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      Jeff Jarvis


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      Post #60397, posted on 11-18-2015 GMT-5 hours    
      Greetings!

      A couple of weeks ago I placed another order with HobbyTerra in the Ukraine. They offer extremely reliable and fast service, and I have absolutely no qualms about ordering from them. The order is right, all items are there, nothing is missing, and nothing is ever broken. In short, my experience is perfection in every transaction with all deliveries (seven prior to this order) being from 7 to 13 days.

      Unfortunately, the USPS is part of the delivery system. Once before, they delayed a package for several days due to "INCORRECT ADDRESS" and I found no errors in the address on the shipping label when it was finally delivered on the 13th day.

      On this one, the package arrived in Louisville at my delivering Post Office on the 11th around 2AM, but being Veterans Day, I knew it would not arrive at my door before the 12th, however, it has never been delivered. No notice was ever left, but on the 12th at 1104 there was a missed phone call from "US GOVERNMENT" with no message left. I discovered this call on Saturday the 14th and called the number which turned out to be the local Post Office, but they had no idea who had called me or why. HobbyTerra always includes my phone number on the address label. Anyway, it being Saturday afternoon on the 14th, the Post Office was closed, so when I told them about my missing package, they said to come in on Monday the 16th to claim it, even though I had no claim slip. When I went there on Monday and gave them the address and tracking number, they couldn't find it. The computer showed it being delivered to the Post Office, but nothing after that, and they looked for more than 30 minutes. So, they had me fill out my name, address and phone number and attached it to a computer tracking form, and said I'd get a call when it was found. I haven't gotten a call, but now the tracking shows that it is being returned to the Ukraine as undeliverable.

      Okay, so now to contact the USPS about it on their website........... This is an exercise in futility, so I have given up. I spent 10 minutes inputting all the information they wanted, only to find that it does not allow any address without a US State and ZIP Code for the senders address. Or, if you try another tack, you input this and that and find that it just takes you back to the tracking info that shows that it is being returned to the sender. Their website is cleverly designed to waste your time and not help you at all by taking you in circles.

      One thing that could be part of the problem is how our address is written on the street signs. One of the street signs has "Brook Stone" on it, while another one has "Brookstone" on it. So, which one is right? We have been here 13+ years and have always used Brookstone because that was what was on the house paperwork and never had mail delivery problems before.

      The only observation I can make from this is to not hesitate if there is any delivery delay, yet the USPS refuses to investigate any delivery problem until some time has elapsed, time in which your package may disappear completely. IMHO, our USPS acts more and more incompetently every passing day, and although it is not always the case, many of their employees could not care less about service and pride in their work.

      Regards,
      Jeff Jarvis

      God's "Curse" to aviation!

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      Post #60400, posted on 11-18-2015 GMT-5 hours    
      Your story brings back a sore spot with my wife and I. While on our honeymoon trip to Hawaii we purchased matching shirt for me, and a dress for her in Honolulu. We toured several islands, one of which was Maui, we stayed a nice little resort hotel. O

      Our room was a bungalow on the beach (a magical place). My wife had hung her dress on the back of the bathroom door just prior to her shower. The next day we packed up and departed. We discovered that we had left the dress on the back of the door when we arrived back in Honolulu. We called the Maui hotel and the maid had found the dress and had turned it over to the front desk.

      They informed us that yes the dress was safe, and they would be sending to our home address within a day or two. They said the postage was on them and wished us well.

      We returned home and back to work. A few days later we found a USPS attempted delivery slip in our mail slot. It stated that the package was from the hotel on Maui, and that we could pick it up the following day at our local post office.

      Thus after work the next day, I stopped to pickup the package. The clerk was gone for several minutes and said that he could not find it and the supervisor was still searching the building. I stepped aside and waited another 10-15 minutes. Finally the supervisor came out and said that the package had gone missing. I put in a claim ($30) as we never did receive the package.

      I still wonder what ever happened. That was a44 years ago, I still have the shirt, the only proof of the dress' existence is a photo taken of us at the roof top restaurant at the old Iliki Hotel in Honolulu having dinner.

      Rodger Cook

      Alumni of: Hughes Airwest, Republic Airlines, Evergreen International

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      Post #60402, posted on 11-18-2015 GMT-5 hours    
      I feel your pain, and concur totally with your comments about Hobby Terra. First class operation.

      We have our issues with the post office in Canada as well, though they don't normally seem to
      be as unmotivated as you've described with the USPS. Coincidentally, I received a package today
      that had the wrong city spelling, no Province appearing, AND going to the WRONG COUNTRY (UK instead
      of Canada). The sender must've been slightly "elevated" when they addressed the envelope. At least
      they got the postal code correct. The envelope was cleared through the USPS facility in Santa Clarita, CA.
      Written in red ink on the envelope were 2 notations, obviously placed there by a local USPS employee. They
      read, "NOT: HP9, United Kingdom." and an arrow pointing to the postal code with the notation "QUEBEC, CANADA?".
      So quite evidently, at least one USPS employee is on the ball. The problem is that he/she is in the overwhelming
      minority.

      Alan Aronoff
      CYUL

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      Jeff Jarvis


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      Post #60403, posted on 11-18-2015 GMT-5 hours    
      Greetings!

      In all fairness, while it is tempting to condemn all the employees at the USPS when something like this happens and you are PO'ed about it, it would be wrong and unfair to do so. I know a number of USPS employees who do their best and are quite good at their jobs, and they do take pride in doing things right.

      I have to wonder, though, is it the use of "Brookstone" instead of "Brook Stone" even though it has never caused any delivery problems to my knowledge (I still don't know which one is right), or could it be the lack of the ZIP+4, or could it really just be incompetence? Could the workload have anything to do with it? At times, our carrier delivers our mail after 7PM because we are within the last 10 houses on his route, and sorting may take hours before he/she ever gets going on deliveries. I don't know, but I am alarmed at how much of my mail is either never arriving or taking an inordinately long time to show up. I once mailed my IRS refund check to my bank via Priority Mail, and the next day it was in Honolulu where it stayed for more than a week before finally moving and the bank in Portland, Oregon showed it deposited fully 12 days after I paid more than $6.00 to get it there quickly.

      Based on my experience with HobbyTerra, at least, I'm pretty sure they addressed it correctly, so I'm confident that the problem does not lie with them. In the absence of any advice from the USPS, I have no idea how to prevent this happening again.

      Regards,
      Jeff Jarvis

      God's "Curse" to aviation!

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      Post #60404, posted on 11-18-2015 GMT-5 hours    
      Hi Jeff, Jerry here, could you ask Hobby Terra to ship via UPS or FedEx from the Ukraine on future shipments?

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      Post #60410, posted on 11-19-2015 GMT-5 hours    
      Hi Jerry,

      I don't know if HobbyTerra would do that, but I suppose I never will know if I don't ask! I always order at least $150.00 worth so that the shipping is free, and I assumed that they would know the best way to ship. As I work for an express company, I know that express deliveries by air are frightfully expensive, so I would be surprised to find it to be cheap enough. BTW, my own company does not give me any deals either. I pay what you pay.

      I'll ask them about it.

      Regards,
      Jeff Jarvis

      God's "Curse" to aviation!

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      Post #60411, posted on 11-19-2015 GMT-5 hours    
      Hi Jerry,

      I have sent the email to HobbyTerra asking about the possibility of alternate shipping via FedEx or UPS. I'll let you know their response.......

      Regards,
      Jeff Jarvis

      God's "Curse" to aviation!

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      Post #60419, posted on 11-19-2015 GMT-5 hours    
      Had a similar problem, I was tracking a package thru USPS and on the day it said "out for delivery" it never showed up. I went down to he Post Office with the tracking history and they told me it went out on the wrong delivery truck. This was Saturday, Monday was a holiday so I waited until tuesday. When I checked the tracking it said "delivered" and the mailman had not been to my house yet. When he showed up I asked him about the package and showed him a printout of the tracking. She said she delivered it to the wrong house but didn,t remember which one. I complained to the Post Office, no sympathy there. About three weeks later I found the package on my porch with no explanation.

      As for changing delivery service with Hobby Terra, it may not do much good. I have had packages from overseas delivered to UPS and they in turn delivered it to the local post office for delivery to my house. Forget Fed Ex, every package that they ever delivered to me came damaged.

      Now look at the price. I sold a model to a gentleman who lived in the UK and he requested UPS or Fed Ex so he could track the package in the UK. UPS quoted me $97.00 with tracking, Fed Ex about the same, the USPS $16.00 with tracking to the arrival at customs in the UK but no tracking once in the UK. Guess which one he opted for?

      I usually buy from F-rsin and Hobby Terra from overseas and both arrive within two weeks via USPS. I have shipped close to a hundred models overseas via USPS as far as Australia, Europe and one to China and haven't lost one yet.

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      Post #60420, posted on 11-19-2015 GMT-5 hours    
      Greetings!

      As Stevej says, cost is highly prohibitive.

      My answer from HobbyTerra was just as I expected it to be. They looked at all options when they first started out, and FedEx and UPS prices were in the stratosphere whereas the price for using the Ukrainian Postal System handing it off to your own national postal system was a pittance in comparison, and it typically did not take any longer to us here in the USA. Now, if they did change to FedEx/UPS, they could never offer free shipping as they would lose money, and in many, if not most, cases, you would wind up paying double for your order.

      I'm just going to have to grin and bear it when the USPS messes up. I just hope it doesn't happen when they ship it again.

      Regards,
      Jeff Jarvis

      God's "Curse" to aviation!

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      Post #60427, posted on 11-20-2015 GMT-5 hours    
      Well at least you tried.

      Losing a shipment is rather costly also. Hopefully you will not have this problem again. Good luck, maybe the USPS will deliver it to you by Christmas.

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      Post #60431, posted on 11-20-2015 GMT-5 hours    
      Jeff,
      Have you given any thought to having your orders shipped to another address? Sounds like your street name's variation might cause a problem. Perhaps sending to a family/friend/work? Or to a cheap P.O. Box at the local post office the rate is really cheap per year....That way your orders get into better/secure hands. Just my 2-cents worth.

      Rodger Cook

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      Post #60441, posted on 11-21-2015 GMT-5 hours    
      Don't get me started on the USPS...

      Chris

      "Sorry Goose... But it's time to buzz the Tower."

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      Post #60450, posted on 11-22-2015 GMT-5 hours    
      Quote
      BruinPrideBand :
      Don't get me started on the USPS...



      Is the USPS perfect? Far from it. Name me one institution that is.

      But I'll just say that if you think the USPS is bad, you clearly haven't dealt with the postal system in ANY other country on earth. The only ones that might come close to providing the kind of reliable, affordable services provided every single day by the USPS are the Japan Post Office and possibly the German Bundespost. Other than those, every other one I've ever dealt with (and that's a LOT of them) is unreliable, expensive, crime ridden, or all three (usually the latter). The USPS delivers more mail than most of the rest of the world put together, and they do it with incredible efficiency and *amazing reliability* each and every day.

      If you shipped a package to your next door neighbor in many parts of the world, you could pretty much count on it being stolen. If you've seen any of the outRAGEOUS shipping charges from overseas retailers, you've seen what they deal with regularly. And our friends in Canada and the UK regularly get socked with GIGANTIC "processing fees" simply for having a package delivered to their door (in addition to the tax they have to pay on it).

      So how bad is the USPS really? Ask your friends overseas. As with so much of what we have in America, we're so spoiled we have no clue how good we have it.

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      Post #60452, posted on 11-22-2015 GMT-5 hours    
      Quote
      Jennings :
      Quote
      BruinPrideBand :
      Don't get me started on the USPS...



      Is the USPS perfect? Far from it. Name me one institution that is.

      But I'll just say that if you think the USPS is bad, you clearly haven't dealt with the postal system in ANY other country on earth. The only ones that might come close to providing the kind of reliable, affordable services provided every single day by the USPS are the Japan Post Office and possibly the German Bundespost. Other than those, every other one I've ever dealt with (and that's a LOT of them) is unreliable, expensive, crime ridden, or all three (usually the latter). The USPS delivers more mail than most of the rest of the world put together, and they do it with incredible efficiency and *amazing reliability* each and every day.

      If you shipped a package to your next door neighbor in many parts of the world, you could pretty much count on it being stolen. If you've seen any of the outRAGEOUS shipping charges from overseas retailers, you've seen what they deal with regularly. And our friends in Canada and the UK regularly get socked with GIGANTIC "processing fees" simply for having a package delivered to their door (in addition to the tax they have to pay on it).

      So how bad is the USPS really? Ask your friends overseas. As with so much of what we have in America, we're so spoiled we have no clue how good we have it.



      I've lived in the UK all my life and the only response I can think of to this is "Rubbish". To describe the UK postal service as "unreliable, expensive, crime ridden or all three" is so ridiculous that I'm not even sure why I'm bothering to post this.

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      Post #60453, posted on 11-22-2015 GMT-5 hours    
      Quote
      dave6376 :
      Quote
      Jennings :
      Quote
      BruinPrideBand :
      Don't get me started on the USPS...





      I've lived in the UK all my life and the only response I can think of to this is "Rubbish". To describe the UK postal service as "unreliable, expensive, crime ridden or all three" is so ridiculous that I'm not even sure why I'm bothering to post this.


      Hear, hear. Royal Mail provides an excellent service.

      Al

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      Post #60454, posted on 11-22-2015 GMT-5 hours    
      It's not their mail delivery I have issue with. Its the dealing with the employees at the post office itself. I have had enough issues to rant for a while. I won't do so here as this is not the proper forum for it (isn't that what twitter and face book are for nowadays? ;) ). I will say that one of their mistakes came very close to costing me greatly. Anyways.... Getting back to building models.

      Chris

      "Sorry Goose... But it's time to buzz the Tower."

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      Post #60465, posted on 11-23-2015 GMT-5 hours    
      Rubbish maybe, but you guys get socked with massive taxes and 'delivery fees' for any package you receive, am I right? Or am I being completely led astray by the incessant griping I hear on every single model related forum in the universe?

      The US Government (which does not own the USPS) trusts them enough to allow classified material to be sent via First Class mail.

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      Post #60467, posted on 11-24-2015 GMT-5 hours    
      Quote
      Jennings :
      Rubbish maybe, but you guys get socked with massive taxes and 'delivery fees' for any package you receive, am I right?

      No.

      Al

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      Jeff Jarvis


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      Post #60472, posted on 11-25-2015 GMT-5 hours    
      Greetings!

      I never intended to start any flaming wars on here, so I hope it stays civil. My intent was to spark some discussion of problems with getting our "Toys" from the internet sellers into our hands, and what we might be able to do about any shipping anomalies we all encounter from time to time. My thinking is simply that shared experiences may help some of us with problems in the future, not to trash the postal systems or other delivery services.

      Rodger, yes, I've thought of doing just that. A PO box is one possible solution, and probably a good one.

      Yesterday I spoke with a friend at Sam's who is a letter carrier. I wanted his thoughts on what MIGHT have happened, why, and what I might do about it. He asked if the tracking showed "Out for delivery" after "Arrival at unit" and it did not. This means that no delivery was ever attempted. I told him about the anonymous "US Government" phone call on the caller list. I also told him of the "Brook Stone" VS "Brookstone" problem. He dismissed that as being of little significance because that type of problem is common around here with many streets, and it has always been like that, and we get mail all the time anyway. If it was a problem, we would have known about it years ago. What he said was significant was the phone call with no message left and no follow up by the Post Office. I also told him I changed the address in my HobbyTerra account to Brook Stone and added the +4 to the ZIP. He said he believes that my attempts to solve the problem are not necessary because, in the absence of a screw up in the address label, this screw up is squarely on the USPS, and nothing I could do would have or will prevent it in the future because there is no information available that might give us a clue as to what the problem was. The address label is probably correct because it got to the correct Post Office unit, and 7 previous HobbyTerra packages were all delivered without a problem, and in any case, our letter carrier knows us, so he is familiar with how our mail is addressed. The bottom line is the Post Office never pursued contacting me, and after I went to the PO in person and filled out paperwork on the package, it was sent back to the Ukraine later on anyway.

      It truly is maddening, but s--- happens, and I just have to grin and bear it. I feel bad for HobbyTerra because the money paid for postage was wasted. However, shipping that includes using the USPS as part of it remains the only option cheap enough to realistically use regularly.

      Regards,
      Jeff Jarvis

      God's "Curse" to aviation!

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      Post #60475, posted on 11-25-2015 GMT-5 hours    
      I think the issue here is one person ( possibly a bad day, maybe in training, or just lazy). I have had decal orders folded in half with stiff cardboard, with big red lettering saying do not bend in my mailbox, I have also had my mailman hand me an envelope saying the same thing, yet it would fit in the box. I also sent a rent check registered mail from Texas to another spot in Texas that got delivered in North Carolina! Needless to say, I think the USPS is usually the best option.

      Keep em separated!
      Steve

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      Post #60851, posted on 12-22-2015 GMT-5 hours    
      Greetings!

      Believe it or not, my package arrived back in the Ukraine intact. I placed another order with HobbyTerra for decals that was added to it, it was dispatched abroad from Kiev four days after it was mailed again on the 11th, and it has now disappeared. It has never shown up in the United States although the USPS Tracking shows it leaving the Ukraine on the 15th of December, but it is the season of delivery problems, so I'll patiently (????) wait for it to show up. I'm already old, so what's a few more days, weeks or months for me?

      Remember the motto of UPS, FedEx and the USPS.... "We will deliver no package before its time....."

      My New Years resolutions..... 1. Finish the DC-6 trip odyssey.
      2. See #1.
      3. See #2.
      4. Etc., etc., etc......

      I wish ALL of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and keep smiling no matter what!

      Regards,
      Jeff Jarvis

      God's "Curse" to aviation!

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      Post #60949, posted on 01-01-2016 GMT-5 hours    
      Happy New Year!

      Yesterday the undelivered package from HobbyTerra was finally delivered. Since I first ordered it at the beginning of November it has come to my Post Office, returned to the Ukraine and then been reshipped after having another order (decals only) added to it, as detailed above. No explanation for the nonattempted delivery has ever been forthcoming from my inquiries to the USPS, but I didn't really expect any. The packing by HobbyTerra is quite good with the new decal order being on top of the earlier order, and nothing was broken in spite of three trips across the Atlantic.

      I highly recommend HobbyTerra as a very reliable source for Eastern European kits at very good prices and (normally) quick delivery.

      I can now give my college buddy his 1/72 BPK Canadair RJ kit that was supposed to have been for his birthday a while back!

      Regards,
      Jeff Jarvis

      God's "Curse" to aviation!

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      Post #61005, posted on 01-02-2016 GMT-5 hours    
      Somewhat of a similar oddity. I ordered a 1/144 BPK CRJ from ModelsUA a few weeks before Christmas. The order processed normally, and when shipped ( by registered mail), I was provided a tracking number. I was able to track the package in the Russian Postal System until December 23rd when the entry said "delivered to destination country". I have not been able to get any tracking information since. I find it odd that once in the U.S. I can't find out where my package is.

      Gene
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      Post #61006, posted on 01-02-2016 GMT-5 hours    
      As en Ebay seller, I've got to say that the USPS is usually the best option. I'm constantly amazed at how good their tracking and delivery reliability has been. Are there hiccups? Yes, but everything I've ever shipped via flat rate priority mail has gotten where its supposed to be.

      I think it really comes down to your local post office. The one a few miles from here is literally where grade school dropouts go to "work." How those people got their jobs is beyond me. Half don't speak English (kinda important in a job where your reading names and addresses, and I'm not kidding), and the other half area pretty unmotivated; ask a simple question and you might get an answer. Maybe. If they feel like it and coffee break time isn't pressing.

      On the other hand, my local letter carrier is the most on the ball guy around. He found a package for me that the local post office said had been lost. Turns out it was put on the wrong truck by a part time carrier, but he took his own time and found it on his own. The Kihei, Maui post office was about the best turn I've been in, almost machinelike in the way the workers there processed packages while still smiling and actually saying, "thank you."

      I think its wrong to pillory the entire organization. They have their good and their bad eggs, just like every institution. I have found that being on good terms with your local carrier solves a lot of problems of only because that carrier now has a personal relationship with you, even if only on a small level.

      Bob

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      Post #61015, posted on 01-03-2016 GMT-5 hours    
      As to your local carrier I'm sure everywhere it depends on "the luck of the draw". Our regular carrier retired in the past year. I liked him and didn't have any complaints though some neighbors weren't happy with misdirected mail etc. Now our route seems to be the last one assigned and last one completed at the end of the day. Different carriers through the week. Mail arriving at 6pm etc. "Regularly getting neighbors mail mixed with ours....

      It is what it is......

      Ken

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      Post #61019, posted on 01-03-2016 GMT-5 hours    
      Quote
      Ken Miller :
      As to your local carrier I'm sure everywhere it depends on "the luck of the draw". Our regular carrier retired in the past year. I liked him and didn't have any complaints though some neighbors weren't happy with misdirected mail etc. Now our route seems to be the last one assigned and last one completed at the end of the day. Different carriers through the week. Mail arriving at 6pm etc. "Regularly getting neighbors mail mixed with ours....

      It is what it is......

      Ken



      Same here Ken, we lost our regular (great) carrier two years ago, then got "Mr. Grumpy" (would never same a word to you when you would say hello). Now we have a mix of carriers, our mail has never been delivered prior to 4:00 p.m. ever...I must say though that for the price, USPS does a good job overall.

      Rodger Cook

      Alumni of: Hughes Airwest, Republic Airlines, Evergreen International

      Author Message

      Jeff Jarvis


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      Posts: 445
      Location: Louisville, KY
      Occupation: Pilot, now retired
      Age: 67

      Post #62995, posted on 05-03-2016 GMT-5 hours    
      Greetings!

      Well, I am happy to report that since the original problem of last November, I have had 5 flawless deliveries by the USPS from HobbyTerra in the Ukraine. Naturally, since there was no way to know what caused the problem at my local post office, I changed the address to "Brook Stone" from "Brookstone" and redid the ZIP to ZIP+4, and since then things have been fine. The only fly in the ointment is the tracking, which varies every time. It gets tracked to the minute in the Ukraine, but after it leaves there, it's hit or miss as to how often, or even IF the USPS shows its progress. One time it never showed an arrival in the US, and then about 6-7 days after leaving the Ukraine, the letter carrier came to our door with it. I looked it up after the fact and it then showed the delivery, but nothing else.

      My latest delivery set a new record..... The package was mailed Monday afternoon in Kiev and delivered to me on Saturday morning in Louisville just 5 days later! None of the online hobby sellers here in the US ever matches that, and HobbyTerra ships it to me free because the order is $150 or more. I can't fault their service at all, and nothing has ever been broken or was missing. If the product was listed as available, it always has been shipped, and quickly. I am 100% satisfied and highly recommend them.

      Thankfully, the USPS has redeemed themselves for the most part the last 6 months. I hope you're all having good results as well!

      Regards,
      Jeff Jarvis

      God's "Curse" to aviation!