Over the course of doing business on the web, our business has received numerous complaints from customers who have had their order shipped via USPS Priority Mail and expect the order to arrive in a day or two. They are then disappointed when it does not. This week for example, we had a customer whose order shipped on Monday from a fulfillment center in New Jersey, but as of Thursday’s mail, he had not received it (in North Carolina).
In our experience, Priority Mail is a somewhat irregular service. In some places, it works in the same time framework as UPS and FedEx standard Ground delivery. In other places, it seems to take a lot longer. UPS maintains a Ground Delivery Map where you can clearly see in advance how many days a parcel will take to get from Point A to Point B. I don’t know of any such map with the Postal Service and it seems to vary depending on the originating region.
These experiences have prompted us to add a disclaimer to our shipping policy about USPS Priority Mail. Some customers won’t read it of course, and we’ll then be left to do damage control. But when we are given a “needed by” date by the customer, we will always recommend something more expeditious than Priority Mail.
What about you? Do you have any experience with Priority Mail you care to comment on?