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Missing mail
Old 08-12-2016, 05:30 AM   #1
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Missing mail

I ordered a small item online, and when they shipped it they sent me a tracking number. According to the USPS tracking website, it was put in my mailbox, but it was not there.

I reported it to the local post office and their response was "We don't know what happened to it after the carrier put it in your mailbox. It's a mystery."

Now my mailbox is locked (one of those cluster boxes), and if it had been mistakenly put in one of my neighbor's boxes they would have brought it over to me right away -- that has happened several times in the past.

What's the best way to proceed?
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Old 08-12-2016, 05:35 AM   #2
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This has happened to us. Declare to the product seller that you did not receive the item, despite the confirmation. It's still their problem, and they need to either reship or refund the purchase.
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Old 08-12-2016, 05:42 AM   #3
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Check the unlocked boxes, the ones with the keys still in them. Our postman on occasion will put something in the other boxes, but forget to pull the key and put it in our box.
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Old 08-12-2016, 05:45 AM   #4
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I have had this happen twice in the last two months. They both eventually showed up...one of them about two days after it was "delivered" and the second one about a week later.

Just this week, I shipped something out and scheduled the USPS to pick it up at the door. They did pick it up as scheduled, but I didn't get the "confirmed" email that it WAS picked up. The next day, the carrier came BACK to the house looking all around for another shipment...it obviously wasn't there. He got back in his truck and about 2 minutes later, I got an email saying that my package had just been picked up (the one picked up the day prior). So...I think that the carriers don't *actually* have to scan the package, I think they are able to "override" a transaction in the handheld scanner. I think this is a terrible idea and makes fraud and dishonesty all too easy.
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Old 08-12-2016, 05:47 AM   #5
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This has happened to us. Declare to the product seller that you did not receive the item, despite the confirmation. It's still their problem, and they need to either reship or refund the purchase.
+1

Happened to me with a small package that the postal carrier claimed was delivered to my mailbox (rural area). The seller (LLBean) shipped again the same day that I spoke to them about the missing package.
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Old 08-12-2016, 05:54 AM   #6
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As long as you paid with a credit card, you have very good legal protections with regards to this -- and the vendor should know this.

If for some unlikely reason the vendor did not want to correct this, you could open a dispute with your credit card under the category of 'billing error -- did not receive item' and they would like credit your account and back bill the vendor.

-gauss
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Old 08-12-2016, 06:17 AM   #7
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Ultimately, yes the shipper is responsible, but if this was a smaller seller (paypal purchase) then tracking showing delivery will suffice in the event of a dispute as far as paypal is concerned.

As a shipper/seller myself, yes this happens, USPS is far from infallible. Things get marked delivered that are not. Never bother with your local PO on this yourself, you'll get nowhere.

Call the 800 ask usps number. Force thru to a live person and open a case of missing item. This creates a formal case that your local PO has to resolve with the postmaster. They will be able to show actual GPS evidence at the time of the delivery scan - like streetview of where it was at that moment. It could be they are telling the truth, or it could be missing somewhere or on its way back to the shipper. Either you or the shipper can open the claim, but the sooner it happens the best chance of finding it.

I've done this about 6 times in the past 18 months - 5 times i got the package to show up, as the original delivery never happened.
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Old 08-12-2016, 10:01 AM   #8
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For USPS, "Delivered" just means the carrier delivered it somewhere, not necessarily to the address on the box. Just this week our doorbell rang at 10:00 PM. DH went to answer and found it was the neighbor who lives at the same house number one block over holding a USPS priority mail package with our name and address on it. Considering the volume of mail they handle, they are pretty good at getting it to the right place, but they do make mistakes.

I used to do some volunteer work for a website where people mail things to each other. Our USPS liaison recommended that we tell people to always fill out the online form for mail theft when packages went missing. Supposedly, that helps them identify areas where problems occur, even if they're not actually thefts. It's here: https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/c...complaint.aspx

We generally had the best luck finding things that were lost near the sender's Post Office. It's much harder to find something that's been misdelivered.
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Old 08-12-2016, 10:21 AM   #9
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I've had times in the past where USPS showed delivered only to have to package arrive a few days afterwards. This seemed common before their tracking improved. But still can't beat UPS for immediate accuracy.
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Old 08-12-2016, 12:33 PM   #10
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I have had a case where USPS was marked as DELIVERED but the package was not present. I went and spoke to a manager at the local PO.

She checked into it and let me know that the carrier that day was improperly marking the items as delivered while still sorting the mail in the PO.

Basically a training problem with a likely substitute carrier.
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Old 08-12-2016, 03:57 PM   #11
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In my previous home in California, we had clustered locked mailboxes on our street. Everyday, I would receive at least 8 pieces of mail plus junk mail. Then, suddenly there were days when not a single piece of mail were delivered, and I wondered what happened to mail delivery. Found out months later in the newspaper that many people began complaining they were not receiving their mail. Postal service investigators discovered a postal worker was stealing mail and had thousands of opened and unopened mail and packages in his basement collected around thanksgiving and xmas hollidays. How stupid was that?
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Old 08-15-2016, 11:54 AM   #12
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Thanks for all the suggestions. Even another visit to the local PO didn't help. But formally getting the postal inspector involved did. Got my package this afternoon. Turned out it had been delivered to another subdivision about ¼ mile away and just sitting in an unused box over there.

Oh well, all's well that ends well.


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Old 08-15-2016, 02:33 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the suggestions. Even another visit to the local PO didn't help. But formally getting the postal inspector involved did. Got my package this afternoon. Turned out it had been delivered to another subdivision about ¼ mile away and just sitting in an unused box over there.

Oh well, all's well that ends well.
So glad you got your package! I'm amazed that it was ever found. Time for you to celebrate.
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Old 08-15-2016, 02:39 PM   #14
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The shipper had already agreed to send me another, but I was able to get that cancelled in time. The item cost well over $100 so it wasn't a trivial issue.

The postal carrier had a very sheepish look on his face when he handed me the package, but maintained that it had been misdelivered by someone else. Oh well.
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Old 08-15-2016, 03:32 PM   #15
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Thanks for all the suggestions. Even another visit to the local PO didn't help. But formally getting the postal inspector involved did. Got my package this afternoon. Turned out it had been delivered to another subdivision about ¼ mile away and just sitting in an unused box over there.

Oh well, all's well that ends well.


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You really need to ask yourself how the heck this actually happens.

We have had so much trouble with the post office that we are scared to send anything important through the system. I've had other people's prescriptions in my mailbox that were for residents miles away.
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