The only thing worse then dealing with one postal service is dealing with two.
I mailed an item to a custom in Canada back on February 26th. USPS.com shows it cleared Canadian customs on March 3rd. If you go the Canada Post website, you can see it made it as far as Edmonton on March 7th. Then…nothing.
The buyer contacted me because when she called about it, they told her the shipper needed to initial an inquiry. So I called Canada Post. It was last seen in Edmonton and going to a Canada address so it seemed the logical choice. That was my first incorrect assumption.
Canada Post said they couldn’t initiate a track directly. That since the package originated in the US, the USPS needed to forward the request Canada Post start an inquiry. So I called USPS. They said that they couldn’t do a trace because the package is an “LZ” class package. (First class, or Priority Mail Envelope) That there is limited information provided on “LZ” class packages.
Next time, if I want further information, I should bypass the $8 first class postage and pay the $20-and-up Priority rate (but not Priority Envelope!) and they can look into it further at that point. Apparently $8 just isn’t enough in expense for them to give a crap. (Even though of course, all the USPS has to do is say, “Hey Canada. Can you see what happened to this package?” and have Canada actually do the all the work. USPS has to do nothing but ask and they won’t because I didn’t pay them enough.)
So, to sum: A package is somewhere in Canada. But Canada Post won’t investigate because USPS has to request the investigation. USPS won’t request the investigation because it’s “only” a First Class package. Meanwhile, I have a customer in Canada who’s been patiently waiting since February for her order and I have diddly squat to tell her. USPS says it might arrive tomorrow or in two weeks or in another month or not at all. Sorry, they don’t know and can’t ask for any further updates for me either. Pay more for postage next time.
I only wish this were an April Fool’s joke, but sadly this is the reality of dealing with not one but TWO government bureaucracies!