The PO Called Me Back!

I went to the US Post Office website today to update the expiration date on a credit card. I use Priority Mail a lot, and not only for manuscripts, because Delivery Confirmation is free when you print the postage via the Click-N-Ship function.

Alas, the computer automatically entered my old password instead of the one that USPS made me update to last month. My fault; I hadn’t taken the time to delete the old one and tell autofill to remember the new one. I didn’t realize what was going on at first, and after a couple of tries, I got a message that my account had been locked.

I appreciate uber-security as much as the next person, but it was still annoying. I rummaged around the site and found the email for tech support, filled out the form with a polite description of  the problem, and less than 3 hours later, the huge enormous federal bureaucracy that is the U.S. Postal Office called me back!

I wasn’t home, but a very nice person left a clear voicemail, repeating her phone number s.l.o.w.l.y. so I could copy it down, and even told me the hours to call back (7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern, on the weekend even).

And when I called back, the person I spoke with was both cordial and helpful. She emailed me a temporary password, and a few minutes later I was back in business.

So I just wanted to pass that along, because everybody grumbles about snail mail and long lines and lost mail but hardly anybody ever spreads the word when they do something very, very right.

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12 Responses to The PO Called Me Back!

  1. Anne M Leone says:

    Last year I had to renew my driver’s license from overseas. I put it off for months because I was sure it would be such a pain. Finally I gathered up the courage to call the Illinois DMV. I ended up talking to a person. I couldn’t believe it! She told me I needed to fill out a special form and she’d have to transfer me to another person to get my address. Okay… I was on hold for five minutes. Then another person answered the phone, knew exactly what I was talking about, and then transferred me back to the first person. Again, I was barely on hold, and then talking to the first person again, confirmed all my details, and was done in less than ten minutes. Two weeks later, the form arrived in my mail. A month after filling it out, I received my driver’s license. I could not BELIEVE it.

    So you know, sometimes the government does all right. =)


    • Anne Bingham says:

      Anne, thanks so much for sharing this. Amazing: consumer-friendly stories about the PO and the Illinois DMV…next thing you know someone will be posting a response about a cordial, consumer-friendly encounter with the IRS!


  2. Becky says:

    My story isn’t so consumer friendly. I was mailing a package and noticed it needed just a tiny bit more tape, perhaps an inch or two. I asked the post office employee if she could tape it, and she explained that the post office was not in the business of handing out pieces of tape for free but that I could buy tape from them. I laughed and laughed because it seemed so silly. I decided to take a chance that I had taped the package sufficiently. As I recall, the package made it to its destination in one piece, with or without the extra tape.


    • Anne Bingham says:

      I’m sorry that happened, Becky. I’ve seen the opposite at the PO I use the most often; the counter workers go out of their way to be helpful and I’ve seen them putting extra tape on some things w/o being asked. And it’s not as if it’s a small-town PO where everyone knows everybody else; it serves two zip codes and lots of businesses, so there’s heavy traffic.


  3. Amazing, Anne. It restores my faith…well…it at least makes me feel better knowing that good things do happen. Thanks for reminding us!


  4. Anne M Leone says:

    Actually… no, sorry. =)
    I had a loooong (over a year) battle with the IRS last year. I will say that everyone I spoke to was very polite. I was quite pleased. They didn’t seem too clear what I was talking about, why I was living overseas, where the forms I mailed in were, or anything like that. But they were very nice! And there was the ONE person, after a year of calling, who looked me up on her computer, said “Oh!” and then straightened everything out.

    Life gets a little more complicated when one lives abroad I think. =)


    • Anne Bingham says:

      Wow. You’d think the IRS would have a division that works with people who live abroad, or your husband’s employer would. It’s complicated enough when you’re stateside, although I confess, we’ve always had a CPA to help us with ours.


      • Anne M Leone says:

        Sadly, I think they DO have a division to help people living abroad. =) I’m honestly not sure why our taxes turned into such a problem that first year over here. We received several different answers from people, were told our fax and mailings were lost, were told the computers were down… very bizarre. Should have hired an account, but the forms all seemed fairly straight-forward and I’m one of those control freaks who likes to know exactly what I’m doing.

        My husband’s employer doesn’t hire many Americans… they have a liaison for international staff, but they couldn’t provide specific advice. Ah well. All behind us now. So far the IRS hasn’t complained since! Thank God. Thought I shouldn’t tempt fate by saying that too loudly. =)


        • Anne Bingham says:

          I’m a control freak too, but over the years I have managed to let go of plumbing, things automotive beyond checking the oil and coolant, anything electrical beyond changing a light bulb or resetting a switch on a circuit breaker, and anything at all involving a power saw or taxes! The last time I tried to fix a leaky faucet… well, let’s not go there.


  5. I like my post office, every one is pleasant and I like going there. I was using a branch closer to me and didn’t like it-colder–stressed out workers even though it was smaller. So I tried one further away and larger, they act small townish and don’t seem so stressed. I really happy with them.


    • Anne Bingham says:

      It’s great to find a PO that’s friendly! I wonder what makes the difference? The postmaster? Or is just an accidental mix of great people who make the difference in the work culture?


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