Off topic: How quick (or slow) is the postal service in the U.S.?
Thread poster: Claudia Iglesias

Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 08:30
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
Oct 27, 2004

Hello

I'd like to know how long it can take to a letter to go from one town to another in the U.S.

I have a P.O. Box in Miami (that I wanted to use for the first time this month) and now I have four checks travelling somewhere, two of them sent several days ago and the two other clients don't answer whether they already sent the check or not, so it's worse, but anyway none reached the P.O. Box.

Before asking to cancel those checks I wanted to ask you this info.

Thanks

Claudia

[Edited at 2004-10-28 02:03]


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Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:30
German to English
The US is a very large country Oct 27, 2004

The amount of time it takes to deliver a letter depends upon a variety of factors. Although the US Postal Service claims that long-distance mail travels by air, this is not always the case. If the recipient is in a small town, then the mail has to be hauled to a distribution center, sorted, directed to the town, then delivered.

It would not be unusual for a letter to take a week to travel more than a few hundred miles.
Kevin


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Marocas  Identity Verified
Venezuela
Local time: 07:30
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
My experience... Oct 27, 2004

A check was sent from Connecticut to Miami on a Saturday and it arrived next Monday afternoon. It was sent by regular mail.

HTH

Marocas


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:30
English to Spanish
+ ...
Variable Oct 27, 2004

That's all we can say. In my current situation I have to have a lot of mail forwarded. The time can vary quite a bit, from 2-3 to 10-12 days. Mail can also be delivered to the wrong address.

We supposedly live in a first-world country, and most of the time the postal service works well, but not always. Sometimes it is like in the third world, and it does not work well at all. And believe me, I let them know, but most of them don't care.

So it's "variable", Claudia.


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Ulrike Lieder  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:30
English to German
+ ...
Varies a lot Oct 28, 2004

I usually figure on about 4 to 7 days for mail that has to travel clear across the country (East Coast to West Coast or vice versa). Even within California, I find that it takes at least 2 days for First Class Mail to reach me, sometimes more. (Conversely, air mail from Germany also takes about 4 to 7 days, just about the same time it takes for mail from the East Coast.)

Another factor in using a P.O. Box is that mail sometimes does get "mis-boxed". I live in an area where we do not have home mail delivery, we thus have to have a P.O. Box in order to receive our mail. On occasion, I receive mail that should have been put into another boxholder's box, and it's also happened that my mail ended up in someone else's box.


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:30
English to Spanish
+ ...
The check is in the mail... Oct 28, 2004

The check is in the mail...

We've also heard that one before too. So as bad as the U.S. Postal Service might be, chances are the client is the one who is amiss.


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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 08:30
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for your answers Oct 28, 2004

Two clients told me (and I believe them) that payment had been sent, one of them advised to wait until the 31st (he didn't say when he had sent the check), the other one proposed to make another check (so I suppose that he thinks that it should have arrived), the other two clients didn't say anything, not even "the check is in the mail", so I'll wait some more days.

Anyway I find quite surprising your answers.
I'm also surprised to see that when I suggest electronic transfers among US Banks they seem quite unknown. I have the feeling that in the US people are fond of checks like in France.
Maybe a wrong impression

Thanks again!

Claudia


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ecuatraddesign
United States
Local time: 07:30
Spanish to English
+ ...
It varies a lot Oct 29, 2004

A lot really depends on where you live, and the distance between the sender and the recipient. I've sent mail from DC to Virginia that has taken over a week to arrive, while mail to California has taken 4 days. Some items may even arrive the next day, even if sent through regular mail. It even depends on what post office you use. The office near my house is pretty quick and dependable; the one near my workplace in Washington takes forever.

As for our banking system, it is truly a disgrace (having worked in a major bank, I should know). Companies are not fond of electronic transfers simply because the fees charged are astronomical, and some banks even charge you for receiving the money. It's only worth the trouble if you are dealing with thousands of dollars, in which case even $40 seems like a drop in the bucket. But for $100 or even $1000, a $15 fee is pretty steep. Oh, and banks tend to mess up the transaction in all possible ways, at least in my experience, so the money you are sending often ends up in the wrong hands or disappears, or you get $100 or $10000 instead of the $1000 you were supposed to get (and it's another hassle to correct that). Therefore it is much easier, cheaper and a lot less trouble, to write a check.


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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 08:30
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Six months later... May 17, 2005

Hello

I received last week one check sent in November of $ 1,350.00. Of course I had told the client (now it's a former client) that I had not received it, and he had to block this one in order to issue another one.
The company I pay for allowing me to have a P.O. Box in Miami finally apologized (and didn't make me pay for this letter), but I don't think they can ever imagine all the consequences.

Claudia


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