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Steve Fabert





Joined: 03 Mar 2004
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PostPosted: Sat 27 Jan, 2018 5:30 pm    Post subject: Beware of USPS mishandling         Reply with quote

I've just experienced a near disaster delivering a sword to a fellow forum member. I put the Del Tin sword into an old Albion sword box and took it to my local post office. They insured the package fully, cautiously designated it as a potentially hazardous package, and conspicuously marked it as 'FRAGILE'. The box was supposed to arrive a week ago Friday. Instead of traveling directly from my home town to Wyoming it took a left turn at Kansas City and spent eight extra days bouncing around Chicago, a location it never should have come anywhere near. I'm told that the box arrived today with crush damage, signs of abuse, and possible inexpert opening for inspection. The box is a loss but thankfully the sword inside came through it all unscathed.

I'll never use USPS to ship a sword again. It's worth the extra expense to have the professionals at UPS or FedEx deliver swords. Anyone else who has a similar tale of wandering & abused blades please post your story as a reply.
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Joshua Waters




Location: South Carolina
Joined: 15 Dec 2013

Posts: 37

PostPosted: Sat 27 Jan, 2018 7:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I certainly avoid USPS whenever possible. I have had numerous issues with their handling of packages.
Back years ago when the Cold Steel composite training swords were the only ones readily available on the market, I ordered a set of two. I received a tracking number for the swords, and followed their progress from the vendor all the way to the local post office, where they suddenly vanished never to be seen again... I went to the post office to ask after them, and all I got in response was an "I dunno" that led to nothing. I then contacted the post masters office and complained, and they told me "We'll look into it", and that was the last I ever heard about my composite swords. A while later I ordered some new ones, and had them shipped via UPS and received them promptly and with no damage or issue.
Even the thought of a high end sword being shipped through USPS is a bad one.

Benedictus Dominus Deus meus.
Qui docet manus meas ad prælium, et digitos meos ad bellum.

Deus vult!
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Arne G.





Joined: 31 Jul 2014

Posts: 53

PostPosted: Sat 27 Jan, 2018 9:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I had a similar experience though with something less valuable. My dad sent me a CD as a birthday present a year ago, and it almost came to CA from MN. Almost. It came to my local post office, and then bizarrely ended up getting re-routed to TN, before eventually, weeks later, getting to me. I was able to track it partially, and could not understand how it almost got here, and then went to nowhere near where it was supposed to be.

Government workers... in fairness, though, I've had plenty of packages arrive without incident.
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Oskar Gessler




Location: Germany
Joined: 29 Nov 2017

Posts: 12

PostPosted: Sun 28 Jan, 2018 4:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Arne G. wrote:
I had a similar experience though with something less valuable. My dad sent me a CD as a birthday present a year ago, and it almost came to CA from MN. Almost. It came to my local post office, and then bizarrely ended up getting re-routed to TN, before eventually, weeks later, getting to me. I was able to track it partially, and could not understand how it almost got here, and then went to nowhere near where it was supposed to be.

Government workers... in fairness, though, I've had plenty of packages arrive without incident.


I work as a mailman and I remember once how I was sorting letters in the morning and I had one from Australia which was adressed to an other Australian city, should have never left the continent but somehow I had it in Hamburg.
Misallocations happen. Especially with small letters which might stick to other ones etc but that Australian one was special.
Althought its beyond me how something like this can happen to a bigger package.
It can be thrown on the wrong conveyor band when the worker is in a hurry in the sorting office. But when it reached its destination office already...thats just strange.
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Joe A




Location: Philadelphia, USA
Joined: 17 Oct 2013

Posts: 57

PostPosted: Sun 28 Jan, 2018 6:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is why I always use a hard TUBE when I ship swords. The extra few dollars are well worth the peace of mind. A very well known maker sent me a product a few years ago wrapped in a large piece of old cardboard folded over with no rigid support inside. Of course it was broken and bent when it arrived. Frankly I'm surprised the insurance paid as it was not properly packaged to begin with. We do have a responsibility to package the stuff up properly. I did get 100% of my money back plus shipping costs, but I waited almost a year for the custom piece and had numerous presentations scheduled based upon the reputation of the maker that I had to cancel. It was a learning experience for sure as I had several professional conversations with the maker regarding shipping nightmares and he assured me the $1,800 product would be packed very well. I was truly shocked and disappointed that he lied to me.
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J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
Joined: 25 Dec 2006

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PostPosted: Sun 28 Jan, 2018 6:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I suspect that things can go wrong no matter what you do.

However, I've shipped dozens of swords across Canada-US border with USPS/Canada Post and not had a major problem. The worst things that happened were some delays sitting at the border (which I could track) and once I suspected they opened the package and messed around a bit. It was always easy to pick things up at my local post office and I never had complaints going the other way.

On the other hand, every time I used UPS there was a problem. The product was stopped at the border until I payed them inflated brokerage fees. If you are not home when it arrives (which is always the case if you work away from home) they give up after several tries and then you have to travel a distance to some big sorting facility, then wait in line for them to find it.

Why pay more for worse service?
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Lin Robinson




Location: NC
Joined: 15 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Sun 28 Jan, 2018 10:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ironically, I have shipped, literally and I do mean literally, hundreds of blades and never had a problem with the USPS. I had just one problem with UPS, a blade which slipped out the end of a box and ended up with a bent point. This was in spite of using a wooden block at the tip along with ample packing material. UPS would not honor the insurance because they said it was improperly packed. Not sure how they determined that since most of the packing material at that end of the box was gone but, thankfully, I was able to hammer out the point - after replacing the sword for the buyer - and later sold it. Some people have bad luck and some have good luck and there is not telling which one you will have at a given time.
Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Aaron Hoard




Location: Seattle, WA
Joined: 01 Sep 2009
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PostPosted: Sun 28 Jan, 2018 1:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I can think of more than one bad incident I've had with UPS, and another with USPS. I don't think any of the shippers are immune to this. However, for the most part, I've received my items intact and promptly.
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Roger Hooper




Location: Northern California
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PostPosted: Sun 28 Jan, 2018 3:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think many of the problems with USPS, UPS, and FEDEX are local, rather than global. USPS may be fine in San Jose CA, but bad in st. Louis, MO. One thing I've noticed. With USPS, more things tend to go wrong on weekend deliveries, when the second string staff is making the rounds.
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Gregory T Kallok




Location: Northern Virginia
Joined: 10 Jul 2017

Posts: 34

PostPosted: Sun 28 Jan, 2018 4:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I work In a Huge Volume mail facility, 55 million pieces of mail a year, plus. We get trays that have mail of all sorts in them ALL the time. The post office has been undergoing HUGE changes and consolidations of Mail facilities and personnel. They have cyt wages to their employees and these underpaid people have a huge resentment for their 'Company'... Fed x is still solid as is UPS and as long as your package isnt going to a PO box number then i would highly suggest going with them. GET INSURANCE and document everything. Take pictures , keep receipts and Tape and stuff that Item with a LOT of tissue, newspaper and bubble wrap packing materiel. After your done with your package SHAKE it and if the item is bouncing around even a little, open it up and stuff more packing materiel, Styrofoam peanuts into the package... Trust me, you lose or get a damaged item one time and you will heed my advice!!
Keep your nose in the Wind and your eye on the skyline.
Del Q
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Lin Robinson




Location: NC
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PostPosted: Mon 29 Jan, 2018 5:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gregory T Kallok wrote:
I work In a Huge Volume mail facility, 55 million pieces of mail a year, plus. We get trays that have mail of all sorts in them ALL the time. The post office has been undergoing HUGE changes and consolidations of Mail facilities and personnel. They have cyt wages to their employees and these underpaid people have a huge resentment for their 'Company'... Fed x is still solid as is UPS and as long as your package isnt going to a PO box number then i would highly suggest going with them. GET INSURANCE and document everything. Take pictures , keep receipts and Tape and stuff that Item with a LOT of tissue, newspaper and bubble wrap packing materiel. After your done with your package SHAKE it and if the item is bouncing around even a little, open it up and stuff more packing materiel, Styrofoam peanuts into the package... Trust me, you lose or get a damaged item one time and you will heed my advice!!


Very good advice. I suspect you are in the same facility where my nephew worked for many years. He has told me much the same as you did. During my 14 years of running a business which required a lot of shipping, I was very, very lucky to have just one problem, which was not with USPS. Clearly other people have had much worse experience.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
Joined: 01 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Mon 29 Jan, 2018 10:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've only ever had one major problem with the USPS. I once bought a helmet online from a seemingly reputable company. I won't name any names, but they are NOT in the USA. When it arrived in my mailbox ( Surprised ) I was quite shocked at how small the box was! The box its self was badly crushed on one corner. The helmet was damaged to the point that it was unrepairable. I don't entirely blame USPS for this though. The helmet was a cheapo and I did get a refund--and got to keep the helmet anyway. Happy If everyone would pack their stuff like KOA and MRL, maybe these problems wouldn't arise as often. It doesn't take THAT MUCH more effort and expense to pack something correctly, whether it be a $50 helmet or a $1500 sword. Any time I ship something, I always try to double-box it and reinforce the corners. And, I have enough bubble wrap and KOA brown paper to wrap my house! Laughing Out Loud ......McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Joe A




Location: Philadelphia, USA
Joined: 17 Oct 2013

Posts: 57

PostPosted: Mon 29 Jan, 2018 7:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I once received a bronze helmet in a bubble wrap ENVELOPE! The sender was just lazy, but it arrived amazingly without any damage at all.
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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
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PostPosted: Tue 30 Jan, 2018 10:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joe A wrote:
I once received a bronze helmet in a bubble wrap ENVELOPE! The sender was just lazy, but it arrived amazingly without any damage at all.


That is INSANE. WTF?! At least mine was in a BOX.....a piece-of-crap box, mind you. Mad It was a Norman-style nasal helm and the nasal piece was bent all the way INSIDE the bowl. I've never been so pissed off. At least I got reimbursed. I'll know to never order from THAT company again! (And I told them so---harshly.)....McM

''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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James Arlen Gillaspie
Industry Professional



Location: upstate NY
Joined: 10 Nov 2005

Posts: 523

PostPosted: Wed 31 Jan, 2018 4:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have known several people to have boxes crushed and contents destroyed by UPS, and were refused compensation. I have seen the corners of large crates crushed by FedEx, probably fork lift mistakes. I have had no problems yet with USPS. Note I said yet. Wink I do a lot of praying.
jamesarlen.com
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Mike Haris





Joined: 09 Jan 2018

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed 07 Feb, 2018 4:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing a word here. Hopefully it will help few people to stay away from any trouble with USPS
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Joshua McGee





Joined: 14 Jun 2011

Posts: 69

PostPosted: Wed 07 Feb, 2018 6:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Man, I feel this one. Several years ago I ordered many plate and mail pieces from a Ukranian maker and USPS delivered me an empty torn open box! The New York customs office got some nice armour that week!
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Phil Jones





Joined: 21 Jul 2017

Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sun 18 Feb, 2018 1:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What I'm taking out of this is that service depends on the area and if you're lucky to have good people handling your packages or not. I guess there are good and bad experiences with all of them.
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,808

PostPosted: Sun 18 Feb, 2018 7:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I had a four figure antique arrive in an approved box that was literally ripped in half. Taped back together and somewhat shorter.





Failed to be delivered the first day. Carrier "misplaced it" the second day. Visit to the post office and the clerk passed it to me with a smile, no explanation. Fortunately, the old leather scabbard and sword were flexible enough to make it through ok. A lot of my old stuff arrive feeling like boxes of air. I can imagine it got caught up in a conveyor, somewhere between Texas and Massachusetts.

Most of the time, bad packaging can be the culprit. I honestly give good marks to all the carrier businesses. USPS though, those wacky guys.

Cheers

GC
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 3,427

PostPosted: Sun 18 Feb, 2018 8:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I had a car cover track to my local post office...track to it...and then just disappear there. Poof! Gone! Company I bought it from refunded me. They got their insurance from the post office. Next one got to me fine. So in the end, we only lost time. It was just weird that they knew it hit the door of the building but then it just vanished. They did have a postal worker go postal and kill two of his managers they day the car cover got to the local post office (seriously) so maybe that had some thing to do with it?
"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
-John F. Kennedy
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