April 6th, 2011, 06:53 PM
Alt Services U.S. buyer's beware
I like AltServices, and regularly buy from them - the good news. The bad news of late I am told is that shipping from the U.K. via the Royal Mail and USPS option has become erratic. Spent the past few days on the phone with USPS trying to find a set of limbs - ordered a month ago and no luck. FYI, the tracking number supplied by AltServices is a customs number, it cannot be used to "actually" track a package here or there.
USPS said stuff can sit at Customs for up to a month. So, in the event you do buy from the folks at AltServices, and I encourage you to do so, insist on a shipping method which does allow "actually" tracking from start to finish. That's my advice anyway, in the meantime I will be waiting for several layers of governmental folks to do their jobs. My son may outgrow his limbs before he even gets them!
April 6th, 2011, 08:13 PM
The same thing goes for shipping to the UK. Only a customs number, and that isn't trackable either. I've had really good luck with the Royal Mail. Even if you have to wait a full month, it is usually better than the wait you have ordering some items domestically. Recurve wise, we are a third tier market for many American Manufacturers due to the popularity of recurve archery over compound in Europe and Asia. Some may disagree with me on this, but that has been my observation over the years, especially with new product launches.
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April 6th, 2011, 09:25 PM
I seem to have had much more success purchasing second hand recurve equipment from Europe. There are more options available, but then there is the issue with shipping costs. HAven't had any problems (so far) with delayed shipping. 3 weeks seems to be about average.
April 6th, 2011, 09:37 PM
i have been ordering from alt services for years and usually get the stuff faster than if i ordered form the states never had one problem
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April 7th, 2011, 12:09 AM
Same here.....I know when I buy that it may take longer, but I'm OK with that. I've bought from them for years without an issue. 2 orders in last 30 days.
April 7th, 2011, 12:16 AM
I have bought from them for years as well, sometimes getting things quicker than Lancaster. I am just trying to give a head's up that AltServices said they have been having more problems of late with U.S. deliveries being later, sometimes much later than usual.
April 7th, 2011, 12:26 AM
I have had no issues other than the shipping does take a bit longer.
I am not Trad, I just like shooting recurves and longbows.
April 7th, 2011, 04:45 PM
Last time I checked the custom declaration number does work as tracking. You simply enter that number in USPS tracking and the relevant information should show up.
April 7th, 2011, 05:11 PM
Amazing the number of experts here who say what "should" happen, but don't know what does happen. Yes, here the information one gets, first from Royal Mail tracking and then USPS tracking:
Email from AltServices noting:
This is the information provided by Royal Mail
Your item, posted on 28/03/11 with reference LY670697845GB has been passed to the overseas postal service for delivery.
This is the information from the USPS website regarding tracking:
Label/Receipt Number: LY67 0697 845G B
Class: First-Class Mail International
Service(s): International Letter
Status: Origin Post is Preparing Shipment
We have received notice that the originating post is preparing to dispatch this mail piece.
THERE YOU HAVE IT FOLKS, THAT'S ALL THERE IS AND THERE IS NOT ANYMORE. I am sure someone will want to continue to argue about this or that. All I was doing was trying to give those who might have an issue with time being of the essence might want to look at some other shipping options when ordering from AltServices. For those who might be interested you can further Google "tracking from Customs numbers" that it isn't possible from their website either. If a parcel is delayed a notice is sometimes set out noting the parcel is detained. No good deed goes unpunished on this forum. Enjoy, and do whatever you want.
April 7th, 2011, 08:25 PM
Tony, I think I'm a reasonably intelligent person, but I'm really having difficulty understanding what it is you're trying to say. Specifically, if I order an item from Alternative Services and it's MIA, whose responsibility is it to track it down? If it's lost in shipment, am I SOL or does Alternative ship a replacement?
April 7th, 2011, 09:53 PM
That is good question. I sent an email to AltServices inquiring about that issue, haven't heard back. The International USPS agent said something about a claim needing to be filed if it "never" shows up. I couldn't get a solid answer about how long something needed to be missing before it was considered lost either. With the two "tracking" screens from Royal Mail and USPS it doesn't seem clear who might have lost a package, and if a hand-off occurred. We all know how much fun filing a claim can be. Looks like a receipt for a "he said - she said" nightmare with Brit's and Yank's pointing fingers.
April 8th, 2011, 03:07 AM
My tracking number seems fine using the customs delcaration form, no need to get worked up about it. People are just trying to help.
Copy of my tracking info straight from USPS. Numbers omitted for privacy.
Label/Receipt Number: CP71 --- ---US
Class: Priority Mail International Parcels
Service(s): International Parcels
Status: Delivered Abroad
Your item was delivered in FINLAND at 11:35 am on March 18, 2011.
Delivered Abroad, March 18, 2011, 11:35 am, FINLAND
Attempted Delivery Abroad, March 16, 2011, 11:46 pm, FINLAND
Out of Foreign Customs, March 16, 2011, 7:15 am, FINLAND
Into Foreign Customs, March 16, 2011, 7:08 am, FINLAND
Arrived Abroad, March 16, 2011, 7:08 am, FINLAND
International Dispatch, March 13, 2011, 10:12 am, ISC SAN FRANCISCO (USPS)
Acceptance, March 10, 2011, 3:51 pm, BERKELEY, CA 94704
April 10th, 2011, 05:21 AM
x2 I have not had any problems for the pass two years, just asking which method of shipping do you choose, because usually you have 3 option of shipping, but if I'm not mistaken any order above $60 will be shipped by Royal Mail Airsure which will cost a little bit more. So far it will take 9~12 days for item to be deliverd right in front of my door as I always used only this method.
Originally Posted by deadeyedickwc
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April 10th, 2011, 08:00 AM
I have ordered lots from ALT. Only once I had a problem around Christmas time. It was just a small order. And after month or so , not receiving the order. I emailed
them and they shipped out a replacement order right away. 7 days it was at my doorstep..
April 10th, 2011, 04:43 PM
I use Alt Services regularly and I have to say that the once rapid post of 4 to 6 days of last year and before are long gone. I believe it is a Royal Mail problem. The only sure way of tracking your parcel is to use Parcel Force (one of Alt Services postal options). Only problem is that it is many times the cost of Royal Mail signed for. Almost as bad as US Intenational mail charges.