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FWIW: My recent experiences with International mail is this: since Covid, it has become common for item tracking to fail between countries. eg: I get notification the package has departed and usually no further tracking until delivery. This has been my experiences in BOTH directions, packages from the US, UK, Argentina, Germany, Italy, France but - they all arrive. On the upside however - the best tracking I have is via parcelsapp.com - even though my local Postal Service is tracking I get more updates and better information via parcelsapp - hope this helps some of you. 61 days I waited for a parcel from San Francisco - about the same time it took a package to arrive in Germany - mostly because there are far fewer planes in the air because of Covid. We just gotta' be patient and hope Covid is dealt with and soon.
 

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I have sold a few mouthpieces over the past few months from Belgium to the US. One was about 3 months. Fortunately the buyer was on here and very kind, patient and trusting. We were just about to do a refund and it turned up. I have another I sold on Ebay which I am hoping does not take so long. There was information about there being a huge postal backlog in the US for international packages with the Covid situation also creating delays. But what I was surprised about was that once it left Belgium the tracking ceased and there was no way to follow where it was in the US. Normally I can still trace once a package is in another country.
 

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My experience is that USPS was most messed up in the early days of the pandemic. Things are better now. The main issue I'm seeing is with shipped items' initial acceptance scan - that used to be pretty quick and now it can take days for shipped items to get an acceptance saan. It's unfortunate because it makes it look like I'm not shipping stuff promptly. Delivery times are a little slower too, but still manageable, and I suspect costs are still FAR less expensive than private shippers.
 

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Indeed we must not steer towards politics. But the traditional postal services of any country, where its USPS, Post Italia, Kazpost or Royal Mail maybe should have seen more writing on the wall back in the 90s when email took off replacing letters and postcards. In the 2000s Amazon soon dominated online shopping using its own courier network.

Plus the courier agent system (Interparcel etc.) meant it became easy for ebay sellers to get stuff picked up from home and sent cheaply instead of going to and queuing up the post office.

Bit of forward thinking would have helped all of these state run services.
No offense, Pete, but I think one has to understand exactly how much the corporate private carriers have wanted the US Postal service to fail over the past generation. Both UPS and Fedex are incredibly active members of ALEC.
This has very, very little to do with the US Postal service 'failing' to recognize the advent of email, somehow blowing it.
USPS was functioning quite fine for the 10+ years after emailing became common.

I suggest you have a look at PAEA if you haven't already. It was legislation designed to make USPS eventually fail.
So this is much simpler than USPS not keeping up with the Joneses.

US corporations do not like having to compete with a public sector entity which is in the same biz as they are.
(See health insurance, as one example). Because often the public sector entity can provide the same service for less, or do it better, or both. USPS was doing this...and had been besting their private competition for close to 50 years....

So, private industry lobbies to kill any entity which exists as a competitive alternative to the service they are selling.
And they have almost done it. As I said, this is approaching the Endgame of something which started 14 years ago.

In the past 4 years ship prices at USPS have increased a couple times a year substantially. In january the ship prices for large parcels increased, overnight, by 60%...for the first time ever now exceeding the prices of the private carriers.
Customer service was subbed out offshore around 5 or 6 years ago.
I invite anyone to actually call the USPS 800 number and TRY to reach a live customer service agent. It's quite the adventure. 6 years ago...you would have to perhaps wait on hold 4 or 5 minutes, max. And then you'd speak to an agent at a domestic call center.
Filing of claims and inquiries regarding late or missing packages used to be able to done directly via your post office...this also was done away with, the system changed and subcotracted out - and claims and searches cannot be opened at the PO now. Must be done online (when USPS doesn't take down their own 'open search inquiry' page like they did for 5 days this week), or via phone (see comment above re: phone customer service).
This is all ugly, and again, it was designed to end like this.
Sorry for soapbox.
 

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I am a big USPS fan. I mostly ship 1st class, no insurance. Usually $3-$4 for 1-4 mouthpieces in the box. Takes 3-5 days but is not guaranteed. I ship about 150-200 mouthpieces each year for the last 20 years. I have never had a mouthpiece permanently lost in the US.

I have had a few delayed for several weeks. But every one of them was eventually found and delivered other returned to me.

I have some clients who send mouthpieces to me for $20+. Save your $ so you can spend it on more sax stuff!
You might not remember this one, Mojo, but around 2006 I sent a Meyer alto to you for consideration for a reface, and due to some life events I didn’t get back to you with instructions for the work so you shipped it back to me but it was never received back on my end, so I’d consider that one lost. Still a pretty good record with usps, I’ve never had trouble with usps other than that time.
 

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Just to reiterate/clarify... both the specifics of this thread and mine....the LATEST problem here is Priority Mail, domestic...and it is RECENT. Just the latest in a string of recent dives which have been going on there.

People can reply "Oh, I've had no problems"...but specifically.... the thing which seems to be failing now is Priority.
And perhaps some folks feel that paying UPS and Fedex prices on sizable packages is 'no problem'....when 11 months ago USPS prices were often half the cost.
IMHO, that isn't 'no problem'. It is a huge problem in from that point onward, customers have no price choice any longer for sizeable domestic parcels. This has never happened before.

~Not talking about Express Mail problems here (which in case nobody notice has had 100% price increases since a year ago on large parcels, AND no longer offers overnight shipping on MOST envelopes and parcels -it's been 2-day now for almost a year)....

~Nor Parcel/Ground Problems.....which I agree at this point is by far your wisest option if you are gonna us US Postal.

Priority Mail seems the method primarily effected recently. So again, as OP noted, you pay a hecka premium to up something to Priority....and oftentimes there's a reason why someone needs something to arrive in 2-3 days.
It's just not happening now.
 

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I've recently experienced this too, within the last month and a half or so.

I'm normally a huge advocate of USPS and Priority shipping. In fact, until recently, it's been my experience that packages shipped via USPS First Class or Priority have often arrived a day or two ahead of the scheduled delivery date. However, in the last couple of months I've had several packages that fell off the grid for a week or two. The tracking gets them to a major nearby hub and then, all of a sudden the tracking information get frozen on:
"Your package will arrive later than expected, but is still on its way. It is currently in transit to the next facility. "
and stays stuck there for a week or more.
 

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No offense, Pete, but I think one has to understand exactly how much the corporate private carriers have wanted the US Postal service to fail over the past generation.
I’m sure that’s true. But the politics I was referring to is regarding the last year, and specific references to political figures. It is annoying to have to delete such references which has had to be done in this thread.

NB (while on the topic) to everyone: rather than quote political references in the thread please just report them, it means a bit less work to do for mods because once the post is deleted we then have to go through deleting all the quotes and in-thread comments on it (what we call "collateral")
 

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It took six weeks for a trombone to get from Ohio to where I live in North Carolina. It sat in a distribution center for five weeks.
 

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Wow, I've been chastised. I guess the politics WERE irrelevant to this conversation.....Funny, I've lived in a major metropolitan area all my life, but also spend a large amount of time in a very rural family compound (much more in the last four years ;) ) I have close friends on both sides of the aisle. I have also been a professional musician for half a century, thousands of gigs, teaching, recording....The most disheartening things I see are the musician/friends from the 60's-70's who would have been considered almost "communist" back then make a 180 degree turnaround politically. Voting against not only their own self interests but quite possibly the whole worlds. Boggles my mind. Still love them but very perplexing. My musician friends of color would be FAR less understanding than I...................................................................................................................................................Bye
 

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Ving, sorry I did not recall the lost Meyer. I do have a record of analyzing it in Nov 2005 and sending it back in Dec. I did find an old email from you in May 2006 where you thought you lost it in the holiday mail but did not try to find it at the time. I do not recall if I investigated if delivery tracking said it was delivered somewhere. I usually do but I did not mention it.

Anyhow, I can offer you a no charge reface if you want.
 

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I've recently experienced this too, within the last month and a half or so.

I'm normally a huge advocate of USPS and Priority shipping. In fact, until recently, it's been my experience that packages shipped via USPS First Class or Priority have often arrived a day or two ahead of the scheduled delivery date. However, in the last couple of months I've had several packages that fell off the grid for a week or two. The tracking gets them to a major nearby hub and then, all of a sudden the tracking information get frozen on:


and stays stuck there for a week or more.
Here's a dirty secret a very nice Postmaster in Northern Washington state clued me in on.

There are tracking updates...and tracking updates.

The valid ones are where the parcel is scanned in at a stop, and the update will note the facility, date, and time. Those are 'true' updates.

The BS ones are what USPS refers to as 'system generated' updates. Those are the ones which note "on it's way to destination", malarkey semantics like this...but give nothing other than a date. No current location, no scan-in, no other info.

These 'system generated' tracking updates are, automatically generated. They are not based on the reality of the parcel actually being on a truck heading anywhere. As that Postmaster replied, when I asked her:

"so...but the system-generated update means the parcel IS currently in transit, right ?"

Postmaster : "Not necessarily...but not necessarily NO, either".

😳

And there... you have it.
 

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It took six weeks for a trombone to get from Ohio to where I live in North Carolina. It sat in a distribution center for five weeks.
I forgot about your bad experience with that one. Wasn’t that stuck for a week or so from hurricane Laura? Although I’m not sure how hurricanes get to Ohio.
 

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//Although I’m not sure how hurricanes get to Ohio.//

They take I-77 like anybody else.
 

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Discussion Starter #36
I thought they used express mail
Hurricanes don’t get to Ohoi using express mail. If they did, they would frequently disappear off the grid for a few days and arrive several days late. Lol
 
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