Lost and Found: More Tales of the South African Postal Service

a Christmas card lost in the South African postal service for two years

I thought I was done with tracking Christmas Cards making their way through the South African Postal Service and writing about it on my blog. But when mail gets returned to you and you look at the date you sent it and then check today's date on the calendar, and what you see makes your eye pop out of your head, then you feel compelled to write another blog post. Enjoy!

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Project Postal Service. Or, What Really WAS in Those Christmas Cards?

testing the South African postal service

I'm sorry that this blog post is quite lengthy, but there really wasn't a good way to break it into two parts. Brief back story: As some of you know, I recently decided to conduct an experiment - Was the South African postal service (SAPO) really as bad as my experience suggested, or was I unfairly biased against it? How would it compare to other postal services around the world?

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The Yearlong Quest of a Christmas Card

testing the South African postal service with a Christmas card experiment

I am starting an experiment to see how long it will take for this year's Christmas cards to arrive in South Africa compared to other countries. I have repeatedly had issues with the South African Postal Service "losing" mail, and it is notoriously slow when packages DO arrive. A reader had accused me of being unfair and lacking "hard facts." With this test I will soon have some hard facts.

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Can you Forward your Mail from South Africa?

Conversation at the Post Office in South Africa: "I'd like to redirect our mail internationally from South Africa." "That's not possible." "It's not?" "No, it's not. No-one in South Africa has ever moved abroad, so no-one has ever needed to do that." There you go. Such simple logic. As much bureaucracy there is when you move TO South Africa, it's very easy in reverse.

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Mail Delivery South African Style

It's tiring to have to work so hard at everyday occurrences such as getting your mail. It's hard to imagine a thriving mail-order economy without better mail service. One that sends out notifications for package delivery. Where entire shipments don't disappear like this was the Bermuda Triangle. And where overseas credit card statements don't get intercepted by a Nigerian "prince."

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