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one reason to use registered mail. whoever signed for it last is completely on the hook.
Location: Vancouver, Washington, USA
Picture of Phil Richardson
Well, I'd like to add my 2 cents here. When an item is scanned as 'out for delivery', all that means is the the clerk who scanned it, and 1000's of others, put the scanner in the cradle to download the info.

It is not uncommon for a record to show a delivery at 11 AM and Out For Delivery at 1 PM, which is when the scanner was downloaded.

Postal management cooked up this scheme about 6 months ago, to make 'the numbers' look good. Since their year end bonuses are important to them, this stuff will continue to happen. Consider that the Postmaster General - Jack Potter, makes more than double the President! And this despite laws prohibiting federal employee fro making more. He also gave himself a $73,000 bonus, I guess for losing $7 billion.

As far as a postal employee stealing, or watch/jewelry/gold recipients being homed in on, or targeted..... the statistical odds of that are about 1%. Almost all theft is by the public at large, not postal employees. They have too much to lose stealing anything, and are frequently 'tempted' with items planted by the postal inspectors, etc.

Were things done wrong in this instance? Absolutely yes. Nobody with a scanner should scan anything before it is delivered. No scan with the carriers signature, unless the mailer literally signs a waiver, and that is only for Express mail. No forgetting to scan. No leaving it at the door. Et cetera.

ANY organization, public or private, who's managerial focus is to measure everything they do, instead of doing what they are supposed to do, will also be focused o making the numbers. At the end of the day, the end customer AND the worker bees who actually do the work, get the short end of the stick.

As far as your item, I think more than likely the carrier may never have gotten it and is clueless as to what happened. I would be as well, if someone asked me what I did with something I never saw. "When did you not get the package?" "What did you do with the package you never got?" See what I mean? As far as how long claims take, I refer to what I said earlier; most theft is from customers and the general public. Usually meth heads wanting to 'wash' checks to cash for drugs. I've been in my local PO and have seen customers steal the Ready Post packaging.... just walk out the door with it. This is not the free stuff advertised on TV. This office has automated self help machines. People put packages on the scale and punch in that it is a letter. Who's getting cheated now? All of us, of course.

1 of 2 things happen most commonly in these situation. The 1st doesn't apply here, but it is that then recipient got the item and is denying it. I have sold items where the buyer wanted the item AND the refund. One extremely valuable watch was returned to the selling jeweler for repair. It took threat of arrest for him to claim a business across the street 'just happened to find it", ONE MONTH LATER! So there is no misunderstanding, I will repeat, this scenario doesn't apply here.

This brings up the 2nd, and most common scenario. The package is sitting on a shelf at the local PO waiting to be picked up. It does seem that some letter carriers **** at leaving a notice to come pick it up. There should be a final pickup notice too, but...... After 2 - 4 weeks the item is returned to sender, as long as it isn't Parcel Post, which doesn't get returned, usually.

I do believe the mystery package is going to turn up, sooner rather than later. And if you haven't figured it out yet, yes, I used to work at the USPS, so I know the drill. There are crooks at the PO, certainly, and that cannot be ruled out.

However, most of them wear ties and walk around with clipboards. Sadly, the biggest crooks are in D.C., no surprise there. Lying to everyone about the 'need' for 5 day delivery so they can put 50,000 to 60,000 middle class people out of work. And this while they give themselves $70k ++ in bonuses while losing billions, and getting paid just south of a million bucks a year to boot. Wow!

Multiply the number of employees by 3 or 4 to factor in their families. Who do you think gets to foot the bill for food stamps, medical, unemployment checks, mortgage assistance, etc in this economy? We do, while the postal execs in D.C. pat themselves on the back and laugh all the way to the bank. OK, that was more than 2 cents. But having 'been there, done that', don't blame the ones busting their hump out in all kinds of weather. They are not the problem. They are the ones who get your letter to the farthest reaches of the U.S., be it Hawaii, Guam, the US Virgin Islands, door to door, all for .44, are you kidding me? What a deal. Lastly, for those of you who posted complaints, I ask this. Why do you mention the 1 or 2 items that got screwed up, yet fail to acknowledge the 1000's or pieces of mail you did get without much ado, over the years? Don't come banging on my door.
Location: Colorado
IHC Life Member

Picture of Jerry King
Well said Phil....

I have never lost anything, knock on wood (thump, thump, as he thumps on his head....)

I do hope the beautiful case shows up though, Lindell, it's not a good feeling to lose something....especially something as nice as this....

I wish I could lose some of that junk mail I receive.... Eek


Location: California in the USA
IHC Life Member
Picture of Mitch Markovitz

I,too, thank you for your well stated post.

I would like to point out that in Lin's opening sentence in the opening of this thread supports and thanks the USPS for their good service.

I have a good friend that is a long time postal official and I've learned plenty about the service over 40 years. I am quite pleased with our postal service as well. When we traveled in Russia to adopt our daughter back in '97 we were asked to carry papers for another adoption from Moscow to Tomck, in Siberia, as at the time Russian postal service would have taken months for the papers to be delivered.

However there can be a great sense of frustration when dealing with any of the carriers when it comes to lost items, and the seemingly endless stream of communications.

It's my take on this thread that the real discussion at the opening is frustration in dealing with certain personalities be they USPS, UPS, FedEx, or any contemporary "customer care" bureau.
Location: Northern Indiana in the USA
Sorry, to read about your missing case. I hope that the one doing the wrong will have the wrong time, every time he says at the watch in the ball
case to remind him of his error.

I have a question for you. If you can not answer it maybe you call point me in the right area to look for the data. I am looking for data on the eterna pocket watch turn to a wristwatch. Dated 1943 on back case with the 12-038 markings and grand prix on the dust cover. I am afraid to open the back case dust cover. I had took a shower will the watch on, bad luck, I am use to a pocket watch.

I will send my 4992b and my eterna to the watch repairman , the ertena seems to run well but , I think the insides are rust. I did try to air out the watch after giving it a shower. I think I should stay with pocket watches it is safer for the watch.

I hope you insured ball case for a lot more than the case was worth.

A fine watch is like a good woman, treated with care it will never let you down, treated wrongly it will be your ruin. I love my watches.

Sorry for the spot of bad luck,



Thanks for the welcome on broad and the advice on how to research data on the Hamilton 4992b.
Location: Norfolk, Virginia in the USA
Picture of Phil Richardson
Just a quick postscript. I know Lindell complimented the USPS, so he wasn't the one I had in mind when I made my post. I wish there were a magic bullet re: customer service. That in fact, is what I did at the USPS, at a brick and mortar PO. You wouldn't believe some of the 'stuff'. "I threw my mail out the other day, can you tell me what I got?" Or, "I don't have any .01 stamps...... can I cut a .02 stamp in half?" Or, "I received a package from across country in 2 days, can you tell me how it got here so fast?"
2 points to be made. All the delivery services are cutting back, laying off, losing money in one area or another, ALL of them. The 800 number the USPS uses for consumers got 54 million.... MILLION phone calls in 2009. (there's a job I wouldn't want) That has to be more than FedEx and UPS combined get in a century. Impressively, 2/3 were handled via automation, no live person needed. That leaves about 18 million that needs add'l help. This does not count all the customers who come to the counter or call their local PO. That is a big reason for how slow getting answers can be when we need to kick it up a notch. The carrier is likely out of the loop on this, even though he/she is maybe the only one you actually know of.

A little kindness goes a long way. A cold bottle of water on a hot day..... hot tea or cocoa on a cold day. A thank you note just to do it. Carriers DO remember this, and right or wrong, your service improves...... usually.

OK, a 3rd point. RE: the junk mail. I suppose it's the lesser of evils. It is either the mail, or somebody soliciting over the phone of kn ocking at your door. Like the old Hoover and Fuller Brush guys. So I heard. Really they were before my time. Big Grin Best regards, Phil
Location: Colorado
IHC Member 163
Picture of Mark Cross
Or, "I received a package from across country in 2 days, can you tell me how it got here so fast?"

I'm afraid I've asked that one myself, Phil! Frown

In my defense, though, I thought it was a legitimate question, as it was a curious thing to me considering packages coming from the same location took anywhere from 3 to 5 days...then all of a sudden this one arrived almost overnight! Nothing was done differently either.

In comparison, I once sent a box out to a location that is literally located 3 hours north of me by USPM, and yet it took 5 days and traveled through 3 States before it got to it's intended location! I know, as I had paid for tracking/confirmation and watched it as it wandered around most of the South trying to find it's way to the intended address.

The mysteries of the Postal Service intriques those of us on the outside. We DO appreciate the monster the workers are trying to keep harnassed. It's just the inconsistancies that confuse us on those rare occasions when they occur.
Regards! Mark
Location: Estill Springs, Tennessee, USA
Picture of Phil Richardson
Hi, Mark.
You may appreciate the following, as this happens seemingly everywhere. A letter mailed cross town here in a fairly good sized city takes longer to arrive than one mailed to a small rural town 115 miles away. It used to be that Priority packages would arrive at Christmas time faster than the greeting cards.

In Denver (when I worked there) I came across a letter going from Deerfield, Il to Deerfield, Il. I also saw a package from South Africa going to El Salvador. How and why it even came into the USA, let alone Denver is beyond me. I suggest the following 3 for consideration:
1) Always (especially during December) put the To and From addresses inside the package. If the outer address gets smudged, torn, etc. the package should still get to where it's going, or returned to sender. Bear in mind, only Postal Inspector's and those in 1 of 3 Dead Letter offices nationwide can legally open the mail. (Except Media Mail which anyone can open to see if it really is media). Unlike UPS and FedEx, US Mail is protected by the 1st and 4th Amendments. (Free Speech and Search & Seizure).
2) Zip Code is of prime importance. If Chicago's 606xx zip is on an item to Florida, it goes to Chicago 1st. Next they look at the State, then City, etc. Better to use no zip code than a wrong one.
3) Package address processing (not physically moving them) is still largely manual, with it's incumbent human error. It is currently in the process of being automated, which brings in another set of problems - equipment, training, software, etc.
Letters are another matter. They are almost all automated. The machines can read almost all printed letters and numbers, and 80% ++ of cursive. They are read right to left, from the stamp side to the left, at 10,000 per hour. I have seen those machines a couple of times. You cannot follow one letter from beginning to end. It figures out where it is going, if it has a correct address or needs further processing, if it has enough postage, and more. Pretty amazing. It will also jam up if a letter is 'folded, stapled, or mutilated'. Anything odd shaped inside such as a key, pen, binders, even paper clips can jam the machine and damage several letters behind the offending one. That is when you may receive remnants of a letter in a plastic 'letter body bag' along with an apology.
I ship primarily USPS, but not because of any brand loyalty or some such, if that even exists anymore. For the money, they are the fastest, least expensive, least damaging of any of the delivery services, especially given the sheer volume, particularly compared to the other guys. Mostly though, it is the protection against opening, rifling, etc that is built in by law, and the severe penalties faced by anyone who violates that, whether in-house or outside the system.
Local PO's give tours, but the tour to take is at the letter or package processing plants, usually separate facilities. I think those who dislike the USPS really ought take a tour. They probably will still not like the USPS, but at least they would have a fuller, more accurate appreciation of the sheer magnitude of a small part of the operation. The package facility in Denver is over 300,000 sq ft, almost all one story!

I find it amusing that United Airlines and the German engineering firm it hired, could not get their conveyor system of moving luggage to work, to the tune of 10's of millions of $$. They scrapped it and it is lying outside at Denver International, rusting away. The very same system has been used by the USPS since the 60's. Government doing something better than private industry, what a concept. Cool Phil
Location: Colorado
IHC Member 1142

I didn't have time to read all the posts so I may be repeating what someone has stated. Your label states that it was Delivery Confirmation, not Signature Confirmation which costs an extra $2, and Del Confirm. doesn't need a signature. The label also states that it was insured for >200 which means less than $200 and anything insured for less than $200 doesn't need a signature. This parcel can be left at your door if you allow parcels to be left. If the carrier left it anywhere it should have been scanned delivered but when parcels are sent first class instead of Priority, which yours was, the label and packaging isn't always obvious to the carrier that it is scanable. I'm not making excuses for the carrier, there is no excuse to mis-deliver or lose mail. By the way, what good is an old watch case to the average citizen? I can't imagine not turning it in.
There are things you can do to prevent this in the future. You can request that no parcel be left at your residence, you would have to pick them up at the PO. Specify that the sender use Priority or Express mail on anything valuable, the Priority is handled separately from the average parcel where First Class isn't. The packaging stands out and the carrier is looking for bar codes. You have Flat Rate boxes now that only cost $5. or less to ship. If you want your parcels delivered you can request Signature Confirmation for less than $2, which by the way Paypal requires now for anything over $250 if you want them to stand behind the delivery. For delivery, you can request a specific area of your home where parcel can be left, for security reasons, but remember, there are people out there that watch for carriers leaving parcels at the home.....unfortunately. Another better way for us to track things is to buy the postage online and not all sellers know about the advantages and the discounts. I know we all complain about the cost of postage but if there is something valuable being shipped we should be willing to pay for the added service. This isn't a lecture, just trying to help the others reading this thread. There is also something called "restricted delivery" for valuable items where the carrier has to get the signature of the person on the mailing label. The carrier should ask for ID if they don't know you.
Sorry this had to happen to you. I use the PO all the time.
Location: McDonough, New York in the USA
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