Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The U.S. Post Office At Work

I want to share an experience I just had with the U.S. Post Office.

I'm a Kaiser Permanente patient with a much-too-long list of pills to take, and I happily use Kaiser's web page to order prescription renewals by mail.  I have a spreadsheet that reminds me when something needs renewing and gives me about 2 weeks lead time to order.  I rarely have to wait more than 3-4 days for my prescription to appear in my mailbox.  It's a very convenient system.

On Feb. 3, I reordered a prescription.  On Feb. 11, as I was doing my weekly pill reload, I realized that I was almost out of that pill, and that I hadn't received the refill.  Kaiser's site has a "track your order" link to, so I clicked on it to see what was going on.  This is what I found.

You should understand that I live in Oakland, CA, which has a major postal distribution center.  The mail order pharmacy operates out of Livermore, CA. Also for the record, I don't know who the "shipping partner" is; probably a trucking company that delivers stuff to post office distribution centers.  Here are the tracking entries from Feb. 11, which was a Sunday:
  1. Feb. 3 - picked up by shipping partner at Livermore
  2. Feb. 4 - arrived shipping partner facility, San Leandro
  3. Feb. 5 - departed shipping partner facility, San Leandro
  4. Feb. 6 - arrived at USPS facility, Santa Rosa (?!)
  5. Feb. 8 - arrived at USPS regional facility, San Francisco (distribution center)
  6. Feb. 8 - departed USPS regional facility, San Francisco
  7. Feb. 8 - arrived at USPS regional facility, Oakland (distribution center)
  8. Feb. 9 - arrived at post office, Mountain View (???!!)
  9. Feb. 10 - arrived at USPS regional facility, San Francisco (distribution center)
I'll never get answers to these questions, but:
  • For a parcel addressed to Oakland, why in tarnation did the "shipping partner" send it to Santa Rosa, which is not a regional distribution center and is 60 miles north and west of Oakland? Why didn't it go to the Oakland regional distribution center, which is around 10 miles from San Leandro?
  • I understand why the Santa Rosa people sent it to San Francisco; that's their regional center.  And I understand why San Francisco sent it to the Oakland distribution center.  But why did the Oakland distribution center then send it to Mountain View, which is over 40 miles away and on the other side of the bay?
I can only assume that more than one person was drunk in the sorting area when my parcel arrived; either that, or they can't read zip codes.  When I called the Kaiser mail pharmacy to complain, they said they'd never heard anything like it.

The good news is that I got my refill on Monday the 12th, 3 days before I ran out.  The parcel label had the same address it always has.  Go figure.

No comments:

Post a Comment