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  #21  
Old 16th February 2017, 07:17 AM
php php is offline
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I have the same question. How does the shipping to EU, Switzerland, UK, Norway... actually works? In the FAQ section it is said the package is delivered by USPS, but by which courier it actually arrives? Once the package is arrived how should I send it back? Using normal post or by a courier such as FedEx?

Thanks
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  #22  
Old 16th February 2017, 08:14 AM
McCrary_Fondren McCrary_Fondren is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by php View Post
I have the same question. How does the shipping to EU, Switzerland, UK, Norway... actually works? In the FAQ section it is said the package is delivered by USPS, but by which courier it actually arrives? Once the package is arrived how should I send it back? Using normal post or by a courier such as FedEx?

Thanks
I have sent from Iceland 2 different times ,both by regular post,the first one took about 5 weeks to arrive there and the last one less than 2 weeks to arrive there.Both were batch the same week they receive them.
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  #23  
Old 17th February 2017, 08:23 AM
euro71 euro71 is offline
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I am planning to ask FTDNA for more detailed information about sending DNA test kits back from Europe to Houston. Once I receive a reply I will post it in this thread.

Quote:
PHP wrote: How does the shipping to EU, Switzerland, UK, Norway... actually works? In the FAQ section it is said the package is delivered by USPS, but by which courier it actually arrives?
The package is handled by the USPS in the United States, once it arrives in Europe it will be handled by the local post service. It is a small envelope that fits in most mailboxes. I didn't need to pick it up from the post office and I also didn't need to sign for it.

I paid €26 to send my DNA kit back as a parcel through the post office (I didn't use FedEx or UPS), this is way too much money. If I would have sent it as a letter with a tracking code it would have been much cheaper. Right now I tend to believe that it is safe to send the kit back as a letter from (western) Europe. But I want to be sure thus I will ask FTDNA some questions about it.

Last edited by euro71; 17th February 2017 at 08:29 AM.
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  #24  
Old 17th February 2017, 11:23 AM
KATM KATM is online now
mtDNA: K1a3 | Y-DNA: R-L1308*
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Mid-Atlantic U.S.A.
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I suspect the definitions for a “parcel” are different, depending upon the country. In the U.S., there are specific rules to classify an item as a parcel.

It’s likely that in the U.S., FTDNA advises mailing as a parcel because of the thickness and contents of the envelope, which requires different handling. It can’t go through the post office machines as a flat envelope could. The U.S.P.S. defines “Machinability” as “To ensure transport through automated mail processing machines, a mailpiece and its contents must bend easily when subjected to a transport belt tension of 40 pounds around an 11-inch-diameter drum.” The vials in an FTDNA kit would likely not allow for the bending needed to pass through such machines.

Perhaps the mail systems in other countries don’t handle such items the same way the U.S.P.S. does (envelopes which are not flat, and not uniformly thick), can treat them as a normal flat envelope, and charge less to mail them.

Before FTDNA included a shipping and handling fee for kits for both to the customer and back to FTDNA in the U.S., they used to have a lesser fee of about $5 added to the test price to send it to the customer (ca. 2013, let’s say). The kit included an insert which specifically advised customers to return the kit to FTDNA as a parcel, and that the parcel mailing fee at that time was a bit over U.S. $2.00. Early on, I had one kit which I mistakenly didn’t mail as a parcel, only paying 1st class letter postage. I think it got to FTDNA, but there was some glitch; maybe FTDNA had to pay the difference in postage, or maybe it came back to me for insufficient postage. I can’t recall. This would not happen with a kit sent back from another country, since the postage was paid in that country.

Now they charge $12.95, and this covers shipping within the U.S., both ways. I don’t have experience with a kit being sent back from overseas, but hope to have some idea in the future. I sent a kit using my own envelope to an elderly relative in a village in Greece, and in the (apparently unlikely) event that it is ever used, it will be mailed back to me. I did this so I can inspect the kit before it goes back to FTDNA, to make sure the vials are okay and the release form is legible and filled out. I have the FTDNA kit envelope to use to send it back to FTDNA.

Certainly the time it takes to get to me in the U.S. from Greece will be about the time it would take to get to the Houston P.O. Other mail I’ve sent to, or received from Greece has usually seemed to take at least 10 days to 2 weeks to be delivered.
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  #25  
Old 17th February 2017, 10:03 PM
GarciMuñoz GarciMuñoz is online now
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I ordered using usps and the packet never came (Costa rica). I ask for a raplace kit but this time using fedex, it cost me 86$ but my packet arrived the next day. I sent using fedex again and the kit arrived to FTDNA lab the next day! of course ... it took me almost 65$.

59 + 86 + 65= 210 $ So i hope the sample works because if not ... probably i would desist.

Last edited by GarciMuñoz; 17th February 2017 at 10:08 PM.
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  #26  
Old 18th February 2017, 07:24 PM
euro71 euro71 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KATM View Post
I suspect the definitions for a “parcel” are different, depending upon the country. In the U.S., there are specific rules to classify an item as a parcel.

It’s likely that in the U.S., FTDNA advises mailing as a parcel because of the thickness and contents of the envelope, which requires different handling. It can’t go through the post office machines as a flat envelope could. The U.S.P.S. defines “Machinability” as “To ensure transport through automated mail processing machines, a mailpiece and its contents must bend easily when subjected to a transport belt tension of 40 pounds around an 11-inch-diameter drum.” The vials in an FTDNA kit would likely not allow for the bending needed to pass through such machines.
Where I live parcels are mostly cardboard boxes that don't fit in the mailbox. Envelopes, large, small and thicker ones that fit in a regular mailbox are handled as letters. If one would send the DNA kit back in a thicker or padded envelop to protect the vials, can USPS post office machines process that?

Last edited by euro71; 18th February 2017 at 07:27 PM.
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  #27  
Old 18th February 2017, 08:23 PM
KATM KATM is online now
mtDNA: K1a3 | Y-DNA: R-L1308*
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Mid-Atlantic U.S.A.
Posts: 589
I would think that using the envelope that FTDNA provided would be sufficient. I do not think you need to use a thicker envelope. I've received some thick envelopes from Greece, some even stiffened with cardboard, which have all arrived undamaged. They showed no signs of being put through any machinery, so I think the FTDNA kit envelope should work the same.

Of course, to be certain, you could contact Customer Support to get the final word from FTDNA.
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  #28  
Old 19th February 2017, 07:49 AM
Sivsdotter Sivsdotter is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Malmö, Sweden
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaQ View Post
I sent mine back 3 December from Sweden. I told the lady at the postoffice that it should be sent as a parcel but she just looked at me and said it was way too small.
So I sent it as a letter.
Now, more than a month later, it still hasn't arrived..
So much money gone.
She's right. They can't send such small padded letters as a parcel because it will get lost. The parcel system is not made for handling something that small and light (and yes, it is machine handled). What you must do is put it in a large enough padded envelope and then add something for weight. There's a required minimum for both size and weight.

I don't know why the lab requires us to send it as parcels, but I suppose it has to do with delivery once it's in the US. It's not considered a parcel here, and can't be handled as such the way it is.
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