business news in context, analysis with attitude

Responding to last week's column by Michael Sansolo about exceptional service delivered by the US Postal Service (USPS), MNB reader Kevin Flanagan wrote:

The USPS still has a lot to overcome – to remain viable in today’s “Amazon” environment.  Due to a career location change, I am currently living in one city/state with my family in another city/state, and we celebrated Christmas in yet another city/state.  One of my older sons gave gifts to my wife and daughters after they had left to go back “home”, so I went to the local Post Office, packed them in a “if it fits it ships” box, and paid my $12.65 (after waiting in line for the one and only clerk to assist everyone).  This was on a Friday, and the tracking information said it would arrive the following Monday.

Fast forward--as I have tracked the package on-line, the updates have been few and far between.  Monday has of course come and gone.  I even tried calling the toll free number provided on my receipt, which basically gave the same information as the website (which was not helpful), and directed me back to the website for more updates.  No option to speak to someone about why my package was delayed, where it was at, was it lost, etc.

Today is Thursday, and I finally got an update that the package had arrived at the sorting center in the city/state where my family is currently and should be delivered tomorrow. Okay, so while it is good to know the package is not lost, the system is broken when compared to all the other shipping options available to consumers today.  While I am not the type of person to ask for a refund on my “2 day shipping” that will now be 7 day shipping, I could not even imagine how to pursue that anyway based on the poor customer service to date.

We wrote last week about a major Dunkin' Donut expansion planned for China, prompting MNB reader Norm Myhr - who happens to be from Portland, Oregon - to write:

China? They managed  to skip right over the  Northwestern U.S. We are living in The Dunkin’ Devoid.

The New England diaspora would at least support a few stores.

Oh, come on. If you're in Portland, you can go to the vastly superior - and local - Voodoo Doughnuts and Stumptown Coffee.

On another subject, MNB reader Jim DeJohn wrote:

I love that Starbucks has finally put a Flat White on their menu as I have loved this drink each time I have visited Australia.  Now all we need are “Tim Tams” to enjoy the Flat White with.
KC's View: