This has not been a good couple of months for me as far as the post office is concerned. The big thing was that my order from Pokemoncenter.com went missing. It was shipped via FedEx Smartpost, and marked as "Delivered" two days before it was supposed to be, on the 25th. Well, owing to the fact that it probably was taken to the office, and my work hours are not amenable to going to the office (I work 9-6, with a 45-minute commute in each direction, and the office is open 8:30-5:30 with a break for lunch), I asked The Boyfriend to go during the day. He didn't. He also didn't for the next three days. Then, on the 29th, because we were going away for Labor Day weekend, he finally actually went to the office. They didn't have it. They had three other packages for me (two boxes from PKMNCollectors members and my ILNP fall preorder), but not that. OK, no big deal, because it might have just been hidden or stacked with the apartment number facing the wall or some such. We'd get it when we got back. So, one weekend later, I went back to the office and had them look. Nothing. (Now, there *was* a box with a peeling label next to the bigger stack that they didn't look at, and it looked like the type of box used by Pokemoncenter.com, based on unboxing pictures from PKMNCollectors.) So, I called the USPS customer service number. I got a phone call later that afternoon from the area postmaster, saying that she'd spoken to the carrier, and that it had been delivered, probably to the office. OK, so where is it? My guess is that since Smartpost packages get left in the mail lockers, he put the package in the locker but left the key in the wrong box, so someone else got it and either kept it or threw it out.
As much as I hate doing this, I contacted Pokemoncenter.com's customer service to explain the situation. I contacted them on September 6th. There was no movement on the issue until I submitted a second ticket (strongly worded, at least for me) on September 17th asking why there had been no update on the first ticket. They asked for the ticket number that afternoon, but there was no further action for a week until I contacted them again via chat. Then they asked for the tracking number, and it's been three days since I've heard anything else.
I'm actually more disappointed in Pokemoncenter.com's handling (or lack thereof) of the situation than I am with USPS. I realize that it's not their fault (if it was anyone's, it's the mail carrier's!), but I've had indie or eBay sellers and other companies (Adagio Teas, Primal Wear) send replacement products out or offer refunds within three days of my contacting them when packages get lost. (I had a spate of stolen/lost packages when I lived in Ohio because the mail carriers were really inconsistent and would leave parcels in plain view if they didn't fit neatly into the mailbox.) If I have to, I will do a chargeback on this order, because I have followed up with every avenue I can think of that's available to me, and no one wants to fix this. I really don't appreciate stall tactics and being treated, at best, like an inconvenience (when it's customer service's job to deal with this stuff) or at worst, like I'm trying to scam The Pokemon Company. I was hoping that this would be a reasonably-priced alternative to buying from Japanese eBay sellers. Looks like I'll be buying from eBay for the foreseeable future.