on Mar 9th, 2009 in Products & Services | 16 comments
 
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) independently audits the efficiency and effectiveness of Postal Service programs such as the online shipping solution Click-N-Ship®. However, OIG employees are also customers of the Postal Service, with their own experiences. Tara, a member of the OIG’s Communication team, tried Click-N-Ship® over the holidays and volunteered to write about her experience.
 
I knew Click-N-Ship® existed through promotions and obviously being an employee of the USPS OIG. And even though I pride myself on being very tech-savvy, I was hesitant to use it. To me there was just something comforting about making the time consuming trip to the post office to pay a real person to take and ship my package. Then I thought to myself, “I shop online, why not give this a shot?” Now I am a raving fan.
 

With a simple digital kitchen scale, my computer, and credit card, I shipped approximately 50 packages out during the holidays from the comfort of my own home. Most were letter-sized, so I first placed an online order for the free Priority Mail envelopes the Postal Service provides online. They were delivered to my door within a few days. It was fairly easy to set up the account, enter addresses, print the shipping labels, and complete transactions. For no additional charge, I scheduled a carrier pick-up and confirmed delivery of my packages online. In fact, the carrier even left a notification that he picked up my packages.

The only problem I encountered was not being able to ship anything for a day or so during the Postal Service’s technical glitch in the system in mid-December. Though mildly inconvenient, it wasn’t that big of deal to wait until the next day when the system was fixed. So now whenever someone tells me they are going to the Post Office to ship something, I tell them to give Click-N-Ship® a try.

Have you ever used Click-N-Ship® and what was your experience? Was your experience similar to Tara’s? If not, what happened? What ideas do you have for the Postal Service to promote or improve this service?

Comments

I think the Postal Service should allow parcel post mailers (individuals) to print their shipping labels via click-n-ship. It would facilitate machine readability and would facilitate the reduction of "bad" or "unreadable" addresses.

I agree with PAT on this.

Some of the "raving fans" of Click-N-Ship are taking advantage of the USPS beyond comprehention. Many packages are classified "Media Mail" of which the contents are not. Ebay sellers are the biggest abusers. Many packages are not weighed properly therefore creating loss of vital revenue. And lastly many mailers are using the free Delivery Confirmation of which the package does not qualify for due to size.
I wish McDonalds, Home Depot and Walmart would allow me to shop and use the "honor system" to pay for products and services like the Postal Service does. But, they know better and so should the USPS. I am honest but many are not. If Click-N-Ship continues then every piece of mail should be verified over the counter. If not we will continue to be abused and the revenue due the USPS will not be collected.

One thing that I don't like about Click and ship is how you cannot change the Zip code for which the package is dropped off. In a large office, a few packages that have a wrong Zip won't make much of a difference, but I am in a level 11 office. If somebody tries to drop off a package at my office with a neighboring Zip, I do not receive the revenue. If I can change the Zip, I can assure that my office is getting all the revenue that I deserve. Another way small offices get the short end of the stick.

I have used “Click-N-Ship® " many times and I think it is a great inovation but the 5½ X 8½ label is too large for some of the mailing containers I want to use. Why not modify the software to accommodate a 4-up label on a 8½ x 11 sheet. Avery does make that label?!

I have actually seen a mailer take the label printed on the paper and use a copy machine to shrink it to half the size. It actually read the delivery confirmation number when I put it through POS

I agree with Dan, but we need to know the extent of the problem. Some products do not receive acceptance scans because it would raise the attributable costs, and thereby raise the price of the products. Maybe acceptance using a skip interval, say 1 in 10, would allow USPS to determine the extent of the problem.

Domestic Claim Appeals Accounting Services - this is simply a title of a person that owns the ''DENIED'' stamp. This economy is tough enough without big Govt. in your pocket. I understand taxes and many other things I do not necessarily believe in, though what I do believe in is doing the right thing. USPS has not.

I understand if I mail a package without tracking and insurance, it is like putting money in a slot machine. I do not gamble. I mailed a $500 package to a customer. I added tracking and insurance. I had that information sent to my customer. The customer never received the package. I filed a claim with no response. The customer put a hold on the funds ($500) and I had to reship ($500). This transaction now cost $1500, and I lost a very valuable customer.

I e-mailed everyone including Post Master General, My Congressman etc. I went down the list and e-mailed my issue to every e-mail I could find with the USPS and finally got someone to respond: Domestic Claim Appeals Accounting Services. After several weeks of back and forth, she finally said she has everything she needed. I check the mail today. I was so excited to see my letter from USPS. I opened it like a Christmas card, waiting for the check to fall out. Again it is denied.

Can anyone explain how this works? Get tracking number-did that! Get Insurance-did that! File a claim-did that. Contact USPS customer Service-did that! Send in Invoices and itemized list-did that! HELP! I am a very small Concho business, and $500 is a Big Deal! How does the little guy fight big Govt.?

What happened to our confidence in Govt. Who will stand up and fight? Everyone wants donations and votes, and will pull a plumber out of the audience for votes. This is not a election year, and I only sell Conchos, but someone has to do the right thing. I am a small voice that is tired of getting kicked around. I am standing up, and ready for the fight!

I have proudly served my Country (USMC Reconnaissance), I have four children (three adopted, one with Autism), been buried alive in a tornado, fought Cancer and Heart issues. I am not afraid to stick my neck out to do what is right.

I simply want what is do to me through the US Post Office. I followed your rules, step up and do what is right. I have my documentation of every conversation with the Post Office, and all documentations of the transaction, tracking and insurance. Please put someone in contact with me other than:Domestic Claim Appeals Accounting Services

I have a small business to and a very few of my customers claims they did not received their order. I think it is the dishonest people who tries to rip you off, the customers.

That was awesome! Thanks for the recommendation! I even did a review on my website! Why am I using exclamation marks everywhere!
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I'm the recipient of a damaged article. The item was sent to me via the USPS and the sender used Click-N-Ship. As part of the claims process, the USPS is asking for the original receipt from the post office showing the shipping amount and amount paid for insurance (to prove insurance was on the item).

Personally, I don't think the USPS knows their head from their tale when it comes to the claims process for damage. I realize Click-N-Ship is a great thing in the 21st century ... but, the USPS still wants to operate like they're in the 18th century. :-(

I used to love Click N Ship until about a month ago. Adobe updated itself & I started having problems. I've tried USPS online chat help and phone support. Every tried and failed attempt put another hold on my debit card. I've had $60-$70 on hold just trying to print 1 package. I uninstalled and reinstalled Adobe Reader, dumped cache & temp files, checked and unchecked every box support suggested. I have window XP, prefer Firefox but also tried IE. Sometimes I get a label and sometimes I don't. I've wasted so much time on this I'm at wits end.The sample label prints fine, so do labels on PayPal's system. But I've got repeat customers and all their info is on click N ship. I'm about ready to set up UPS daily pickup!

I usually refrain from giving my full name on a comments page, but I will in this case, if only to show I’m willing to put my name where my mouth is, so to speak. Generally speaking Click n Ship works well. When it first started, it worked so poorly I stopped using it for a year (and even started calling it something other than Click n ShiP<— if you catch my drift. A year later, I tried it again, and all the glitches I had encountered when it first started appeared to be gone and everything worked.
However last year things went wrong again. I regularly ship large shipments to customers overseas by post. I used to use surface mail, as a relatively inexpensive (if long transit time) method, but the USPS in it's "wisdom" stopped that service 4 or so years ago. So I've been using click-n-ship since at least it offers a discount, modest that it is. In May of 2009, I shipped a large order to a customer in France, over $800 worth of postage over 3 boxes. The transaction went through fine. Then in October of 2009 I had virtually the same order to the same customer to send, over $900 worth of postage, but the payment would not be accepted. Each time I tried I would get one of two different error messages, adding a level of difficulty in understanding what was wrong. To make a very long story short, I then found myself on the phone over the next 4 days with people at click-n-ship (at the time the phone queue was an average of 10 minutes, and I had to start the story over before being allowed to transfer back up to a supervisory level), with a total of over 7 full hours on the phone. I tried very hard working with them, doing my due diligence in trying to resolve the matter at my end (which they continually insisted was where the problem lay). At one point I had some hope when I discovered a discrepancy with how the address for my credit card was typed out at the bank. We changed it to match exactly what was in the USPS system, however that still did not resolve it. Over those 4 days I must have gotten at least 5 different reasons as to what was going on, all of them my fault. Never at any time did anyone at USPS offer to look into the matter, in their own system, or in logs for my own transaction, if simply to do due diligence on their part. The only bit of information I got as to the reason why the transaction worked in May but not in October (let alone the fact that all other domestic shipments and even foreign ones were still working, was some vague information they offerred that a new security system had been put in place for transactions going overseas costing over $100 in postage. Given that, when I asked how those restrictions might be obstructing my transactions, they were not forthcoming.
I gave up and took the boxes to the nearest USPS counter, and was able to ship them, and mind you, using the same credit card. (For some reason they have no such security measures at the counter.)
A few months later, I tried writing a letter. No response. I tried emailing, the only response was suggesting I had made typographical errors. Again I gave up.
Then about a month ago, in October of 2010, I had to ship once again, to this same customer in France, albeit only two instead of three boxes, but each still costing well over $100 in postage (a total of over $350). Again, click-n-ship would not work. So I took a deep breath and tried contacting them again, this time through their online chat sytem. I chatted with a first level CSR for about a half hour, and then was escalated to a supervisor. I delineated the problem to J. in great detail, making sure he understood not only the problem, not only what I had done on my part to resolve it, but what I had been through with USPS. He seemed to understand. We chatted for over an hour. He said he would send the convo and information I provided to the "back office" for further research. I told him I didn't care how long it took as long as they truly looked into the problem and didnt just come back and fingerpoint at me once again. Yet, in a mere 3 hours, I got an email from someone, at the bottom of which was a cursory summary of bout 4 or 5 sentences of the problem, leaving out many many details. And that email said that the reason I was having trouble was due to a typographical error on my part (not telling me what that typo was of course).
I got back on the chat again a few days later, this time getting a supervisor named N.. Like J. she appeared extremely apologetic and understanding. She told me she would take ownership of this problem and see it through, even reporting back to me "every few days" even if there were no new news. She did that once, and that was over 3 weeks ago now as I write this.
Meanwhile I called the postmaster generals office about the trouble I was having with click'n'ship support. They gave me the direct number of the manager of click'n'ship in DC. Over a couple of weeks I placed 3 very courteous messages to him, not once receiving a reply. (I would have been happy to get a reply even from his dog!) Again calling the PG's office I got D., who after hearing my long tale said she was not authorized to help (whatever that meant; that's what her office was about – to take complaints) but would have someone call me. "Could I have his name please?" "(common generic first name)" she replied, offerring no last name. When (common generic first name) didnt call back I called her again a week later. She said she would get him to call me back. Two weeks later when I still hadn't heard from him I called D. again (this time getting grilled by the front receptionist as to who I was, the nature of my call and even the "fact" that there was no D. there). This time D. said she would personally call N. and make sure she would call me.
She never did.
The story is even longer than this, but I'm sparing you!!!

Clcik N Ship is TERRIBLE! It will NOT accept my Paypal card! I was just on endless hold (over 30 minutes) then got disconnected! I HATE Click N RIPOFF!

I was just notified by my accountant that I have had over $60 of duplicate charges by click and ship.
When I called, today, March 2nd, they told me they have a strict 60 day refund policy and that there was nothing they could do ($50 of the $60 worth of charges occurred in Dec).
There is no one else to discuss this with apparently within Click and Ship, which I believe is contracted by the USPS to service the website side of things.
I just went searching on the website: NO WHERE is this 60 day policy stated, NO WHERE is there ANY customer support listed for Click and Ship. If the post office wants to truly move itself into the digital age, it is time to offer a better C&S website- and make changes to the way they are handling the printing and charging of shipping labels to avoid these duplicate charges (for one) that I am getting each and every month.

Where can I find the exact USPS regulation (title & number) that covers dropping off a click-n-ship mailpiece at post offices with the same/different ZIP on the label??

I get two answers from two postmaster: one refused the mailpiece because the ZIP was not his, the other said "as long as the PO's are in the same Service Area, it doesn't matter."

Reason for question: My local PO is not open when I leave for work or come home from work in the next town, but whose local PO is open when I drive by before/after work.

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