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Old 2nd May 2020, 12:14 pm   #1
SiriusHardware
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Default Current State of UK -> USA/Canada post?

This was my best shot at deciding where to put this, mods please move if you think it should go somewhere else.

Last Saturday I went to a local post office - had to catch it during the reduced hours they are all operating at the moment, and tried to post three letter size / weight items airmail, one for the USA and two for Canada, and was surprised to be told that they could not accept them or parcels either for those destinations. I did not really ask them to explain in detail - the people in the queue behind me had, like me, already waited for ~ 15 minutes just to get into the shop.

During the week I took the same letters to our sorting office which opens at 7 so I was able to go there before work on a weekday. It turned out that they didn't have an in-premises post office to sell me stamps from, but they were mystified about what had happened to me at the post office.

We have an extremely diverse range of people from all walks of life here, is there anyone who can say for certain what the current (May 2020) position is regarding posting items from the UK to the North American continent? I have some parts (ICs) on the way to me FROM the USA, and I'm by no means certain that they will arrive, given the apparent situation going in the other direction.

I've been on the Royal Mail's website of course, an exercise in utter futility. There are no contact details at all - no email, no phone numbers, on the 'Contact Us' page. A classic case of a website which does everything in its power to prevent customers from directly contacting the company.
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Old 2nd May 2020, 1:27 pm   #2
Terry_VK5TM
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Default Re: Current State of UK -> USA/Canada post?

Take your pick:

https://contactservicenumbers.co.uk/royalmail/

Also, the Royal Mail's International Incident Bulletin isn't showing much more than extended delays rather than any non-acceptance of mail to Canada and the US.

https://personal.help.royalmail.com/...5317/related/1
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Old 2nd May 2020, 1:34 pm   #3
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Default Re: Current State of UK -> USA/Canada post?

On two separate occasions recently I've sent a parcel and a jiffy bag to a vintage radio chum in Boston, Mass. The parcel had valves and other bits in it, (grub screws etc) - the jiffy bag just a couple of 2mm wander plugs and a letter in it. No dramas at the Post Office - just filled in the custom's declaration sticker, popped an air mail sticker and stamps on, both arrived in under two weeks.

Had a nice chat with him on Zoom last night. Who could have imagined just a couple of years ago that we'd be able to do that for now't! Not me, for sure.

We often send and receive letters to and from Paris which arrive in a matter of days.

How different life is there now, but that's another story.
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Old 2nd May 2020, 2:01 pm   #4
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Default Re: Current State of UK -> USA/Canada post?

International incident bulletin.
https://personal.help.royalmail.com/...ident-bulletin
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Old 2nd May 2020, 3:08 pm   #5
SiriusHardware
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Default Re: Current State of UK -> USA/Canada post?

Frank, I did manage to find that incident page but while the entries for USA and Canada say both countries are running slow, they do not say that the mail is being refused.

Terry, thanks, that first link is potentially a lot more useful.

This is the 'Contact Us' page I was complaining about.

https://personal.help.royalmail.com/app/contact
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Old 2nd May 2020, 3:46 pm   #6
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Default Re: Current State of UK -> USA/Canada post?

They suspended signed for packages, was a signature required?

Did you see the number on the contact page.
03457 740 740. We're open Monday to Friday 8am-6pm and Saturday 8am-11am.
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Old 2nd May 2020, 4:02 pm   #7
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Default Re: Current State of UK -> USA/Canada post?

I just received a package from China today. It arrived in UK 8 days ago. Not sure if it was delayed in quarantine or just reduced mail processing. Special handling like 48 hour delivery or signed for may not be available but it should go through as normal post.
I'd take it back again and try a different person.
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Old 2nd May 2020, 9:41 pm   #8
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Default Re: Current State of UK -> USA/Canada post?

I regularly buy stuff thro Ebay, and find that whilst some are slow to post things, others are quick, and if is the norm for stuff posted in UK one day to arrive with me here in the Isle of Man the following day. Recently however a,most everything is taking longer than usual, though my stuff posted to UK seems to be generally next day still.
Right now, the PO and the police are spending extra time and effort checking (sniffing maybe) incoming packages. With the island having closed borders right now, no air or sea passengers bringing in the nasty stuff. Last week we posted a package of Manx Garlic (Ransoms) to my wife's daughter in Scotland. I joked that the sniffer dogs would react, and she would need to "Come to the office to collect", and have to open it to check for drugs. NOTHING can out stink Ransoms. But it was delivered without fuss.
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Old 2nd May 2020, 11:33 pm   #9
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Default Re: Current State of UK -> USA/Canada post?

Hi, I have been posting letters to the USA (California & Wisconsin) for the whole of the lockdown period and they have all got there in 7 - 10 days.

It is true that I have been putting the correct value stamps on them and putting them in a post box.

If you know the weight and the cost of your parcel, perhaps stamping it and putting a CN22 docket on it and posting it in a local letter box would save battling with the local postmaster.

This of course is only any good if the item is of no great value and you don't need a signature as proof of delivery. It also relies on the parcel being small enough to fit in a post box.

Regards
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Old 4th May 2020, 10:25 am   #10
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Default Re: Current State of UK -> USA/Canada post?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuvistor View Post
Did you see the number on the contact page.
On this page, the 'Personal Contact Us' page...

https://personal.help.royalmail.com/app/contact

No, unless I am going blind there is no telephone number or email address on that page. There is a 'contact us' link at the bottom which takes you back to the page you are already on!

Thanks all for the information gained, gleaned or provided by means -other- than the website's Contact Us page.

The items were just airmail letters which did not require a signature at the USA / Canada end.
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Old 4th May 2020, 10:29 am   #11
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Default Re: Current State of UK -> USA/Canada post?

Try here:-

https://www.postoffice.co.uk/general-enquiry#/

It was the Post Office which refised to accept your letters, not Royal Mail. A thin dividing line I know, but true nontheless.
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Old 10th May 2020, 3:51 pm   #12
SiriusHardware
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Default Re: Current State of UK -> USA/Canada post?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Station X View Post
Try here:-

https://www.postoffice.co.uk/general-enquiry#/

It was the Post Office which refised to accept your letters, not Royal Mail. A thin dividing line I know, but true nontheless.
Good point, I still think of them as the same thing (and why would they not be)?
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Old 12th May 2020, 6:33 pm   #13
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Default Re: Current State of UK -> USA/Canada post?

Good afternoon,

A little OT but today I received a package posted from Germany, (A Tefifon music cartridge) without any difficulty or delay.
The only difference is that the Deutshe post tracking didn’t update as normal after the package had been accepted at the post office.

Christopher Capener
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Old 12th May 2020, 6:59 pm   #14
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Default Re: Current State of UK -> USA/Canada post?

I think it's Royal Mail's responsibility to update the tracking information once a package from abroad arrives in the UK. I imagine RM's ability to do this has been curtailed by the current staffing challenges.

Alan
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Old 13th May 2020, 11:34 pm   #15
SiriusHardware
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Default Re: Current State of UK -> USA/Canada post?

A view of the situation in reverse: Lacking any awareness of problems in the other direction at the time, I ordered some ICs from the USA, which, despite my trepidation, eventually arrived in the UK.

Unfortunately the system was still functioning well enough to decide that duty had to be paid on the package, and then to charge me more than the cost of the duty for collecting the duty.
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Old 15th May 2020, 12:00 pm   #16
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Default Re: Current State of UK -> USA/Canada post?

My $0.02:

A medium size parcel sent "priority" via US Mail to me from the USA March 10th finally arrived here today May 15th after languishing in various depots en route, getting covered in coronavirus. Yummy. Now wash your hands

Another item bought on the auction site and sent from the USA via the GSP courier programme arrived in ten days, i.e. as normal.

A UK parcel sent to me two weeks ago still hasn't materialised.

But the several dozen other items I've sent out and received have arrived mostly as normal.

So my conclusion is, it's a bit pot luck at the mo.

Phil
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Old 15th May 2020, 1:42 pm   #17
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Default Re: Current State of UK -> USA/Canada post?

I’ve continued to receive parcels from around the UK and China over the last few weeks without any problems other than being perhaps a day or two later. Indeed this week a parcel was delivered at 7:09am, never had one that early before, the wife had to go and open the front door ... ��

The only non delivery has been a very small packet of micro drive felts from Italy ordered on 25/3. That could be understandable, received a refund anyway.

Peter
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Old 15th May 2020, 3:22 pm   #18
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Default Re: Current State of UK -> USA/Canada post?

Last week I received a package from the states containing a used encoder for my FT 840, it seemed to be the only one in the world, certainly the only one I could find. hence the purchase. It arrived a few days late but I thought the service was pretty good in the circumstances.

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Old 17th Jun 2020, 1:17 pm   #19
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Default Sending items abroad.

Not sure where to put this and hope the moderators will allow this thread to stand, it being pertinent to our hobby/interest.

Sent some vintage spares to a forum member in Australia 6 weeks ago and they've still not been delivered. I wondered if other forum members have had similar experiences. i know there's a big backlog and plane travel is disrupted, however the chap sent me a parcel at the same time, mine came three weeks ago. One would think the Australian postal Service faced the same issues as Royal mail, but maybe to the volume from the UK is bigger?

So, not complaining, just dipping a toe in the water to gauge the temperature as it were. Have sent various spares to members in the UK and apart from a short delay in one or two cases all have got there ok. Also had a PCB from Belguim arrive ok.

What are fellow forum members experiences, has anyone had trouble getting spares from certain countries? Andy.
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Old 17th Jun 2020, 1:20 pm   #20
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Default Re: Sending items abroad.

I am finding European orders certainly slower to arrive than normal, one in particular is now over a month (may have got lost).

David
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