USPS: Affordable Way to Ship with Decent Customer Service

As an online business owner as well as a regular citizen of a very small city with only one small Post Office, I have had my share of issues with our local Post Office. However, I thought I’d contribute a positive post on USPS today to share some good experiences, info on free USPS services and reasons why I use USPS as my primary carrier to ship orders for my business.

Affordable and Convenient Shipping With USPS

  • Affordable Shipping Rates

    I ship all of my customer’s non-rush orders with Priority Mail. Delivery time is 2-3 days (just 2 days from my location to New York City) and the rates are much lower than UPS Ground or 3-Day Select, at least for my small business.


  • Online postage at discounted rates w/ free Delivery Confirmation

    You can purchase postage for domestic and international Priority Mail or Express packages online with Click-N-Ship or PayPal Shipping (without an associated PayPal transaction).

  • Free Carrier Pickup – Save Time and Gas

    As long as you have at least one Priority Mail package (not much more expensive than Parcel Post), you can schedule a free carrier pickup and your mail carrier will pick up your package with your daily mail delivery. Note that you have to have appropriate postage on your package. UPS charges for One Time Pickups and FedEx doesn’t pick up in my zip code.

Other Useful Online USPS Tools

  • Letter or Package Redelivery Request

    If you miss a delivery of a signature required item, you can go to USPS.com/redelivery and submit a request for your carrier to redeliver it on a specific day when you will be home.

  • Mail Hold

    If you are going on vacation, you can request mail hold so your mail doesn’t pile up in the mailbox.

How to Get Good Customer Service From USPS

For the most part, my packages are shipped and delivered without a hitch. I print my postage online, request a carrier pickup and my shipments arrive in 2-3 days.

But in my business, there is a high number of orders where the customer must get their dog or horse costume by a certain date because they’re participating in an event like a show or costume contest. These orders come in at the last minute and require a precise, tight schedule with no margin for error: ship today, receive tomorrow, event the next day. But once in a while, there is a hitch – usually due to an error on my end or general miscommunication or misunderstanding with the customer.

The important thing to do when you need help is to call the local Post Office. Find the local (not 1-800) telephone number for the Post Office you need help from and speak to an employee at the local post office. This is faster and much more helpful than sending an email online which rarely gets a relevant and helpful response in one reply.

Twice in the past year, when it was necessary to get help with an Express Mail delivery, I was able to get top-notch customer service by speaking to an employee at the destination Post Office. They have gone out of their way to help me find the Express package and make necessary arrangements to allow my customers to get their packages in time.

Conclusion

Yes, there are a lot of horror stories out there about USPS; I don’t know how true or exaggerated most of them are. We do have an occasional hiccup with our local post office because the employees don’t seem to have fully grasped the online services (must be a small town thing) and miss an occasional redelivery request, but for the most part, USPS has delivered for me.

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