Finding out that your mail or package is missing can be pretty soul-destroying. Regardless of whether you’re the sender or the recipient, you’ll have wasted both your precious time and, occasionally, money. No one wants that.
Since USPS deals with a huge amount of mail and packages every day, it goes without saying that a letter or two will get lost. However, if you are waiting for (or have sent) an urgent or expensive piece of mail, you will feel the effects of this.
So, what can you do if you are without your USPS mail or package? Don’t fret too much, we are here to give you a step-by-step guide on how to attempt to retrieve your lost mail.
Although, please bear in mind that the USPS cannot guarantee that you will actually receive your items in the end. Trust us, we know how saddening and anger-inducing this is.
Why Would Your Mail Get Lost in The First Place?
Honestly, there are so many reasons as to why your letter or package would deviate from its rightful path. It could be due to bad weather damage (blurring the address or name) or the label or stamp detaching itself. Usually, it’s simply because the address is incorrect.
Even if it isn’t drastically wrong, it could cause the fault. Maybe you inputted an incorrect digit in the zip code or misspelled the street name — whatever it is, this is likely the reason.
Having said that, sometimes it’s because you have moved house and forgotten to complete the USPS Change of Address form. This means your mail will have been delivered to your old address.
Make sure you write out the address neatly using a permanent marker so you stand the best chance of protecting your mail from adverse weather conditions.
So, now we know why your package or letter is lost, let’s focus on how to amend the problem.
How to Find a Lost USPS Package or Mail
The First Step: Check the Status of Your Mail
Should your mail come with a tracking option, search online for USPS Tracking and have a look a the current status of your letter or package. If you do not have a tracking number (or can’t find it) ask the mail sender (only if you are the recipient, of course).
For orders made online, you will typically receive tracking numbers. So, use this if you are not so patiently waiting for your package. Even if you have purchased an item that is delivered through another carrier like UPS, you can still track it with their through their app or online service.
Occasionally, you will get lucky and find out that your items are stuck somewhere in the dispatch process and so is not lost.
The Second Step: Chat With Your Neighbors
If your status said “delivered” or “received” but you’re yet to see it, the parcel or letter could be with a neighbor. This is especially likely if you live in a block of flats and the driver got a bit confused so ask around before you panic too much! You could even ask your mailman before doing anything else — in fact, we suggest that you do to cut out the middle man.
Ensure you thoroughly check your mailbox for any “sorry we missed you” notices from your mailman. Then, you will have answered your lost mail worries.
Unfortunately, the delivered status could be there due to mail theft. If you believe this has occurred, call your local Post Office and the Police to report it as soon as possible.
The Third Step: Gather Your Mail Information
Once you have decided that your letter or parcel is actually missing, gather as much information as you can before getting in touch with the USPS.
They will ask you everything about your mail, so you need to be clued up. Check the:
- Contents value
- Sender’s address
- Recipient’s address
- Right address was used
- Package/letter details (brand, pictures, size, contents, etc.)
The Fourth Step: Place a Mail Search Request
You have a couple of choices here: either walk into your nearest Post Office or fill out the request online by going to the USPS Missing Mail Search. If you have been waiting for more than a week, we recommend you hop to it and get this done!
As soon as they acknowledge your search request, they will send you an email and begin looking for your mail.
They’ll start by looking at the Mail Recovery Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Essentially, this is a huge lost and found spot. Should your letter or parcel be fitted with a “return to sender” notice or “incorrect address” sticker, they’ll turn up here. Although, a lot of letters are shredded if they’re worth less than $25 and remain unclaimed.
Are You After an Easier Alternative?
So you don’t lose any letters or parcels again, sign up for a digital mailbox. It’s so convenient, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner!
How does it work we hear you ask? Well, your mail is sent to a physical mail facility (no, not a PO box) where experienced individuals will scan and process everything. This is then uploaded to your virtual mailbox where you can oversee all your mail being handled.
You can use your phone to sign in to view your mailbox. From here, you can decide where you want the mail operators to forward, archive, shred or open and scan your packages and letters. You are in complete control. Not to mention that no matter how many times you move, you can forward all your mail yourself. You never have to worry about stuck or lost parcels ever again.
US Global Mail offers this for people all over the world. Don’t hesitate to join them — they’re all living stress-free lives thanks to us. Why are you still here? Get going!