I had to go to AirBox Express today to pickup my mail. What a difference I found. Everything was organized! The phone was not ringing off the wall and not being answered. There were three people there, two permanent staff of David and a representative from Panama City who was doing training.
I must say I was impressed and feel that the changes are going to have a very positive effect. Since I had complained in the past, I felt that I should report that the complaints have been heard and are being acted upon.
Since I opened an account with Multiservicios De Chiriquí as a mail agent, to receive my mail from the US, I thought I would do another post to tell you where it is. If you are on the InterAmerican Highway, going toward the Frontera, you turn left at the Shell Gas station diagonal to Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Stay in the right lane and go all the way to the end and you will have to turn right. On your right, across from Romero’s, you will see the following sign. The office on the corner is for Multiservicios Internacionales De Chiriquí.
Inside you will be greeted by either Gabriela (on the left) or Ariadna (on the right). Both speak excellent English.
On my last visit, I asked about the delivery schedule. They normally have space on a flight from Florida on Wednesday of each week. Mail leaving on Wednesday should be in David on Friday. This means that your normal time to receive mail, from Florida, should be 3 to 10 days, depending on when your mail gets to the Miami location. Other exceptions will be the effect of US and Panamanian holidays.
Don’t forget to tell Gabriela and Ariadna that you saw them on Chiriquí Chatter.
If you move to Panama, you will most likely need to have a mail forwarding provider. I have used AirBox Express, but with Natalia leaving the David office, mail processing has been less than satisfactory. I have talked to AirBox Express and they have said they will address the issues.
In October of 2009, AirBox Express had a problem with its distribution arm in Florida and that resulted in the need to change addresses with the company. That problem caused me several problems with mail being lost during the transition. However, I liked Natalia and I suffered through the transition.
With Natalia going on maternity leave and with my needing to have an address I can depend on for US Federal Tax filing, I decided to stop the current headache and move to another provider that is more convenient to where I live. Whether I have improved my situation, remains to be seen.
I really hate to make changes like this, because I have so many addresses I have to change (credit cards, Amazon, Social Security, etc.). Last Saturday, I started the process.
NOT FUN. However, some good came out of it. When I was going through my needed changes, I came across an account that had changed the way it handled its website and my account had been moved to another provider. I would have known about this change if I had received their notification letter, which went to the dead letter file due to my address being changed at AirBox Express. After about 20 minutes calling the US, I now have a letter coming from that provider. That problem may be solved. Continue reading Mail Forwarding In Panama
Yesterday, I received two more of my orders from the US for my trip. One was the camera bag. While I got the bag for around $65 from Amazon the cost to get it here was another $32 or so dollars. Part of that was the 15% duty and the 7% ITBM.
The camera strap, cost about the same to get here. Part of the problem with dealing with Amazon is that they are extremely careful packing items. Of course, shipping in the US is pretty cheap. Had Amazon packed both items in the same box, it would have reduced my cost by ½. Getting something to Panama winds up being charged by volume weight and lite objects in large boxes have weight charges that are higher than one would expect.
One thing I have found since living here for 8 years is that there are several mail forwarding companies. I don’t care who you use, none will be cheap. The best you can hope for is to find someone you can work with and then get to know them. You want to become a client that they call by name when you walk through the door.
You can always find someone that may be cheaper. From what I have seen it is pretty much six of one and half a dozen of the other. There is not much difference between one and another. The only really difference will come from the relationship you make with them. If you are a jerk in dealing with them, don’t ever expect any considerations if you believe a charge that you think has been excessive. Continue reading Received More Items
Here is an email I just received from Keith Blume, the President of Airbox Express.
Thanks so much for all you do to get the truth out. I thought you would like to know the email we are sending to our clients today. I would appreciate you getting the message out. I’ve also copied Don Winner’s article from yesterday at the bottom of the email.
Thanks for your help.
Latest Airbox News – It’s OK! We’ll reimburse all your expenses
Dear Valued Customer,
It is a pleasure to inform you that the integration process with our new operations center in Miami has been a success. Mail & magazines mailed to P.O. Box 25207, Miami, FL 33102-5207 and packages received at our new address, 7801 NW 37th St. Doral, FL 33166-6503, are being delivered more promptly than ever.
We would like to apologize for any inconvenience if you still have not received packages that were shipped to our previous address (Aeropost). Unfortunately, Aeropost has failed to cooperate with us in facilitating this transition. Our main priority, however, continues to be providing you with excellent service. We are doing everything to resolve this matter as soon as possible. If Aeropost demands payment for the delivery of a package, please proceed to do so. Ask them for an invoice & payment receipt and Airbox Express Aerocasillas will reimburse you 100% for the freight.
We would like to thank you once again for your time and support. To avoid further inconveniences, make sure to direct all your packages to 7801 NW 37th St, Doral, FL 33166-6503
President, Airbox Express Aerocasillas Continue reading Message from the President of Airbox Express
Don Winner has a recent post that pretty well explains the problems that have forced AirBox Express to change providers. Aeropost is now receiving the publicity that it apparently richly deserves in its underhanded dealings with Airbox Express.
I have met Keith Blume, the president of Airbox Express and liked him. I have had good service from Airbox and like the local employees that Airbox employs.
I hope that everyone reads the post that Don Winner has posted. Here is a second post. Anyone that chooses to go with Aeropost will have been forewarned.
I plan on keeping Airbox Express.
I have seen a lot of conversation on the local Yahoo groups about Airbox Express being sold, so I wrote the David office an email.
Here is their response.
Airbox Express is not sold, we only change of representative in Miami, now we going to work with Transexpress and this is the new address only for packages.
#PTY user number
7801 NW 37th St.
Doral, FL 33166-6503
The P.O. Box address is
#PTY user number
P.O Box 25207
Miami, FL 33102-5207
Thanks you for contact us,
I stopped by AirBox and talked to Natalia. She said everyone should have their addresses updated this month to avoid problems. I will change all of my accounts to the new address tomorrow.
Your name and #pty address remains the same. The rest changes.
The other day I needed to send a fax. Typically faxes can be sent by all Internet Cafes. However, I had noticed that a new mail and package office had opened next to the Romero’s in Dolegita next to Casita Rica.
This business is similar to many of the mail forwarding businesses in that you get an address in Florida and mail will be delivered to this office. It is a little different in that it has boxes for rent. I am not sure if there is any benefit to having a box. My service just gets my mail for me when I go into their facility.
This business provides the following services.
Continue reading PAKMAIL
This morning I needed to send a letter that could be tracked on the Internet to the US. If I had not wanted to know when it was received, I would have just used the post office and sent it registered mail. That would have cost me around 80 cents.
However, since I wanted to know when it was delivered, I though I would go with the more expensive spreads. I called AirBox Express who I use to receive mail from the US. For FedEx they quoted $30.40. I knew there as another FedEx closer to me, so I thought I would stop in and compare prices. I was told for FedEx it would be $40 but they would give me a $3 discount and it would be $37.
FedEx is FedEx so I decided to go with my original choice. I thought that maybe when I called, I called Panama City and the rates might have been different, however, Natalia confirmed that FedEx was $30.40. She said they also used Priority Mail with USPS and it would be $20. Still expensive for a letter, but ½ what I would have paid if I only used the other FedEx location.
If you stop in AirBox Express tell Natalia you saw her on Chiriquí Chatter.
A friend sent me a notice that Multiservices International de Chiriquí, S. A. was moving November 1st. I wasn’t familiar with this business and I decided to go by and have a look. It is a mail forwarding service from the US as well as a FedEx agent. Continue reading Multiservicios Internacionales de Chiriquí, S. A.