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Order From P&C Totally Screwed Thanks to Canada Post

(18 posts)
  1. hfearly

    hfearly

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    A bit of a rant, but also a recommendation to P&C.com

    I usually order from pipesandcigars.com and so far have always gotten a fantastic service. Three weeks ago I put in a (for me) really big TAD order for about 32 oz of tobacco and have been waiting for the package ever since. Since order from pc.com usually arrive within a week, maximum two, I knew something was wrong. I've been all day on the phone today with USPS ('we are no longer responsible when the package enters Canada') and Canada Post ('this is an international parcel, we are not responsible, talk to USPS').

    Speaking to what must be a dozen customer reps with Chinese, Indian and Middle Eastern accents so thick I couldn't understand anything they said half of the time, it turns out that Canada Post sent the package to the wrong depots three times (!) in a row. It is currently halfway between Toronto and Ottawa and Canada Post is telling me they will need another 5 days to transport the package the same distance I can drive in 2 hours.

    I asked to speak to a supervisor and told him this business practice was not acceptable, and that if they screwed up so badly they should at the least apologize and do anything they can to get it to me as fast as possible (overnight express?). He didn't even try to pretend that he cared at all ...

    All this comes after a package of a vintage tin of McClelland Virginia I sent to another forum member 'troutface' was lost (Canada Post says it was delivered, but it never arrived at the destination) in the mail just recently. Totally unacceptable, but not a thing you can do.

    Please, Pipesandcigars.com, consider sending international packages with FedEx or UPS. It's about the same shipping cost and they are at least a little more reliable than the government owned mail services. Yes, they screw up badly too, it happens, but at least every time I had to deal with FedEx or UPS their customer departments was customer-oriented and helpful.

    Suffering from a serious case of "EPARD", also known as the Estate Pipe Acquisition and Restoration Disorder.
    Posted 1 year ago #
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    Anonymous

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    Your problem, at least as I understand it, is with Canada Post. USPS is correct, once it is in Canada, there is nothing they can do and there's not any other way to say that.

    My wife does a lot of internet business and has international shipments going out all the time.

    USPS is the best, most reliable and the cheapest by far. She always insures the package in case Poste Maroc (Moroccan Postal Service) or some other country's system borks it up.

    She's tried UPS and FedEX more than once (they actually have a sales team offering "deals" that contact her occasionally) -- neither have ever delivered the service she and her customers expected.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  3. hfearly

    hfearly

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    Rothn: Yes, USPS may be fantastic domestically. However, shipping internationally through USPS, packages are handed over to the national ground service in the receiving country and in this case, Canada Post which over the past few years has turned out to be a horrible mail service provider. Hence my suggestion to p&c to offer an option NOT to ship with USPS, such as to bypass this handover to the national mail service, exactly because they are unreliable and like playing the "I'm not responsible game'.

    Regardless of whoever is really right about not being responsible, it's a total joke on the customer's end. At least with UPS and FedEx, I have a single private company responsible and I don't have to waste my time on a hide and seek like game of finding out first, who is really responsible, and then spent hours actually finding out where the heck my parcel is. I had UPS put a package once on the wrong plane, and when I called, they had it upgraded to overnight express and re-routed immediately. That's the kind of service I expect.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  4. mikephillips

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    When a company doesn't have to concern itself with solvency and profit margins, you end up with poor customer service, unpredictable behavior, and lackadaisical employees who don't get fired for incompetence and so really care nothing for the quality of their work. Unfortunately, Government postal services are still necessary.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    Anonymous

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    From my side of it, the fact is that USPS, compared to all other options, is best internationally as well as domestically. What's sad is that from what you are experiencing, the Canadian postal system is just extremely poor. I'm surprised you get any mail at all.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  6. peckinpahhombre

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    Hfearly - you can choose to ship through UPS at PC (though not fedex). I have done it many times. It is far more expensive though.

    Since PC doesn't offer first class mail (the cheapest by far) I always order through SP instead and choose first class mail. I have made 178 orders from SP in the last 6 months (I guess I have earned my VIP Silver badge there lol) and to date I have had only one issue. The illustrious folks at Canada Post mis-transcribed the postal code so my package was sent elsewhere and it took 6 weeks to finally arrive. I guess I have been lucky!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  7. mikephillips

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    From my side of it, the fact is that USPS, compared to all other options, is best internationally as well as domestically. What's sad is that from what you are experiencing, the Canadian postal system is just extremely poor. I'm surprised you get any mail at all.

    The USPS is far, far better than it used to be. Still not perfect, but I've seen remarkable differences in the last 25 years. Once in awhile a letter might get lost or delayed a little, but it's a rarity now, rather than expected.

    I've mailed things to Canada before, sometimes there's no problem, but a couple of times packages have just disappeared, never showing up at the other end or getting caught in customs, just gone. Makes me think that thievery isn't that uncommon when it can be gotten away with.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    flmason

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    I hope all works out well for you and that you receive your order soon.

    All companies mess up at times especially when you are anxiously awaiting delivery. I have had many packages being sent to me delayed by human error at the US post office. I live in FL and one time a package was incorrectly sent to Puerto Rico before getting to me a few days later.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  9. chakaraka

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    As a Canadian, the problem with ordering out of the US and having UPS deliver it is their very arbitrary Brokerage Fees. Try it once, I guarantee you will be billed far more to get your item(s) through the border than USPS options. Yes I agree that it is BS that something leaves the USPS system as Priority and gets tranferred to "Slow Boat from China" shipping levels once Canada Post gets their mitts on it. I understand your frustration as I recently had a parcel destined for South Africa mysteriously go missing. It took a month to process an insurance claim and I only got back most of what I had to refund to this person. I also have a sample that was sent to me from a pipe smoker in Texas, it seems to have gone missing in transit too. Crown corporations are notorious for poor service, but up until recently I have had no issues with lost items with Canada Post. Fed Ex might be a bit better, but I am unsure because I only use UPS and FedEx if the vendor is prepaying shipping. The items I order from the US for business are not assessed duty, so I don't pay anything other than shipping (and insurance in some cases).

    Mike.
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    Rookie, but learning.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  10. brdavidson

    brdavidson

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    I'll have to step in and defend Canada Post, I work in the mailing industry and mot for the postal system and have to deal with them every day. Canada Post has a significantly higher delivery standard and approval rating over USPS. Generally the issues with shipments come from issues with the mailing on the US side of the border. Their m3thods of clearing items are archaic and at least 30 years behind industry standards internationally, hence the mis directed shipments, dealing with Canada Pist is a dream when compare to dealing with the joke that is the USPS. Lets also not forget that Canada's landmass is nearly twice that of the US so delivery times by simple physics will be slower

    Posted 1 year ago #
  11. flyguy

    flyguy

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    I ordered a pipe from an ebay seller in Canada. The pipe was sent out Canada Post and transferred to USPS and it took 5 weeks to deliver the pipe. The tracking was a joke. When I received the pipe tracking still showed the pipe to be in Canada. Maybe going through customs is the hold-up.

    “Apples for walking, and a pipe for sitting.”
    ― Samwise Gamgee
    Posted 1 year ago #
  12. crazypipe

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    Canada Post Sucks to the Max ,i sent something to a friend of mine in canada and it took 6 weeks before she got in from the canada post office and they don't care.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  13. troutface

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    No worries Nic, there's still a chance it will show up, despite them saying it had been delivered. Nothing says somebody didn't swipe it from my front porch either. I once sent a package of sheet music to my brother in Austria. It showed up six weeks later because they had first shipped it to Australia.

    "Each of you be a light unto yourself; betake yourself to no external refuge. Hold fast to the Truth. Look not for refuge to anyone beside yourself." -The Buddha
    Posted 1 year ago #
  14. chakaraka

    chakaraka

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    I've experienced the same thing as flyguy but from the other direction. Many things I have ordered from the US, especially off eBay only show the first two stops. 4-6 weeks later it arrives and the tracking is still the same. As long as it arrives in 4-6 weeks, I am fine with it but tracking would be nice. But if I pay for express shipping, I expect to see it in about 10-14 days from the US and about 5 days in Canada. (When I say days, I mean business days.)

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    Anonymous

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    I think it's safe to assume that the U.S. Postal Service can only track the package in the United States. If someone pays for Express, it gets to that other country within delineated time constraints. Once it crosses the border and enters another country, it is beyond the purview and outside the responsibility of the USPS. If the package lands in Vancouver and takes 3 weeks to get to Yellowknife, I don't see how anyone can blame the USPS for that.

    I also think that large, influential customers who spend a lot of money in shipping and who deal often and regularly with an entity as a well known, very good customer (Canada Post is the vendor in this case, but this applies to any delivery service company, really) will, of course, automatically get immediate attention, much better service and satisfaction, as the logistics people in those entities responsible for making it all work well specifically know who to communicate with, what to say and what buttons to push to make sure this happens. And it naturally follows that if you're the logistics guru at that company and you don't know how to make sure those packages come and go smoothly, then you will most likely find yourself looking for another job in a field of work you're better suited for.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  16. timely

    timely

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    September 2012 I had a package mailed to me in Canada from an online tobacco dealer and only received it the last week of Jan. 2012. I opened the package and only had inside 1 pack of pipe cleaners and my receipt. Missing was 2 tins of Frog Morton. I thought at first that a Postal Worker with sticky fingers had stolen the tobacco tins, sat on the package for several months than mailed it to me. A week later I received from Canada Customs a letter saying that they seized the tobacco, with no offer to buy it back even with duty fees. The reason given was that is was " mislabeled ". I am glad to report that my tobacco comes to me now labeled " tobacco " which is fine by me as I do not go over the 8oz's allowed duty free. It would be too costly for me to order more than 8oz's at a time ( which I would like to if it was cheaper ) and pay the duty on it. It seems that Canada Customs has it down pat on opening packages without it being obvious, they retaped the bottom along the very line they took the tape off of. Our Postal Service can be painfully slow at times also.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  17. foggymountain

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    MY P&C order was screwed up without Canadian customs. UPS did it. They left the box in the hall downstairs, after I buzzed them in, and they did not make the delivery. My legs are only good for one trip up and down the stairs a day (several flights, older pipesmoker). By the time I got to the box the next day someone had opened it. I, of course, do not receive open boxes. So I left it there untouched and had UPS pick it up and return it. P&C would not refund until they got the outcome of an obscure & mythical UPS investigation. They forced me to make a Paypal claim, which I do not like to do. Today, about a month after the order was placed, I got a Paypal refund. I mention this all so you will know that P&C is not service oriented like other suppliers in the pipe business are. And also so you will pay by Paypal, which takes care of business when the vendor does not.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  18. troutface

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    I have sent Nic a PM but wanted to publicly thank him for sending another tin after the first got lost in the mail. Bravo !

    Jeff

    Posted 1 year ago #

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