Package tracking used to be cool; now sucks.

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by tobefirst, Jun 1, 2009.

  1. tobefirst macrumors 68040

    tobefirst

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    Jan 24, 2005
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #1
    Is it just me, or has tracking packages been one of the few things that has actually regressed in terms of technological progress over the last decade?

    I remember tracking packages on the internet used to be so cool and pretty accurate. Either the "newness" has worn off, since I'm buying more and more on the web, or the accuracy has gone way down hill.

    For instance, I'm currently expecting some books from Amazon to arrive. As per their usual Super Saver shipping, they are coming via USPS. According to Amazon, the books shipped on May 27, five days ago. As of this moment, the USPS site still says, "There is no record of this item," and the Amazon site says, "Shipment has left seller facility and is in transit" without any further updates.

    USPS is the worst, but the other shipping companies haven't been that great (in my experience) lately either. With GPS being widely available, I would think that tracking packages would be getting more accurate, with more updates...not the other way around.

    Who's with me?
     
  2. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #2
    Or you've just become more entitled over the years.

    It's not changed radically for me. Where tracking has been offered, it's always been pretty much the same.
     
  3. tobefirst thread starter macrumors 68040

    tobefirst

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    #3
    Ha! You're probably right about that, if I'm honest. :)
     
  4. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

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    #4
    USPS tracking has always been a joke for me. UPS and Fedex though have usually been spot on. With USPS I usually see it being picked up from the seller around the time it's already at my doorstep.
     
  5. bruinsrme macrumors 601

    bruinsrme

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    Oct 26, 2008
    #5
    USPS tracking has never ever worked for me. I thnk it might be updated once a month
     
  6. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    Oct 9, 2006
    #6
    Well USPS tracking system has aways been crummy at best. It just updates once a day and gives you a rough idea when to exempt it but I do prefer USPS for shipping over the others.

    As for GPS part that will NEVER be put on the web. It is way to much of a security risk. It makes it way to easy to find the trucks and steal them. It is one thing to see the trucks on the road it is another knowing where they are at all times for the normal person. UPS, Fedex will know where their trucks on but that is about it.
     
  7. Mousse macrumors 68000

    Mousse

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    #7
    Too true. I've received a packages several times before USPS said it was even shipped.:eek: It'd say for a week that "electronic notification received from shipper" and jump directly to "delievered.":p
     
  8. tobefirst thread starter macrumors 68040

    tobefirst

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    Jan 24, 2005
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    St. Louis, MO
    #8
    One other thing I love about USPS tracking is when it says "Arrival at Unit" at 5:45 a.m. Yeah...right.

    I recognize that putting that exact location of a truck on a google map wouldn't be the safest thing in the world, despite how cool it would be. But I would figure that having GPS on the trucks would make the process of updating when it arrived at sorting facility X easier. It just seems like there is so much untapped potential.
     
  9. jknight8907 macrumors 6502a

    jknight8907

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    Hudson Valley NY
    #9
    USPS is a steaming pile of cow dung compared to UPS and FedEx. To the point that I usually don't even try to track a USPS package sent to me.

    You know that means it arrived at the local post office or at a sorting center, right? It doesn't mean they think it's at your house. 5:45 am is about right for the truck to get to the PO.
     
  10. themoonisdown09 macrumors 601

    themoonisdown09

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    Georgia, USA
    #10
    Yep. UPS and FedEx have always been accurate for me... USPS, not so much.
     
  11. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    Oct 9, 2006
    #11

    In theory correct but at each loction they have to unload the trucks and scan all the packages any how to verify they are where they are suppose to be any how. The scanning system updates very quickly and almost as quickly as it is unloaded.

    It comes down to why pay some one all that extra money to code that in for them when the current system works very well and besides they trucks are loaded/unloaded while most people are in bed any how and the system is complete before you and I get up in the morning.
     
  12. nobunaga209 macrumors 6502a

    nobunaga209

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    TX
    #12
    Thank gawd it didn't get sent via DHL...they stink. :rolleyes:
     
  13. tobefirst thread starter macrumors 68040

    tobefirst

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    Jan 24, 2005
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    St. Louis, MO
    #13
    I figured that was what they meant, but it sure doesn't sound like that, especially when they don't update after that point to describe the object as "delivered" in any way. It doesn't help that finding information on what any of the terms mean, from any of the places, isn't exactly easy. The consumer is sometimes left to themselves to interpret what the various phases mean.


    Coincidentally, I'm also tracking some iTunes gift cards I bought from Best Buy, and that tracking site (MailExpress.biz) isn't working. How fitting. :)
     
  14. xboxer75010 macrumors 6502

    xboxer75010

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    #14
    DHL stopped domestic deliveries in the US in January. Also USPS delivery confirmation is just that confirmation that your package has been delivered, it is not a real time tracking system. The only real time tracking that USPS offers is with Express packages. Unfortunately if you want real time tracking the only two options other than Express Mail is UPS or FEDEX.

     
  15. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Boston
    #15
    I've never really seen it work with 100% accuracy. Either now, or back when they first started rolling this out.

    This gives me a nice ball park of when to expect packages, nothing more, nothing less. If I see its in the same state as I live in, then I should get the package in a few days - if not, I keep on waiting.
     
  16. question fear macrumors 68020

    question fear

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    #16
    Keep in mind too that fedex/ups may skip a scan or three along the way...so you've started in, say, Texas and you're heading to Maine. They might scan in Louisiana, but skip over scanning in North Carolina, Maryland and NY...so suddenly your package is en route from NH like magic!
     
  17. jknight8907 macrumors 6502a

    jknight8907

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    Location:
    Hudson Valley NY
    #18
    It's not so much that they're skipping a scan, but that NH is the next place it comes off the truck or plane to be scanned.
     
  18. uberamd macrumors 68030

    uberamd

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    May 26, 2009
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #19
    Remember when there was no package tracking. Compare then to now, and we have it pretty good.

    USPS has always been awful. FedEx and UPS only update every so often because of the quantity of updates going on at any given second in time. Its just the way the ball bounces. If I order 3 day shipping, I don't check until that 3rd day, and usually only to verify things are on the up and up. For USPS, I never check. I love getting packages, but I don't need to know the exact coordinates of the item at all times.
     
  19. Apple Hobo macrumors 6502a

    Apple Hobo

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    #20

    I remember when I would have to buy stuff from catalogs. I'd fill out the order form, send it with a check in the mail, then waited until the company received the order and payment, then waited until the check cleared and the goods were shipped, then waited some more, and then it would be like Christmas when the package showed up one day!

    Now it's a consumer junkie's dream to be able to order crap off of Amazon with 1-Click ordering & Amazon Prime shipping. Just mainline those packages straight into your veins...oooh yeah. :D
     
  20. abijnk macrumors 68040

    abijnk

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    Oct 15, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #21
    I feel the need to confess that the techie nerd in me didn't realize this thread was about tracking those kinds of packages. :eek:
     
  21. cycocelica macrumors 68000

    cycocelica

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    Apr 28, 2005
    Location:
    Redmond, WA
    #22
    I have always hated USPS's tracking. It is just plain terrible. I hate when people use it because if I want to see where it is, I will never get any information. I always go UPS or FedEx.
     

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