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Sample Kits Get Stuck in Houston TX Mail System

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  • #16
    Originally posted by afshar View Post
    Seems like USPS is have FTDNA delay problems all year.
    My samples sent from Europe take one (1!) day to arrive in the states, and then it takes 3 to 4 weeks to deliver it to FTDNA, add the backlog of FTDNA, thats frustration first class. Especially when arrived in Houston it takes like 2 bloody weeks, are they using snails to deliver mail?
    This is an ongoing problem. FTDNA's CEO reportedly once made brief reference to it at an Annual Conference. He said something along the lines of a percentage of mail addressed to FTDNA gets held up at the Houston postal center for various reasons including insufficient postage (I don't know what the other reasons are).

    Anyway, such held up mail requires an FTDNA person to go and collect it from the postal center.

    How often FTDNA sends somebody to the PC to collect held up items is unknown. Perhaps Darren Marrin can enlighten us on this process?

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    • #17
      Insufficient postage ?

      On pre-paid items ?

      W. (Mr.)

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      • #18
        It's the excess lead in some people's cheek cells causing the packages to go overweight ... or maybe it's just the recent epidemic of package obesity ...
        Last edited by MikeP; 27 March 2015, 12:07 PM. Reason: addition

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        • #19
          Originally posted by dna View Post
          On pre-paid items ?
          In that particular case, if postal rates are increased, then existing pre-paid can require supplementary postage, depending on how the postal service applies the rules.

          Let's hear from FTDNA as to the reasons for Houston PC holding up incoming test kits, and how often they go collect them.

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          • #20
            I wish I could give you a good answer. We will get bags and bags of mail and then it starts to trickle off, and will call the post office to see if anything has not been delivered. They will reply no, everything is delivered that goes through their system. Then all of a sudden we get a bunch of bags all one day. There was a time where it was not uncommon or someone to go down their weekly, now it is usually when they notify of us insufficient postage, which doesn't happen much if at all anymore because of the pre- paid shipping.

            -Darren

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            • #21
              Shipping from the UK

              Has anyone sent a kit in from the UK recently, and if so how long did it take to reach FTDNA? I posted my sister's kit back over 2 weeks ago and was told 5-7 days delivery time. Do FTDNA email to let me know or put some sort of notification on the account when they receive it? I am starting to wonder if it has gone missing. Or from reading this thread it sounds like it might be at Houston post office.

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              • #22
                I have seen international shipping take about three weeks. You should receive an email from [email protected] when the kit is arrived at the office, but there have been some issues with this. If you can send me a private message with the kit number I would be happy to look into it.

                -Darren
                Family Tree DNA

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                • #23
                  The international part of the process is actually quite fast, but it takes a long time to cross from the point of US entry to Houston and the longest part of the wait is in Houston post office before being delivered to FTDNA.

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                  • #24
                    Shipping from Germany

                    I received my kit in Germany about a week after ordering (01/23/15). I shipped my kit from Germany on 02/01/15. I was notified by e-mail that it was received on 03/27/15, and was batched on 04/01/15. ~56 days does seem to be a fairly unreasonable shipping time. I did not included tracking, so I can not confirm where it was held up. Typically, packages are received from the US in less than a handful of days so I imagine that it was likely held up at Houston.

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                    • #25
                      Samples from UK

                      I was back in the UK a few weeks ago to get a sample from my brother. Tuesday will be 3 weeks from when it was sent. I know things take only 5-7 days to get from the UK to US or Canada as I live in Canada and my mother sends me things all the time.

                      From what I have read on the forums, the issue is one of 2 options. It is either with USPS at Houston who seem to hold onto things and when ftDNA ask them to chase up complaints from people , USPS say they have nothing only to deliver more bags a few days later. The alternative is the problem is with ftDNA not checking their mail room and having samples waiting there until someone goes downs and looks after a complaint or for customer services to say, we'll send a another kit it has been lost, for it to appear all of a sudden.

                      I do not find it acceptable to have such a long time between when it sent to finally being batched, If we at least knew that ftDNA received the sample even if it was not batched that would be an improvement. USPS seem to have a poor service in Houston but ftDNA do not seem to pro-actively look at resolving this issue with USPS or looking at alternative carriers if USPS are not up to the job.

                      How many more complaints have to be put through the forums for someone to do something? Or is it a case that once ftDNA has your money, you're held to ransom with them to wait however long it takes to deliver a subpar service?

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                      • #26
                        56 days is a long time lucas27. The kits did take a few weeks to be delivered, I ordered two on 31/12/14 and I'm not sure of the exact date but it was towards the end of January when they arrived. I'll just have to be patient I guess!

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                        • #27
                          I can tell everyone that the problem is in Houston. I live 30 miles north of there. I have two sisters who sent my husband birthday cards. One from Mesa, AZ took 10 days and one from Tennessee took 8 days. The one from Mesa should not have taken longer than 3 days at the most and the one from Tenn not more than four days at the most. It's Houston folks. The mail stops there and doesn't move out...and I know why

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Tenn4ever View Post
                            It's Houston folks. The mail stops there and doesn't move out...and I know why
                            In that case, maybe it's time that the person in charge of that operation is brought to account.

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                            • #29
                              Vote in the president and the Congress that improve USPS

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by nicolam View Post
                                56 days is a long time lucas27.
                                I should correct myself in that some of my dates from my post were inaccurate after rechecking my order history (see attached). The kit was actually mailed back on 02/06/15 which indicates that it took around 49 days to be received by the lab from the day that I mailed it.

                                I did contact the help desk after 3 weeks and was informed that my kit was probably lost after at around the 5th week and they sent me another kit. It took longer for me to receive the second kit, about 2 weeks. Before I had the chance to send the second kit back, I was notified that my first kit was finally received. It seems that my experience is not that uncommon after reading through related threads.
                                Attached Files

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