Adafruit Industries, Essential service and business: NYC – Executive Order 202.6 - Read more. Accepting essential orders - here's how.
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USPS not an option.FORCED UPS
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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.

USPS not an option.FORCED UPS

by normank on Sun May 18, 2014 6:48 pm

I have just placed my final order with Adafruit (18 MAY 2014). Once this order is received by me, CLOSE my account. I will NOT do business with any company when USPS is NOT an option for package delivery to Las Vegas NV USA. I will not be Dictated that I cannpt use the United States Postal Service (USPS) as an ption for any small package from an American firm or any other firm doing business in the United States, when they have ofices in the United States. Thank You and Good By
normank
 

Re: USPS not an option.FORCED UPS

by rmu on Sun May 18, 2014 9:51 pm

I'm not as irate as "normank" seems to be. Still, an order I had intended to place this evening didn't happen, because it appears that USPS shipping is no longer an option. My Adafruit orders have averaged $40-50, and have involved no more than an ounce or two of components. It's absurd to pay a couple of dollars extra to have an enormous diesel-belching van chug up my driveway so the driver can hand me a little bitty box which would have arrived in my mailbox via Priority Mail the same day, if not sooner.

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Re: USPS not an option.FORCED UPS

by adafruit_support_mike on Sun May 18, 2014 11:39 pm

In theory a Priority Mail package should arrive at your door in two days. In practice, we had to field too many complaints from people whose orders were days (or even weeks) late, with the USPS tracking website saying the package hadn't even been picked up by the time it finally arrived at their door.

Our records and experience show that UPS is significantly more reliable and accountable than the USPS. We wish that wasn't the case, but we'll do what's best for our customers.

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Re: USPS not an option.FORCED UPS

by normank on Mon May 19, 2014 2:48 am

First, you are basing your actions on 502,408 orders of which 52 orders were placed by me, with the average order being $99.91. Of those orders 9 were sent by UPS (4 I had no choose, 2 were FREE, 3 were to get the package faster (did not work out in all cases)). I have made one complaint and that was because of a delay in your shipping (order placed on Wednesday and not notified of shipping until Saturday, sorry but I expected it a little faster).

Secondly, the experiences you stated that Adafruit has had with USPS tracking, I have not had recently. I did have that problem 14 years ago when I lived in Silver Spring MD. I have had delays with UPS caused by “late arrival of trailer” (4 hours) recently. As I currently live in Las Vegas when I order anything from California I normally pick UPS ground, as I get it the next day, with USPS it would take 2 days. But the method of shipment is what I pick, knowing what problems I may have. Problems with USPS can always be handled with the Postal Inspectors (that is the easiest way to fix a problem).

Finally, When I lived in MD I working in Franconia VA at a GSA CSC/IPC warehouse (part of a 70 acre site in Springfield VA). They shipped far more packages then your company will for quite a few years. I have seen how UPS trailers arrive as well as other vendors. Give your customer the ability to pick their own shipping methods based on their experiences. Theory is something people learn in college and does not always work out in real life.
normank
 

Re: USPS not an option.FORCED UPS

by egutting on Mon May 19, 2014 9:45 am

I've had this gripe before as well....it's caused me to not buy things in small quantities. If I want to make an order it will have to be many items to compensate for the shipping. ($13 shipping to Tx for a $0.50 part)

I do agree with normank though.....you should let the customer choose their shipping method based on their experiences. I for one cannot stand UPS, but you are requiring me to use them now.

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Re: USPS not an option.FORCED UPS

by rmu on Mon May 19, 2014 7:39 pm

adafruit_support_mike wrote: . . .we'll do what's best for our customers.


Even if it costs you customers?

I'll point out that you've kissed off every one of your customers who prefers deliveries to a PO box, not a street address. UPS doesn't deliver to PO boxes.

And then there are people like me. I find Priority Mail delivery eminently satisfactory. Except on one occasion, several years ago, I have never had a problem with delivery. Even in that case, my package arrived, just a few days late. Priority Mail is low cost and convenient. Free insurance is included, just as UPS does. I see no reason for you to cross Priority Mail off your list simply because some of your customers have had a difficulty with it.

If hoards of customers have problems due to their selection of a particular shipping method, Afafruit would do well to point out the risks and alternatives. But don't slam doors shut by eliminating a shipping option. Even more important: don't do our thinking for us.

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Re: USPS not an option.FORCED UPS

by adafruit on Mon May 19, 2014 8:30 pm

hi rmu,

thanks for the post, if and when a majority of customers having issues with USPS we will sometimes need to make a decision to keep the most number of customers happy. some locations have such poor USPS service the cost of replacements, delays (customers blaming us when USPS loses a package) we will move to UPS. we are constantly monitoring and adjusting shipping options to make sure 99.99999% of the customers get their packages on time, even when it's outside our control.

here's a recent post about this subject:
http://www.adafruit.com/blog/2014/03/14 ... rbusiness/

this is "the tip of the iceberg" - for some locations packages disappear for a week or more, the customer assumes we did not ship it and that's not accurate, USPS is not moving the packages in some areas of the country, it's a huge issue many businesses are dealing with. we lose customers because of USPS not delivering on time, losing packages, not providing tracking. we're not against adding USPS back to locations, however - when there are clear issues we need make sure there's a reliable option for most customers. we can explain the risks, we can try to explain it's USPS, but customers do not want to hear that, and we understand that :)

we appreciate the feedback, support and understanding.

thanks,
adafruit support

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Re: USPS not an option.FORCED UPS

by adafruit on Mon May 19, 2014 8:35 pm

normank wrote:I have made one complaint and that was because of a delay in your shipping (order placed on Wednesday and not notified of shipping until Saturday, sorry but I expected it a little faster).


your order placed on wednesday was shipped in less than 24 hours:
Processing 2014-05-14 19:50:49
Shipped by Alix at 2014-05-15 10:01:57

UPS:
New York, NY, United States
05/15/2014 3:53 P.M. Pickup Scan

emails were also sent on weds for notification the shipment within less than 24 hours.

the email sent was on:
Date: Thu, May 15, 2014 at 10:02 AM
Subject: UPS Ship Notification

we believe you are referring to additional order placed on 5/18, that shipped same day in less than 2 hours.

Processing 2014-05-18 18:17:02
Shipped by Angel at 2014-05-18 20:24:35

that email was sent on 5/18, the same day as you ordered, a sunday evening, and your order shipped 2 hours later.

Date: Sun, May 18, 2014 at 8:25 PM
Subject: UPS Ship Notification, Tracking Number

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Re: USPS not an option.FORCED UPS

by egutting on Mon May 19, 2014 10:14 pm

This is my biggest gripe....the difference in shipping is crazy! It's no where near cost effective.

1. This is what it would cost me now to purchase a few small items...
capture1.jpg
capture1.jpg (57.68 KiB) Viewed 1492 times


2. This was one of my previous orders....
capture2.jpg
capture2.jpg (100.09 KiB) Viewed 1492 times


I'm paying twice as much for slower/worse service.

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Re: USPS not an option.FORCED UPS

by adafruit on Mon May 19, 2014 10:22 pm

most customers do not purchase 2 small components for a total of $2.70, the average order is $120 or more, with many many orders over $200 for the free UPS ground offer, or $100 for the free item in cart offer.

adafruit stocks many small components, however, it's not our core business (lots of other companies may be a better choice for $2.70 of components, we really like digikey & mouser for example). we'll continue to provide the best and fastest options possible that get the packages to the most customers on time in the most economical way.

thanks for the feedback and post!

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Re: USPS not an option.FORCED UPS

by egutting on Mon May 19, 2014 10:48 pm

So what you're telling me is that I'm not a worthy customer because I don't spend an "average" amount.

I don't need the big purchases as I already have the major components; I need the small parts for additional projects. I know very well I can go to other places to get smaller parts, but I choose to come to adafruit because of the service. (or well at least previously perceived service)

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Re: USPS not an option.FORCED UPS

by adafruit on Mon May 19, 2014 10:53 pm

we appreciate the orders and support, for some types of orders (for example - orders under $3.00 of 2 small components) we'll definitely suggest digikey or mouser, we optimize our shipping options based on cost, speed, service, reliability, data from shipments to location and what can benefit the most customers. if you wanted 100,000 LEDs or 5,000 stepper motors to china for example, we'd also make some other suggestions based on that as well!

all that being said, if you wanted to make sure your 2 small components for sure arrived on time, was shipped fast, was trackable and would be immediately replaced if there were any issues - we're still a good option. it really depends what you're looking for, what you believe your time and effort is worth and what companies you want to support and why. some customers get a lot of items from adafruit and use their local radioshack for small components for example.

there are some folks who only purchase if there's free shipping on any sized order and they're willing to wait 2-3+ weeks or more. that's something we decided we're not going to do :)

when you do shop around, compare our UPS ground costs with others and let us know the rates for the same exact items/weights, we're very motivated to deliver the lowest possible rates.

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Re: USPS not an option.FORCED UPS

by egutting on Mon May 19, 2014 11:07 pm

To me, your comments sound like you are more interested in catering to someone who wants 100k leds and 5k stepper motors, not someone who is tinkering a home trying to learn. Granted, this is probably where you make your most money and I cannot fault you for that.

I guess I just had the wrong impression.

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Re: USPS not an option.FORCED UPS

by adafruit on Mon May 19, 2014 11:11 pm

egutting wrote:To me, your comments sound like you are more interested in catering to someone who wants 100k leds and 5k stepper motors, not someone who is tinkering a home trying to learn. Granted, this is probably where you make your most money and I cannot fault you for that. I guess I just had the wrong impression.


just to be clear we're not in the business (yet) of selling 100,000 LEDs or 5,000 steppers that was an example on the other side of the types of orders we'd make other suggestions to consider. the very small orders (components) and the very large orders 5,000 steppers, we'd make other suggestions :)

2 tiny components under $3.00, digikey :)

most of our customers are buying packs, kits, breakout boards, arduinos, raspberry pis and that's where our shipping options are optimized for. usually it's someone tinkering at home trying to learn!

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Re: USPS not an option.FORCED UPS

by egutting on Mon May 19, 2014 11:25 pm

What are you doing for repeat customers? Someone who bought the kit, but then wants to work on another project. Say they have their arduino and made their first project of some kind of blinking lights or whatnot and now want to create a remote control for their TV. They need the parts I described and nothing more. Who knows what they need next, but you're telling me you would direct them to somewhere else to purchase the parts instead of "inviting" them back to be a repeat customer. What if they find a competitor that will provide the items at a reasonable rate and decide not to come back? What is the LTV of these customers? Can you afford to lose these customers? (These last 2 questions are rhetorical. Please don't think I'm actually requesting your business financials.)

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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.