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Is what is happening with USPS normal?

mayhem

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#1
I shipped two boxes registered, insured to Provident Metals last Wed. The clerk asked me what was in them (4 bags of 90% coin in 2 boxes) and I declined to answer, because what does it matter as I insured them for 13k each and paid dearly for that. They left here went to Miami and have now been in Atlanta since. The USPS has flagged them as delayed.
Never done this before, so I'm asking if this is normal, or should I contact them and try to find out what is going on.
 

solarion

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#2
I never had a whole lot of trouble with them, but hey, they are a quasi-goobermint agency. There's bound to be some dickbaggery from time to time.

A week is probably enough time to expect they'd have arrived most anywhere domestically, so yeah maybe call them up and ask them what's going on.
 

Silver Art

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#3
I run an ebay sideline business selling '70's silver art bars and certain coins. When I make a sale and I go to the post office to get it shipped 1st class package (with USPS tracking included) the postal clerk will occasionally ask what it in the package. I am vague in my answer by saying that it is "a coin" and just keep it moving. Keep in mind that I do not use ebay labels but I hand-write my own packages. When I check the USPS tracking number a few days later, it did get delivered to the right address and the customer mentions (via feedback) that they are satisfied with their coin/bar.

I cannot speak on your specific case Mayhem, but I will say in my case, I think the reason that they might ask me that question of what's inside the package because when they weigh it, it is light for a parcel shipment. I am making a WAG here but I think that a package, such as a bubble wrap mailer such as mine usually are when I ship a bar/coin to a customer, has to run through a "different machine" if it contains a coin or something else that will make it not run through a regular sorting machine for regular letter-sized envelopes. Again, I do not know this so it is a WAG on my part.

Mayhem, I will also make a WAG in your case by saying that the weight (being heavy with 4 bags of 90% silver coins), might have triggered them asking what it inside the packages you are trying to deliver to Provident. The heaviest package that I delivered via USPS was 9 oz's worth of silver art bars to a customer but, at that time, I was not asked what was inside the package and that particular package got delivered to the right address and the customer said everything went smoothly and was satisfied with the purchase (via ebay feedback).
 

Joe King

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#4
Registered mail can experience significant delays.
...but IMHO you wasted your money on the insurance. Even if it comes up missing or stolen, I'd be very surprised if they'd pay on a claim. Especially when you won't tell them what was in the box.

IMHO, one should be able to ship an empty box insured for a million dollars, and if they lose it, they pay the sender a million dollars.
...but their insurance doesn't work that way. You have to at least be able to reasonably prove that the items were worth the insured amount.
 

mayhem

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#5
Registered mail can experience significant delays.
...but IMHO you wasted your money on the insurance. Even if it comes up missing or stolen, I'd be very surprised if they'd pay on a claim. Especially when you won't tell them what was in the box.

IMHO, one should be able to ship an empty box insured for a million dollars, and if they lose it, they pay the sender a million dollars.
...but their insurance doesn't work that way. You have to at least be able to reasonably prove that the items were worth the insured amount.
Well I do have pictures and a eye witness to what I packed and brought to the PO.

I'm gonna give them another 24 hours to see if it get's to Dallas. If not I start the run around game.
As far as the insurance goes, I was doing this for my late best friends wife as she was clueless and needs the bucko's.
Thanks everybody.
 

Joe King

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#6
Well I do have pictures and a eye witness to what I packed and brought to the PO.
It might help if it got lost, but registered mail is kept under lock and key and everyone touching it must sign for it. Which contributes to the delays, as not just any USPS employee can move registered mail. Those two facts make it extremely unlikely that it would come up missing, insured or not. BTW, all registered mail has to be insured unless the shipper declares it to have no value.

From USPS website regarding registered mail:
2.2.1 Declaring Full Value
The mailer must always declare the item’s full value (see chart below) to the USPS (by stating it to the USPS clerk or entering it on the firm sheet if a firm mailer) when presenting it for registration and mailing. Private insurance carried on Registered Mail does not modify the requirements for declaring the full value. The accepting USPS employee may ask the mailer to show that the full value of the matter presented is declared, and may refuse to accept the matter as Registered Mail if a satisfactory declaration of value is not provided. Only articles of no value may be mailed as Registered Mail without insurance.


Also, the only way they will insure cash/bullion/coins etc is if it is shipped registered, but again, one must declare what is being shipped for them to even consider paying a claim.
...but you done good shipping it registered as opposed to certified or some other manner.
 

mayhem

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#7
...but you done good shipping it registered as opposed to certified or some other manner.
I never bought small when I bought, and it always came registered mail so I knew to ship it that way. I guess I'm just feeling "in the middle" here, as Fred was a long close friend. And when his widow asked for my help I didn't want her going to someone who didn't know what they were doing. So I did by the book so to speak, right down to the proper tape and double boxing. Yeah, $107.00 worth of shipping costs.
 

lumpOgold

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#8
I've found that overnight instead of registered is sometimes cheaper than 2-5 day registered service because of the insurance. If they are only liable for one night versus 3 to 5 nights it's cheaper. Also if you ever make a claim the overnight option is only good for up to $5k. For coins/bullion all you'll get in any claim is fair market value on the date the insurance claim is made.
 

nowon

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#9
Note that precious metals are only covered when shipping by Registered Mail. The box is under custodial, signature tracking all the way down the line. If anything gets lost, the last person who signed for the package is up the proverbial creek.

I've had packages take weeks and under 5 days to travel across country. All depends on when there are enough RM packages ready to move down the line.

Give it time.
 

Pyramid

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#10
USPS has been running slow for several months. What normally took a clockwork-like 2 days in transit is now consistently taking 3-4 days. I recently had a package fly from Las Vegas to Atlanta to Chitcago to Milwaukee then ground transport...Pony Express might have been faster. Seems like at at least 1 step in the process is getting jammed up or bottle-necked somewhere.

Good luck mayhem, a week for registered and insured packages is already too long.
 

hernancortes

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#11
Seriously, I'd only start to worry if its been more than say three weeks. I just had a registered package sit in one city for 10 days before it moved and finally arrived to me a few ays later. Start to finish it was like 14 days. Go the pcgs boards and its one thread after another of guys wondering if USPS lost their registered stuff. But it turns up.
 

mayhem

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#12
Note that precious metals are only covered when shipping by Registered Mail. The box is under custodial, signature tracking all the way down the line. If anything gets lost, the last person who signed for the package is up the proverbial creek.

I've had packages take weeks and under 5 days to travel across country. All depends on when there are enough RM packages ready to move down the line.

Give it time.
Thanks nowon, my concern is "it's not my stuff!". Never did this for someone else. If I loose my stuff, well my fault, but my friends widow is stressed out enough right now, (no she isn't tracking the package I am) and she really does trust me as I do keep my word.
Seriously, I'd only start to worry if its been more than say three weeks.
That's comforting herncortes.
Good luck mayhem, a week for registered and insured packages is already too long.
That has been my personal experience in the past. Usually 4-6 days max. The KR's I shipped only took 4 days registered just two weeks ago. Who knows, maybe no one wants to lift up those heavy boxes.
Thanks everyone!
 

917601

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#13
.....I had an insured package delivered on my doorstep when the tracking number said it was returned to the original point of shipment.
 

nowon

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#14
Mayhem, the insurance will payout if necessary. That's why you paid the $100+ for shipping. One way or the other she will get the funds.
 

<SLV>

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#15
Registered mail is kept in a special locked cage in the Post Office and only touched by authorized hands. Each person who signs for the package along the way knows that they are personally liable if the parcel disappears. I can guarantee that utmost care is given to Registered mail.
 

Joe King

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#17
Got a package yesterday shipped on the 21st of April, from Texas, not registered. WTF?
Most all mail makes it to its destination just fine. That's a fact.
....but there are times it doesn't and if you wanna be doubly sure it absolutely will get there, they have registered that's kept under lock and key.

Which really, considering what was shipped, registered was the smart way of doing it. Especially considering it wasn't his stuff.
Registered is the only way it's insured and everyone who touches it is documented. Shipping any other way (certified, parcel post, etc) disallows insurance on such shipments and leaves your box mixed with everything else where all it takes is for the wrong person to give in to temptation after recognizing a shipping address.
Granted, most postal employees are only wanting to do a good job and won't steal mail, but there are some who might be tempted to do so.
 

mayhem

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#18
Checked again just now. Still saying arrived in Atlanta on May 1st. 06:00 am.
 

savvydon

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#19
Just finished a high value registered transaction. Package got to Atlanta on Thursday and didn't show up in New York at the next step until Monday. Most of what has been said above is accurate. I have had registered mail take up to two weeks to complete it's travel within the US. As uncomfortably variable as the timing of movement can be the flip side is that it is comfortably safe. Since it is signed for by an individual at each link in the chain someone's neck is on the line for the package's safety. Hang in there. I believe this will resolve positively for you.
 

Silver

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#20
I just used Registered Mail to send PM to JMB - and insured the package for the maximum amount. Registered always seems to take longer than 1st Class Mail, in my experience. Maybe I'm wrong, but I figured why not insure the package for the max in case something happens? Do you have to prove the value of the contents on an insurance claim with USPS?
 

itsamess

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#21
Checked again just now. Still saying arrived in Atlanta on May 1st. 06:00 am.
Funny I bought repair parts for something on eBay sent from GA and the USPS showed expected delivery this Monday. It was hung up in Atlanta and was finally delivered Wednesday. Hadn't seen this before, but Atlanta was the problem which eventually sent.
 

Montecristo

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#22
USPS has been running slow for several months. What normally took a clockwork-like 2 days in transit is now consistently taking 3-4 days. I recently had a package fly from Las Vegas to Atlanta to Chitcago to Milwaukee then ground transport...Pony Express might have been faster. Seems like at at least 1 step in the process is getting jammed up or bottle-necked somewhere.

Good luck mayhem, a week for registered and insured packages is already too long.
This has been my experience too. I've been having problems with FedEx also. They keep sending emails that the delays are weather related, thus there will be no refunds for late packages, but the weather in the various cities hasn't been anything out of the norm.
It does seem like something somewhere is holding up the normal flow. Maybe it's all the online ordering going on and companies like Amazon are just over-burdening the system. I don't know, just a guess.
 

gringott

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#23
Contacted the auto parts dealer on my package, they refunded the shipping charge. I suspect they were the delay, but I don't know that for sure.
 

mayhem

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#25
New rule: all USPS packages are re-routed through Langley's new inspection and repackaging center.
Don't believe that it actually went to VA, but I suspect it was delayed because someone wanted to l00k at it. Just now got a text saying it's will be delivered tomorrow. Well I don't believe PM is open on Sat. so there will on PO'ed postal worker lugging 140 pounds out there only to find out there are closed. Maybe I'll call PM and see it they are open on Sat.

Yeah the delay thing and using the government to move stuff is my concern ongoing. Local dealers only offered $11.10 per dollar face, where PM offered $12.22. That's a $2,000 difference on the whole thing. It will be harder and harder to move PM's locally in the future.
 

<SLV>

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#26
Yet another reason it is easier to store wealth in gold.
 

Joe King

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#28
Yeah the delay thing and using the government to move stuff is my concern ongoing.
The good thing about using USPS to deliver is that it is illegal for them to open mail en-transit without a warrant, whereas fedex/ups and the like reserve the Right to open any package at any time per their own discretion.
So there's that going for shipping USPS and for shipping what you did, registered is the only way to go if'n you're gonna ship stuff like that.
 

andial

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#29
Don't believe that it actually went to VA, but I suspect it was delayed because someone wanted to l00k at it. Just now got a text saying it's will be delivered tomorrow. Well I don't believe PM is open on Sat. so there will on PO'ed postal worker lugging 140 pounds out there only to find out there are closed. Maybe I'll call PM and see it they are open on Sat.

Yeah the delay thing and using the government to move stuff is my concern ongoing. Local dealers only offered $11.10 per dollar face, where PM offered $12.22. That's a $2,000 difference on the whole thing. It will be harder and harder to move PM's locally in the future.
You should call let them know when PM is open i would.
 

<SLV>

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#30

Someone_else

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#31
My hypothesis: Our alien overlords inserted the love of gold into our DNA so that we would collect it and they could harvest it someday. Further, these overlords can (and do) assert control over the shithead politicians that govern the earth. I think it follows that ownership of gold is a solid investment, assuming that ET finds it cheaper to buy the gold than to engage in warfare.
 

OverOver

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#32
Well, I don't know. When it comes to telling the clerk at the post office what's in
the package I'm sending registered I don't miss a beat. I flat out tell them exactly
what's in them and what's at stake. Then after I pay and get my registered receipt
I always say something like...man, I know registered is the safest but I always get
nervous and check the tracking 20 times a day. And they always come back with
something about how safe registered is blah blah. The package always gets there.

90% silver. I've never mailed out enough at one time to register it. But the 3-4 times
I did (just insured) I went with a plan! I had a 90% dime and quarter along with clad ones in my
pocket. Before I left I told her the dates to look for, said screw that here's a 90% dime
and quarter you can have...just look at the edges and she literally pulled all her change
out of the draw and put it on the counter and we went through it. And if you find it
I'll be happy to buy it for the silver which is a lot more than face....nuttin yet.

I feel very very lucky and appreciative that I live in a rural setting. Out of four little
post offices in a 20 mile radius I know them and they all know me. When I first moved
here I didn't know any of them BUT they all knew me.
 

Bottom Feeder

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#33
I said "wealth."
Unh, oh, sorry silv, I really didn't catch that subtle distinction.
And, I was talking about spending the wealth. You would use Krugerrands to buy a backhoe and a silver dime to buy a dozen eggs. My Bad.

BF
 

Bottom Feeder

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#34
My hypothesis: Our alien overlords inserted the love of gold into our DNA so that we would collect it and they could harvest it someday. Further, these overlords can (and do) assert control over the shithead politicians that govern the earth. I think it follows that ownership of gold is a solid investment, assuming that ET finds it cheaper to buy the gold than to engage in warfare.
Hey, have you read that Science Fiction decalogy by L. Ron Hubbard entitled Mission Earth? A similar story there.

BF
 

Someone_else

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#35
Hey, have you read that Science Fiction decalogy by L. Ron Hubbard entitled Mission Earth?
No, but I think the idea is simple enough that countless others have thought about it. The idea is humorous because it does seem to answer questions.
 

<SLV>

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#36
Unh, oh, sorry silv, I really didn't catch that subtle distinction.
And, I was talking about spending the wealth. You would use Krugerrands to buy a backhoe and a silver dime to buy a dozen eggs. My Bad.

BF
I'm not sure anyone will be interested in silver coin for barter. People are more likely to swap services or goods that they actually need. Any barter economy would be very short lived and then the government would implement a new monetary system. Now, a gold ML might buy you the right to cross the northern border if absolutely necessary.
 

mayhem

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#37
You should call let them know when PM is open i would.
I did. Jeff said if there is any damage, they will take pictures upon delivery in front of the postal guy, and before signing and send them to me to approve before they open the boxes. That way if there is a problem I can contact USPS before they proceed. Provident has always been easy for me to work with, especially Jeff.
He commented that USPS has slower down on getting larger packages delivered, plus they have been cuts and consolidation in USPS so things are moving slower. Still the best way to ship big $$ stuff though, as JK said above, "it's illegal for them to open", But I imagine they x-rayed it six times to sideways.
 

mayhem

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#38

mayhem

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#39
I just got off the phone with Mrs. Fred. She was giggly happy. It seem she went to make some online payments and there was a $35,xxx.xx deposit into her account. Seems that when I spoke with Provident on Fri. at noon here 11: am there the packages had not arrived. That coincides with me getting text messages about 4:30 pm Fri. EDT from USPS saying that they were delivered. So Provident received the packages and immediately sent the funds to Mrs. Fred. Very happy for her and more than pleased with Provident, the USPS not so much.

So the tale comes to wonderful end. Thanks to all who replied.
Best regards,
mayhem
 

Silver Art

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#40
I just got off the phone with Mrs. Fred. She was giggly happy. It seem she went to make some online payments and there was a $35,xxx.xx deposit into her account. Seems that when I spoke with Provident on Fri. at noon here 11: am there the packages had not arrived. That coincides with me getting text messages about 4:30 pm Fri. EDT from USPS saying that they were delivered. So Provident received the packages and immediately sent the funds to Mrs. Fred. Very happy for her and more than pleased with Provident, the USPS not so much.

So the tale comes to wonderful end. Thanks to all who replied.
Best regards,
mayhem
Given the amount of silver involved, I am glad that this had a happy ending and kudos to Provident sending the funds quickly. As for the USPS, that is a wildcard that you never know how that will turnout.