Snail mail is now stuck mail!Tuesday, March 02, 2021
I am a small seller of handmade and beauty products online. The pandemic has wreaked havoc on my business with my inability to ship anywhere, except the US, right now.
The biggest market for me and many small online sellers is the US; however, my parcels that I have shipped from as far back as December have not been going out!
I really have not stopped shipping to the US since the pandemic started, and I have more or less been able to satisfy my customers. Although there have been long delays, which from time to time are expected, I have never had this level of trouble before.
I have heard that the post office is updating its system, but this seems to be in the most inefficient way possible. My packages are still sitting here after two months and more!
Why must the small person always suffer? I am not the only one affected as there are a number of small sellers such as artists, crafters, herbalists, and other self-employed individuals whose major or sole income comes from selling to overseas clients. They are, like me, complaining bitterly, especially if they sell time-sensitive or perishable goods.
I always use parcel post as a method of shipping items because it's the only one with a reasonable cost that also carries any reliable tracking. My items can usually be tracked on Jamaica Post tracking website and on United States Postal Service (USPS), so buyers can see the progress when it gets to the States. Now the tracking on there mainly shows items incoming, but not outgoing or in the pre-shipment stage, even from as far back as December 2020. I am now bombarded with questions, cancellations, and refund requests, with customers questioning if items were actually shipped after six weeks and more!
I feel overwhelmed, angry, and frustrated.
It's also going to be a big headache to try to retrieve any items, as some may have gone off without any system update, and some may still be here. But I'm sure you can see that, in any case, I lose!
Another problem is that I'm now being told that many of my items weigh less than the standard 1 kilogramme for parcel post, which comes at $500/more premium price or double the $250 that I usually pay for it. This means I will either have to ship my items as “small packets”, which carry no reliable tracking, or add items to my packages to increase the weight — and my costs — just to be able to track my items. So, again, I lose!
My business, which I carry out full-time, is being badly affected, and I'm not talking about a few parcels here, because I ship items almost every day, and I have dozens of parcels that are still sitting at the post office right now. I'm still trying to retrieve my Canada parcels since the shutdown, without success, and now this!
Even ordinary folks who usually send items to family members are having a terrible time.
Can someone within the postal service or the Ministry of Mining, Energy and Technology please explain to us what's going on? There has been no official word on the cause of the delay in US shipping.
The pandemic has been terrible on my business, which is my sole income, but now the post office is completely destroying it!
Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login