Seeing Red. The USPS Slow Down and Our Small Business
There has been much discussion on the USPS, the election, and whether the mail is truly slowing down. I don’t normally share the trials of being a small business owner, but Kewee’s Crossing is to discuss policy, and the USPS "slowdown" is playing havoc with our retail trade. Here’s two recent examples.
Our customers can pick shipping method as they check out and someone in a hurry can pay more for USPS Priority. On the first package, our warehouse tracking noted it had not been checked in at the post office in 5 days. Assuming it was a lost package, they issued a replacement order to the customer. Nope. The original package was finally delivered, 10 days late. The result was the customer got a very late package and one extra.
The second was also a priority order and I walked it into the post office. The mom who ordered it for her child’s event later wrote to inquire why it was not in route and would be there in time? Why no. Fourth day and again STILL NOT CHECKED in at the post office where it had been delivered. Result: Mom gets to go out and find a replacement costume, undoubtedly cursing our name. I would be. We provide a full refund as a goodwill gesture, including that priority postage.
Real customers. Real money spent. Real damage to our brand. Now multiply this out across lots of small companies who are dealing with this every day.
These aren’t the only examples of delayed packages. They were just this week’s moment of seeing red. And we have had regular mail go missing.
So what did we do? Most of our business is wholesale and goes through other shippers. We made the business decision to use only those services and decline USPS. Yes, the shipping rate will be higher than USPS but the true cost to my company will be less. We cannot withstand the damage that is being done by the USPS slowdown.
I also wrote my senators and outlined the issues we are experiencing. No expectation the wheels will turn on a few letters, but I do believe in giving our officials examples from the front.
The point of this blog? Keep supporting small business. We appreciate it. Order early. Check your tracking numbers. And please offer a moment of grace if the process is not working as expected. It’s been a crazy year and we all need to see more light. And less red.