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.
Who Do I Call If My Mail Is Not Being Delivered?
At some point in your life, you will probably experience times where your mail is not getting delivered. Needless to say, this can be incredibly frustrating. Trust us, we get it! Thankfully, there is a number you can call, just make sure you have given it some time first.
What do we mean by “some time”, we hear you ask? Well, let us extrapolate.
The United States Postal Service asks that you wait at least two days of not receiving mail before contacting them. Alternatively, if your household isn’t receiving mail regularly for more than two weeks, you should get in touch.
For those who like to speak to customer service representatives on the phone, you will need to call the following toll-free number 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777). But this isn’t everybody’s preferred choice, so we’ll go over the other options too.
Even though life is all digital nowadays, it can actually be quite nice to sort things out the old-fashioned way sometimes — face-to-face.
All you have to do is find your nearest post office branch, look up their opening hours, and walk on in. Everyone there will be happy to help you with all your “USPS package never arrived” problems.
And finally, you can use good old email. It is quick and effective for all you busy entrepreneurs out there.
So, how does it work? Take a look.
Firstly, just click here to find the “Email Us” page. Then, enter your tracking number (if you have one) or select the problem you are having from the following:
- Where is my package? — If this thought keeps you up at night, “my package was not delivered USPS. Where is it?”, then you need to click this one.
- Where is my mail? — This is the one for you if you’re having problems with consistently receiving zero
- com — Only click here if you’re having technical problems with their website.
- Postal facility — Whether you have queries about the signs, access, look, cleanliness, or opening hours of USPS post offices, this is the one you need to hit.
- Personnel — If an employee made you cry, tell them. If they made your day, tell them. If they were super-professional, tell them. That’s what this button is for.
- Business — For all you businessmen and women out there, USPS has got you covered.
After that, all that’s left is to type up your message and hit submit! You should hear back from them in a few working days. Try to be patient!
Package Says Delivered but Not Here USPS
Unfortunately, you may have been notified that something was delivered but when you go to get it, you quickly realize that your USPS package was not received. Yup, annoying, right? Don’t freak out just yet though, make sure you have looked everywhere. Sometimes, your carrier will put it in a more secluded, secure location. Take a look in all of the following places:
- Any place safe from adverse weather conditions
- Exterior doors
- Ask other household members
If you still can’t find it, you might be a rare case. What’s this? Well, it’s when the order status says “delivered” but it actually takes another 24 hours to arrive in your mailbox. We know, pretty weird. Although, don’t wait around longer than a day! Send a service request by email to your post office branch so they can follow up on your delivery and get back to you.
Can’t Track My Package USPS. Why?
To tell you the truth, this is probably the most annoying part of a lost package because you just don’t know whether it is actually lost or not!
But there are a few reasons why you can’t track your package with USPS. Have a quick gander below to learn more:
- The post office didn’t scan your parcel
- The scanners didn’t download the information
- The label was damaged
- The Package hasn’t yet been received by the post office
Can USPS Find a Lost Package?
Honestly, this is a very blurry topic. In a nutshell, yes and no. Unfortunately, your current USPS package not found issue will remain the same. The good news, however, is that this rarely happens.
The best way for us to explain our “yes and no” answer is to tell you about how their missing mail search works. Are you ready? Let us get started.
After they have received your missing mail claim, their expert team begins looking for your package, parcel, or letter at the Mail Recovery Center. Regardless of the state you live in, all the post office’s lost packages go to this facility in Atlanta, Georgia. Generally, every letter with a “return to sender” notice or an incorrect address ends up chilling here.
The United States Postal Service holds mail at this Center based on its value and its selected delivery service. So, if it is a standard item and you send your USPS lost claim in too late, it may well have already been shredded. Don’t stress, if it is worth less than $25, it will be destroyed without opening. On the other hand, insured packages and express mail are held here for around 6 months (sometimes longer depending on the situation).
Once the holding period ends, any packages that are valuable will be put up for auction. This should be motivation enough to get your claim in as quickly as possible.
What Happens If USPS Loses Your Package?
If your USPS item is not delivered, you should be able to get a refund if the mail handlers can’t seem to find it. However, it isn’t easy to claim for this really. Why? Their rules on what happens here are pretty foggy shall we say.
Having said this, you will definitely be refunded by the United States Postal Service if you bought insurance in the first place. To tell you the truth, you should always purchase insurance if you’re posting valuable items.
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
Okay, we know this is what you have been waiting for. We won’t waste any more time withholding the answer to your burning question, “what to do if mail is lost?”.
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 at 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 them 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!