1) USPS sometimes loses or damage packages.
2) USPS takes a long time to deliver packages.
3) USPS charges high rates for postage, especially for custom shipping boxes.
4) USPS doesn’t offer insurance for valuable items.
You are putting your precious memories in a box to send to a company called Memory Fortress in Georgia. Losing these memories would be absolutely devastating. You want your photo scanning project to go flawlessly. You are sending 8mm tapes to get converted to DVDs. You have several options for shipping. Let me be clear and state that the US Post Office is not a viable shipping option. Let’s discuss these in a little more detail.
It’s time for some tough facts here. Customers worry more about the shipping stage of the scanning and conversion process than any other. We always recommend using UPS or FedEx to ship to us. Both are excellent services with stellar track records with our company. BUT … When it comes to shipping your memories, the United States Postal Service (USPS) is not the best option. In fact, it’s probably one of the worst choices you could make. Here are four reasons why you should never ship your memories via USPS:
Lost or damaged packages
This is rare, but it has happened. We’ve had 2-3 incoming shipments from customers that never made it here, despite having tracking numbers. In all cases, these lost packages had tracking numbers. The tracking status says “Out For Delivery” meaning USPS thinks they are on a truck somewhere. At least one package has had the Out For Delivery status for three years and counting.
There have also been several packages that made it to our offices, but in really rough shape. You can tell that USPS passed the buck at every stage, because these boxes are inevitably covered with insane amounts of tape that cover gaping holes in the boxes. There are always multiple stickers from various departments that say “Damaged On Arrival” or something like that. Each department is attempting to absolve itself from blame, and let the blame rest on other departments. We received one box that was completely empty, but still weight nearly a pound because of all the tape applied after the fact.
Long time to deliver packages
Before the pandemic, 2-Day Priority Mail generally meant 3-4 days in reality. Once the pandemic started, 2-Day Priority Mail became 2-Week Priority Mail. Or 3-4 Week Priority Mail. Or Not-A-Priority-At-All Mail. We spent many hours at the local and regional post offices, trying to track down or locate incoming packages from customers. The postal excuse was usually “we couldn’t find your building” when we are in a major well-known 4-story building right on a busy road. UPS and FedEx are each in our building 2-3 times every single day. A few incoming USPS packages took more than a month to arrive. This is frustrating for all inbound photo scanning and video transfer customers.
High rates for delivery
This is true unless your are able to get your memories in a Small Flat Rate, Medium Flat Rate, or Large Flat Rate box. In these cases, the rates are very reasonable. However, the vast majority of our customers have orders that are far too large for these flat rate boxes. On a pound-for-pound basis, UPS Ground and FedEx Ground both come out ahead of the Post Office, and with far greater reliability. Remember, the Post Office specializes in letter / envelope delivery, not corrugated boxes. They charge a lot for heavier boxes.
Lack of insurance for valuable items
There are some insurance options available through the Post Office, but they are not as comprehensive as UPS or FedEx. And they are far more expensive than those private carriers. And the claims process is far more bureaucratic than anything else.
This wasn’t meant to be a rant! When we started the business, we told customers they could use any delivery method they wanted, and that is still true. However, over time we pushed UPS and FedEx a little more firmly as suggestions. Once 2020 hit, we noticed a drastic decrease in the performance of the Post Office, and we began to dissuade photo scanning and video conversion customers from using it. Now, we just say Do Not Use The Post Office. We think you will save yourself much heartache and worry by taking this advice! (OK rant over.)
One final note that we don’t always tell everyone, but we need to state it here: We back up your memories. And we store the backups safely. This means that if something happens on the return trip, we have all the digital files here in the Memory Fortress offices on our servers. We guarantee a 90-day backup, but in practice we haven’t ever deleted anything since we started the company. So if your house floods or burns down a few years from now and you think you’ve lost all your memories … give us a call. We probably have them here.