How to fix
November 3, 2009 1:36 PM   Subscribe

How can I to Amazon to ship to my door? Amazon always used to ship UPS which delivered right to my door. I'm in a rural area, 7 miles from the post office. Lately, they ship via USPS which does not deliver to my door but to a roadside box half a mile from my door.

With these deliveries the post office leaves a slip of paper telling me they have a package and I have to drive to the post office when I have a day off to fetch my package: 45-minutes round trip, 20-minute queue time, gas money, etc. Amazon just changed from UPS to USPS. They say they cannot inform me in advance of which method of shipping an item will be delivered unless I select and pay extra for 2-day shipping. I'm about to say goodbye to Amazon unless I can get the to resume the delivery service I used to enjoy and depend on. I'm a heavy user of Amazon because it was so convenient. But if I have to drive to town to pickup my packages I might as well shop in town in the first place. My emails to Amazon customer service get only canned, bloated corporate scripted replies in return thanking me for using Amazon. I don't think they get it.
posted by NorthCoastCafe to Computers & Internet (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I thought Amazon had a heavy user annual delivery fee of $39 or some such thing where everything you order will be shipped via ups free. Have they stopped that?
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 1:38 PM on November 3, 2009

They say they cannot inform me in advance of which method of shipping an item will be delivered unless I select and pay extra for 2-day shipping. I'm about to say goodbye to Amazon unless I can get the to resume the delivery service I used to enjoy and depend on. I'm a heavy user of Amazon because it was so convenient

It sounds like you might be a good candidate for Amazon Prime. You get free 2-day shipping on any item that ships from Amazon (which does not include Amazon Marketplace or other items that ship from companies other than Amazon).
posted by burnmp3s at 1:40 PM on November 3, 2009

I'm a heavy user of Amazon because it was so convenient.

To the point where getting a Prime account might be worth it? If you're choosing the cheapest shipping option, Amazon is going to do everything they can to get the best margin on shipping charges, which is how they can afford the cheap/free shipping charges. Depending on how systematic it is, it may simply be impossible to get you what you want.

(Disclosure: I work for a competitor of Amazon.)
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 1:41 PM on November 3, 2009

Can you have packages delivered to work instead?
posted by something something at 1:41 PM on November 3, 2009

It's called Amazon Prime, and it costs $79.
posted by mr_roboto at 1:41 PM on November 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

You won't get a large established business like Amazon to change it's working practices simply because it's inconvenient to you. Your options are to not shop with them or pay extra for the 2 day shipping. Whether you find either of those options acceptable is up to you. But Amazon really doesn't care that you find it inconvenient.

You could organise a mass boycott of Amazon, but you'd have to have a large percentage of their user base for that to work. I'm guessing you don't have that.

Basically, you're SOL. Amazon doesn't care about an individual customer. They care about profits, and if they can make a few extra $ by using one service instead of another, then they will. Especially when they already have a procedure in place that will deal with this situation. Maybe not to your satisfaction, but there you go. The customer doesn't always get to decide how the company they buy from operates.
posted by Solomon at 1:42 PM on November 3, 2009

I have a similar situation in that I have a home address and a post office box and the not knowing thing is a pain. I am not, however, a heavy user of Amazon so options like Amazon prime are not useful for me.

Is it possible you might want to look into seeing if you can work this out with the post office? I'm not sure if you have the sort of typical rural mailbox setup, but possibly you could get a larger box and have them leave (most) packages there? It's not at your door but it's definitely closer than the PO. My experience with rural mail carriers is that they're often willing to work with you if you're not hollering at them etc.
posted by jessamyn at 1:45 PM on November 3, 2009

You Should See the Other Guy is talking about Amazon Prime, which is $79 a year. That's a lot more expensive than only using Super Saver Shipping. The reason they don't specify the shipping method is that if prices change among carriers than they will select the cheapest one at the time and location of shipping. There's probably nothing you can do without shelling out extra dollars, but the kind of stuff you buy from Amazon can possibly also be found elsewhere for occasionally free shipping. One of my friends does well on, believe it or not.
posted by mkb at 1:46 PM on November 3, 2009

I use Amazon Prime, and I love it. But while most things come UPS, not everything does. Some stuff still comes via USPS, and there's nothing you can do to specify. So as convenient as it is, I don't think it will solve your problem.
posted by spilon at 1:59 PM on November 3, 2009

nthing Amazon Prime. We got it and will never be without it. Our town is pretty chintzy when it comes to getting particular things so we use Amazon for loads of stuff. One less-advertised perk of Amazon Prime (and possibly the BEST perk imo) is that there is no minimum for free shipping. That 3 dollar book light? Free shipping. And all of our stuff has always come via UPS, but I imagine if the seller is NOT Amazon Fulfillment, it might be different.
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith at 2:02 PM on November 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

I heart Amazon Prime so hard. 99.9% of the things that we order come UPS and we get the fun instant gratification feeling that we can get buying in the store.
posted by Kimberly at 2:07 PM on November 3, 2009

I have Amazon Prime, and it is pretty great.

But I also have a note in my mailbox to tell the mailman to put the package next to my door, and he does. I only have to go to the Post Office to pick up packages that require signatures or whatever.
posted by aabbbiee at 2:22 PM on November 3, 2009

Could you get a large mailbox like this one, that accommodates parcels?

You might also talk to your mail carrier. I find that leaving notes is not always effective.
posted by vilthuril at 2:43 PM on November 3, 2009

I love my Amazon Prime membership, but I'd say one package in five is delivered USPS (especially new CDs on new release Tuesdays; yes, I'm that guy who still orders CDs). I think it depends on what warehouse it's shipping from. If it's coming from the one closest to me, they throw it in an oversized manila envelope and chuck it into the USPS truck. The UPS package are almost always nicely packed, in boxes, and less likely to be damaged en route.

For a while, the USPS packages were occasionally showing up a day late. I complained to Amazon and asked them to only use UPS in the future. On the one hand, they still ship me USPS packages. On the other hand, they are never late anymore. It's a pretty great service for those who, like me, were in the habit of paying extra for two-day shipping. (Now that Tower Records and my local Borders and everyone else who used to have a decent selection of CDs and DVDs have closed up shop, I am so reliant on Amazon for my regular media fix that it's scary.)
posted by Joey Bagels at 3:12 PM on November 3, 2009

Nthing Amazon prime. My spouse & I have it. Love it. Will definitely be keeping it. I don't think I've ever had anything arrive via the postal service but I have had an odd shipment or two come unexpectedly by Fedex. Never had anything late. We use it for EVERYTHING from groceries to books to even a trailer hitch last month. It's all free 2-day shipping, including the 50+ lb trailer hitch (which would've been about $150 to ship otherwise). You can set up multiple users per household on the same Prime account but it doesn't share order data between users (very handy for ordering surprise gifts & such). And a really cool feature is you can upgrade to overnight shipping for only $3.99 per item. Sweet.
posted by cuddles.mcsnuggy at 3:53 PM on November 3, 2009

Amazon Prime (which I also have and like) isn't free shipping, it's prepaid shipping. I buy enough from Amazon that it's worth it for the convenience and I save shipping costs because of the volume, but if you only bought one thing a year you'd be paying $79 for shipping.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:36 PM on November 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

I have the exact same problem. My mail comes in at the PO box, but UPS delivers to my door. My address isn't even a valid address as far as the USPS is concerned.

I have no solution for forcing Amazon to ship to my house.

What I do, instead, is force them to ship to my PO Box. Since they can't ship to a PO box with UPS, I at least know that my post mistress won't be screaming at me for misaddressing the box.
posted by Netzapper at 8:34 PM on November 3, 2009

I don't use Amazon prime and I don't (often) pay extra for two-day shipping but I still mostly get stuff shipped to my door via UPS rather than USPS, which is a real wrist-slitter for me, as they ALWAYS come seven minutes after I've walked out the damn door or seven minutes before I walk back in and then I've got that little notice on my door, regardless I've told the guy seven thousand times to just leave the shit on my doorstep. I think he must hate me, is what it is -- I goddamn sure hate him. (not really but sortof; Hatred Light maybe) (strong dislike for this practice at any rate) (he sucks, for sure) And if I do miss him, which I will, and miss him for three times in a row, which does happen, then I've got to drive cross-town to the UPS joint, and stand in line with the rest of suffering humanity so some jeering, sneering, jerk clerk can slowly ease through his day, and, incidentally, help us, if and when he can't avoid it.

But with USPS they leave it at my door if it's too big fit in the ten super-mega-extra-large mail-boxes my condo complex has, it's never a hassle, never a drag, or very rarely. Other than the roads I drive on, USPS is probably my largest interface with any governmental agency or whatever and, if I were to judge my US experience solely by this I'd be a happy citizen. Which I mostly am anyways, though I'd never confess it, that's for sure, not here nor anywhere else.

OP, if there'd be any way to do it I'd gladly change with you. But there isn't a way, we're both destined to suffer endlessly under the lash of ... something. Or at least be inconvenienced.

My heart goes out to you.

posted by dancestoblue at 2:25 AM on November 4, 2009 [2 favorites]

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