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Old 05-12-2010, 01:33 PM
 
Location: Interior AK
4,729 posts, read 8,736,591 times
Reputation: 3364

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So, for those of you who live out beyond the UPS/FedEx delivery areas probably already know the pain of ordering things online or by mail. I'm talking about astronomical shipping fees or just plain not being able to get it delivered! It's a real bummer.

Well, here's the problem, and it's 100% artificial... most retailers use UPS/FedEx by default and policy even though there are some pretty steep restrictions and it's not always cost-effective for the consumer.

If you stick to your guns and calculate your own shipping charges via USPS mail, you can normally get them to mail you the items at 1/4-1/2 the price of the major shipping companies.

USPS will also allow for delivery to a PO Box for those of us without a street address (or even a street to have an address on!). FedEx/UPS require a *valid* street address... sometimes you can fake this with a made-up street address (my fav Notastreet Ave LOL), but most time it'll get kicked out of the system. So much easier to use the post office.

If you can get in contact with the retailer's shipping manager, you can almost always argue your way into cost effective USPS postage. You just have to be firmly polite about it. Sometimes they'll tack on a small handling fee or whatnot because they have to go out of their way to use the mail... but it still ends up saving you lots over the major carrier fees.

It's funny, but many people seem to forget that AK is part of the United States... and therefore subject to the same postage rates (including flat rate boxes) as the rest of the country. So, they end up tacking on exorbitant fees like they were sending stuff to Mars Don't let them get away with it!
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Old 05-12-2010, 05:46 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
14,719 posts, read 45,829,256 times
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Good points. FedEx is the worst out where we live - generally I leave the gate across the driveway locked if I'm not home and DW is there alone, and almost always when we are both out. If FedEx comes around they seem to have never seen a rural property with a gate across the driveway before. UPS is somewhat better and I have sort of "trained" the usual guy that if the gate's locked, he can put my box in a big plastic bag and swing it over to the back side of the gate. USPS is usually the best deal out in the sticks, cheaper and actually frequently faster than even FedEx overnight (once they finally figure out to leave my package on/at the gate, or with next-door neighbors...that can take them 1 or 2 days...)
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Old 05-12-2010, 05:48 PM
 
4,919 posts, read 20,170,593 times
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Hawaii has the same problem. I know some times they won't ship an item because there are no authorized warrenty service centers, but i think most times is because in the old days, shipping was based on zones and cost much more to AK and HI. Not so today, but they still haven't updated their shipping policy.
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Old 05-13-2010, 08:43 PM
 
Location: Diaspora
21,540 posts, read 24,684,398 times
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Seasoned (Fedex,UPS,DHL) drivers know what to do in rural areas. Usually they take the newbies on their routes and explain the lay of the land. And most are told to place the item into a plastic bag and tie it to the mailbox post or property post. But once every few years I'll get a phone call (usually Fedex) that there is a delivery for me and the driver is sitting there waiting (it happens when they send the wrong type of truck into a snow area). Even though I have an online release from signature, they don't always look in their own computers. So I tell them look it up, place into baggy, hang from tree and have a nice day.
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Old 05-13-2010, 10:07 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
18,546 posts, read 55,477,958 times
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Not to be pedantic, but how many Fed-ex drivers do you now have hanging from trees???
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Old 05-14-2010, 08:56 AM
 
Location: Diaspora
21,540 posts, read 24,684,398 times
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ok harry. we really needed the grammar police. Why don't u contact Citi-Data and request that they add a grammar check icon to the spell check icon.

And since you're from the south, I'd worry more about the political correctness of your statement than anything else (but hey that would be a different thread). Talk about Freudian Slips.
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Old 05-14-2010, 09:24 AM
 
Location: Interior AK
4,729 posts, read 8,736,591 times
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UPS has an agreement with the USPS up here (assume everywhere) to complete the delivery to unserviced areas... at a premium cost, of course. Maybe FedEx does, too. But they both require street addresses, which is stupid because it's not like they'll be driving it out to my tent in the forest after they hand it off to the postal service.

Many retailers say they use UPS/FedEx so they can get delivery confirmation & signatures... which is about when I remind them that certified and registered mail also supply this service, and you can insure and track it as well, at only a buck or two additional postage which is still way less expensive than attempting to use another carrier.

Then they start hemming and hawing about guaranteed delivery date/time... at which point I start laughing maniacally because absolutely NOTHING has a guaranteed delivery up here. You *might* get the guaranteed delivery that you paid for if you live in one of the few cities, but anywhere else you just get it when you get it and count yourself lucky. "Overnight Express" is normally by the end of the week, "3-day Priority" is normally within 2 weeks, and "Parcel Post/Ground" can sometimes take up to 6 weeks depending on the size/weight and how much space there is on the mail plane out to the bush. Christmas is the absolute worst... even Express mail was taking 2 weeks because the planes were full and the weather was bad enough to ground the planes and/or close the bush airstrips.

These are things that most city folk can't comprehend
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Old 05-14-2010, 11:48 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
18,546 posts, read 55,477,958 times
Reputation: 32301
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilVA View Post
ok harry. we really needed the grammar police. Why don't u contact Citi-Data and request that they add a grammar check icon to the spell check icon.

And since you're from the south, I'd worry more about the political correctness of your statement than anything else (but hey that would be a different thread). Talk about Freudian Slips.
Nah, I was just wondering if you had as many as me. I've got two revenooers, a census worker, a couple of would be thieves, and only one Fed-ex driver. Those guys are fast and hard to ketch.

Thank you for the stereotyping. I'll share that with all the rocket scientists in Huntsville. They might be able to tell me about the current state of Political Correctness outside of these hills and hollars.
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Old 05-14-2010, 01:36 PM
 
4,925 posts, read 9,903,847 times
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Now, now, Harry. You know thet you kin have only one revenooer at a time hangin'...it's de law. I wonder if our friend from VA (seemingly) knows that the term "rocket scientist" is literal? Think you might find one or two in Huntsville?

Now as far as delivery goes in truly remote places, we used the USPS as it was all that was available. We also had a "General Delivery" address at the nearest town that would hold items (sometimes large items) for us until we made it into town.
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Old 05-14-2010, 06:57 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
18,546 posts, read 55,477,958 times
Reputation: 32301
"Now, now, Harry. You know thet you kin have only one revenooer at a time hangin'...it's de law."

Aw shucks. I din't mean nothin by it. They was both scrawny little things, and I figured there wasn't enoough fat to render down for soap outta the two of 'em. Musta been an outta state crop.
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