Just before Christmas 2005, I sent 120 books via USPS in two shipments to fill orders from Australia, one Media Mail by air and the other Media Mail by sea. Both shipments were enclosed in M-Bags. It has been about two months now, and neither shipment has reached its destination.
I’ve talked to several postal employees. They told me that Media Mail equates to garbage mail as far as USPS is concerned, and that they favor everything else, like Priority Mail, Express Mail, etc. One employee said that Media Mail packages may sit in storage for up to three weeks in the United States before they even get loaded onto a ship, and that they may sit in customs in the destination country for another three weeks.
I’ve found that, even domestically, books sent via Media Mail can miss their estimated delivery date by weeks. Also, when I tried to get insurance on the books sent overseas, I was informed that USPS does not provide insurance on overseas shipments sent via Media Mail.
Have other PMA members experienced this? While Media Mail may be cheap, it’s not much of a deal if your shipment won’t get to its destination anywhere near on time.
Please send reports on your experiences with Media Mail to Independent@pma-online.org.