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Kiran

Frustrations with USPS, UPS and Kato USA

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Kiran

Sorry in advance for the rant. Hopefully I will feel better after I got it off my chest.

I paid $700 for the ICE4 with DCC sound set that Kato USA was selling earlier this year. 1 of the 2 motor cars wasn't running when I got it. So I sent it to Kato USA for repairs. I got it back, it ran a couple of times and stopped running again. So I sent it back again to Kato USA.

They apparently tried sending it back via USPS which for whatever reason, returned it to Kato USA as undeliverable. I get a ton of USPS packages at my address with no problems.

They sent the USPS package again but this time, gave me the tracking number so I was checking the updates. It showed out for delivery on Nov 10. I was eagerly waiting at home. At around 8pm, I got a uSPS notification that the package is being held at the post office on customer request. I made no such request and earlier in the day, it was out for delivery. I went to the post office on Nov 11th but it was closed for veterans day. I went back again on Nov 12 and the manager told me that the package should be delivered by the end of the day. It didn't come and the tracking status online showed that the package was on its way back to Kato. The package did make its way back to Kato after a couple of days.

I emailed Kato to discuss options. They said they could send it by UPS ground or I could pay $5 for Signature required UPS post. They also told me that they can't be held responsible for any loss of package but it isn't clear to me if they meant it for the UPS ground or UPS signature required. Unfortunately, even UPS managed to lose the package. It was destination scanned on Nov 21 in Sunnyvale and was supposed to be delivered on Nov 24. It was never delivered. I raised a claim with UPS after contacting their customer support. I asked for updates from UPS a couple of times but they tell me that they will let the shipper know the status as the contract with the shipper prohibits them for discussing the claim with anyone else. I find that odd.

I just checked on UPS and the claim is closed with the reason "insufficient description of merchandise". I did explain that these are model trains. I also emailed Kato USA but they are not responding.

I am going to have to research my options. But it is extremely frustrating. Both USPS and UPS regularly deliver packages to my address. Manwhile the $700 Kato ICE4 is without 2 motor cars 😞

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cteno4

Yes it’s the person shipping is who always has to raise the claim with the shipper and many shippers won’t let the recipient know any info.

 

was it the whole train or just the one broken motor car?

 

you might contact your credit card to see if you can still start a dispute on the charge since they were never able to get you the final product. they have not delivered the functional product they sold you. Usually the credit card companies are good at this. It’s a bit of a bomb to drop, so best to use after everything else has failed and if KatoUSA is not responding on this then it may be time. Usually have like 60-90 days to do it. Sometimes when the dispute goes back to the seller it makes them finally respond and do the right thing. I just can’t believe they would not make sure there is proper shipping insurance on an $800 item. I would keep calling and pounding on katousa’s virtual counter, this is not good. This is not a $75 loco! 
 

Obviously something was pretty off in how they had it addressed or paperwork filled out to have the shipments botched 3 times in a row like this. I almost never have issues with Usps or ups with stuff shipped from within the us like that.

 

ups can do insurance, it’s only like $9 on an $800 package! Sounds like they did not declare the proper value if they said there would be no insurance. 
 

there is a default $100 insurance with ups ground.

 

jeff

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bill937ca

This just may be inexperienced temporary staff or staff out of there usual jobs due to the Christmas rush and / or Coviv staff shortages. I've had some boners on my tracking lately.

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Kiha66

I actually had two USPS packages returned to me, crushed boxes and no apology or reason for it, with all the tracking pulled off.  I'm fairly annoyed, but at least the items were returned and I can resend them to the buyers.  I complained when I had to pay for shipping again, but none of the shipping companies seem to care very much.

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Tony Galiani

I think the shipping issues are a sign of the times.  The New York Times has an article today titled:  Online Sales Flow, Delivery is Logjammed.  I have noted very variable service from the different shipping companies and USPS.  Since I live in the past and still use CDs , I order music books with CD to practice music.  Despite the fragile warnings on the packages, they often ended up folded and shoved into my mailbox.  And the shippers still bring packages to the vacant house across the street from me!  Read the address label!  A couple of times, I have been outside and had to convince the delivery person no one lived there and direct them to the correct address.  Same thing happens at my office where mail is dropped off seemingly randomly.

I hope your issues get straightened out soon and you get to enjoy your ICE!

Cheers,

Tony Galiani

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bill937ca

When businesses are too successful or labor is in too short supply they end up hiring people who are under-qualified and service suffers. I really think logistics is overwhelmed right now. I saw a courier truck out on Saturday., something I can't remember seeing before. This will only get worse once millions of doses of vaccine hit the road further stressing the logistics.

 

Edited by bill937ca

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Tony Galiani

Good point.  The other thing I have seen recently is private vehicles with delivery service magnetic signs on them.  I saw an old SUV this past week with a UPS sign and stick on UPS flag delivering in my neighborhood.  I guess it is good that people have an opportunity to work but on the other hand, I am sure a lot of these people have no experience and are just rushing around to get the packages delivered.

Tony

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Kiran

Thanks all for the pointers. I will keep asking Kato uSA.

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Yugamu Tsuki

I just had USPS return a sympathy card to me as "undeliverable". Even though it's post marked from the beginning of October I just got it back now. Great for me now, "Sorry your mom died 2 months ago". USPS has pretty bad service right now. I also get a lot of do-not-bends folded in half to fit my my mail box. Also has the mailman threw a ceramic incense burner from his car to my door across the lawn and told me if I wanted a better delivery then the shipper should have sent it at a better service level.

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mvaron
8 hours ago, roadstar_na6 said:

@mvaron look, we‘re not alone 😄

 

There you go...I don't feel so bad now lol

Edited by mvaron

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disturbman
20 hours ago, bill937ca said:

When businesses are too successful or labor is in too short supply they end up hiring people who are under-qualified and service suffers. I really think logistics is overwhelmed right now. I saw a courier truck out on Saturday., something I can't remember seeing before. This will only get worse once millions of doses of vaccine hit the road further stressing the logistics.


It probably will have an impact on UPS and other forwarders, but I don't see it for USPS.

The first few vaccines, like Pfizer's, require specialized handling as they need to be kept at -70/80°C. There is a lot of surge capability and special handling facilities built at the moment. I read somewhere that AA recently had a test flight between Belgium and the State, to validate their protocol to transport the vaccines. The that flight crews that will handle the flight are being trained for the specific conditions of the flight. They also had to obtain a regulatory dispense to carry higher than allowed quantities of dry ice. IIRC, only Oxford/AstraZeneca requires less stringent transport conditions, as it is a more traditional vaccine.

 

https://www.dw.com/en/coronavirus-covid-19-vaccine-ups-astrazeneca-oxford/a-54691039

I would wager that the issues at USPS are linked to a few factor: the state of the pandemic in the US which seems to be getting out of hand; the impact of the end of the year shopping rush mixed to a higher than normal reliance on online shopping vs. retail shopping; USPS might also still be impacted by the meddling of Trump's appointee and his decisions, now rescinded I believe, to remove a few sorting machines.

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chadbag

If KATO Usa does not fix this for you I'd start tweeting daily about their crappy service, inability to ship things securely, etc.  Make sure you copy them (@KatoUSAInc) on every tweet and make sure to use a good dose of # as well.  You might also copy KATO Japan as well (not sure if @katomodels or @kato_team is better -- maybe use both).

 

This is only as a last resort, but I've found that once you sttart letting the public know about failures of companies like this, they tend to escalate the problems up to someone who can fix it and do it quickly.

 

 

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gavino200
On 12/5/2020 at 6:30 PM, Kiran said:

 

They apparently tried sending it back via USPS which for whatever reason, returned it to Kato USA as undeliverable. I get a ton of USPS packages at my address with no problems.

They sent the USPS package again but this time, gave me the tracking number so I was checking the updates. It showed out for delivery on Nov 10. I was eagerly waiting at home. At around 8pm, I got a uSPS notification that the package is being held at the post office on customer request. I made no such request and earlier in the day, it was out for delivery. I went to the post office on Nov 11th but it was closed for veterans day. I went back again on Nov 12 and the manager told me that the package should be delivered by the end of the day. It didn't come and the tracking status online showed that the package was on its way back to Kato. The package did make its way back to Kato after a couple of days.

 

 

I've had this happen a lot of time with USPS. Especially at my current address when I moved here first. I've even seen the mail person deliver to the mailbox on the street, only to find one of those pink/orange slips in the mailbox. "Couldn't deliver, cuz I just didn't feel like it". After a few times showing up in person at the post office to raise hell, it stopped happening. My driveway is pretty long, but it's happened before in houses with a regular tiny front yard. I'm surprised no one else has experienced this. 

 

As for UPS, I've never had a problem with them. Could there be a  doorstep parcel thief in your neighborhood? That's not so uncommon. In any case I hope you get some resolution. That really blows. 

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railsquid

Spare a thought for those of us in Japan, not so long ago something I ordered arrived as late as 8 minutes after the specified delivery window.

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Kiha66
3 hours ago, gavino200 said:

I've had this happen a lot of time with USPS. Especially at my current address when I moved here first. I've even seen the mail person deliver to the mailbox on the street, only to find one of those pink/orange slips in the mailbox. "Couldn't deliver, cuz I just didn't feel like it". After a few times showing up in person at the post office to raise hell, it stopped happening. My driveway is pretty long, but it's happened before in houses with a regular tiny front yard. I'm surprised no one else has experienced this. 

 

I've certainly had that, at my collage apartment USPS didn't deliver to the neighborhood for over 2 months for somewhat shady reasons.   About 200 people had to get their mail from the rural office, as they had also recently closed their downtown HQ.  I more than once watched the mailman fill out the "sorry we missed you" slips rather than make the single flight of stairs up to my door.  This was in a poor mostly black area, and the lack of care for the residents was very concerning.  While I'm now in a much nicer neighborhood, mail service is still a shadow of its past reliability.  

Edited by Kiha66

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Tony Galiani

I am seeing very variable delivery times on my recent orders for various items.  I received one item three or four days early but I have several music books and train items that are overdue between a week and 10 days.  Most from the USA but one from overseas.

Just ordered some layout planning books - taking advantage of Loco Revue's year end sale - from France and it will interesting to see how long they take to arrive.

Cheers,

Tony Galiani

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Kiran

So Kato got back to me today. They say that uPS has lost the package. They (Kato) are willing to send me a replacement motor cars. They claim these are the last set they have. But they are asking me to pay for the shipping and take responsibility for any future loss. Other than asking UPS/Fedex to hold package at a store and pay for insurance, is there any other way to ensure I don't lose this package?

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