Today, we had two international shipments returned to us, because the US Postal Service, in its infinite wisdom (and presumably in an effort to increase revenues) has decided that not only should the 4-pound limit for international priority mail shipments in flat rate envelopes apply (we’re a-okay with that), but that they also must now be completely flat, which means, effectively, we can no longer ship books in flat-rate envelopes. International media mail, of course, was discontinued long ago; as was the economy (ocean) parcel service. Meaning that the only option we’d have for shipping internationally at this point would be Airmail parcel service, which would cost more than our books cost, which is just not an option.
To make a long story short, we’re forced to discontinue international delivery of our titles. We urge international customers to check out their regional Amazon site or other online retailer: all our titles on Amazon.ca, all our titles on Amazon.co.uk, all our titles on Amazon.de, all our titles on Amazon.fr, and if somebody would assist me with doing the ISBN search on the Japanese Amazon site, I can link to that as well.
The only slightly satisfying part about this whole mess is that in its pettiness, the US Postal Service has just cost itself at least $2000 a year that they were earning from us in international shipments–so much for increasing its revenues.
And because I’m slightly evil: My local post office supervisors are called Christine and Baldeesh. Their phone number is +1-916-227-6521. The generic complaint phone number for the US Postal Service is: 1-800-275-8777. The online complaint form is here. The applicable regulation is on this page–the part where it says you can’t include a bulky item (in this case books) to create a small box shape, even if the items otherwise fit the dimension and weight restrictions. The snailmail address for complaints is: Consumer Advocate, USPS, 475 L’Enfant Plaza SW, Washington, DC 20260-2200, USA.