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Thread: Canada Post is a disgrace.

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    CaNewbie Buddyboy546's Avatar
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    As a nation, Canada depends on Canada Post to convey much of its goods to and from all over the world. Yes, there are competitors but CP still retains an effective monopoly, certainly for internal mail and parcels. Even a major competitor, Purolator, is 93% owned by CP. If CP does a poor job, we as a nation are harmed.

    CP does a poor job; in my view it does a terrible job. Here are a few reasons why from my own observations.

    - Sending parcels is ridiculously complicated. They want details of where from including postal codes, where to including postal codes even abroad, length, width, height and weight. They then present a host of different levels of service and prices, some of which are priced but then marked as not available. Compare that to Britainís Royal Mail as an example. All they need entered is country from, country to, weight, then select from letter, small parcel or parcel. Thatís it. If they can do it, why not Canada Post?

    -Sending parcels is ridiculously expensive. I just sent two identical envelopes as small parcels, one to Scotland, one to Ontario. The cheapest rate to Scotland was about $2 cheaper than the cheapest rate to Ontario from Nova Scotia. Go figure! If the international envelope I sent to Scotland had been mailed from Scotland to here, Royal Mail charges less than half the cost of what I had to pay.

    - I often buy small items mailed from China. The cost of the item and the postage from China, both together, is usually between $1 and $2. If I were to mail anything back to China in the same package, the postage alone would be well in excess of $10.

    - CP makes it difficult to contact them. They provide no email addresses on their site, not even a web form. If you want to write to them you are forced to buy a stamp for snail mail. What century are they working in? To send them anything in writing via their web site, you have to register, then fill out a form providing the postage reference number of what it is you are complaining about. Clearly they presume all contacts are complaints. I wanted to write to them just to provide feedback and to compliment a local staff member. Impossible. Donít believe me, try it!

    There are many more such examples and I would be happy to hear from others what they think of Canada Post. In my view, if they were trying to alienate their customers they are doing a superb job.
    This thread is currently associated with: Canada Post, Via Rail


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    I agree Canada Post is horrible.Last year I mailed a package from the U.S. to myself with my address as to and return address .I was tracking it it was out for delivery.It never came with mail so later the same day.It went to the mail sorting plant.They had the package because it came back.It was sent out on the wrong route.I printed my to address in large capital letters and still they couldn't read it.

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    Smart Canuck MillieH's Avatar
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    I used to sell on eBay.. I mailed approximately 30 packages a week. If I mailed from Canada it took at least 2 weeks to arrive.. usually longer.. If I drove to the US my packages were sent with insurance, tracking and arrived in 24 hours for 80% less cost. The US post office supplied all packaging materials free... just buying the packaging here cost far more than shipping would in the US...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buddyboy546 View Post
    - Sending parcels is ridiculously complicated. They want details of where from including postal codes, where to including postal codes even abroad, length, width, height and weight. They then present a host of different levels of service and prices, some of which are priced but then marked as not available. Compare that to Britainís Royal Mail as an example. All they need entered is country from, country to, weight, then select from letter, small parcel or parcel. Thatís it. If they can do it, why not Canada Post?
    The scope of Canada Post's operation FAR outweighs that of Royal Mail, by a long shot so comparing the two operations is completely unfair.

    You do realize that Canada covers roughly 15-20 times more physical space than that of the UK, right? The landmass of the ENTIRE UK would literally fit within the confines of British Columbia's border alone, plus have room to spare for half of France. Royal Mail doesnt typically fly freight all over their country, so getting a box across the UK could quite literally be done in a day. I'm not saying they do, necessarily, but it does mean a tighter and less expensive operation, and one that has little reason to be concerned with weights and measures.

    Canada Post on the other hand has to account for the added expenses of transporting freight all over Canada (again, an expanse that's easily 15 times or more the size of the UK) and need to do it as cost-effectively and as efficiently as possible... while also being a fair cost for every Canadian citizen. Knowing how much physical space and weight the freight is going to consume along this anticipated lengthy journey is necessary, not to mention the various additional handling, sorting and transfer facilities along the path.

    As for the various service levels being available or not, these are dependent once the size & weight are determined, along with the destination. For example... I can ship a "light packet" (roughly the thickness of a DVD movie inside a bubble envelope) for about $5 from NB to anywhere in Canada. However, if the package was a double-thick DVD case (or as thick as a VHS tape) inside the same envelope, that option is no longer available, even if it weighs exactly the same. The "light packet" has to fit through a mail-slot to qualify for that level of service. -- there are other variables at play for different levels of service, but that's one aspect.


    Quote Originally Posted by Buddyboy546 View Post
    Sending parcels is ridiculously expensive. I just sent two identical envelopes as small parcels, one to Scotland, one to Ontario. The cheapest rate to Scotland was about $2 cheaper than the cheapest rate to Ontario from Nova Scotia. Go figure! If the international envelope I sent to Scotland had been mailed from Scotland to here, Royal Mail charges less than half the cost of what I had to pay.
    Again, comparing RM to CP is apples and oranges. When you send a parcel to Scotland, your paying partly Canada Post's limited involvement to get it into Royal Mail's hands, and then the rest you're paying RM's cost to deliver it to the destination, again on a land mass less than the size of BC. That's why it costs less for you to ship to Scotland. However, it still has to be handled by Canada Post initially, so you still need all the weights and measures that their entire operation requires. But there is otherwise less effort on CP's part for shipments to the UK.

    However, when you send something from Nova Scotia to Ontario, you're commissioning CP to do 100% of the handling, sorting and delivery. From the point of leaving Halifax, to mid-way sorting and distribution, to sorting and ultimate delivery in Ontario... a total distance that's 3-4 times the length of the British Isles. Whereas your parcel to Scotland, CP only handles the first portion... sorting and and leaving Halifax. Once it's on a plane/ship to go overseas, it's out of Canada Post hands. After that, the rest of your cost is RM's portion.

    Take notice also if you shipped that same parcel within the Atlantic Provinces, it's notably less expensive than shipping to Ontario because it's not leaving our region. There's less sorting, and less provisioning for transportation. I dont know if that holds true in other regions across the country or not, but it does if you're going between NB, NS, and PEI. *Note: this also affects service options. Sometimes 2-day options are available for certain mail items within Atlantic Canada that may not be an option if you're shipping to Ontario.



    As for your other points: I can't speak for the costs of shipping OUT of China to Canada... I dont know or understand China's mail system.
    [Edit after post: I recently learned that the Chinese government subsidizes a large of amount of businesses export mail. So for ebay vendors from China to offer free or low-cost shipping, is basically because the state is covering the costs]

    Nor do I have much experience with communicating with CP by text based medium (neither email... nor letter mail). I have called them for occasional concerns, and was always dealt with on the phone as swiftly and appropriately as I'd expect from any corporation's customer service. Not dramatically swayed in either direction good or bad that I can ever recall, I wouldn't call it stellar nor deplorable... just mediocre.


    My experience with Canada Post as far as my deliveries-in and shipments-out has always been fine and acceptable -- I've had little problem with CP in the mail-handling end of things anyway. I get stuff I expect, when it's expected, in the condition I expected -- and for stuff I ship out (ebay sales, etc) They're always delivered well within the window they guaranteed, and they cost about half of what UPS, FedEx or Purolator wants to charge me, so I'm happy to pay CP for them. I've had (in as many years) maybe 2 parcels (inbound to me) go undelivered, lost or missing... but that's as many as I count in the 10 years I've lived at this address, and that I can ever recall. And I can't attest if the parcel was addressed properly or legibly by the sender, so who knows what happened there. I've had 2 maybe 3 parcels come damaged, but fairly its because the shipper packed it poorly. (eg. putting a crushable item in a bubble envelope is not adequate packaging)

    Not to mention that after Remembrance Day each year, Canada Post starts delivering parcels on Saturday and Sunday at no extra cost. While you cant request it perse (without paying extra) they WILL do it voluntarily to keep ahead of the seasonal rush. I know UPS does that too, (not sure about FedEx, and Purlator) but the fact that CP does it ought to deserve mention.



    My only beef with CP is in the winter when the plow doesnt clear the community mailbox where everyone on my street gets their mail/parcels. But CP doesnt do the work, it's contracted. So if it doesnt get plowed, the carrier doesnt have to deliver. Unfortunately, I'm not sure WHO is supposed to communicate this failure: the carriers or the residents, so if a full day goes by and it's not plowed, I call CP and it's (quite literally) plowed within a couple of hours. That's happened twice that I can recall.

    Granted I'm not singing Canada Post's praises here because I've never been superbly WOW'd by them.. but at the same time I have no reason to poo-poo on them because they've never really seriously failed me either.
    Last edited by bhlombardy; Mon, Dec 4th, 2017 at 02:21 AM.
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    duped post in error

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    Just ranting to get it out. Canada Post has utterly failed me this past month or so. I had several business deliveries to send out which all arrived late despite leaving a couple of days gap and choosing the fastest shipping option. I did get shipping costs returned but that doesnít make up for poor customer service.

    I also had a perishable item sent to me by an employee for a networking event out on Thursday morning with the guarantee that it would arrive by Friday night. The item never arrived and customer service said it was in the post office it just hadnít been scanned in and a supervisor would contact me. I had to repurchase the items for my event and until I made the trip to the post office for an unrelated matter two and a half weeks later I never heard from Canada Post despite calling back three times. The employee at the post office found my package and said it had just been sitting back there for a while but it wasnít scanning so they hadnít bothered to do anything about it. The next morning the Canada Post supervisor finally got in touch with me to say they were sorry but they couldnít return my shipping costs, any kind of reimbursement for the item and nor did she offer an explanation as to why no one had called me back.

    Today I had a few items to pick up at a different post office but they have been lost and the employee said that it happens all the time and just to go to customer service and have the items reshipped to me online store because itís like they wonít be able to figure out where itís gone until after the holidays.

    My business contract ends with Canada Post this year and Iím done dealing with them professionally, while I canít choose how online stores send me items Iíd rather pay a few extra dollars and have my business items arrive on time.
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    Years ago my mother forwarded a very, very important letter to us while we were in Italy. We never received this letter as we were told later, if mail builds up postal workers is Italy just burn it.

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    Canadian Guru Midnightly's Avatar
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    got a package pick up slip in my mailbox on Nov 30th... it was dated for a package they tried to deliver 4 days previously on the 26th! it took 4 days to get the notice in my mail box! also add that the 26th was a sunday which i thought odd

    though i will give it to them they do have a fairly accessible pick up locations... they are many and i tend not to have to go too far to find my pick up place where UPS if i have to pick up with them (we got a notice last week) we'd have to drive 45 minutes to the next town over to pick up the package (and i live in the provincial capitol! there should be a place to pick up in town)
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    My Canada Post mail person is wonderful. He delivers my mail in rain or snow, brings the parcels to the door when he could just leave it in the box. He does his job and goes over and beyond.
    Last Christmas the local branch Post Office called me to say that a package came in after he left. They wanted me to know about it, just in case I needed it before Christmas.

    Just sayin' there are still some good employees out there.
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    Its the holiday season.... a box flung at my door.

    Or... not at all and the pickup is two cities away!

    The joys of free shipping and Canada post.

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    Canada Post is always going to be more expensive than US post or UK post as our area is bigger & the population density is very very less.

    Also I think US post is highly subsidized by the US gov. Canada Post not so much and CP is expected to turn a profit or break even mostly from their postage rates.

    Canada post is not bad for big cities like GTA , GVR & Montreal. Its only when you start going into smaller communities the problem starts.

    Also for letter mail its still the best & cheapest. But for parcels things start getting complicated & expensive.

    They need to simplify the rates & options available for shipping items & parcels - I find it too confusing & complicated & also expensive. The website & the clerks working at SDM also don't provide proper information. So often you pay for the most expensive option, when something cheaper & faster is available.

    Like you will ship something for $ 20 and then realize that if I had chosen a bubble envelope instead of a box, it could have been cheaper..maybe $ 10.

    They don't really explain the best & cheapest option available to you. You have to figure it out yourself from the vague & confusing info they provide. Lot of things are through trial & error over there.

    Besides mailing letters, I don't really use them for anything else...packets, packages, boxes delivery & shipping is too confusing for me. Often their tracking is also not timely & accurate & delayed, once you mail something with them.

    But I still think its better than the other options like FedEx, UPS, DHL etc available in Canada. Those guys are way too expensive.
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    Frosh Canuck EvilTofu's Avatar
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    No complaints on receiving, it's the sending I hate.

    I think Canada Post's biggest problem is the price. For a service so expensive, I'd expect more. (Like from Japan Post) They don't even delivery on Saturdays! They charge tax on stamps, charge postage when buying stamps online, charge for address change or mail holding, don't pick up mail when they deliver...

    Totally agree with you about how complicated they make everything. When your package is over 2cm thick, you're pretty much f**k'd. I once send 3 identical packages to Vancouver, Paris and Japan. Cost me about $8.50 to ship to Paris or Japan, but they charged $15 to Vancouver because they force insurance on you. They won't let me take the risk, this can't be constitutional!

    I hate that the workers don't explain to you how the system works. Simplest way to put it is that it is categorized by dimensions, then sort by weight tiers and speed. Most countries only sort mails into either letter or parcel, then everything is by weight scale and 3 kinds of speed (Surface, Air, Express). But in Canada Post, they sort it into a dozen different sizes, then by weight scale or tiers, then by 6-8 different speeds. e.g. A 2 cm thick 500g package could be cheaper to mail than a 4 cm thick 200g package. I don't get how it is helping them. What is up with the 2 cm?!

    Often time, you could arrange things in ways to cut postage by half, but the workers never tell you. What's the point of hiring humans?

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    Quote Originally Posted by EvilTofu View Post
    No complaints on receiving, it's the sending I hate.
    I think Canada Post's biggest problem is the price. For a service so expensive, I'd expect more. (Like from Japan Post) They don't even delivery on Saturdays! They charge tax on stamps, charge postage when buying stamps online, charge for address change or mail holding, don't pick up mail when they deliver...
    Totally agree with you about how complicated they make everything. When your package is over 2cm thick, you're pretty much f**k'd. I once send 3 identical packages to Vancouver, Paris and Japan. Cost me about $8.50 to ship to Paris or Japan, but they charged $15 to Vancouver because they force insurance on you. They won't let me take the risk, this can't be constitutional!
    I hate that the workers don't explain to you how the system works. Simplest way to put it is that it is categorized by dimensions, then sort by weight tiers and speed. Most countries only sort mails into either letter or parcel, then everything is by weight scale and 3 kinds of speed (Surface, Air, Express). But in Canada Post, they sort it into a dozen different sizes, then by weight scale or tiers, then by 6-8 different speeds. e.g. A 2 cm thick 500g package could be cheaper to mail than a 4 cm thick 200g package. I don't get how it is helping them. What is up with the 2 cm?!
    Often time, you could arrange things in ways to cut postage by half, but the workers never tell you. What's the point of hiring humans?

    The 2 CM rule is for sending as lettermail. If something is 2cm or less thick, it can go lettermail in Canada, and has no tracking. If it's over 2 cm, it's considered a parcel because it won't fit the lettermail sorting machines so it is sorted differently, and has tracking within Canada. You're really paying the premium for the tracking, not the size. Lettermail is sorted separately and doesn't require the repeated scanning that parcels do.

    Internationally/US, all objects that aren't paper must be declared and go as 'parcels' (sometimes called small packets if they fit certain size and weight restrictions, eg under 1kg). Non-tracked smallish parcels go for $8.50-$20 usually. But they go cheap because they have no tracking and no guarantees.


    CP prices based on weight, dimension and destination.

    It's really confusing if your postal workers don't bother to help you make sense of all the options, but if you have any questions let me know! I would be happy to help you make sense of it and try and save you some money at the post office!

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    Quote Originally Posted by EvilTofu View Post
    No complaints on receiving, it's the sending I hate.
    Totally agree with you about how complicated they make everything. When your package is over 2cm thick, you're pretty much f**k'd. I once send 3 identical packages to Vancouver, Paris and Japan. Cost me about $8.50 to ship to Paris or Japan, but they charged $15 to Vancouver because they force insurance on you. They won't let me take the risk, this can't be constitutional!
    I dont know who you're dealing with at Canada Post, but I ship parcels all the time and don't pay for insurance. That's my risk mind you, but I pay $0 for insurance on a $0 declared value. Declaring a value of the item you're shipping is basically a statement that you want insurance. and the rate is $2.50/$100 value (or part thereof) . But if you dont declare a value, then you dont pay for insurance. Again, I never have.

    I hate that the workers don't explain to you how the system works... Simplest way to put it is that it is categorized by dimensions, then sort by weight tiers and speed. Most countries only sort mails into either letter or parcel
    Which countries? Are we talking those small-land mass countries like the UK? France? Spain? Japan? Again, those countries are VASTLY smaller than Canada in size, and also more densely populated. Remember, as a public service, postal rates have to be the same for all Canadians. The rate to get the same package from Halifax to Vancouver has to be the same as if you shipped it from Mississauga to Winnipeg... if you want to discuss being "constitutional", it has to be fair for everyone.

    As a different example, the US (also a larger landmass country) uses a similar system as ours. Once it goes in a "box" it gets charged more than if it fits in a 3/4-inch thick envelope. And weights and measures matter when shipping within the US as well, just like here.


    A 2 cm thick 500g package could be cheaper to mail than a 4 cm thick 200g package. I don't get how it is helping them. What is up with the 2 cm?!

    The 2cm thickness along with the 500g or less (and as well it has to be less than 37cm x 27cm width -- think a slightly larger than letter-size bubble envelope) means that all of the machinery than sorts, and moves letter-mail along their sorting facilities can handle the item with little to no human intervention.

    It's also the size and weight limit that a letter-carrier can carry it in his/her bag, so it gets included with the usual letter-carrier mail and not handled by parcel service (negating the additional handling costs and fuel surcharges). Even though the letter carrier's method may differ depending on your actual local service (eg you have a community box service) that's not always the case across the country, and again, the rules & rates have to be the same no matter where the delivery is going or how the receiver gets their mail. This is a big country... trying to subdivide it by local service would only make it FAR more complicated.

    once you increase the size and/or weight above the limits of the sorting system and carrier restrictions, then the rates change drastically.


    Quote Originally Posted by EvilTofu View Post
    Often time, you could arrange things in ways to cut postage by half, but the workers never tell you. What's the point of hiring humans?

    Again, I dont know who you're dealing with at Canada Post, but I've never had any problems with their knowledge. Now, if you're going to a drugstore, then you arent dealing with Canada Post employees, and there too may be the source of your problem.

    I found out about shipping my DVD sales as lettermail by Canada Post. The local Shoppers Drug Mart staff never knew about it. And the one time I went back to SDM claiming I wanted to ship it letter-mail, they told me I couldnt. I went back the post office and never dealt with Shoppers' Canada Post counter again.

    ---

    it seems pretty straight-forward to me, I can look at the item and speculate the cost:

    - If it's a business size envelope, greeting card, etc - it's a single stamp. -- one flat rate cost

    - If it's larger than that, but less than 2cm thick, and under 500g it's still Lettermail... but you'll need more postage than a single stamp. (currently I pay a flat rate of $5.30 for this service, tax included, to anywhere in Canada) -- but still one flat-rate cost

    - If it's thicker than 2cm, and/or weighs more than half a kg... but it's not insanely oversized, it's going to cost more, but you'll know that when you take it to the post office.
    (for the types of things I ship, it's about $20 for standard service, which is 5-9 days... if you want it faster, expect to pay more)
    -- You can always measure the dimensions and weight, and look it up online. I've never had a rate online that didnt match my cost at the post office.


    Another thing to remember here is... Canada Post is no more or less complicated at shipping parcels than UPS, FedEx, Purolator, etc... they have similar rules, but they cost twice as much.
    Last edited by bhlombardy; Mon, Jan 1st, 2018 at 09:24 AM.
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    nice

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