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Overseas envelope sent by post: will it arrive?

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Good evening,

 

I was in a bit of a weird situation this morning and I'd like to ask for your thoughts.

 

I went to a Deutsche Post Filiale that had this lotto stuff and was more of a shop that the regular post office. I got one air-bubble little envelope that I wanted to send to the US. I get to the counter and the clerk immediately starts marking it and says ok, done. I'm like, could I have a receipt for that? He gets annoyed at this point and issues the receipt. I get outside of the shop and after 2 minutes I realize the receipt is only for the stamps, not the actual sending. I also remember that he didn't put any 'By air' sign on the envelope... So I go back to the shop (after literally 4 minutes) and ask him for the sending number or any proof that the envelope will be sent. He gets super annoyed and basically starts screaming at me. My German is not that good, so I apologize for not understanding how things work. He says it's not his job to ask me how I want to send a letter and I should have said if I want a sending number or 'by air/priority' sign on it. I then ask him to have my envelope back. He says that is impossible, it's already in their box and he can't take it out - even though I see it's an open box. 

 

At this point I'm not sure if my envelope will arrive and when. I have no sending number, no receipt, nothing!

 

Anybody has previous experience with how long it takes for an envelope to arrive to the US - without 'priority/by air' and in December?

 

Also, have I done anything wrong, was my behaviour that out of place that I deserve to be screamed at? 

 

Thank you so much for your attention!

 

 

 

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18 minutes ago, carmenvarga said:

 

At this point I'm not sure if my envelope will arrive and when. I have no sending number, no receipt, nothing!

 

There are no sending numbers for simple letters, they are not tracked and the only receipt you can have is the one you got – for the stamps. Duration should be about one week. 

 

18 minutes ago, carmenvarga said:

 

Also, have I done anything wrong, was my behaviour that out of place that I deserve to be screamed at? 

 

It always makes sense to first find out abroad how things work - and if necessary to ask questions instead of assuming that everything works as you would like it to.  

 

Nobody can read minds, and if you want to give up a traceable letter, you have to say so. This is not a simple letter, but a registered letter and costs 2.50€ more. 

 

Your letter will be sent by airmail anyway (and not by ship) without a "priority" sticker (which you should have affixed yourself) ... Basically I would recommend: Inform yourself, ask questions, don't expect people not to speak to you in their mother tongue and put on a thicker coat, esp. in Berlin. 

 

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We send and receive "regular " letters all the time. My son even receives money somethimes from grandma.  It takes around 7 days 

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I think OP's letter will get there just fine.

 

I don't believe in Deutsche Post / DHL international tracking.  They once told me my A4 sized envelope was stuck in Frankfurt for weeks, then miraculously told me it had been delivered to the addressee in Australia and hadn't been in Frankfurt for weeks.  But the Addressee told me he didn't get it.  Deutsche Post couldn't tell me even what city in Australia it had been delivered to, only that Australia Post said it had been delivered.  Great value that tracking was...

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8 hours ago, DoubleDTown said:

I think OP's letter will get there just fine.

 

I don't believe in Deutsche Post / DHL international tracking.  They once told me my A4 sized envelope was stuck in Frankfurt for weeks, then miraculously told me it had been delivered to the addressee in Australia and hadn't been in Frankfurt for weeks.  But the Addressee told me he didn't get it.  Deutsche Post couldn't tell me even what city in Australia it had been delivered to, only that Australia Post said it had been delivered.  Great value that tracking was...

 

The problem with international tracking of items is that once DP hand it over to the receiving mail company (Australian Post in this case) then you need to check on their website for detailed tracking information.   But even then it can be lacking sometimes.

 

 

Earlier this year I had to send 2 letters to the UK which I done via tracked delivery.

 

Letter 1:  After a couple of days the DP website said that it had been handed over to Royal Mail.  

Checking on the Royal Mail website I could trace the letter through the system until it arrived and was signed for and I could see the signature.

 

Letter 2:  After a couple of days the DP website said that it was handed over to Royal Mail.

Royal Mail website said only that they had received the order number (not the letter) from DP.  E.g.  They were aware of it but had not received it.

The status did not change for several days.

Then one day it suddenly changed to status delivered, and I could see the signature.  There was no intermediate tracing information.

 

 

 

 

 

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Of course it will get there ..... sometime .... maybe.

 

As others have said the stamp receipt is all you get unless you order a special service like "signed for" or "signed for with return notificaltion".

Alternatively put the letter in a box, send it as a parcel (Paket, not Päckchen) and you get online tracking with a sendungsnummer.

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Dont forget, if you are going to send it by Paket, it needs to be packaged correctly... 

 

I recently wanted to send a correctly sized package, There was some stuff in there that would perrish if it got wet/damp.. so I carefully wrapped in in that stretchy clingfilm that you can get for fixing parcels to pallets etc etc... but the package was refused as it would slip and slide on the DHL sorting machines... 

I then pointed out that on the shelf next to me are some plastic "Versand tute"... to which she replied, yes, but thats one of our products... When asked if it was a special "Anti-rutsch" plastic, She was speechless... 

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On 01/12/2018, 18:47:30, carmenvarga said:

He gets annoyed at this point...

He gets super annoyed and basically starts screaming at me...

Also, have I done anything wrong, was my behaviour that out of place that I deserve to be screamed at?

In answer to your last question, no. Definitely not.

This is just another case of good ol' German customer service.

I bet you are young, pretty, deferential and smile a lot.

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Thank you all for your answers! :)

 

I am keeping my fingers crossed that the envelope arrives safe & sound! 

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Next time figure out exactly what you want and look up how to say it before hand.  My German also sucks and I have to do that.  Also, nothing against Berlin, I think its a cool town but last time I was there and asked directions from someone on the street he yelled at us for 5 minutes and even followed us down the street yelling at us.

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If your German's not so good, could it be that he might have been "following" you to make sure you were going in the right direction and shouting directions after you as you went?  It is always a little, um, funny, when people who don't speak a language presume to know that what's being said in it is hostile.

 

also, just as an aside:

 

6 hours ago, Buzznut3000 said:

Next time figure out exactly what you want and look up how to say it before hand.

 

This is always done with the best of intentions, but it has its drawbacks--first, if you mess up your lines and aren't able to change or correct them in the event that the other person doesn't understand the words, the syntax or the pronunciation, the effort might be in vain.  Second, and far more importantly, if you know what you're "going to say" but won't be able to understand the response or any other unscripted follow-up questions, there's not much point and will only be more confusing (because you led in with a question in German yet don't appear to be able to actually speak it, which will initially confuse and possibly irritate the person behind the counter), time-consuming and frustrating for both parties in the long run.  Sorry to keep harping on your points, it's not my intention to annoy you to death.  But having worked now many years in jobs with high customer contact I've concluded that the swiftest, easiest and definitely most pragmatic thing to do is ask if they, or someone else there speaks English.  If there's really no one on hand then the prepared statement will get you a ways, but might not be enough to finish the job... I was lucky in that I had generous access to native German speakers who could help me with stuff as I worked my way up to conversational.  That being said, I made bounds and strides precisely in sink or swim situations, but with the positions reversed--my colleagues and customers had to put up with my shitty German and not the other way around.  The post, a busy bar, a busy bus driver etc are not language schools, places to "practice."  I know you're not suggesting that, I just wanted to mention it more generally.

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On 1.12.2018, 18:47:30, carmenvarga said:

Good evening,

 

I was in a bit of a weird situation this morning and I'd like to ask for your thoughts.

 

I went to a Deutsche Post Filiale that had this lotto stuff and was more of a shop that the regular post office. I got one air-bubble little envelope that I wanted to send to the US. I get to the counter and the clerk immediately starts marking it and says ok, done. I'm like, could I have a receipt for that? He gets annoyed at this point and issues the receipt. I get outside of the shop and after 2 minutes I realize the receipt is only for the stamps, not the actual sending. I also remember that he didn't put any 'By air' sign on the envelope... So I go back to the shop (after literally 4 minutes) and ask him for the sending number or any proof that the envelope will be sent. He gets super annoyed and basically starts screaming at me. My German is not that good, so I apologize for not understanding how things work. He says it's not his job to ask me how I want to send a letter and I should have said if I want a sending number or 'by air/priority' sign on it. I then ask him to have my envelope back. He says that is impossible, it's already in their box and he can't take it out - even though I see it's an open box. 

 

At this point I'm not sure if my envelope will arrive and when. I have no sending number, no receipt, nothing!

 

Anybody has previous experience with how long it takes for an envelope to arrive to the US - without 'priority/by air' and in December?

 

Also, have I done anything wrong, was my behaviour that out of place that I deserve to be screamed at? 

 

Thank you so much for your attention!

 

 

 

 

German Post do offer a service called "Einschreiben" where you can track your letters. They even offer one where you get a little postcard back informing you that it has been delivered. (Einschreiben Rückschein)

In the future if you have any important documents to send you should use this. You can also track it. I have used it several times within Germany (and sending letters abroad too) to send important documents and it is a very handy service. The link below is in German but has very useful information.

 

https://www.deutschepost.de/de/e/einschreiben.html

 

I often do not bother using it unless it is like really important documents. My christmas cards normally take 2-3 weeks to reach the USA/Canada. That is normal letter size.

 

A4 can take a bit longer, sometimes up to 4 weeks. It really depends.

 

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On ‎12‎/‎3‎/‎2018‎ ‎4‎:‎21‎:‎22‎, dessa_dangerous said:

@Buzznut3000 Five minutes is really long time, did you call the police?  What did he yell at you?

Apparently we were extreme assholes for interrupting his very important texting.

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