Issues with the Argentine Postal Service

5 Jun

I’m always wary of receiving mail here in South America because, let’s face it, you have to be kind of lucky to actually receive or expect your mail to be received by someone you sent it to. I’d say you take a 50/50 chance anytime you send something, though the more you pay to send it, certify it, etc, will definitely increase your chances. Of course, that doesn’t always mean it will get there. I was lucky in Ecuador in that my parents sent me a couple of packages and letters and though they arrived slowly, they did in fact make it in one piece.

In Argentina, I haven’t had as much success. A letter containing money and a new credit card never made it to me back in January, mysteriously slipping through the cracks. A couple of letters have made it to me, and just this week I received a new copy of my birth certificate and the Hague Apostille for my DNI application. I was surprised to get an email from my old roommate who I haven’t talked to in 5 months, or since the day I moved out. She said mail for me recently arrived and to come pick it up at her new apartment.

Both letters were from Syracuse University. One was dated from March saying that I wasn’t accepted but placed on the wait list. The other was a package saying I had been accepted, dated from April. They just arrived this week. Luckily I sent an email to the school to find out the decision back in March.

But something else has gone missing now. A package sent from my parents apparently arrived in Buenos Aires over a week ago but has not arrived yet. This is mostly disturbing because I’m moving soon, and don’t want the package to arrive days after I’ve left. The box doesn’t even have valuables in it, just a t-shirt, some bottles of hot sauce and a grammar book. So I can’t imagine why a postal employee would want to steal anything, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s long gone. In the future, just to take the possibility of theft out of the hands of the postal workers, I’d say it’s probably better to just pay extra and ship things through DHL, UPS, or FedEx. Businesses do it for a reason.

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2 Responses to “Issues with the Argentine Postal Service”

  1. jontyjago June 6, 2010 at 12:25 pm #

    This is so true! It’s just so hit and miss, it’s just not worth bothering with. The other side of the dear old Correo is also trying to send stuff. When I was travelling, I tried to mail some clothes I wasn’t wearing much back to Europe and was treated like I was trying to post a bomb to Cristina herself.

    Sending used clothes (as opposed to new) is illegal in Argentina, unless they have been professionally fumigated and inspected by Customs.

    I didn’t bother in the end.

    • Jon June 6, 2010 at 6:46 pm #

      Thanks for sharing that. I didn’t know that it’s illegal to mail old clothes, which I’ll keep in mind in the event that I ever want to send something home. I wonder if that’s the reason my package hasn’t arrived, since there was a shirt in it.

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