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Shipping - Packages go missing


#1

Warning, I had three packages go missing this holiday that were sent
to me via USPS. The only viable tracking they have is Express mail
which starts at about $14.00. Tracking on priority mail or other
services is not really tracking- they can track it when it arrives-
not along the way.

I know lots of people who have never had an issue… just keep it in
mind. I cringe whenever anyone recommends sending jewelry through the
post office.

Amery Carriere Designs
Romantic Jewelry with an Edge
www.amerycarriere.com


#2

There is only one safe way to ship via USPS, that is registered mail.
It is the only USPS service that has a chain of custody, every person
who handles a registered item must sign a log entry each time it is
moved or stored or otherwise handled. Any other USPS service is
untraceable and unaccountable.

Jim

James Binnion


#3

Uh, I’ve been doing it for 10yrs without 1 single problem. The other
shippers like Fed Ex and UPS aren’t that reliable. Did you know that
on over-seas packages you have to declaim what is inside the package
on the front label for, I think it’s Fed Ex, That’s how seldom I ever
use them. I ONLY use Reg. Mail or Express overnight.


#4

If you are shipping USPS, send the item “CERTIFIED”. The package is
locked up everywhere it goes and is completely trackable. Also insure
the package for its full value. When I am sending to an address that
is a known diamond district address, I will often address the package
to “XYZ Medical Labs”, and write on the package “tissue sample
enclosed”. Many diamond dealers out of the diamond district in
Chicago do this also. But I still send certified and insured. Its
also a good idea to take a measured photo of the contents before
wrapping so that filing a claim is easier, in case of loss. Also,
take the time to securely wrap with reinforced paper tape, not that
slick plastic crap, crisscrossing the strips so that it cant be torn
open quickly, and leave no edge unsealed. UPS is the one I’m leary
of, as I have had them copy signatures from other deliveries and say
it was from the ‘lost’ package. They screwed up when they showed me
my mom-in-laws signature for a lost package. Problem was, my
mom-in-law only stays at my residence for one week each year, and her
visit didnt coincide with the date of the lost package. Couple months
difference. They put her sig with the date that worked for them, and
showed me a photocopy of their ’ masterpiece in deception '. Someone
worked really hard for this trick. Claim was paid instantly when this
was brought to their attention. Unfortunately, I’m sure this is done
on a regular basis.

Ed


#5
If you are shipping USPS, send the item "CERTIFIED". The package
is locked up everywhere it goes and is completely trackable. 

You are confusing Registered and Certified mail. Certified is only a
delivery signature service with a return of the signature to the
sender. Registered is the one with safes, cages and a chain of
custody signature record.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#6

I was in the mail order business for over 10 years and shipped
thousands of packages. In all that time, the ONLY time a package
went missing was when I used a non-trackable method such as first
class mail. In general I used UPS for domestic packages weighing over
2 pounds, and USPSP Priority mail with delivery confirmation
(confirmation free if you use online Click N Ship) for all
international packages and domestic packages under 2 lbs. No package
using those methods ever went missing. I found both UPS and Priority
Mail to be highly reliable.

Pam East
www.pameast.net


#7

Isn’t it a federal crime to steal USPS mail/packages? I think this
is a big deterrent of thievery - for both the general public and the
postal workers, themselves. Compare the consequences of stealing USPS
mail to UPS and FedEx where it’s common that a package is “still at a
sort station” which is a euphemism for “stolen by package handler”.
We’ve experienced this scenario on many occasions. Prosecuting the
thieves is “too expensive and time consuming”, thus nothing is
resolved as these companies can hire another worker for $8/hour. Not
that there isn’t a plethora of complaints about the Post office and
its pleasant employees…I’ll stop right there.


#8

Hi Jim,

Any other USPS service is untraceable and unaccountable. 

I don’t know what you mean by the above statement. It may be true in
part, but Priority Mail is trackable. While not to the extent that
Registered mail is. It’s lots faster & with other options almost as
safe. In over 18 years I’ve only had 1 pkg go missing.

Dave


#9
If you are shipping USPS, send the item "CERTIFIED". The package
is locked up everywhere it goes and is completely trackable. 

You meant to say registered.

Elaine


#10

I do get a lot of my gemstones from around the world and only
recently noticed lost packages. These packages were sent with a
tracking number. When the tracking is checked it shows that it only
went so far and then disappeared. Never arriving at my place I of
course put in a claim. Now we are looking at a lot of money lost for
this company. I did purchase insurance on each of my packages. Now I
ask if they would please use Fed Ex and I will pay whatever it
costs. But one mistake companies do is to put the contents of the
package up front in clear writting. The packages I am missing all
include expensive gemstones and diamonds. Fair to say their
disappearance could have been because of what was written on the
front of the packages. New items are being sent to me with both of us
watching very closely. Nothing has arrived yet but I am staying at
home until all deliveries have been made.

Leslie


#11

I’ve tried to track priority mail and was told that you can only
track it once it arrives. Was told this multiple times, different
branches.

That kind of tracking doesn’t do you any good for a package that’s
weeks overdue, and in my mind it’s not tracking. It’s delivery
confirmation.

I’ve had many issues with USPS… both inbound and outbound. Probably
lose 2 packages a year and I don’t send many things USPS to begin
with.


#12

In my experience, USPS has been quite reliable, with the caveat that
I always personally deliver the packages to the Post Office. (My
carrier is not, shall we say, up to standards. On the other hand, I
have met most of the people within a 3-block radius since he started
delivering mail.) I have had a couple of international shipments
delayed, but none actually lost so far.

That said, you would not believe the outraged squawking when I
suggest that, for security reasons, a $20 sunstone be shipped by UPS
or FedEx at $30-$90 when it could theoretically get there for a
couple of bucks in first class mail. So, I split the difference and
insist that all shipments go at least by Priority Mail. It’s more
accountable than First Class, but not nearly as expensive as the
courier services. Believe it or not, I occasionally even get
complaints about the cost of Priority Mail! Fortunately, most of my
items are inexpensive enough that if one actually disappears, I can
afford to eat it.

Steve
http://gemsevermore.com


#13

Personally I’m a big fan of Fed Ex. I find both their drivers and
their phone operators to be far more willing to help than any of the
other groups (I have never had a Fed Ex phone operator be anything
except completely and totally helpful when there has been a problem
with a package). Whenever I

have requested same day, second delivery attempts they have always
been willing to make them. The USPS is absolutely useless when it
comes to actually tracking a package (including registered
mail—they may have to

track it internally but they don’t have any way of telling the
customer where it is). My experience with them when they lose a
package is that they simply tell you it’s gone and eventually pay up,
but that doesn’t meet the needs of people today when everything is
expected instantly. I don’t want to wait a month for them to tell me
that something has, in fact, disappeared. At least with Fed Ex you
know if it’s gone awry almost immediately as you can track packages
online at all times. I have also found all of my Fed Ex drivers to be
great people and always willing to help me out when there is a
problem. Also for those of you who think they are too expensive I
urge you to consider joining either the AGTA or the JA as

membership in both organizations gets you highly discounted rates
with Fed Ex and their high value DVX program. My shipping rates have
dropped dramatically since utilizing these group discounts.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC
www.spirerjewelers.com


#14
But one mistake companies do is to put the contents of the package
up front in clear writing. The packages I am missing all include
expensive gemstones and diamonds. Fair to say their disappearance
could have been because of what was written on the front of the
packages.

Never, ever put the words jewelry, gems, stones, gold, silver, or
any other word that would denote jewelry on the outside of a package.
And that includes not putting the name of any business if that has
any of those words. Abbreviate it to initials for you and the
addressee.

Lauren


#15

Why not just get insurance on packages? That way if they do go
missing they can be replaced. Leslie


#16

One other thing to consider when shipping an item of value is the
address & return address on the package.

When shipping a item of value, don’t entice people with sticky
fingers to latch on the package by the return address or the ship to
address.

If there’s any reference to jewelry or other high priced item in the
return address, change the return address to just someone’s 1st &
last name & the address. Then do the same with the ship to address if
at all possible.

I realize that with some addresses that’s not possible. The delivery
folks all know the Rio Grande, Stuller, Tiffany etc addresses.

Dave


#17

I once had a registered package that was very late coming back to be
from a stone cutter. It contained a family heirloom and I was
frantic. The Post Office was no help. I finally asked my mail man is
he would please try and track it down for me. He brought it into the
shop the next day. He said he found it in a box on the floor in a
hallway, not locked up, nobody had signed for it, it was lost in
plain sight. I used Fed-Ex ever after.

Mark


#18

Sounds like all these Horror stories have to do with inefficient
individual post offices and not Post office policies. If you’re
trying to factor in human error, NO service is safe!


#19
Sounds like all these Horror stories have to do with inefficient
individual post offices and not Post office policies. If you're
trying to factor in human error, NO service is safe! 

That’s so true. I mail stones to many places and have found the USPS
as reliable as any other service. I usually use insured Priority or
Registered. I’ve had 3 different Priority shipments to New Jersey go
temporarily missing for up to 2 or 3 weeks. But all were finally
delivered intact. It sounds exactly like what you have in mind,
Steve.

One of my most interesting shipping experiences involved a very
large chrysoberyl cat’s-eye, nearly 16 carats. A supplier in India
sent it to me out of the blue, asking if I could sell it for him. His
firm price was unrealistically high and after showing it around
Tucson I decided to send it back to him. But how? He insisted on air
freight.

I made a little box out of plywood and assembled it with plenty of
long countersunk wood screws. I packed the stone inside and took it
to an air freight company. After demanding to know what was inside
the manager refused it, obviously fearing pilferage by her own staff.
Disgusted at the time and effort I’d expended trying to return a
stone I hadn’t asked for I took it to the nearest Post Office, asked
the people to wrap it up in official red, white and blue, and sent it
on its way. I decided I’d done all I could.

Almost 4 weeks later I received an elated email from my supplier
saying the stone had arrived “intect.” Apparently I’d used enough
wood screws to make would-be thieves along the way fearful of drawing
unwanted attention while they tried to remove them.

Rick Martin
www.artcutgems.com