Quantum parcel

Posted by @ 4:43 pm on Monday 19th December, 2016.

For many years some of the world's most eminent physicists have laboured hard to prove that some objects can be in more than one place at the same time, thus proving Einstein right even though he thought that he was wrong.

Well, they need not have gone to all that trouble. All they had to do was to use eBay to order something from the States via USPS for delivery in the UK, and then use the internet to track it.

According to the tracking tech, here are all of the places where my parcel was known to be at the same time this morning...

According to eBay, it had been with me for 2 days:

 

According to the Royal Mail site it was at their international mail centre at Heathrow "being made ready for despatch overseas"...:

but clicking the "Where has my item been?" button told a different story:

And the good old USPS site deemed it to have been delivered, but didn't state that they had delivered it to the Royal Mail and not to me:

I printed off all of the pics above and thrust them into the hands of the counter-jockey at the local sorting-office. He looked from one print to another, and another, and another, and back again, with a look of incredulity on his face.

They had my parcel. There was no Import Duty or Excise Duty, but it would cost me a Royal Mail International Handling Fee of a tenner plus V.A.T. to possess it, which was more that I'd paid the USPS to transport it from Port Saint Lucie to Heathrow via Miami, and more than the cost of the item inside.

But hey, cutting-edge science doesn't come cheap!

And I suppose that paying a burly sorting-office bloke £11.23 to handle my small package has some comedy value 🙂

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6 Responses to “Quantum parcel”

  1. AlanR says:

    I find it really annoying getting parcels from the USA. When you buy it with x amount of shipping cost and via a well known carrier you expect it to be delivered door to door without Royal Mail hijacking at the airport and fleecing you even more than the original postage.
    When i order from China, Australia, New Zealand its delivered to the same airport fast and hassle free. Whats the big deal with the US i ask.

  2. BG! says:

    Originally Posted By AlanR
    When i order from China, Australia, New Zealand its delivered to the same airport fast and hassle free. Whats the big deal with the US i ask.

    It's not so much that it's from the US, it's that in the UK USPS delivers only to RM (or Parcel Farce?), who then levy the handling charge. Order from the US and pay for, say, FedEx/TNT or UPS and they take it from door to door, nobody else handles it (except for HMRC... sometimes) so there's no handling sting. Basically, USPS and RM/PF are in cahoots, it must be our "Special Relationship". That's the way it's been explained to me... by RM, by PF, by FedEx/TNT, and by UPS.
    Sadly, the seller of my item only offered USPS. If the seller had offered UPS or FedEx/TNT I'd have been willing to pay a bit more for that.

  3. Glen Rayner says:

    I wouldn't trust any parcel company, I used to work for one and you know what happened there.

    I recently had the following experience with Amazon and Amazon Logistics :
    Day 1 ordered
    Day 3 08:00 Dispatched
    Day 3 11:00 email saying there is a problem with the delivery please contact Amazon
    Day 3 12:00 Status update - item lost in transit
    Day 3 13:00 Rang Amazon, we will send the item by express delivery
    Day 3 13:15 Sorry its out of stock, next delivery in 6 months and the price will be double.

  4. BG! says:

    Originally Posted By Glen Rayner
    I wouldn't trust any parcel company, I used to work for one and you know what happened there.

    Work?

    I refer the honourable retired reader to the small(ish) print:

    "If any comment contains insulting profanity or other content which I deem to be causing or likely to cause trouble, I’ll edit or delete as I see fit for the smooth running of this blog... If you can at least try to "disguise" your swearing, it would be much appreciated."

    Apparently Amazon can be seen in its entirety from the ISS. It has a huge catchment area, and scientists have calculated that every second its vast network of tributaries drains over a million wallets.

  5. Glen Rayner says:

    @BG! -
    Apologies, i thought the phrase "used to" mitigated the rest of it.

  6. BG! says:

    @Glen Rayner - I'll let you off just this once, but if there are any more four-letter-word shenanigans I may have to send Chris to set you straight 🙂

    On the way to the hospital this morning we called in to see the remains of the Ashby team in their Hinckley office before they started their fuddle. They were all grinding away at their computers or whispering into their phones, there was no idle chit-chat, it was far too quiet in there. I think they need an irreverent office-lackey to spice it up a bit.

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