Tag Archives: Postal Service

Sending A Letter, With TRACKING, To The U.K. Via The US Postal Service Is Pretty Damn Expensive.

by Anura Guruge


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The keyword here is ‘tracking‘. If I didn’t want tracking I could have sent it ‘First-Class Mail International‘ which would have been much cheaper. But, you can’t get tracking with ‘First-Class Mail International’. You can send it registered but that costs about two arms and a leg.

So, ‘Priority Mail — Flat Rate Envelope‘ was my best option — but, it costs $35.65.

Damn, stupid letter to my corporate pension provider — JUST to confirm my address! They sent me this form, with my address, and I have to CONFIRM that address, have it essentially ‘notarized’ and send it back. IF they don’t get it, they STOP paying my pension! That is what got my attention. My UK corporate pension isn’t much in that I was only there, working, for 4-months over 10-years. But, it pays for my wine. So, I would be beside myself without it.

So, now you can see why I wanted tracking and was willing to pay that exorbitant price. SMILE.

Pension companies are as bad as the dreaded ‘Tax Man’. They always have you by the short and curlies.


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by Anura Guruge

US Postal Service ‘Certified Mail’ Is Beyond A Joke — 12-Days To Deliver A Letter N.H. To Pennsylvania!

by Anura Guruge


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Click to ENLARGE and be AMAZED.


12-days to deliver a Certified letter between New Hampshire and Pennsylvania — a total distance of about 370-miles.

The problem here was that I sent it Certified.

IF I had sent it ‘normal’ it would have got there in 3-days.

The guy at the Post Office promised 3-day. He never said 12-days.

I used to use Certified quite a bit. Haven’t in a longtime. Something has changed, and not for the better.

Good job this was not a super-urgent letter. But, I am NOT amused.

So, you have been warned.


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by Anura Guruge

Amazon Delivery Is Running The U.S. Postal System (USPS) Ragged.

by Anura Guruge


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If you are dedicated Amazon shopper, as I am, you will, no doubt, have noticed BIG changes in Amazon’s shipping habits as of December 26, 2015 — yes, the day after Christmas. And this is irrespective of whether you are a Prime Member or not, though Prime Members may have noticed that we went through a couple of months, at the start of 2016, when Amazon was both leary and cute about initially committing to the ‘Shipping Date’ — since 2-day shipping ONLY starts as of when the product was shipped, as opposed to ordered.

The BIGGEST change, and it is very obvious, is that poor UPS, was no longer the preferred carrier. Deliveries by UPS plummeted. However, chatting with my UPS drivers (which I habitually do) we have come to the conclusion that Amazon still uses UPS for all deliveries that contain (fire hazard) Lithium batteries (which means most modern digital cameras).

Much of what was delivered by UPS is now coming via USPS. That is good and bad. The good part is that you now have Saturday deliveries. That is nice. UPS (typically) does not work on Saturdays other than around Christmas.

Heavy stuff is sent via FedEx and they too will deliver on Saturdays.

But handling the UPSURGE in Amazon packages appears to be overwhelming the Postal Service — particularly around here. On Saturday we had TWO (2) USPS deliveries. One at the normal time (~1:30pm) for our usual mail and one small Amazon package. Then our regular postman arrived at 4pm — on a Saturday — with a large ‘ShopVac’ vacuum cleaner we had ordered!

Then today, Monday, we had a delivery at 7am by USPS. 7am! Suffice to say that that was without the other mail. So we had another delivery around 1pm.

It has to be wreaking havoc at the USPS.

My UPS driver just told me (given I had a delivery from ‘Home Depot’) that he saw our regular USPS mailman driving out of the Alton Post Office this morning with a LARGE Amazon package strapped to his ROOF!

This is getting hilarious. So just a heads up. Oh! Amazon did use UPS last week to handle the extra volume due to the July 12 ‘Prime Day‘.


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by Anura Guruge


Does Anybody Else Think It Was Incongruous For U.S. Post Office To Spend $31 Million Sponsoring Lance Armstrong.

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by
Anura Guruge


I am, and have always been, a BIG fan of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). I use them whenever I can.

I do appreciate that they do have to promote and advertise SOME of their ‘premium’ services like ‘Priority Mail‘. No question about that.

But, did they really need to spend $31 million, albeit amortized over multiple years, promoting Armstrong — especially in the Tour de France.

Yes, I appreciate that a LOT of Americans watched the ‘Tour’ when Lance was winning. But, that said, the ‘Tour’ is still mainly an European sporting events. Europeans are NOT the target market for the USPS! It is not like you can go to a French post office and say: ‘I want this letter to the U.S. sent via USPS‘.

The other thing is that, whether they admit to it or not, the USPS is a monopoly when it comes to standard mail. Of course, FedEx, UPS and DHL will deliver letters, but not for (what is it now) 4x cents. I get that Armstrong represented: speed, overcoming adversity and winning. BUT, for the USPS’ real target market wouldn’t they have been better off going with NASCAR?

So, this whole notion that they spent $31 Million with Armstrong and his franchise doesn’t sit well with me. I also appreciate that $30M to the USPS is mere bagatelle, chump change — not even a rounding error in the amount of money they handle a day. But, a bit of discretion might not have been a bad thing.

How and what large enterprises like the USPS decide to sponsor always intrigues me — given that I was involved in corporate marketing for many decades. Was this pushed through by one senior executive or did they spend months having numerous high-level meetings.

Just one of many things that get me thinking.

Who are they sponsoring now? I haven’t checked. I like their Priority Mail service. Use it often, though it seems to go up in leaps and bounds every few weeks. I remember it was $4.xx for a box. I think it is $5.xx now.