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Why Canada Post Ship-in-a-Click Sucks
Why Does Canada Post Suck in General?
Whether for personal reasons or for business, in Canada, you used to just go to the post office and ship out your parcels. The post office clerk would weigh your item and measure the dimensions, then tell you the cost of the various shipping options. Simple!
But, as the online revolution happened, Canada Post decided to join in on the fun and offer everybody the option to ship right from your computer. They dubbed this new "ship-it-yourself" service, "Ship-in-a-Click" and I'm sure it has allowed them to get rid of a lot of employees. It had the potential to make it more convenient for people to ship and cut down on overhead for the Canada Post Corporation (and hopefully lower shipping prices?). It did neither.
Canada Post is REALLY Expensive
Firstly, shipping a small parcel with Canada Post (to an international destination, in this case, Australia) is as expensive as ever (despite labour disputes, sub-contracting employees, additions to efficiency, etc.)! Just as a quick example.
Package Dimensions: 20 x 20 x 5 cm
Package Weight: 250 grams
Small Packet International Surface: $7.82
Small Packet International Air: $10.54
International Parcel Surface: $43.20
Tracked Packet International: $50.34
Xpresspost International: $70.94
Priority Worldwide Pak: $101.69
The $7.82 option looks pretty reasonable, right? But not when you find out that it'll take 4-6 weeks (and as a bonus, see how long it takes you to figure out how long your package will take via this link). Then, well, the $10.54 option says air, so it must be pretty fast. Yes, it's 6-10 business days, BUT, there is no tracking and no delivery confirmation. How much do you need to pay for air and tracking/delivery confirmation? $50.34.
Yes, you can either pay $50.34 for tracking/delivery confirmation and airmail service for your tiny package, or you can pay the semi-reasonable $10.54 and pray that your stuff gets there safely!
Canada Post Ship-in-a-Click is Frustrating!
If you don't want to go to the post office (it's too far, there's a post box right outside your door, you don't want to line up, etc.), then you have the option of entering all your information online and "shipping in a click". I wouldn't call it this name, however; I'd call it, "Ship Online, After Pulling Your Hair Out".
Ship-in-a-Click sounds easy, but it is far from that.
In theory, it's a 6-screen process:
1. Choose if you want to ship to Canada/USA/International
2. Enter your address information and receiver's address information
3. Enter customs declaration information for item(s) to be shipped
4. Weigh and measure package, enter information
5. Enter credit card information, pay
6. Receive printable shipping label in PDF format and print (also receive email confirmation with link to PDF shipping label, just in case you mess up the label you originally shipped)
7. Then of course, you stick the printed label to your package and deposit in a mailbox.
In reality, however, it's more like a 10-screen process or sometimes more.
- Usually, you are happily going from one screen to the next, and then the next screen comes up blank with a one-line message like, "field was too large to display". You click your browser's back button and then try to proceed forward. The same blank screen comes up... so... you have to press your browser's back button and then change some of the info. (for no apparent reason) and then try to proceed forward again. Usually, this is the method you must use.
- Sometimes, at the last screen where you need to submit your credit card information for payment, it just blanks out and then reloads the exact same payment screen. You press submit again and the same thing happens! Again. Same thing! AGAIN! SAME THING!!! You must now start the entire process all over again.
- Maybe you've entered all the shipping info. on the second screen and you notice that you accidentally have the radio button on Canada, but in fact, you're shipping to the USA. Click that USA radio button and the address/phone number you typed in is wiped out. Start over.
- Now, let's say you managed to hack through all those pages, you printed out your label and they emailed you the receipt along with a link to the label, just in case. Uh-oh, you spilled your drink on the label and need to print it out again. You go to your email, click on the link to the label and... voila... it's blank. You click that email link again... and it's blank. Sorry, there's no link to your label. Go back and buy another one (then call Canada Post during business hours in order to cancel the old one)!
- So, let's say you need to cancel the payment on a shipping label for some reason (wrong address, you aren't going to mail the item after all, etc.), you can't just go and do that online. You can't refund a label online, nor can you change any of the info. after you've paid for the label. You have to call them for a refund during their business hours (09:00 - 18:00 EST). Even if you made one tiny mistake on your label, say... you wrote the wrong house number... you must cancel the old shipping label (by calling them) and then buy a whole new one.
- Even if you just want to reprint your label, but you didn't save the PDF... you have to buy a whole new label (go through the process again) and then call them to cancel the old one.