HOLIDAY HEADACHE: Keep shipping stress free in the Finger Lakes

The first weekend of December is officially in the books.

The holiday season, and shopping that comes with the territory is now underway for most. Last week, a Greece family made headlines after security footage from their front door showed a USPS package delivery person dropping a package on the porch.

We asked readers to let us know about their experiences with those tasked with delivering mail, packages and anything else that can be sent through delivery service — and sure enough, the responses came rolling through.

One reader outlined her frustration with a delivery person who left a package labeled ‘Fragile’ teetering atop her mailbox.

Another reader quipped about a letter that had allegedly been mailed two years prior, but only landed in her mailbox this past month.

Of course, several readers sided with the family from Greece, who shared similar experiences related to packages being tossed, crammed, thrown, or generally mistreated while being delivered.

The USPS maintains that they are taking the Greece incident seriously, and that it is being investigated — but as one poster reminded us on Facebook — every profession has it’s over- and under-achievers.

Among those who responded to our request for feedback was a retired USPS Mail Carrier. She said that incidents like the one in Greece are ‘not typical’ and that the stresses of the job — especially around holiday time — brings a unique challenge to the job.

“People should keep in mind that mail carriers have to deliver mail to 200 people, or so, per day — and around Christmas time that can mean as many as 300 packages,” the retired carrier explained.

While there will likely always be mixed feelings about the way packages find their way to people’s homes — it hasn’t stopped anyone from ordering online, or requesting shipping.

According to Adobe Insights, Cyber Monday shopping increased 16.8 percent from last year reaching a record-breaking $6.59 billion. It wasn’t just computers that shoppers were placing those digital orders on, either. Adobe says that more than $2 billion in sales were rung up in the 24-hour period of Cyber Monday from mobile devices.

Now that the initial holiday rush is over, what are the best practices to ensure that the rest of the holiday shopping season goes off without a hitch?

Here are some quick tips from the USPS on shipping and receiving over the next few weeks, leading up to Christmas:

To ensure delivery by December 24th get packages in the mail by:

– December 14th for USPS Retail Ground orders;
– December 19th for USPS First Class Mail;
– December 20th for USPS Priority Mail; and
– December 22nd for USPS Priority Mail Express.

Shipping dates vary for Military and International deliveries. Click here for those dates, and interactive schedule.

The USPS offers a multitude of services like Informed Delivery and Tracking Alerts, which are both free and offer a better, quicker insight into daily mail.

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