Saturday, May 28, 2011

One of those days

OK.  I know I harp on inflation here.  But this is nuts.  I just finished reading a paperback novel that a friend had recommended (it was enjoyable) and I thought to pass it along to my mother and sister on the right coast.  So I stop by the local UPS drop off and show them the book.  I tell the gentleman that I want to send it to New York.  Next I provide him with all of the appropriate information (names addresses etc.) and let him know that it can go via the next wagon train, which is to say I don't care when it gets there as long as it does so before my family dies off.

Total cost... $33.04.

No.  I am not joking.  After expressing my astonishment he recalculated and came back with the same figure.  I reiterated that I was shipping a paperback book that weighed 1.6 lbs, that it was neither an overdue library book, nor a rare first edition.  The numbers did not move.  I then pointed out that I could purchase the book brand new on and have it shipped by two day delivery via UPS for 1/3 what he was proposing to charge me.  The numbers did not move.

Needless to say the book is sitting on my desk under my right arm as I type.  Come Tuesday I will stop by the Post Office and send it for perhaps $4 Book Rate.

I don't want to disparage the gentleman who waited on me.  Nor suggest that UPS is a poorly run company staffed by a bunch of simpletons.  So I will confine myself to observing that if I owned UPS stock right now, I would sell it.


David Garner said...

Wow - that's nuts.

Was yours the only truck going to NY that week?

The Archer of the Forest said...

Wow, I checked the UPS website and calculated shipping from San Francisco to New York, and you are right: 2 day air was $33. That was the cheapest of the 4 options.

Simply putting it on a truck isn't an option?

This is why I never ship UPS. They are ridiculously expensive.

Matushka Anna said...

David, you took my comment. Oh well:

Wow, that's nuts.

Unless there's a very, very good reason, I take everything to the post office. I've got to drop a book off for someone on Monday and if it were going to cost that much, I'd just buy it from Amazon and have it shipped to them too.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

UPS is obviously just not interested in this particular type of business and they're charging this rate to discourage people from using them for it.

Presumably other stuff they ship, or on other routes, is more profitable.

Oh, well. So if they don't want to do it, why try to get them to?

Daniel Nichols said...

Remember this the next time you hear someone argue that the Postal Service should be privatized.

The Archer of the Forest said...

I'm not a huge fan of the idea of privatization of the post office, if for no other reason than what I saw in England where they were/are trying it. Service in rural areas has basically stopped entirely because there isn't any profit. People have to drive for miles to find an open post office.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

The post office is one of the few explicitly defined responsibilities of the Federal Government. It should remain so.

Visibilium said...

The post office is one of the few explicitly defined responsibilities of the Federal Government. It should remain so.

Ok, but let's take away the first class mail monopoly, and we'll see how long it lasts.

UPS second day air is expensive anyway, and I'm surprised that that's the cheapest service they offered. You may want to set up an account with Fedex to see if they can beat the rate. Comparison shopping is more worthwhile than bellyaching about someone's prices.

Owen White said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Owen White said...

I just checked FedEx San Fran to NYC and the cheapest they offer is $33.15. 11 cents more expensive and you have to have on your conscience using a non-union company. But no doubt once Vis' friends privatize this industry in the manner they have so many others we will get better and cheaper services; wink, wink, nod, nod. It's immoral to enslave consumers into continuing to pay for overpriced services, isn't that right Vis? And of course the solution here is to ax the post office.

Visibilium said...

Owen, I was quoted $25.01. An improvement, but less than the publicly subsidized rate, I'm sure.

Regarding USPS, it's a simple matter of the first class monopoly profits' cross-subsidizing unprofitable routes. Where's the consumer choice in first class mail delivery?

Advocating the continuation of unprofitable routes at public expense in the furtherance of narrow special interests is what I'd fully expect from socialists.

Visibilium said...

Hell, I just got quoted $9.98 for Fedex Ground. The $25.01 quote was for 2nd Day.

Positively, the last quote for this thread.

Owen White said...

Sure ya did Vis, sure ya did.