Tag: USPS

Web Site Outages

So yesterday morning I tried accessing the United States Postal Service’s web site only to have it time out.

Today it’s Facebook.

I suspect there are denial of service attacks going on. It’s not Cox’s name resolution as an nslookup brings back the IP address 31.13.69.160 which if I look it up is registered to:

inetnum:        31.13.64.0 - 31.13.127.255
netname:        IE-FACEBOOK-20110418
descr:          Facebook Ireland Ltd
country:        IE
org:            ORG-FIL7-RIPE
admin-c:        RD4299-RIPE
tech-c:         RD4299-RIPE
status:         ALLOCATED PA
mnt-by:         RIPE-NCC-HM-MNT
mnt-lower:      fb-neteng
mnt-routes:     fb-neteng
source:         RIPE #Filtered

Facebook Ireland? Really? That seems to me that the U.S. data center is experiencing some problems. 
And I tried it on my cell phone - get the same issue. I've got DNS lookup on the phone and it too points
to the same netblock.

A USPS Gripe

So every time we ship a package to Keyron’s mom in North Carolina it’s always hit or miss. For example – the most recent package was shipped on the 17th with an expected date of the 19th. Ok, two days on Priority Mail is not a problem.

And the package flowed just fine through the local post offices. We dropped it at Weybosset Hill Station (02903) at 3:56PM, it processed out through the main Turnkey Station (02904) on the 17th and transited toward Raleigh, NC. But it took 2 days to get to Raleigh? Really?

I don’t think the delay was here in Providence, but I think Raleigh must have delayed processing it. So what should have taken two days took FOUR days. I know the postal service in the south is slow ass anyhow. I recall participating in mail studies. They’d share the results with participants and the southern U.S. always came in DEAD LAST!

But one oddity – it took TWO whole days to get from Providence, RI to Raleigh, NC. Now I know you can drive it in 12 hours. And if it flies there is an airport near Raleigh, RDU. That’s only a couple hours flight time.

So the only theory that springs to mind is that there wasn’t enough mail volume to go from Providence, RI to Columbia, NC (via Raleigh, NC).

And then I pondered more and realized – when we’d shipped before and it got there in 2 or 3 days it was always around major holidays like Christmas, or Mothers Day, etc. So the mail volume to points far had to be up there. But ship in a seasonal lull and be prepared to wait.

 

Fedex Sucks as Usual

So I mentioned before that I ordered a sweet little Samsung CLP315W printer for $147. A color laser for that price is pretty much rock bottom so I couldn’t resist.

They shipped via Fedex. They said it would take 7 to 9 days. The reality is it took 4 but not without some drama. Being the mildly anal type I had my browser at work parked on the Fedex tracking site. So a little after I refreshed it I saw it had been delivered.

Called home and was told no package was delivered. WTF? All sorts of thoughts ran through my mind, was it stolen? Delivered to a wrong address? But then from the recesses of the mind came past experiences with Fedex and UPS.

Both are famous for what I call tag and run. Instead of delivering a package, especially one that weights 31.5lbs they’ll just write up the tag, stick it on your door without ringing the bell and then off they go.

Meanwhile Keyron and I are debating where the hell a 31.5lb printer could have gone. I mentioned that it would probably ‘magically’ appear by the time I got home from work.

Keep in mind I’d already filed a trace report with Fedex. That usually lights a very big fire under someone’s ass. And I think it certainly did in this case. Now when I filed the trace, they said they would notify me of what happened. So the ball is in Fedex’s court to call ME back.

Well sure enough, I was right. I told Keyron earlier that it was probably still on the truck because I know how they load the trucks. I’ve seen more than a few UPS and Fedex drivers searching through their vehicle for a package.

The guy who ‘delivered’ it said we should call Fedex and stop the trace so the driver doesn’t get in trouble. Huh? Sorry, last time I checked, the ball was in the Fedex court. They should be calling ME. Keyron tried the guilt thing on me, but honestly I’m not a hardass and in this case nobody is going to get fired over this. I’m just a residential delivery customer, not a big business.

However looking at the label, I see it includes my COMPANY name. What the hell?

The funny part is when Keyron texted me I was on the phone calling Fedex to tell them I had video surveillance footage and at 4:06PM there was no Fedex truck, no driver, nothing. Just regular traffic.

That’s always a good bluff to pull with UPS and Fedex btw. Even if you don’t have the capability, tell em’ you have video footage of a tag and run, or a fake delivery, etc. Cameras are so ubiquitous that they have to go on the assumption that you’ve got them by the short and curlies.

But if you absolutely want your packages to ship within a couple days, do the USPS a favor and ship via them. They’ll either deliver it to your door, or at least give you a nice little door tag saying you can pick it up at your local post office.