get what you pay for, and with FedEx you pay for careless delivery and damaged goods!

gunrunnerjohn posted:
Clete posted:

I stopped using the post office, too unreliable. I now use only FedEx. No Issues.  I ship a lot of small boxes to someone 2 hours away, With the P.O. it would take up to 3-4 days to get there. FedEx always has it there the next day using ground or Home delivery. Price difference is minimal

I'll present an opposing view.  I've had several packages crushed by FedEx lately, and they simply refused the insurance claim, so it's somewhat pointless to buy insurance from them!   On the flip side, USPS crunched a package, and that insurance claim was settled satisfactorily.  Overall, I've had better luck with USPS than either UPS or FedEx, and I ship and receive dozens of packages every month.  FedEx is cheaper for heavier items, but I've learned you get what you pay for, and with FedEx you pay for careless delivery and damaged goods!

No Fed Ex here........

CFO, Construction Superintendent; Clinch River, and Southern RR.. (The CRS O Gauge Line)

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