Amazon has a shipping facility in Lexington, KY. I live about 25 miles north of Cincinnati, OH. It is about a 2-hour drive from Lexington to Cincinnati. Cincinnati is the main post office in this area and all mail emanates from there and is then sent to my local post office and then delivered to me.
Because of my proximity to Amazon's shipping facility in Lexington I rarely spring for anything but their Super Saver 5-7 day shipping. Primarily because it usually only takes 2 days max to get to my doorstep using it.
That was before March 2005, though. On March 10 I placed an order for a book and it got delivered on March 21st. This was not Amazon's fault in any way; the blame falls squarely on USPS. Rather than the package going from Lexington to Cincinnati to my local post office, it instead took a detour that went like this: Lexington to Cincinnati to Federal Way, WA to Cincinnati to my local post office. I assume it was just a mix up and someone threw it on the wrong truck and I understand to err is human, but incompetence is still incontinence no matter how you spell it.
Not blaming Amazon for USPS's problems, I ordered two other books on March 17th. One was not available yet and the package didn't ship until March 22nd - no big deal, I knew this would happen when I placed the order. Well I just went to check the tracking because the package should be here today, and for some strange reason, once again, USPS screwed up. It's pretty simple really: Lexington to Cincinnati to my local post office, Lexington to Cincinnati to my local post office. Say it to yourself, it is easy enough, isn't it? Not to the USPS apparently: this time it went from Lexington to Greensboro, NC and who knows where after that. I'm hoping that I might get it sometime early next week, but I have my doubts - who know: this one may be destined for a little overseas travel before coming home.
I know two data points do not signify a trend, but I've only had two packages shipped by USPS in two weeks and both of those have been bungled.