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Shipping plants

I have some comments on shipping plants. It's been discussed previously that
Priority Mail was the way to go, and delivery confirmation was thought to be
helpful in expediting and ensuring delivery.

A few months ago I was expecting a shipment of plants which never arrived.
When I reported this to the post office, they inquired as to whether the
person had gotten delivery confirmation. When I said they hadn't, they told
me there was nothing they could do about it. The idea was the package could
have been tracked in some way with delivery confirmation. So, I never sent
another shipment without delivery confirmation.

Three weeks ago this Monday I sent a shipment of plants priority mail, with
delivery confirmation from PA to California. It still has not gotten there.
After over a week had passed, I attempted to contact someone within the post
office to help me track the package. Not only did they report that they
couldn't track it (the tracking info only shows that it left a local post
office and nothing further) they are not responsible if the package never
arrives. Furthermore, a consumer affairs person over in Harrisburg told me I
couldn't prove that it didn't arrive, so I had no claim (as far as being
reimbursed shipping; I could recoup the $.40 for delivery confirmation). He
said the delivery confirmation system is not entirely accurate, so it may
have been delivered but not scanned in.

To complicate things further, perishables are not actually insured for
damage. So, if the package was insured but lost, it is covered, but if it is
a late delivery and the plants are mush, it is not covered, technically. A
local postmaster told me if the value is under $50, it is up to the
postmaster of the post office where the plants were sent out of, and he,
personally, would probably reimburse it if it was extremely delayed and the
plants are dead. If the value is greater than $50, it's out of the hands of
the local post office, and they (St. Louis? I think) would not cover it.
Attempted tracings on this package have proven frustrating. E-mailing
consumer response in Washington was interesting. Their reply to my problem
was *refer to previous response* when there was none. They ignored further
e-mails. I'd just like to know where this package wound up. So much for that
little green tag.

Last Monday, I attempted to scrape some plants together and attempt another
delivery to CA. After taking a machete to my tank 2 weeks earlier, there was
not a lot to spare, so it was a meager mailing. I didn't bother with del.
confirmation but went ahead with priority mail. It got there on Wednesday, 2
days later.

In summary, I think we're wasting money on delivery confirmation, at the
very least. It's just a way to get us to spend just a little more and think
we're actually getting something.


p.s. For anybody interested, note the new address for Biplane10.