Sometimes my customers don’t understand the postal process and it can be the cause of some friction. The truth of the matter is simple enough: once I have delivered the package to the Post Office, it is out of my hands. There is no more that I can do. For both domestic and overseas destinations, I choose a tracked method which is secure and offers some traceability. How much tracking is available varies from country to country, and the dependability of postal delivery varies, too. Spain, Israel, Hong Kong and Japan seem to have excellent postal services. France and Germany are good most of the time but sometimes there are unaccountable delays in delivery. Eastern Europe can be very difficult, as can Italy. I insure my packages and recompense buyers on the very rare occasions that a pen goes astray but of course it remains a severe disappointment for the buyer.
The USA, strangely, can be one of the most difficult destinations. Packages cross the Atlantic quickly but can spend a very long time in Customs. Even after the package has been released from Customs, the US postal system takes an exceptionally long time to make the delivery. Other times, the whole business goes very smoothly and it takes less than a week for a pen to be delivered to a US address, coming from Scotland. But on some occasions because of the delays I have mentioned, it can take three weeks!
The one benefit of the US postal system is how well the tracking works. Using the tracking number issued by Royal Mail the US Post Office gives detailed information about the current status of the package. That doesn’t hold true for many other countries. All that the tracking may say is that the package has entered that country. No more information is provided until the package is delivered and signed for.
However, it all seems to work very well almost all of the time. In nine years of selling pens all over the world, three have been irretrievably lost – that’s out of three thousand! One pen has been damaged because, somehow, the post van drove over it. The tyre tread pattern was clearly visible on the packaging. That’s what it takes to damage my very strong postal tubes!