Category Archives: Mail Service and Shipping in Mexico

Third Times the Charm–Shipping Packages and Mexico

Shipping to and within Mexico has always been a walk on the wild side, but our latest experience really takes the cake. Remember how several months ago I was finally able to set up a teen account for my son through Capital One 360? Everything seemed fine. His debit card arrived at my friend’s house (our US shipping address) and she dropped it in the mail specifying International Priority. We waited. And waited. And waited some more. Two months later, it still had not arrived.

My son called Capital One and requested a second card, which arrived in Tennessee in about a week. Since my new bank card was due to arrive any day now, we waited on sending out the package. This time, my friend and I decided to give Fed-ex a try. Fed-ex has a Dollar General service there where you can drop off a package at Dollar General and it will get picked up by a Fed-ex courier. The website doesn’t specify that only certain Dollar General stores accept international packages. So finding a store was a little more difficult than heading to the one down the street from my friend’s house, but the mission was accomplished. I received an email from Fed-ex saying the package had been picked up and was en route to its destination. 

Meanwhile, back in Mexico, I ordered a new headset for my online classes from Amazon but was seriously disappointed with the quality of the microphone for what I paid for it. I wrote a negative review warning other potential buyers to stay away from this model and requested a refund. Amazon sent me the shipping labels all ready to print out. Of course, I had to download them to a USB stick and go to town to print out the forms. The woman at the papeleria printed everything out, however the bar code was enormous. It was literally the size of the sheet of paper. DHL would have to get out the BIG scanner to boop that code. So I tried again. I resized all the images so they would print out on three pages, then headed out to another papeleria. Success! 

I followed the directions for which documents to attach where, and which to include in the package. Then I went to the local DHL office to drop off the goods. It was quick and painless, well, besides the three separate trips to town. A few days later I received my refund from Amazon and ordered a different headset, which ought to be here later this month. 

When I got home from the trip to DHL, I thought I’d check the status of the bank cards through the Fed-ex tracking number. The package hadn’t left Tennessee yet. Well, that wasn’t a problem. Then I looked again. The shipping address was Moroleon, GT GT. That didn’t seem right. It should have read Moroleon, GTO MX. I called my friend who called Fed-ex. Yep. It was being routed to Guatemala. OMG! NO! 

The Fed-ex representative assured my friend that since it was still in Tennessee, it could be returned to her and she could reship it. The address on the package was correct. It seemed that the guy who booped the package with his scanner coded it incorrectly. Whew! Crisis averted.

The next day I checked the status of the package and saw that overnight it had gone to Miami. WHAT? I called my friend again. Her husband called Fed-ex and was directed to the International department. There he had an unproductive conversation with a representative named Manuel. There was no stopping the package now. It was flying to Guatemala whether it should be sent there or not. 

So daily I checked the status and saw its successful arrival in Guatemala City. Surely now the package could be returned, I thought. But, it sat there, languishing, for several days. I tried calling Fed-ex. They referred me to the International department where I talked to a woman who told me to call later since she didn’t have access to any information about the package. 

The next day, I called the International department again. This time, the computer spewed out the information that the package had gone through customs in Guatemala. The man took my contact and shipping information and said that it might be redirected to Mexico or it might be returned to Tennessee, he wasn’t sure which option he could arrange. I felt like some progress had been made with this phone call and waited anxiously for a confirmation email. I waited in vain.

I called the International department a third time. Another representative said that I needed a Fedex account number in order to have the package returned to the sender. The account number had to be created in the United State, not Mexico. Then with that number, I could call again and they could return the package.

My friend who shipped the package called Fedex the next day. I’m not sure exactly what was said, but no progress was made. So she went to the Fedex office because she wasn’t able to get a Fedex account number online. The person working there was able to set that up. She left and called Fedex again. The package was being redirected to Canada, so she went back to the Fedex office a second time. This time, she waited there until everything went through. A new tracking number was issued. 

Meanwhile, I canceled my bank card and requested a new one. My card was declined at Amazon and if I were to risk it, probably be eaten by the ATM machine because the expiration date is this month. So, I was effectively without bank access for the time being. Ironically, the bank was sending my new card to my US mailing address via Fedex.

The package in Guatemala was still vital since it had my son’s second issued bank card and a book I wanted to read. I should have listened to my gut initially and had my card and my son’s card shipped separately. If we had at least one working card between us, we’d be fine since our accounts are linked. 

The next morning, I anxiously checked the status of the rogue package. Now it was in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. WHAT? Ok. I thought maybe it was making its way to Mexico via Honduras. Then again, maybe TN for Tennessee had been coded for HN Honduras. I decided another call was in order.

This representative put me on hold while he checked into stuff. When he came back he said that the package was currently in Miami. I asked where it was headed. He said he couldn’t tell me. So my friend called Fedex from her end. Her representative said the package was being sent to Mexico via Honduras. Ok then.

That evening, the package arrived in Memphis, Tennessee. I had high hopes that it was just being returned to the sender, but that was false hope. Later that morning, the package was in Toluca, Mexico. I still couldn’t verify that it was actually being delivered to me and not just taking another random journey. 

I checked the status periodically throughout the day. It languished in Toluca for about 24 hours. Then the status changed to “departed Cuautitlan Izcalli, EM (Estado de Mexico).” Its destination was unclear.

Eventually, the package status changed to Morelia, MI. Morelia is about 50 minutes from here. So it was going in the right direction anyway. Four hours later, it was finally delivered to my sister-in-law. She sent me a message and I scurried over there to pick it up.

Meanwhile, my friend received a $26 bill from Guatemalan customs. UGH! She was also charged the full shipping price for the package a second time, even though it was Fed-ex’s fault it got sent to the wrong country. Then she got a Mexican customs bill. 

We both put in a claim for reimbursement for that. Fed-ex had slapped a new label over the old one. Careful peeling revealed “missort” which I took pictures of to help facilitate the claim. To date, we are still waiting on the results of the claim. At least one of the shipping destinations should be discounted, in my opinion.

Since I had already requested a new bank card, the card that was in this wayward package could not be activated. That meant a trip to the DHL office for my friend and another international shipment. My son’s card was all well and good and he finished the process for setting up his bank account that we began four months ago.

The DHL experience was completely different, although there were a few moments of panic at the end. DHL sent me a text as soon as they scanned the package with an estimated delivery date. They sent me another text when that delivery date changed, three days earlier than the estimate. 

I double checked online on the new delivery date using the tracking number to see the status of the package and saw it had been delivered and signed for by an unknown person. PANIC PANIC! My sister-in-law who normally signs for the package wasn’t answering her phone. I sent my husband rushing to her house to see what was going on. The package was there, thank goodness! My nephew had signed for it because my sister-in-law had gone to the store. Probably his signature was illegible and the driver imputed his own name. 

Whew! I had no problems activating my card online and am happy to see that I won’t need to go through this procedure again (barring lost or stolen cards) until 2025.

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Early Black Friday Shopping Deals 2020 That You Can Take Advantage of from Mexico

Although I ventured out during the extended Buen Fin here in Mexico, my Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping will be entirely online. Yes, Black Friday is still a few days away. However, I thought I’d share some Black Friday deals that start NOW. 

Herbal Academy

Get your favorite herbalist a gift from Herbal Academy. Herbal Academy Goods Shop products are 20% off with coupon code GIVETWENTY now until November 30. Textbook sets are excluded.

My favorite item in the store is the Self-Care Journal, because we all need a bit more of that this year! Herbal Academy ships internationally, but has been experiencing some delays in shipping because of the COVID-19 situation, so order early!

If you are looking for something to fill the quarantine hours, Herbal Academy is an excellent option for online classes as well. First time registrations to The Herbarium are just $34.99 (no coupon needed) also until November 30. 

Amazon

Amazon is another place that you can get your Black Friday deals now. Not everything featured in the deals section ships to Mexico, but it makes a great place to start if you are sending gifts this year rather than doing in-person festivities.

Amazon Mexico is also having some Black Friday sales. Recently I saw that you can purchase on Amazon Mexico and pay at OXXO. Imagine that!

For Reading Addicts

Are you a book lover? Do you have a book lover on your gift list? Then be sure to take a look at what For Reading Addicts has to offer. From coffee mugs to shower curtains, show your love for books with any one of these amazing products! There’s even a Christmas themed section to put you in the holiday spirit. Some products are made-to-order, so order early.

EyeBuyDirect

I just ordered my son and I new glasses last week through EyeBuyDirect. I love that I can pay using Amazon Pay. They are offering an early Black Friday sale. Buy 1 get 1 free + 20% discount with the code SNEAKPEEK. You can also get $10 off your first order with the code IFJBT2LGL1. Not only are there some gorgeous frames on sale but you can get Ray-Ban & Oakley glasses for 30% off frames and 70% off lenses with the code GIFT4U.

Zulily 

Zulily has reasonable shipping rates to Mexico. Shoes, clothing, bedding, toys, Christmas decor and more available at discounted prices. I absolutely love to get my puzzles from Zulily. They’ve certainly been a lifesaver this year with the extended quarantine. The selection available changes daily, so it’s worth spending a few days checking out what they’ve got. 

C.E. Flores

Last, but not least, I’m offering my own early Black Friday deals. 

A Woman’s Survival Guide to Disasters in Rural Mexico: A Framework for Empowered Living Through Crisis and Book Building: A Beginner’s Guide to Crafting Your Book are just 99 cents if you get them today. That is 81% off their regular price. Over the next few days, the price will go up just a little bit until they return to their regular price on November 30. 

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Filed under Economics, Mail Service and Shipping in Mexico

Surround Sound in the Quarantine Home Gym

One of my goals way back in January was to lose some weight this year. Age and hypothyroidism mean I’ve packed on a few more pounds than I am comfortable with. Then quarantine happened, and that regular exercise routine never really took off as I would have liked. 

I had a bonus assignment at work and decided that I would use that money to get an exercise bike. With shootings, rough roads and rainy season, I haven’t been biking like I had before. So I figured a stationary bike would be just the ticket to burn some calories. 

Shopping during quarantine was not easy. On one grocery store run at the Bodega, I found a bike that I was interested in at a price I was happy with. Of course, when we went back to get it, they were out of stock. I also tried all the empena (pawn) shops in town. I did find one, but it was in such a sorry state that I had to pass. My sister-in-law said they had treadmills at Coppel, but I didn’t want one of those. 

On the way to the bank one day, we saw a weight machine in a storefront window. I copied the phone number down and had my husband call to ask about the price. The owner was willing to give us a deal, only $25,000 pesos and it was ours. Sorry, Charlie. Not going to happen. 

Having exhausted the local options, I tried searching online. Amazon had just the one I wanted, but it would cost just as much to ship it as it would to purchase it. I checked Amazon Mexico for comparative purposes. The cheapest on that site was $50,000 pesos. I could buy a lot in La Yacata for less than that! 

I put the bike idea on the back burner for just a bit. Then thought about it some more. I had already earmarked that extra check for this purchase and it would cover the cost of the bike and shipping from the U.S. So I bought it from Amazon, only to be informed that it was on back-order and they weren’t exactly sure when they would get a new shipment in. Well, drat! I guess everybody else was trying to get their home gyms set up, too!

In the meantime, I ordered some speakers for the computer. We have a tentative plan to try and get my son his U.S. GED since they are offering it online due to COVID-19. In order to take the exam, he needed a microphone, camera, and speakers–a headset wasn’t allowed. So those were purchased. He’s still working his way through the GED practice lessons, but I’m hopeful he’ll be ready to take the exam by the end of September. 

Finally, Amazon sent me a notification that my exercise bike had shipped. It arrived two weeks later, which was two months after I ordered it, but hey, better late than never, right? I have all my Amazon shipments go to my sister-in-law’s house, since we don’t have an address here in La Yacata. From there, my husband strapped it on the back of his moto and brought it home. 

My son, Fuzz, and I spent the afternoon putting it together. It took some doing as the instruction manual was poorly translated, but we managed. It’s exactly what I wanted. With the speakers, I can pedal away the pounds to the beat of some of my favorite tunes, or at least what I imagine is happening. I haven’t actually lost any weight yet, but hope springs eternal!

How are you staying fit while staying at home?

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Filed under Health, Mail Service and Shipping in Mexico