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A problem with EMS in the USA

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Here is a problem when using EMS (over SAL) in the USA. if you are on vacation an having your mail held you will most likely have your EMS package returned to sender unless its delivered w/in 5 days of your return. They only will hold an EMS package (its express mail on the US end) for 5 days then return it. the delivery notification will pop into your held mail bin, but that will not stop it from only being held in the express mail process for a max of 5 days. the final irony is when you get home you get your package notice in your held mail.


None of the hold mail info has any mention of this caveat, it dutifully says all packages will be held for the duration of your mail hold...


try calling them up and you just get the run around that express mail will only be held 5 days and that your mail hold only will hold mail going to your address! when i then noted that that would mean that an express mail package is then not mail to my address they said no it was mail to my address then i said well then it should have been held for the duration of the mail hold, they then said that would only hold mail to my address... you get the loop. same loop from three levels up of supervisors before the would no longer transfer me up and only recourse of writing the office of consumer advocacy and i can just imagine that office (think a warehouse like at the end of raiders of the lost arc with bags of complaint mail piled in there). i have had what most think as unusually good luck with the USPS, so maybe its just catching up to me, but this was no mistake in the delivery process except in their published hold mail guidelines...


on the off chance a package (like my maruka construction set 2 from hs) would show up i read the mail hold stuff and saw that it said all packages would be held. so im out 3200yen now...


so the irony is sal would have been save and like a fourth the cost! never lost anything yet with sal, but am now down $34 shipping ems...





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The rule is 5 days, but they will hold it more like 8-9 it looks like. when i talked to the local postmaster they said that the carrier cant hold the package for you even if they catch the catch 22 going on as the Express mail rule is that it has to be returned in 5 days if not picked up. I cant find these rules in any of the published express mail rules or mail hold rules!


turns out if the carrier cant get the ems package delivered by noon they send out a special delivery person so they dont know there is a mail hold apparently so when they put in the slip it then ends up in you hold mail bin... they also never sent a second slip saying the package was going to be returned if not picked up by x date. the first slip had no return to sender date filled in or the box checked.


the guys at the po were very nice about it and sorry that this got caught in this never never land. the postmaster was a master bureaucrat and just kept saying that express mail rule is return in 5 days if not picked up as folks sending it express mail want it there fast then back fast if not picked up (why the return reason he would not explain). the folks on the phone were just taught how to loop around through the rules and nothing is the usps fault in this.


just burns me to be burned when i looked up the stuff before hand and it stated it all packages would be held.


lesson is express mail is not mail even though it has mail in its title!






ps we have a great carrier and he knows all about the what i get from japan all the time and knows a few other model railroaders in the neighborhood. tipping a postal carrier is a federal offense! could give him a gift <$20, so maybe ill get him a tomytec portram!





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I'm guessing you're getting mail out of the MPO where they are to the rule. FDK was that way too and Julian would hold them to the letter, SPO (satellite post offices) really do not care.


If I go out of town, and leave a hold mail slip for them, whether it is one day or three weeks, and an EMS or any other Express Mail arrives, the clerk will just put it on the shelf and hold it until I get in regardless. There is nothing in the system that will flag if an express mail is not delivered on time.


The system is dumb like than and will only flag if more than three delivery attempts are made. As long as the clerk does not enter in to the system a delivery attempt was made, the system doesn't know. Part of the issue of people complaining about the on time delivery of the upper class mails are that the system is dumb. USPS to this day is about 20 years behind on their system automation.


Postal tipping I can promise you may be classed as a bride of a federal official, but I can tell you first hand with all my two years as a carrier, no carrier on the planet walks away from the tips. The Post Master General knows this, the union knows this, and everyone in between knows this. you'll never see the Psotal Police, or Postal Inspections Department bother to enforce it. It's about as enforceable as the old DC statue of it's illegal to hang laundry out to dry on days ending in "Y"

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