Monday, August 17, 2009

Another Box Gone Astray

Another Internet purchase has gone astray. I love to shope on the Internet but it comes with certain inherent issues; mainly shipping address. I live in a rural area and have a postal box up by the highway. And a street address. If a package is being shipped by United States Postal Service they will deliver only to the box. And if UPS only to the street address. Fedex in the area is so screwed up I don't even want to hazard a guess.

But everything only gets more complicated from that point. Because my street address is technically one zip code and my box address another. I live in the unincorporated area of Black Lake which technically does not have a zip code. UPS and Fedex are not suppose to use zip codes for delivery, but they do and if I have my box address on a package then UPS gets it on the wrong side of the mountain and Fedex puts it in the wrong distribution center.

If I put the street address on something which is being shipped by US mail it winds up in general delivery at the Angel Fire Post Office. I don't go there often. And sometimes not until the package has been returned to sender.

I only want to know on the shopping cart page what shipper they are using. Hey, I've tried keeping track of this stuff in a note book but they change shippers on me all the time. Blick Art Supplies ships direct from the manufacturer at times and by their method. And I just got the following message from Swanson Vitamins and Health Products when I mentioned they hd shipped a package UPS to my USPS box:

We have forwarded your comments, concerns and requests to the proper department. Please know however though that it is our shipping department that decides how your orders ship, therefore the best way. This is not decided until the order reaches the shipping department, which is after the order has been placed of course. Please also know that how your order is shipped, is stated on the shipping confirmations sent to you when your order leaves us.

Yes, I got the shipping confirmation and immediately contacted them. They can change the address with UPS. I cannot. I have tried. For a while I felt alone in the world on this issue but now with the USPS closing some of its post offices and shipping centers (anyone know why they cannot compete with UPS and Fedex?) more and more Internet shoppers are going to be encountering this issue.

I have asked my US representatives to just assign my community a zip code. No need for a post office. Just a zip code so that UPS and Fedex knows we are not Angel Fire or Ocate but Black Lake. Seems like such a small thing. Just five numbers.


  1. Hi Jacqui, I can sympathise fully as I have recently lost a package full of books that was sent to me from Greece via the post. And this was sent to my work address, which is right in the middle of the city and which has a post code!
    The item was registered and they can trace it right up to the customs and then the main package store in Melbourne, after which it disappears.
    I was offered compensation of $100, which is only 20% of the value of the package...
    The whole thing stinks.
    In your case, what prevents them from giving your community a zip code? Sounds likes plain old bureaucratic laziness to me.

  2. How very infuriating. We don't have zip codes and some peoples' addresses are light pole numbers!


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