Merry Christmas from die Post, DHL, USPS and Clayton C.!

On December Twenty-Somethingth, 2010, we shipped a carefully weighed and packed box Sarah bought at the post office off to her family in Kansas City. It contained some Christmas loot, and we knew it was not going to arrive in time for Christmas, but we had hoped that the departure late in the season would make a timely, intact delivery more likely. Still, we had our doubts, given

  1. the inclement weather on either side of the Atlantic at the time
  2. the lost box of similar goodies from the previous Christmas package

But lightning never strikes (pretty much) the same shipment twice, right? Just like last time, we kept a close eye on the tracking number. We got more and more nervous as the weather cleared up, the holiday shipment traffic (presumably) died down, the weeks rolled by, and still there was no sign of our package, other than that it had entered the U.S. and was awaiting delivery.

Four days before the two month-mark, it arrived at its destination: my in-laws home in Kansas City. Well, most of it. You can see here it took a beating. We sure as hell did a better job taping it up than that, and if memory serves, the tape we used was brown colored, not clear. Looks to me, based on the identation on the top, that someone ran over our box.

According to the manifest, just one item — a measly bar of Choceur chocolate — was missing. But hey, look what Sarah’s mom and dad got in trade! Some Walmart Nutty Bar knock-offs and Clayton C.’s prescription medication! Who the heck is Clayton C.? Beats me! I hope he managed to get a refill on his pills through some other means.

You can see below that the most fragile parts of the shipment — carefully smuggled Marks & Spencer butter cookies and real Lebkuchen in a beautiful tin — also did not escape unscathed. At least they escaped in an edible state (so they report). The shipment to my own parents — slightly smaller and just under the limit for the next cheaper class of shipment, but without a tracking number — has yet to surface at all.

I guess we’re not shipping presents via the mail system anymore. From now on, it’ll be higher-cost carriers like UPS or FedEx. Or via visitor courier checked luggage. And maybe our families will just do Christmas in July instead.

11 thoughts on “Merry Christmas from die Post, DHL, USPS and Clayton C.!”

  1. Jul

    Wow, that’s rather egregious. Are you claiming insurance money from them? Pain and suffering compensation, at least?

  2. CN Heidelberg

    WOW, that is awful. I can’t believe this has happened to you multiple times!

  3. Tiffany @ No Ordinary Homestead

    Wow. They did quite a number on that package. And how strange that they threw some random stuff in there as well.

    DHL needed about 1.5 months to deliver our Christmas package to family…and henceforth our US Christmas cards also didn’t get delivered until the end of January. Awesome. So glad they let you pay a small fortune for their services when they barely even manage to deliver the packages. I’m also thinking UPS & FedEx will soon be my only options. DHL has just become too expensive & too unreliable.

  4. Jentry

    Wow! That is absolutely CRAZY! I’m headed over for Christmas this year and will be glad to take an extra bag with me for you guys of stuff I should ship to your parents! I’ll bring the bag for you, you fill it up with 50 pounds worth of stuff, pay the $50 extra bag fee and I’ll ship it when I’m in Texas…PLUS it might get there before Christmas! I’ll even throw in a free gift wrapping service when I’m on the other side of the Atlantic! ;) What service!

    I’ll be going over in April, so if there is anything you want me to take then too, no prob! I don’t mind taking a suitcase that will be empty so that I can fill it with stuff for the flight back to Germany!

  5. Michelle

    Schadenfreude attack…sorry, but laughing like hell. Especially on the random pharmaceuticals. Ok, I will try to behave now. Sorry for the mess.

  6. TravelingServiceMan

    Wow, impressive. We have usually had good luck using the local Post office when sending from Regensburg to Seattle and my parents have had good luck sending it back with USPS, but after the last amazingly high postage bill, we’ve all decided that Christmas gifts will be done through Amazon where we can simply order and have delivered in the chosen country and only have to pay at worst an international transaction fee. Land specific goodies are then packed on the next physical trip.

    I’m really curious about the random prescription drugs. I am picturing two postal workers playing a game of dodgeball with packages and then scrambling to return items to the correct package after the inevitable pinãta event.

  7. ann

    wow. just wow. we had a terrible scare when our box of completed, addressed wedding invites took 6 weeks to show up, and my car registration got lost going the other direction, but those pictures are insane.
    my parents don”t send things anymore – we wait for physical visits, which is fine. my aunt just spent $60 on postage sending us a few books. I couldn”t bring myself to spend that much!

  8. Jen

    Holy crap!!!! Speechless.

  9. J

    “Some Walmart Nutty Bar knock-offs and Clayton C.’s prescription medication! Who the heck is Clayton C.? Beats me!”

    HAHAHAHAHAHA! I’m dying laughing at this flub on the part of either of the postal systems. Let’s hope Clayton got new meds.

  10. cliff1976

    Update: on March 26th, 2011, almost 3 months after sending the boxes on their way in Regensburg, my parents report that their shipment has finally arrived in Mexico, too.

  11. […] isn’t the fault of the Deutsche Post – they have their issues, as does the USPS (see The Generic Nutty Bar Incident). It happens occasionally and is always a frustrating turn of events. The Zollamt is conveniently […]

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