The Post Office Lost My Package

November 8, 2007 at 3:19 AM 46 comments

Up until now I’ve been using the U.S. post office to ship all of my eBay packages. I bought a cheap postal scale from eBay and I’ve been using it in combination with PayPal to ship packages without having to wait in line. So far I’ve shipped about 10 items this way.

But last week I received an email from an eBay buyer who never received the item she purchased. I logged into my PayPal account, typed in the delivery confirmation number, and sure enough found that the item had not arrived. I asked the buyer to wait a couple more days, but when the status didn’t change I called the post office to find out what happened.

First, I called the 1-800 number and was informed by a very pleasant postal employee that my package had “fallen off the grid.” He asked me all sorts of questions, which lead me to describe what was in the envelope, how much the item was worth, where the package was going, and what the package looked like. Then he informed me that I’d receive a call from my local post office after they spent some time researching the issue.

An hour later I received a call from another very nice postal worker who informed me that the package had left my local post office and was never seen again. By the way, this is essentially what I found when I typed the tracking number into usps.com. She asked me to try to track the package myself by calling the post office corresponding to the buyer’s address. I was a bit surprised that the post office would ask me to call another post office. I assumed that one postal worker would call another to find the package, but when I mentioned this to the postal worker she just laughed. The woman directed me back to the 1-800 number, rather than provide the number to the post office I needed to contact.

So I called the 1-800 number and received the phone number of the post office where the package should have been delivered. The postal worker entered the tracking number I gave him and said “yup it never got here.” I asked if he could look around the post office to see if it had gotten stuck in the wrong bin or something. He laughed and said if the computer says it never got here than it never got here. He then gave me the number of a claims department. I called and the number rang and rang. No one picked up and I couldn’t leave a voice mail. I tried calling for three days.

Today I gave up. Because the item wasn’t insured the post office wouldn’t allow me to file a claim. Even if they won’t give me the value of the item, I assumed they would give me a refund the price of shipping. Nope. No such luck. So I refunded the eBay buyer the full amount and sucked up the loss of the item and the shipping.

Next time. I think I’ll ship UPS.

Entry filed under: frustration. Tags: .

A Follow Up: Use What You Own & Buy What You’ll Use Does My Generation Care About Quality Goods?

46 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Anonymous  |  November 8, 2007 at 10:24 AM

    Did you offer insurance? If so, then by not taking it then the loss here is really on the buyer – you have proof that you did your part.

    Reply
  • 2. Anonymous  |  November 8, 2007 at 1:23 PM

    Unfortunately, that is one of the risks of being in the e-bay business, or any business where you ship goods.

    Reply
  • 3. Anonymous  |  November 8, 2007 at 5:21 PM

    Always offer the option of insurance and if the buyer declines it, specify it is THEIR loss and NOT yours.

    Reply
  • 4. Mrs. Nichole Jordan  |  November 8, 2007 at 7:08 PM

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    Reply
  • 5. One Frugal Girl  |  November 8, 2007 at 7:16 PM

    Thanks for the tip about offering insurance. I’ll be certain to do that the next time I sell an item on eBay.

    Reply
  • 6. Kimberly  |  November 8, 2007 at 7:38 PM

    That’s a bummer.. sorry that happened to you… I’m not 100% but I think even if you have insurance in order to receive your claim you have to show receipts, etc of the item shipped.

    A postal worker told me that years ago… He said insurance was really worthless if you don’t have all the proof you bought item, like store receipts and such…

    Again, not 100% sure… over the years that’s just stuck with me so I never buy insurance…

    Reply
  • 7. Anonymous  |  November 9, 2007 at 5:41 AM

    I think you did the right thing. Having insurance would have been nice but since you didn’t have it, refunding the customer was the classy thing to do. Now, you have a satisfied ebay customer that may come back to purchase from you again. Karma, baby! One good deed leads to others!

    Jerry
    http://www.leads4insurance.com

    Reply
  • 8. Beyond the Consumer  |  November 16, 2007 at 8:56 PM

    So…you call USPS several times, try to track your lost package, for which they make you do all the work. They verify that yes, they took your money and lost your package. They laugh at you when you suggest they do something about it other than type on a keyboard. Finally, they refuse to refund the charges for a service that they admit they failed to provide.

    Maybe you should work for USPS. It appears it is open season there to steal any uninsured package and then laugh at the customer when they dare complain about it. Packages don’t just disappear. SOMEONE has it. Maybe the same guy whose brain didn’t extend beyond his computer screen.

    After all, unless you pay them extra (insurance), they apparently can’t be expected to actually perform whatever service you paid for.

    Reply
  • 9. Anonymous  |  December 30, 2007 at 1:37 AM

    In my opinion any postal or ups worker caught stealing a package,letter of any kind should be fired on the spot.They should also work hard to make certain that packages are delivered as they should be to the right person. There are those of us who work hard and or save our money to buy the things that we need and want.We should not have to deal with this sort of problem. I ordered boots off ebay in the beginning of December.Seller communicated to me that package was shipped same week 2 day priority! I understand that mail was backed up due to holidays but here it is almost a new year and 1 month later and still no boots.Seller didnt pay for tracking number so I have no way of tracking item and must wait and hope that its late but in route or was shipped back to sender ,so that she can resenmd to me the buyer! I will not buy from any more sellers who dont offer trackign number and except paypal,because at least with pay pal I can get a refund for an item not received!

    Reply
  • 10. Anonymous  |  January 11, 2008 at 1:02 AM

    First off its a felony for anyone to steal anyones mail, so if a person/post office worker was caught, they would be screwed for life!

    2nd, the problem is, the seller has to get the insurance, if the package never gets there and the idiot buyer didn’t get insurance, guess what? The seller still has to refund the buyer the full amount because they never got the package! This is why as a seller you should always require insurance and and as a buyer, you should always get insurance.

    If you think the buyer is responsible because they didn’t purchase insurance, think again, because if they file a claim with PayPal, PayPal will side with the buyer, not you.

    So keep yourself safe, and don’t listen to idiots who don’t know what they are talking about when it comes to insurance.

    Reply
  • 11. collegeboi11  |  January 22, 2008 at 3:18 PM

    I feel your pain. I ordered four books for my college classes from Amazon. They told me that it would take 4-14 days for the books to be delivered. Well I got three of them almost right away, 6 days as a matter of fact, but the other one I never got. Amazon said that at the longest it would take 21 to be delivered and well now it’s been 22. I called the post office today and they said that they received it and delivered it. I told them that i didnt get anything and they were like “we put in your apartment box. I told them that i live in a house, not an apartment. The guy put me on hold while he went to see what was going on. I am on a prepaid phone so he was sucking out my minutes like crazy. Then he came back and told me that they put it right inside my screen door,and i proceded to tell him that i don’t have a screen door. He puts me on hold for ever again and goes to see what happened. When he comes back he says that if the package was to big, that they put a notice in my mailbox to go pick it up. First of all the book was the same size as all the other ones i recieved and they got there ok. Second of all this asshole just finished telling me that they fucking left my book outside “my door” which indeed was not my fucking door. Does anyone know if they refund lost packages that you paid for?

    Reply
  • 12. Anonymous  |  February 2, 2008 at 1:03 AM

    I know just what you’re talking about. I was supposed to receive a package the other day and it was scanned as delivered, but I never received it. Someone from my local post office called me back and said that the delivery person definitely delivered it to my mailbox, obviously the delivery person would say that. So all they said now is just write a letter to the manager and tell them what happened, which really means that I’m never going to get my package, I’ll never get my money back and someone gained from my loss.

    Reply
  • 13. Anonymous  |  April 19, 2008 at 4:15 AM

    I shipped a 46 lb. box of books at the “media mail” rate to my new residence. I was told 6-8 days, and it arrived today, nearly 3 weeks later.

    But get this, the box now weighs 17 lbs. and has less than half of the books I packed in it. On top of that, it has a small package addressed to someone else also IN the box!!

    So, someone at the post office opened my box, took more than half my books out, put someone else’s mail in my box, taped it up and delivered it to me. I’m livid and don’t even know how to deal with these maniacs.

    Reply
  • 14. Anonymous  |  May 27, 2008 at 5:30 PM

    WELL I HAVE HAD IT WITH THE FLIPPIN USPS….I TOOK A PACKAGE IN TO THE HIGHLAND PO AND JUST THE SHIPPING CHARGES ALONE WERE 33.00….LIKE A DUMMY I DIDNT GET INSURANCE…(DIDNT KNOW ANY BETTER) THEY DIDNT OFFER SO I DIDNT ASK…ANYWAYS TO MAKE THIS SHORT….I HAD TO REFUND THE BUYER HIS MONEY BACK…..PLUS LOST MY 33.00 AND MY PACKAGE….IT JUST ISNT RIGHT…

    Reply
  • 15. Anonymous  |  August 25, 2008 at 9:36 PM

    I can completely relate to your story. The USPS is apparently not responsible for losing items…they have a way of never accepting full (or any) responsibility for their mistakes.

    I bought concert tickets from a seller on craigslist, and paid via paypal. The seller sent them with signature confirmation, and I wasn’t home when they were initially delivered, so the mail person left me a note to pick it up. When I went the following day to pick it up, it was no where to be found. I called and went up there for 2 days, and ultimately missed my concert that weekend, which was on a Sunday. The next week, I called again to see about filing a claim, because I figured I had PROOF the post office had the tickets in their possession, and obviously misplaced them…and it seems only fair that the USPS should be responsible for reimbursing me (or anyone for something they lose because of stupid workers).

    Finally, a Post Office supervisor informed me that our mail carrier TOOK my envelope containing my tickets home over the weekend, never took them outta her bag and placed them where she should have for me to pick up…and consequently made me lose over $100 dollars because of her negligence.

    The Post Office told me I can’t even file a claim since it wasn’t insured…which I think is ridiculous. And as others here have said, even if you have an item insured, they most likely won’t give you your money back or pay for what they’ve lost or damaged.

    It isn’t fair. Why should we be accountable for anything wrong we do when a government corporation doesn’t feel the need to be? It’s aggravating!

    Reply
  • 16. Jen  |  October 4, 2008 at 4:41 PM

    Sorry to respond to such an old post, but I was recently on the other end of this situation. I moved a few months before an eBay transaction, and had my old address forwarded to the new one. But the sender used the new one – and my post office sent it back to the OLD one, which makes NO sense – and now it’s gone.

    Either the carrier or the new tenant at my old apartment stole my mail, which is a federal offense. I’m looking into getting someone into serious trouble.

    Reply
  • 17. saszcha  |  October 5, 2008 at 7:42 PM

    is there have a possible that i can still find my package?? the sender was sent in my address but it wasnt correct my postal code. it didnt arrive to my residence yet. in what area do i check? either in my address or in the postal code area that was wrote? coz my address is different from my postal code its not match.. where where in post office do i gonna check my package??

    Reply
  • 18. Anonymous  |  October 24, 2008 at 1:02 PM

    So essentially, if an item has no insurance its okay too loose it or steal it by postal employees? Nice!

    Reply
  • 19. Quillan  |  March 27, 2009 at 5:47 AM

    Paypal claim that they only hold their limited account user monies for 6 months to make sure that all payments are cleared from fraudulant activities. http://www.infyecommercesolution.com/

    Reply
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    Reply
  • 21. mfernandezbenavides  |  October 22, 2009 at 2:31 AM

    This is very funny to me because the same thing happened to me except I insured it but did not track it. They said my package was delivered on so and so date.

    The package was delivered to the wrong address per the recipients route lady.

    I filed a claim and the claim was denied b/c it was delivered. I have to appeal showing proof that the package was lost by the recipients post office.

    So bottomline, next time send it fedex, ups or if you go through the post office 1. track it, insure it, and require signature. These don't cost more than a few dollars extra.

    Marla

    Reply
  • 22. Anonymous  |  January 1, 2010 at 11:44 PM

    My mom sent a package in November & never received it. It was a large box, so It can't just be misplaced. I contacted my local post office, they said it was scanned delivered Nov. 23. I didn't get the box. They also said it had it was scanned Dec. 15. That's strange, first it said delivered in Nov. Now it has been scanned again. I went to local post office, manager asked all these questions, called 800 number several times, nothing. First question is, is it insured? No it isn't. Someone from the post office is playing games & stole it. My mom's friend , who works for a post office said, every time a package is scanned, the scanner has to put in their social security #. They can find out who scanned it delivered & again Dec. 15. Yet, they won't do it. Now my kids didn't get their gifts from my mom. Me or my mom will send through reg. Post office again!

    Reply
  • 23. Anonymous  |  February 26, 2010 at 8:07 PM

    Reading these posts with interest. Sent a package to China via small priority box. Printed the shipping label at home and delivered the package to the post office. Clerk would not sell insurance for small priority box to China. Party never received the package and trace only revealed that a label was printed. Postal Supervisor later told me there was no record of the package being scanned. Filed theft of mail form with postal inspectors but got no help. Net result charge back of $145 by Pay Pal. Expensive lesson and now I will only purchase insurance at post office when I use them. Its the only way you have proof of delivery to post office. Also reluctant to sell internationally unless you can insure for the total cost of item plus shipping=declared value is sum of item price (what duty is paid on) and total cost of shipping.
    Dave

    Reply
  • 24. Anonymous  |  July 8, 2010 at 6:10 AM

    i guess this happens at every USPS location. i bought a package from a seller who lives no more than 2 hours from me. item ships out with tracking #.

    it shows that it was delivered but i never received the package. i was in contact w/ the post office immediately and they checked with the carrier who delivered my route that saturday morning and he says himself that he doesnt remember putting a bubble mailer in my mail box which proves my case because i never got my item!

    but now the retarded post office ppl just give me the well its not insured they are aren't responsible and that its my fault. wtf?!?! this is the 2nd item lost in 6 months and there might be potentially a 3rd item that says it was delivered yesterday but so far nothing!

    i am so freaking pissed…no accountability, no responibility..WTF!!!!

    are there not any more honest ppl left in this world???

    why must we pay the price for something we had no control over! if we want to throw our money away and donate it to charity we can, but this is just not RIGHT!

    Reply
  • 25. Art  |  October 21, 2010 at 5:38 AM

    I know that this issue is old but wow this just happened to me. I get an order from eBay, print the shipping label from home and guess what I get, an email "I never got my package." C'mon, things just don't disappear people steal them and that is not fair. Why is it against the law to open someone's mail and yet the post office opens yours. I think there should be a law that if they lose your package, you get paid the $300 fine that they place. Oh well just take a loss, things happen right.

    Reply
  • 26. Coupons!  |  December 6, 2010 at 4:53 AM

    I'm dealing with the same situation. The problem with insurance and tracking is most of my listings are for $1 – $5 and I do free shipping..since I'm only making a few cents profit anyway, it is too much to pay for insurance and tracking. It shouldn't be an issue in the first place – there should be a list of every package handed to a worker and that worker should be able to account for each letter and package.

    Reply
  • 27. Anna  |  January 15, 2011 at 10:12 AM

    I know this is like years old but I had the same exact thing happen to me! I'm an Ebay seller a very poor single mother @ that. I'm pretty darn ticked off. You are lucky that people had at least called you back. They all just laughed at me and couldn't be bothered. Many hours were spent on the phone trying to locate my package. I paid for the priority shipping online about two weeks ago then took it down to the Post Office to be shipped. Well the tracking number doesn't show any history of it even being received. I refunded my buyer the $40. It's ridiculous. I was trying to find something anything when I came across your blog. I automatically charge insurance on all my items now and no longer do I pay for postage online which makes things more inconvenient and expensive

    Reply
  • 28. Pamela  |  March 19, 2011 at 2:18 PM

    Okay..the original post is dated 2007..but I just happened to have the SAME EXACT THING happen to me last week (march 2011)..I didn't purchase insurance on my package simply because it was just going to the next city over and would have cost me more than the gas money it took to drive it myself. However, when my package was not received 7 days later of course I became worried. I called the origin post office and the post office at the destination and nobody would do anything. It was my problem, not theirs. I always thought the post office was pretty reliable until TODAY…

    Reply
  • 29. Anonymous  |  April 21, 2011 at 9:52 PM

    I buy and sell on eBay. I recently bought 45 hard cover books from an eBay seller, who says she shipped them by media mail – and I believe her from all of our correspondence – on March 27th. It's April 22 and neither her PO nor mine is able to find the package, even though the PO assigned it a tracking tag.

    After reading these posts, I had a thought. When I ship something I sold on eBay, I print out the shipping label from eBay. I tape it to the box and give it to my mail carrier. Much more convenient than standing in line at the PO. But the tracking number only shows that I printed the label, not that I actually mailed it. So no proof that I did. Perhaps that's what's making it so easy for postal workers to "lose" or steal packages. If someone at the PO affixes the postage, they can't say it was never mailed and would hold them more accountable. I think I'll do it that way from now on even if I have to spend a lot more time on shipping.

    Reply
  • 30. Hayley  |  April 26, 2011 at 2:03 PM

    how about this one: i was waiting for a letter from MEDICAL SCHOOL telling me whether or not I was accepted and the post office lost my mail!! i know they lost it because i was also supposed to get a dvd from netflix 3 days ago. no mail for 3 days and the post office has no idea what happened. now i have to have the school re-send my letter to a different address. UNREAL!

    Reply
  • 31. Anonymous  |  May 5, 2011 at 4:06 AM

    I've had TWO Certified Letters sent to me that the Post Office has lost. BOTH letters contained checks.

    So, I stopped using the USPostalService and ONLY use UPS.

    Unfortunately (I've only myself to blame), I had an 18k gold ring to return to a Ruby Lane shop owner. I was tired and in a hurry, arrived at UPS minutes before closing, and was told that because the shop owner's ADDRESS WAS A P.O. BOX, UPS could not deliver my return to her, and had to send it via the Postal Service!

    Not only that, UPS CANNOT SELL INSURANCE OR DELIVERY CONFIRMATION FOR ITEMS ADDRESSED W/ A P.O. BOX ADDRESS!!!

    I wasn't thinking clearly, and had promised the shop owner I'd mail her package that day, and returned a $175 18k gold ring uninsured without delivery confirmation via the US POSTAL SERVICE!!!

    WHAT WAS I THINKING?!?!?! The item never arrived. I am screwed out of $175.00, AND some disgusting evil Postal "Worker" (Thief) is now sporting or has given his gal a lovely 18k gold ring!!!

    NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER MAIL ANYTHING IMPORTANT VIA THE US POSTAL SERVICE!!! NEVER!!!

    If the recipient has only given you a PO Box, either make them give you their street address, or explain via the Ruby Lane or eBay interface that you will take package loss via the USPostal Service to be their responsibility. BEFORE MAILING, make sure Ruby Lane or eBay will be on record for agreeing to this. If they won't, DEMAND a street address.

    The USPost Office is filled at best with unprofessional incompetents and, at worst, outright thieves and plunderers.

    Reply
  • 32. Anonymous  |  May 13, 2011 at 8:06 PM

    I have someone's textbooks!

    I shipped a 44 lb. box of textbooks, many of them from psychology courses, via USPS in March 2011. When I received the box it had only some of my books in it, and many others that were switched in.

    If anyone has had this happen, and/or has found my textbooks, please let me know a few details so we can figure this out. I hope that our textbooks were just switched, but would be happy to simply return the books to their owner, either way.

    I will be keeping an eye on this thread. To contact me, simply comment.

    Reply
  • 33. Anonymous  |  June 3, 2011 at 11:33 PM

    This doesn't really relate to the packages… but the post office lost my grandma's mortgage statement from 4 months ago and she forgot to pay, so she's now 4 months behind and according to here "in danger of losing the only real home she has ever known" ; since she's been on time up till now we have been able to straighten everything out with the loan company but the statement still hasn't come… so someone has a statement that has most of my grandma's loan information on it. swell.

    Reply
  • 34. Anonymous  |  August 17, 2011 at 4:50 AM

    No, what we should do is not use the USPS for anything other than mailing letters of no value. It is insane for any company or organization to take into their possession someone's item and then claim zero responsibility if they loose it. Nobody, or company, is able to do this other than the USPS (right now). UPS has an automatic insurance up to an amount, ($100 i believe) with an option to increase if the item is more valuable. I am going through the same problem and I too had a tracking number on my package. This is absolutely wrong on every level. I don't care if they do offer you insurance or not. If anyone including the USPS agrees to take responsibility for someone else's property whether as a favor or service, they are responsible for returning that property in the same condition they received it. I WILL NOT USE THE USPS FOR ANY FURTHER SHIPMENTS EVEN IF IT SAVES ME MONEY.

    Reply
  • 35. Anonymous  |  September 30, 2011 at 10:05 PM

    Use UPS.

    the post office lost over $3000 worth of my packages this year alone. The USPS is not worth using. Not to mention the large number of item returned to me some of these were international and did not even leave the country. But yet it got returned.

    UPS Lost zero with no returns. Imagine that.

    Reply
  • 36. Anonymous  |  October 25, 2011 at 11:20 PM

    This is all crazy! Every time I have a mail carrier fill in for our regular carrier we lose something. I have talked to five different people at the post office and the 1-800# and have been in to the post office myself twice regarding the latest missing Priority envelope from eBay. It had a tracking # and was scanned but had to have been put into someone else's mailbox because it wasn't put into mine. Post office will not do anything since it says delivered when you type the tracking number in. This has to stop!

    Reply
  • 37. Anonymous  |  November 26, 2011 at 10:29 PM

    Ordered an item on eBay via USPS, never arrived at my PO BOX. Then I ordered another one from a seller within the state, lost again! The criminal shall be punished. Next time I'm going to camp at my PO BOX with a camera when the package arrives.

    Reply
  • 38. Anonymous  |  December 19, 2011 at 10:56 PM

    I am dealing with the same game now. This gives the post office the right to have no responsibilty to protect your package.

    Reply
  • 39. Anonymous  |  December 26, 2011 at 6:41 PM

    I HATE the USPS! You are basically paying for package roulette. smh. My fiance placed my artwork and specific document in the mail for delivery from St Louis to New York City which never got to me. Upon speaking to various people over the phone, they came to the same conclusion that i got when i realized the mail had not reached me; the freakin mail hadnt been delivered. (really??) they told me to fill out a claim online (which was just a dismissive way to get me off the phone). In short, i lost my life work and the art program for middle school aged kids was never created. Thank you USPS.

    Reply
  • 40. Anonymous  |  December 26, 2011 at 6:46 PM

    We need to boycott the USPS and only use them for envelope packages, which consumers don't have to pay for. Maybe if we start hitting their pockets then they will carry themselves like a reputable company.

    Reply
  • 41. Anonymous  |  December 28, 2011 at 7:51 PM

    I ordered an item from Japan, and it mysteriously disappeared at the central post office.

    I suspect that some postal worker saw that it was from Japan, believed it to be valuable, and stole it. This item is fairly obscure, so if it gets sold on Craigslist or eBay, I will know.

    Scumbag USPS.

    Reply
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  • 44. Royal Kitchen Cabinet  |  March 20, 2012 at 6:01 AM

    Royal Kitchen Cabinet…

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    Reply
  • 45. Gordon  |  April 22, 2013 at 8:53 PM

    I buy products on Ebay, and twice in the last two months I failed to receive several items, even though the Postal Service tracking system listed them as having been “delivered”. (Apparently, this is not an uncommon practice, as my local letter carrier quietly informed me.) In the earlier case, the item(s) were found languishing on the delivery truck and I eventually received them. In the current case, the items are probably also on the truck, but still have not been delivered, despite my informing the local post office supervisor of the situation. These experience have caused me to join the chorus of the others who strongly caution against sending anything of value through the United States Postal Service.

    Reply
  • 46. Kathy Cobb  |  January 27, 2014 at 8:08 AM

    I know this thread is old, but what happened to Gordon just happened to me. I bought some artificial flowers from China through E-Bay, they made it all the way to my local post office, the tracking says delivered, but it was not delivered HERE. Seriously? It made it all the way from China only to have the substitute postal carrier deliver it to the wrong address. I know that if I file a claim on E-Bay, it will affect the seller, and I will not do that. They did their job. The item says “delivered.” I am not going to penalize them because the post office can’t read. It was a low-priced item, but I am still out of the money with nothing to show for it. NOT happy.

    Reply

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