I’ve never been this upset with the Post Office until now. Allow me to tell you the fateful story to where I am now.
Original Story of 05/22/2015
So as many of you know, I order quite a bit of merchandise from Ami Ami. I had an order from April that contained about three nendoroids and some other merchandise. Needless to say, it wasn’t exactly the cheapest package (though not within the realms of being outrageously expensive). As for shipping, I usually go for the EMS option since it’s only a few more dollars extra compared to the slower option SAL. Besides, there’s that insurance and “guarantee” with the option so I figured it wouldn’t hurt.
Now the sad thing about the United States Post Office is that I’ve always had this feeling that there will be a day where my package will get lost. I know this from experience after working at The UPS Store for so long. With every package that I send out or is being sent to me, I have this small concern that something bad will eventually happen. That time has finally come. The last updated location from the tracking number (as of right now) was from the 10th of May and left Kent. That city is only approximately 35~45 minutes away from where I live. It can’t possibly take too long to get to my house, right?
A couple days pass and I still have yet to see the package and the tracking number hasn’t been updated at all. Very odd considering how the package is supposed to be an international express priority mail. It should only take a single business day to reach its destination (once it arrives in the States). Since that obviously was not the case, I decided to finally give the local Post Office a call. After the phone had rung several rings, I was greeted with a single tone rather than a human voice. Great.
After I called the 1800 number (and going through them constantly repeating that I could do whatever on their website again and again and placed in queue and waiting for them to call back after 20 minutes), I finally reached a representative to make an inquiry regarding my package. Shortly after I had explained the situation, the rep noted that she would place an inquiry on the package and that they’ll do what they can to find it.
Several days had passed since I made that call so I figured it would be a good idea to call them back to see what’s going on. After going through all that junk and being placed on hold again, I get to another rep and explained my situation again. After she had found my case, she noted that they’re still working on the inquiry. She had also noted the inquiry’s deadline would be the day right after and they would give me a call back giving me an update. Of course, I never got a call the next day.
Since it was a Friday, I waited until Monday to give them a call again. At this point, I’m starting to actually get irritated simply listening to the automated system. When the situation was explained to this new rep, she seemed to be a little startled after she went through the tracking number. Her shock was from the fact that this was an international package (not like the EM and JP within the tracking number would have made it obvious enough already) and that the investigation was placed at a domestic level. She had asked if I was given a call. When I told her no, she seemed shocked again whereas I’m here thinking it’s (unfortunately) natural that they wouldn’t call me. I then was informed that the case had been closed since they could not find the package but she would escalate the situation to an international level. She had asked if I could get the sender to contact them and exchange some information so that they could start the investigation.
So the next day, I send an email to Ami Ami asking if they could call their 1800 number (which for some odd reason was the phone number that lady had requested that they call them at) while providing as much information about the package I had. Later that night, I finally received an email back from them. This was their response (don’t mind the formatting. It was like that when I received the email which kind of made it funny to read):
Thank you for mailing us.
We are sorry to hear about it.
Unfortunately we are unable to call the Post office of your country for th
is package, we can however open an investigation with Japan Post regardin
g this package.
Unfortunately we can contact them only after 4 weeks have passed from the
shipping date of the order and not before.
We are able to contact them earlier only if we receive some proof from you
r Postal Service, that states that the package has been lost during the de
If you are able to obtain that kind of document stamped from your Post off
ice, Japan Post will be able to open an investigation even before the 4 we
eks have passed.
We apologize for the inconvenience.
Thank you for shopping at AmiAmi.
Wonderful. That certainly makes things easier (harder) on me. So I go back to calling the Post Office (to which by now I know what to say and when to say and it feels great to cut that damn voice off). After explaining the situation again, I was told that I need to get all the information from the sender as much as possible so that they can start the investigation or else it might just end up filing it closed quickly after. This is already way too much work that I’m doing for something that shouldn’t have happened to begin with.
Thankfully Ami Ami sent the customs form that was included in the package the night I had sent the email asking for information. I thought by now I would finally have something that can get this ball moving again.
Today I called the Post Office again, I was transferred to an international division of the Post Office. While I’m placed on hold, I can’t help but wonder why there’s always a different approach for each phone call I make. When I got to the rep (who was male), he seemed a little startled at what I was telling him. He told me that as much as he would love to help, they wouldn’t be able to start the investigation themselves. I’m pretty pissed off at this point. Without leaving any evidence of showing otherwise, I asked what I could do at this point. He simply explained that the origin country had to start the investigation and there was really nothing that they could do (and he apologized several times for me having been misled).
So do you remember in the first email from Ami Ami I included above? How they are able to contact earlier only if there is physical proof that it had been lost during the delivery?
Naturally I ask the rep if there was any way they can provide such documentation. He was stumped on this and said that the only way they can show “proof” is through the tracking number which is something anyone can access. The only problem is that it doesn’t show “lost” and I was afraid that Ami Ami would be picky about that. The only thing they’d be able to provide is a screencap further proving how useless the Post Office is. Thus, I asked at the very least if they could send an email so I could perhaps forward the email to Ami Ami. He said he could try and I should see an email from him.
It has been six hours since the phone call and I have yet to see that email.
I hate to use explicit language here but… I really fucking hate the post office.
Hopefully I can update this post later in the future.
So around last Friday, I found out that the Kent Post Office phone number I had called was apparently the wrong one. Whatever Google gave me was not the same one that the USPS website showed. So on the following morning, I called the Kent Post Office and I was pleasantly surprised to actually hear an employee’s voice answer the phone. It wasn’t long before I got disappointed again.
As I tried to explain the situation to the employee, she seemed a little annoyed (of all people?!) at what I was trying to tell her. She kept pointing out that the package had left Kent. Each time she did, I had to remind her that was the last update since the freaking 10th of May. I kept asking if she could search their warehouse
Much needed update… late into the future:
I only realized after two years of not updating this that I had never “finished” wrapping this whole disaster up. Some of the details following this may be abridged just simply due to the fact that I may have forgotten some details along the way.
There were times during this whole debacle where I would have to call Ami Ami… which is based in Japan. So as you can imagine, I had incurred fees on my bill just to figure things out through them. Once I figured the situation out from that end, I found out what I needed to do in order to sort things out through the Post Office so that I can get refunded for the items lost.
Throughout the months, I would constantly call the post office for them to do their job and keep me updated on the international level investigation. At this point, I would often feel frustrated due to the lack of communication from the post office. I would only get new information if I gave the post office a call. Eventually one of the representatives had finally told me that the post office declared the package to have been lost. Ecstatic, I asked them what the step was from here. After a couple months of waiting for this to be over with, I was about ready for this nightmare to be over. The Post office claimed they will have sent a form for me to sign stating that the package was, in fact, lost, and I do not possess it whatsoever. Considering it was sent via first class mail, it was going to take a bit. I was honestly a bit peeved that, at this point, they didn’t consider to just use their priority mail option to save me time (I’ve waited close to four months at this point).
Several days passed and I was getting impatient. Naturally, I called the post office to see why the letter was taking so long to reach me. The representative I was with at the time had told me that I had a certified mail that should be delivered very soon and that would contain the document that I needed. I was a bit shocked that they would spend the extra money to make the mail certified rather than use priority mail, but I shrugged it off. The next day, I check the mailbox and I see that the certified mail indeed did arrive… except it was not addressed to me. The mail for something else entirely.
To say that I was pissed would not accurately describe how I had been feeling. For several months, I had been led left and right, back and forth, trying to figure this damn nonsense out. Just when I think everything is starting to finally be over with, I get this shit. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say it was some work of a miracle that I remained cool-headed and did not yell even once at any of the representatives while calling. This next call I made had me get dangerously close, however I was unable to stop myself from raising my voice. Of course, I felt bad and managed to calm myself and it appears that the representative was finally able to tell just how frustrating the whole situation was for me. She ended up telling me that she has no idea why the other representative told me it would be in a certified mail when they always send these type of letters in just plain ol’ first class letters.
After about three days or so, I finally got the damn letter. I quickly read over what they had written, signed my name, and sent it back. Thankfully they included an envelope to for me to use to send back without having to pay for postage. That would have certainly been similar to throwing salt onto an open wound.
About half a month later, constantly calling the post office and calling Ami Ami one more time (accruing more fees onto my phone bill) making sure everything was alright, I FINALLY got the mail from the post office giving me a full refund of the package’s value. After what had now been five grueling months, I had finally concluded the war, victorious.
I would say something that would seem inspiring or even motivating, but all I can say is that I learned what I had always feared: