"All priority mail is now running one-to-two weeks behind, but the post office won't admit that. They won't tell anybody anything. And this isn't just here in Indiana. It's the entire country." (anonymous USPS supervisor)
The holiday season always means an influx of packages being shipped. In the past three weeks, things have gotten extremely bad, not even close to previous years. USPS tracking system shows packages stuck in distribution centers. Packages bounced between the distribution centers. Packages marked delivered but nothing is delivered. Packages become no longer traceable. Millions of backlogged packages in distribution centers and airport facilities. 18 wheelers that cannot load and unload.
USPS workers are so inundated with packages, so overwhelmed, they are just throwing packages without scanning them. Even when packages are scanned, the tracking is often not updated.
50% of Gritomatic orders shipped out to USPS between Dec 14 and Dec 18 did not get the initial scan and thus not received status “Accepted”. In USPS tracking system, such orders are shown not shipped.
At this point, all we can do is tell our customers to be patient. If your order with USPS shipping has status “in transit” or “pre shipment”, accept the inevitable fact – it’s unlikely to be delivered before Christmas. Regardless of priority class and number of days in transit.
The postal workers are doing their best. USPS meltdown is real consequence of pandemic and nobody was prepared for it. USPS personnel just need more time to get caught up
- A significant time since tracking was last updated is not an indication that the package is lost.
- If the package is confirmed lost, you will receive a full refund.
- If the package does ultimately arrive, you can return it if it is too late for your needs.
- Christmas gifts delivered after Christmas are still Christmas gifts!
U.S. online sellers are very vulnerable now. We encourage everyone who makes online purchases within the holiday seasons, not only in Gritomatic, but anywhere:
- Please be reasonable and patient.
- Please don’t ask sellers and USPS anything that is not under their control.
- Please don’t ask sellers to redeliver, investigate, talk to postman, file a claim for orders in transit.
- Please help USPS to recover – don’t ship your returns now. You will have time after January 1st.
- Please don’t file chargebacks now. You will have time after January 1st.
- Please don’t ask sellers for refunds because of delays.
- Please don’t file claims against sellers on marketplaces because of delays.
- Please don’t file A-to-Z against third-party sellers on Amazon.
- PLEASE DO NOT CLICK “GET A REFUND” ON AMAZON until you read below.
Amazon and eBay
Both marketplaces are customer-oriented and have time, eBay refunds $5 from eBay pocket.
If Amazon order has been shipped by 3rd party seller but not received on time, Amazon issues a full refund from Amazon pocket if the seller purchased shipping labels from Amazon and shipped on time.
Most of orders in transit will be “not received on time” for Amazon and eBay. Both marketplaces reacted to USPS crisis. Reacted differently.
eBay issued an update to advise sellers it would be offering the following protections for transactions entered into between November 15 through December 31:
We will automatically remove any defects for “item not received” cases closed without seller resolution as well as associated negative or neutral feedback if tracking was uploaded and has a physical scan from the carrier before the case was opened;а delivery scan shows the item was delivered after the case was closed. We will also remove negative or neutral feedback related to a late delivery automatically if an item arrives late but tracking shows that you shipped on time. We recognize it’s in your nature to immediately make things right for the buyer, but given unprecedented and unpredictable shipping delays, cases may take longer to resolve. We ask that you keep lines of communication with your buyers open. We are asking them to be patient. For items in transit, we are keeping cases open for 10 more days from the time a buyer asked [marketplace] to step in to allow additional time for the item to be delivered.
Amazon. 3rd party sellers on Amazon marketplace have to deal with multiple refund requests for orders “not received on time” from customers who think it’s a great chance to receive money back and keep the product - the world's largest online retailer can afford it.
Amazon’s reaction. Amazon start sending emails to customers with orders in transit three days beyond the scheduled delivery date. They offer to click a button “Get a refund”. The customer gets a full refund.From seller’s pocket.
Make your own conclusions.