Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Going Postal

One of the downsides to living in Alaska is dealing with the many retailers that think our state is located just east of Egypt. If I try to purchase something off the internet or over the phone or through the mail, they either refuse to fill the order or they tack on extra shipping and handling charges to cover, what? Customs inspection? Foreign taxes? I hate to break it to them, but Alaska is part of the United States and, last time I checked, the USPS bases its prices on weight rather than distance.

Even if they did start charging by the mile, it's a shorter flight from Seattle to Anchorage than, say, Los Angeles to Virginia. So why do I have to pay an extra shipping fee? And just what special handling charges does my purchase require over someone who lives in Minnesota? They're pulling the t-shirt off the shelf. They're sticking it in a padded envelope. They're slapping a mailing label on it and throwing it in the mailbox. How exactly is that different from any other order?

I submit that my order is actually faster to process simply because it takes less time to type A-L-A-S-K-A than it does to key in N-O-R-T-H C-A-R-O-L-I-N-A. And don't tell me it's because they use FedEx or UPS, because guess what? The FedEx and UPS hubs are located in . . . wait for it . . . Anchorage, ALASKA. That's right, people. We've got hangars larger than the state of Rhode Island sitting up here, through which FedEx and UPS filter their millions of packages. Yet I continue to hear from sales reps, "Oh, dear, we can't ship to Alaska," or the even more irritating, "Oh, my gravy, Alaska? That's going to cost you extra."

If you're thinking, Good grief, Kim, shut up and pay your lousy $6.99 shipping and handling, I recently went to order a beaded curtain for my daughter's closet door—I believe it cost $13 and weighed less than a feather—and they wanted to charge me $30 for shipping! THIRTY! DOLLARS! Because I live in the foreign country of Alaska that is accessible only by dog sled. Except I live in a perfectly modern state, which is considered an actual component of America, that can be reached by all forms of transportation, including but not limited to plane, truck, and barge. Can you access Nevada by barge? I didn't think so.

Long rant short . . . I didn't get the beaded curtain, but I'll show you tomorrow what I did put up over the closet entry, along with all the other stuff we did to change my craft room into a preteen's bedroom.

Dinner last night: mac and cheese, green beans


Katherine said...

It's always the S&H that gets you in the end. I guess I hadn't thought about shipping to Alaska. I wonder if it's similar for people in Hawaii.

Quadmama said...

Bogus! I try to only order from sites when I can get free shipping. I wanted to order something last week that cost $25. The shipping was $17. Now why would I nearly double my bill with shipping? I knew shipping to Alaska cost more but never knew why...sounds like there's not really a great answer.

Unknown said...

Stupid people irritate me. That would send me over the edge.

Helene said...

Are you kidding me?? They actually expected you to pay more for S & H than you would for the darn curtain? That's nuts!!! I don't understand why it would cost more to ship to Alaska...the points you make are valid for sure!

In other news, I can't wait to see what you used in place of the curtain. My big twins don't have a closet door and I've been wracking my brain trying to think of something!

Scribbit said...

Oh you've touched on a subject that sets me off too--I get so furious about it!

Karen M. Peterson said...

I've never thought about people charging more to go to Alaska. That's ridiculous!

Shipping is a total rip off anyway. I almost never order anything online if I have to pay for shipping.

Liz Mays said...

That's just ridiculous! I suppose Hawaii fights the same battles!