Update with possible time-saving info: US Postal Service FAIL

My J. Crew trench was supposed to get here today. It DID get here today, but then it left again.

Tracking says "notice left." I don't have a notice, and I had it sent to my business. I was here. Many people were here - why would they leave a notice?

I called 800-ASK USPS, and they said it was at my local post office - but of course had no idea what went wrong. OK. I called the local office to see if they had it. No answer. For several calls.

At lunch, I DROVE to the local post office. They didn't have it. "If you really want it, come back at 9am," they said. Or I could come back at 5pm today. I have to work. Could I come back at noon? Nope, they would try to redeliver it by then. But if they redeliver it, wouldn't they just leave a notice? Again? To a building FULL of people who could easily sign for it? Yes, so if I want it I should come at 9am. No, they had no idea why the driver couldn't just deliver it where it was addressed.


I ended up writing a letter authorizing them to hold the package there until lunchtime tomorrow (my idea). I wrote down the teller's name. So that means another fun trip to and from USPS during the height of BH traffic - and another day's wait for my item.

No offense to any postal workers out there - I know for a fact that they do not all function like this. I'm just very unhappy at the moment. >:^(


To cut to the chase, everything I was told and instructed to do initially was completely wrong.

1) 800 ASK USPS had informed me that my package was at my local branch location. I've already said this was untrue, but what I learned was that ASK USPS operators are not even postal employees - they are a contracted answering service, and they basically have no access to real information and have no way of knowing how the postal service works. Don't count on them for anything related to your deliveries.

2) The associate I initially spoke with told me that I could come back and pick up my package with my driver's license. This was also untrue. The post office will not release anything unless the name *and* address match -- so unless you have your work address on your ID, you'll be completely up the creek without a paddle if you receive a delivery attempt notice at work.

3) This associate also told me that the driver would be bringing my package back to the branch location, and that I could pick it up either at 5pm that day, or 9am the next day. Well, even if they would have released the package to me with my ID, my package would not have come back to the branch. Apparently, "notice left" is some secret USPS code that really means "will be delivered tomorrow" in the event that your company is set up with something called a "call service," which creates different rules for how the mail is distributed from the branch.


"notice left" tracking status
no notice received
business delivery address
the business is probably using call service, and it will probably show up tomorrow.

4) However, no one at the post office will make this deductive leap. I asked repeatedly if there was any possible reason that the delivery was held up on my end (is there a signature needed? was it addressed incorrectly? did I need to wait outside for the truck?), but call service wasn't brought up until my 3rd interaction with USPS - even though they know your tracking info, address, the fact that the destination is a business, and everything, tellers have no way to see if a delivery is affected by call service. Which leads me to the next revelation:

5) I was told that it is the customer's responsibility to tell the postal worker if a workplace uses a call service. The people who actually live and breathe delivery issues every day cannot be expected to know anything about how deliveries function. You, as someone who does not work around mail, are expected to know everything about how your mail is handled, so don't blame the tellers for your own ignorance.

6) Everything is the customer's fault. USPS has no way of knowing anything and cannot be held responsible for any information they give you. No one ever apologized for the wrong information I was given, and I was told that "It wasn't her fault, because you didn't tell her it was a call service."

Seriously, with traffic, parking, and waiting lines, I wasted hours trying to get my package - not even counting the complaint letter I wrote for the manager of the branch - and no one had an ounce of sympathy. They all continued to defend the misinformation that was given and pass the buck to ASK USPS and me.

I've used USPS to ship al of my Ebay items for over 8 years, and I've never received this kind of treatment, but this is definitely enough to make me look into other options.

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Elly replied 7 years ago

    They do in my town. We actually won an award for worst post office in my state. I feel you.

  • Transcona Shannon replied 7 years ago

    PLONK is right Rae! What kind of service is that???

  • Emily replied 7 years ago

    Canada post did this to me a couple of times. I guess my parcels got scanned "delivery attempt-notice left" right at the office/depot and the notices would have been delivered that day or the next. My parcels were at the post office, though. Hope it works out for you with minimal inconvenience :)

  • Inge replied 7 years ago

    I would have been very "unimpressed" too, Rae (understatement). So frustrating-(

  • Victoria replied 7 years ago

    forgive me for sounding cynical here but it sounds like the postman didn't want to bother with delivering the package ergo this "left notice" bs. I had the same thing happened to me once-it was supposed to be have been delivered to my job and they claim he left "notice". No way, bub, I was there and noone left anything so I knew that was a lie.I had ok service with USPS overall but don't get me started on UPS! Where I live, our UPS person won't even ring your doorbell, he would just leave it ourside your apartment where anyone could take it. Agh...

  • ManidipaM replied 7 years ago

    Unbelievable attitude and lack of common sense! Hope it gets to you soon, Rae --- or rather, you get to it, because that's what doorstep delivery apparently implies these days?!

  • Mander replied 7 years ago

    Sounds like letter of complaint time! How annoying!

  • Vildy replied 7 years ago

    I'm with Victoria. Hubby works for a package delivery service and he claims this is the usual explanation. Have had it happen to me with another delivery service and also with the post office.

  • Lisa replied 7 years ago

    Sorry to hear. I find the worst part about ordering in a store or online, is chasing USPS or UPS all the time. I've stopped ordering for a while just because it was too much of a hassle.

  • Aziraphale replied 7 years ago

    Gah. How frustrating. I had a similar experience yesterday; I found a delivery notice in my mailbox, but I was home all day. Nobody rang the doorbell. Obviously the postal worker didn't feel like dropping off the parcel. So now I have to go to the post office today and pick it up. At least in my case I'm not as frustrated because I don't know what the parcel is -- I don't order online if I can help it -- so it's not something I've been eagerly anticipating the arrival of.

    Vent away, my dear.

  • Sunita replied 7 years ago

    Ugh...I feel for you Rae! I hope that J. Crew trench is such a smashing hit that it makes up for this hiccup.

  • rae replied 7 years ago

    Thank you for commiserating... it's interesting and a little bit aggravating to know that it was probably laziness on the delivery person's part. I could have understood a technical difficulty or something, but laziness is just... sad. I always use USPS for my Ebay shipments, and it stinks to be given this kind of service after spending so much money there over the years. Manidipa, you're right - "doorstep delivery" is not what it used to be!

    I'm bad for all of you who mentioned similar problems with UPS or Fedex. I feel lucky now that I haven't had many issues with them (knock on wood!) with all the orders and returns I've done this year. Especially since they are the private sector, I expect better levels of service!

    I'm not feeling so great this morning, and contemplating going home early... maybe I will get that darn package early after all. -_-

  • rae replied 7 years ago

    For any of you who may receive packages at work for security or convenience purposes, I've added my experience regarding "notice left" tracking status above. I wasted multiple hours over two days so, even though writing this made me angry all over again, I hope it might save someone else the grief.

  • ManidipaM replied 7 years ago

    Grrr! I'd be complaining loud and clear beyond this forum, and I come from a country where bad service is sometimes treated as a given!

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