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Old 11-29-2013, 11:17 PM   #1
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Default New Shipping Wrinkle is SLOW!

Some vendors are using "UPS SurePost", which I had never heard of before my most recent order took almost 2 weeks to get to me though it was shipped the day after I ordered.

The package starts out with UPS and somewhere along the way gets transferred so it is actually delivered by your regular mail carrier from your local post office. The postman tells me that makes it one day later than otherwise, but the fact is it was about 5 days later than the last time i ordered from the same company, about 2 weeks ago.

Too bad the 3 orders I placed recently were with 3 different companies, all of whom are using SurePost. Too late for my Christmas card project, darn it.

You will know your order is coming by SurePost only when your vendor sends you a tracking number and you click on it and see UPS-SurePost listed as the Carrier.
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Old 11-30-2013, 05:03 AM   #2
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Yes, this option has been around for quite some time. Another online store I used to shop with a few years ago tried the SurePost method and we all complained very loudly because their normal fast shipping became snail paced!
I am not a fan of SurePost at all!
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Old 11-30-2013, 06:38 AM   #3
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Another non-fan of SurePost here. A couple of places where I order frequently use either FedEx or UPS with SurePost. Sometimes the tracking shows that my box is within 20 miles of my house for 3 days before delivery.

I've read others speculate that the PO handles the UPS and FedEx stuff last after they process everything that originated at a PO, thus making the items that originated with other carriers the unwanted step-children of the postal delivery world.

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Old 11-30-2013, 07:37 AM   #4
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I had a "SurePost" item never arrive, and was told there was nothing they could do to track it. Once it transfers from UPS to the post office, all best are off. The tracking on mine ended at the post office of a neighboring town, and when I called they didn't have the package and had no idea where it had gone.

Unfortunately, by the time the company gave up on it and gave me a credit, the items I ordered were out of stock and there was no way I could order them again.

I now avoid all companies that use this way to ship.
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Old 11-30-2013, 08:16 AM   #5
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I hate SurePost & SmartPost both. Amazon has started encouraging their vendors to use it. Of the last 3 that vendors sent that way, one got transferred from UPS to the PO, but then disappeared. I had to go through the hassle of applying for a credit and have it resent. Then my original package just showed up 4 & 1/2 weeks after I got the replacement and I had to hassle with sending it back. Of the other 2, one supposedly was transferred to the PO, but the tracking info didn't update for 5 days and then it sat at the main PO for 4 more days. The 3rd one showed as received by the PO, but they had no record of it until 3 days later and then was not delivered for 2 more days. I've gotten to where I cancel my shopping cart if they use this system of delivery.
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Old 11-30-2013, 06:12 PM   #6
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I just ran into this last week with an order from Target. It took about 10 days to get it, but I couldn't track it until about 2 days before it came. I had the option of "upgrading" to regular ups delivery via the ups website for an extra $3.50 I think it was. I'm not a fan of this method of shipping, either.
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Old 11-30-2013, 06:31 PM   #7
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Fedex has a similar option. But you have to realize, it's a tradeoff. Customers keep clamoring for cheap and free shipping. What's a company to do? They use smartpost because it's cheap for them, I am sure, not because it's fast.
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Old 11-30-2013, 06:58 PM   #8
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Is it that much cheaper than using USPS priority? As much of a bad rap as they get I've never had a big problem with them. SmartPost, not so much.
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Old 11-30-2013, 07:04 PM   #9
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Is it that much cheaper than using USPS priority? As much of a bad rap as they get I've never had a big problem with them. SmartPost, not so much.
I can't imagine a reason to use Smartpost it if it weren't cheaper.
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Old 11-30-2013, 09:04 PM   #10
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Some of the vendors I use also use this method of shipping and i really dislike this method of shipping.
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Old 12-01-2013, 01:25 AM   #11
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UPS used to be one of the fastest shipping options. NOT any more!
I think the delay is with UPS.

I order my kitten food from Petco and they use UPS and NOT Smart Post .

My last order ( and one before it in October) sat on a truck for 4-5 days before it was delivered . The tracking shows it left the location that is "12 miles" from my house on Wednesday evening and won't be delivered until Monday .
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Old 12-01-2013, 02:40 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbara Jay View Post
UPS used to be one of the fastest shipping options. NOT any more!
I think the delay is with UPS.

I order my kitten food from Petco and they use UPS and NOT Smart Post .

My last order ( and one before it in October) sat on a truck for 4-5 days before it was delivered . The tracking shows it left the location that is "12 miles" from my house on Wednesday evening and won't be delivered until Monday .
That is ridiculous!
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Old 12-04-2013, 08:11 PM   #13
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I totally agree. I've had a few vendors I've ordered from lately and the shipments were all delayed by 3-4 days. It's a horrible service! It must really be a cost saver to the vendor, but the customer is the one that suffers!
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Old 12-05-2013, 05:09 AM   #14
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Dick Blick is using this service (FedEx Smartpost) any time you qualify for free shipping, and it adds several days onto the shipping time. I'm tracking something I ordered last weekend so I can give you a prime example.

Even though my order appears to have originated in Galesburg, Illinois (the state right next door, in a town that I could drive to in probably 3 hours or so), my package first went to a town outside Milwaukee, Wisconsin and then to Kansas City, Kansas (it was probably on a plane from Milwaukee to Kansas City International airport). I'm in Iowa. If you know your Midwestern geography, that means my package has made a big Bermuda triangle around Iowa, basically through 3 neighboring states before getting to Iowa and into my local post office's mail. (I'm counting Kansas City as Missouri because Missouri is bordering--and it's just a technicality that KCI is on the Kansas side. LOL)

I don't understand how that could be any cheaper than simply sending it via ONE carrier, whether it's the USPS or FedEx/UPS. Especially when I know that if I choose regular shipping (versus qualifying for free shipping), the package goes on a truck to the Quad Cities and then on a truck to my town, and can be here in 2 days tops. Yet via this so-called SmartPost, it has sometimes taken as long 7 business days to get here (which means as long as 10 calendar days, because of the weekend). I also believe the more times a package gets sorted or transferred, the more likely it will go astray.

Thankfully I'm not in a big rush to receive my order and because of the odd shape and weight of some of the items, the free shipping is worth the wait. But I'm still baffled as to why some companies use this option.
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Old 12-05-2013, 05:40 AM   #15
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I've got a prime example currently. I ended up making 2 orders from Kohls.com, on 11/27 and 11/28. Both orders were picked up at a Kohl's warehouse by the carrier on 12/4.

The 11/27 order was split up, with part coming FedEx SmartPost and part by UPS SurePost. FedEx is projecting delivery on 12/9, and UPS on 12/10.

My 11/28 order is a good bit heavier, is being handled entirely by UPS, and will be delivered today, 12/5.

As has been mentioned, it must be a lot cheaper for the company, since it definitely isn't quicker for the customer!

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Old 12-05-2013, 05:56 AM   #16
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I hate smart post and unfortunately not all businesses list it as what they use. I always choose UPS as my main carrier when available, even if it means I pay a bit more. They are generally faster and I like their online tracking better that the other shippers. There have been times where smart post was used without my knowing, until my tracking showed my package handed over to the post office. QVC does this all the time. I may select UPS, but it's a crap shoot whether they send it smart post. Lately packages sent via FedEx arrive faster than UPS, so I may start using them more often.
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Old 12-05-2013, 06:57 AM   #17
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Yeah, Amazon is using this now, too (UPS/Surepost), and I have a book that was supposed to be delivered on the 3rd, but the updated status says "unable to leave unattended - see notice". What???? Since when have they not been able to leave a book on my front porch?? And there wasn't anything stuck to the front door, so either the post office is fibbing about leaving a notice, or they went to the wrong house (which has happened multiple times in the past). Overall, very frustrating. And you don't have a choice in the matter when you use the free shipping - it depends on which distribution center the item ships from, I guess.
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Old 12-05-2013, 09:15 AM   #18
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My gripe with these methods of shipping is that they are not specially mentioned when you purchase something. If you want Fed-Ex, you should get Fed-Ex not smart post and the same with UPS and sure post. I'd rather pay the shipping and get my item in a reasonable amount of time. Case in point: Husband ordered small item from Lowe's on-line. Before he completed the order, it said it would be to us in 4-5 days. That's OK for shipping to Hawaii. Then he received an email that said it would be delivered 3 weeks later! What they did was send it Fed-Ex, but changed it to Smart Post, which means it took a truck trip to California and then was put on a boat to come to Hawaii. Then the item went to our town, then to another town, then back to our town. Needless to say, we will absolutely, positively never buy on-line from Lowe's again and we wrote then an email in that regard. It's hard to believe that Amazon would use such services when they pride themselves in quick delivery. My advice, if you are unhappy with a shipping method, please contact the vendor and complain. Vendors don't know if you don't tell them.
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Old 12-05-2013, 09:31 AM   #19
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Another problem for those of us in colder climes is that if you order something that can freeze (cosmetics, for example) it could now be stuck on those trucks longer than normal, possibly causing damage.
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Old 12-05-2013, 12:38 PM   #20
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I agree, I'd rather pay the shipping to ensure I'll get my order on time rather than getting "free shipping" and ending up waiting days or weeks for it to arrive. Wish they would give us that option when we check out...free isn't worth the wait, imo.
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Old 12-05-2013, 04:21 PM   #21
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I have received packages that started with UPS and were transferred to USPS. I didn't know about the swap-off until I started tracking the package. It definitely took much longer than normal and tracking stopped once USPS got the package. I hate when companies use this method. If they're going to use USPS, then just start with them to begin with. My experience has been faster delivery when only one shipper is involved, regardless of who the shipper is.
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Old 12-05-2013, 05:24 PM   #22
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Hi!
I have no experience with ups smart post but do I have priotoy mail stories.

We have a college kid to send packages to from central California to Tulsa Oklahoma. Sometimes it goes to Sacramento to Oklahoma and says delivered but it doesn't show up at the destination until 3 days later. Sometimes it gets there in 4 days. Once in awhile it will go from Sacramento then to billings Montana and then to Tulsa. He has gotten every box sent priority mail to him so we just laugh over the crazy delivery path.
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Old 12-05-2013, 05:55 PM   #23
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My Joann.com order was handled this way - UPS, then USPS - but in my case it actually worked to my advantage. UPS was projecting a delivery date of 11/29, which would have meant I would have been out of state when the package arrived. With the switch, it got delivered 11/27 - a day before I took off! Still seems like an inefficient way to go about things, though...
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Old 12-05-2013, 06:01 PM   #24
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In my eyes the problem with sure post is at the beginning . I've had packages sitting in a town for several days (once for 10 days) before fedex brought it to my post office to be delivered. Once the packages arrive at their destination post office they are delivered the same day if it is to a po box or the next day if they are either on a carrier or rural route delivery. UPS in my area is better at getting it to the post offices daily for delivery. As a postmaster it is indeed frustrating. And I enjoy working with both the Fed Ex and UPS delivery people who come to my office. They are good, hard-working men who care about their jobs. But until their powers decide when to include the packages with the daily deliveries it is out of our hands.
On the other hand I've had people absolutely delighted the last week about the speed of the smart post. The black Friday and cyber monday packages have been arriving in masses this week. I think we should all buy stock in amazon!!
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Old 12-05-2013, 06:37 PM   #25
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When you order from Close to My Heart on the consultants website, you can choose Smart post. My mail is delivered later in the day than the UPS or Fed Ex packages, so it isn't out on my porch as long.

I haven't had any problems with Smartpost, but I have had UPS packages go missing.
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Old 12-05-2013, 06:48 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ladybugstamper2 View Post
Hi!
I have no experience with ups smart post but do I have priotoy mail stories.

We have a college kid to send packages to from central California to Tulsa Oklahoma. Sometimes it goes to Sacramento to Oklahoma and says delivered but it doesn't show up at the destination until 3 days later. Sometimes it gets there in 4 days. Once in awhile it will go from Sacramento then to billings Montana and then to Tulsa. He has gotten every box sent priority mail to him so we just laugh over the crazy delivery path.
Is that perhaps a function of the college's mail room? Because when I was in school, the post officer would just deliver EVERYTHING to the dorm, and the dorm workers were then responsible for sorting it and leaving package notices... and if you came back after the desk was closed, you had to wait for your package.
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