The United States Postal Service (USPS) has built up and almost legendary reputation for reliability and deliverability of packages, parcels, and pieces of mail not just throughout the United States but overseas as well.
At the same, though, the USPS is not perfect!
Though it happens very rarely, the USPS does misplace pieces of mail every now and again.
This is always incredibly frustrating and there’s no guarantee that the USPS is going to be able to track down your missing package (though they do have a pretty good track record of finding missing packages, even if they end up being a little late).
To help you eliminate some of the headache and frustration of dealing with a USPS missing package nightmare, though, we’ve put together this detailed guide.
By the time you finish with the information below you’ll know exactly how to navigate USPS missing package situation from start to finish.
We share with you exactly how rare these situations are, what you’ll want to do to streamline the process of finding your missing package, and what you have to do in the event that the USPS really isn’t able to locate something they have lost or misplaced.
Use the details below to prevent a lot of the stress and pressure you might have otherwise felt (even if it’s a real uphill battle to avoid feeling frustrated altogether).
Let’s jump right in, shall we?
USPS Missing Package Nightmare – Rare, But It Does Happen!
Each and every single day – every day! – the USPS is responsible for processing and delivering north of 24 million packages throughout the United States.
Think about that for a moment.
With 24 million packages moving throughout the USPS infrastructure every single day, 24 hours a day, almost every day of the year the odds are that some packages – somewhere along the line – are going to get lost in the shuffle, delayed, or go missing completely.
According to USPS statistics, though, less than half of 1% of all packages that they process on a day-to-day basis go missing.
That’s pretty incredible!
Even still package is one of the few that do get gobbled up and lost by the USPS system that’s not going to be much of a comfort. But you should still feel totally confident in using the USPS to handle your packages (and your mail) all while recognizing how much of a statistical outlier this situation really is.
What to Do About a Missing USPS Package
Now that we’ve gone over how rare this kind of situation is, it’s time to get down into the “meat and potatoes” of actually navigating this situation so that your blood pressure doesn’t shoot through the roof!
Even though you may not be able to pop down to your local post office and dig around in the back for your missing package there are still quite a few things you actually can do – things that make a real difference and can significantly influence whether or not your missing packages found.
Let’s run through those options together right now.
Double Check Your Tracking Info
First and foremost you’re going to want to double check and confirm your tracking information, even if you feel like you have been refreshing your tracking details every single day since your package first shipped out.
It might surprise you to learn that millions of people every month punch in the wrong tracking code into their web browser (or into the USPS tracking tool), inevitably getting frustrated and confused when their package isn’t behaving the way that they expected it to, and then they (sometimes) take it out on USPS customer support – never realizing that a typo is the reason for the frustration.
Thankfully, though, you can avoid this altogether just by slowly and carefully reentering your tracking code directly into the USPS tracking tool (available on www.usps.com) or directly into your web browser search bar. You can even go straight to Google and punch your code in there as well!
But be really careful about entering the code exactly as it has been given to you.
You can certainly copy and paste it from a digital source (if available), but it may be advantageous to simply type out your tracking code – one letter and number at a time – to make sure that there’s zero mistakes whatsoever.
If your tracking information hasn’t updated at all, hasn’t updated in a while, or shows your package as delivered when it hasn’t arrived you know that something has gone sideways. It’s time to get a hold of the post office directly!
Contact the Post Office for More Details
The easiest way to get help with a USPS missing package situation is to jump on the phone with USPS customer service directly.
You can contact the USPS customer service hotline by calling 1-800-275-8777, or you can contact the delivery tracking service of the USPS by calling 1-800-222-1811. Both of those hotlines are going to be able to provide you with more detailed information about where your package is if the USPS has access to those details.
If they don’t, though, they’re going to be able to help you put out and APB (all points bulletin) for your missing package within the USPS infrastructure and start the search for it straightaway.
That’s a huge advantage!
Wait Another Day (Or Two)
While it’s always frustrating to see the expected delivery day for your package come and go with nothing landing on your doorstep, it may be the right move to simply give your package another day or two just to see if it “shakes loose” of whatever was hanging it up in the USPS system.
Truth be told, the USPS is almost overwhelmed with mail and packages on a day-to-day basis. Remember, they are handling north of 24 million packages (just packages) every single day!
When you add up ALL of the mail and all of the packages that they are handling on a daily basis you start to get pretty close to more than 100 million pieces of mail every 24 hours.
Now, if you also add in the fact that different times of year the post office is even busier than they normally are (like the holiday season, for example) – or factor in the potential for inclement weather and Mother Nature to cause delays as well – it may just be that your USPS missing package isn’t missing at all but instead delayed.
If you’re able to (without your blood pressure rising), maybe give it another day or even two days just to see if any action whatsoever gets your package moving again.
Two days is usually long enough to know whether or not your package is really was just delayed and is now on its way or that your package is (more than likely) missing in action.
File a Missing Mail Search Request with the USPS
If you do believe that your USPS package is actually missing you’ll need to contact the USPS directly to initiate a missing mail search request.
You can do this over the phone (using the numbers that we provided a moment ago) or you can pop down to your local post office and asked them to initiate the missing mail search request process for you.
After this process begins a notice is going to be sent out to all of the facilities that handled (or were likely to handle) your missing package on its journey from its departure address to its final destination.
Employees at those facilities are going to be instructed to search for your package, hunting anywhere and everywhere your package could have gone missing, hopefully finding your package and then getting it started back on its journey ASAP.
And while a lot of people automatically assume that the moment they are dealing with a USPS missing package situation their packages gone for good, millions of missing packages every year are found and then delivered to the intended recipient!
Request a Refund
If, however, the USPS was not able to track down your missing package even after a mail search was initiated it’s time to begin going through the refund request process.
Not every single mail service or package shipment option includes a moneyback guarantee or refund from the USPS, however. This is something you’ll need to confirm with the USPS directly – or something that you will have to look up online (searching to see if the service you chose does in fact include a guarantee).
First Class packages sent via USPS are generally not going to be protected with a moneyback guarantee. On the flip side of things, though, every package sent via Priority Express includes a full moneyback guarantee (one of the biggest selling points).
It’s something to look into and then something to jumpstart ASAP, that’s for sure.
Begin the USPS Missing Package Claims Process
Regardless of whether or not you’re entitled to a moneyback guarantee for the cost of shipping, though, you’re going to want to begin the USPS missing package claims process just as soon as possible, too.
The claims process is designed to help you get compensation for packages that are lost, damaged, or have components missing after they have been accepted into the USPS shipping infrastructure.
There are a couple of things you’ll need to do to be sure that you are eligible for a claim, however. Here are some things you’ll need to look into before you get going.
Confirm You Fit the Filing Window
Straight out of the gate, you’ll want to make sure that you file a claim for a USPS missing package as early in the process as possible.
The longer you wait, the higher the odds are that you fall outside of the USPS filing window – and then you won’t be able to make this kind of claim at all and you’ll end up out-of-pocket for a package that the USPS lost.
As a general rule, you aren’t going to have any longer than 60 days from the day your package was mailed out to begin the claims process.
Granted, most people aren’t going to wait two full months to see if a package shows up at their doorstep. Most aren’t going to wait much longer than 10 days to two weeks, even.
But you still need to be sure that you (at the very least) get the claims process started within this 60 day window of time. Even 61 days after your package was originally mailed out could be long enough to deny your request for this claim altogether.
Get Your Documentation Squared Away
Secondly, you’ll need to provide documentation that proves you:
- Actually did have a package sent via USPS that went missing
- Shows what was in the package (as well as what the contents were valued at) and
- That the package should have showed up by now
A receipt, a credit card statement showing that you purchased shipping services from the USPS, tracking information, and any other documentation you can furnish to prove your case will help expedite the claims process quite a bit.
You don’t necessarily need a mountain of documentation behind you to start the claims process. But the more details you provide the higher your odds of getting a positive result from the claim ASAP become.
File the Actual Claim
The last piece of the puzzle is actually filing the claim itself, something you can do by contacting the USPS customer support (using the phone numbers provided earlier) as well as something you can do online or at your local post office.
Just make sure that you get records and documentation of initiating the claim process when you do so. You’ll want to prove that you took care of things within the window of time the USPS has established they need to be handled in.
Of course, not a bad idea to follow up every week or so to make sure that your claim is actually being reviewed and that it is being handled as quickly as possible.
A lot of people get sort of gun shy about contacting the USPS this frequently, but it’s important to remember that you’re talking about one of the biggest organizations in the country that is likely handling millions of these same kinds of claims on a routine basis.
The only way to guarantee you don’t get lost in the shuffle is to reach out every now and again just to make sure that you’re staying top of mind, that someone is staying on your case, and that you are moving things along.
Avoid Missing Packages with a US Global Mail Virtual Mailbox!
At the end of the day, though, there’s only so much that the USPS is going to be able to do for you if your package goes missing.
Luckily, though, there is an alternative to using the USPS for all of your mail and package deliveries!
US Global Mail has been an industry leader in the world of virtual mailbox services for more than 20 years. They have a legendary reputation in the business, glowingly positive reviews from customers in the US and around the world, and some of the best modern mailbox solutions your find anywhere today.
We are talking about automatic mail confirmation, digital mail scanning and notifications upon arrival, a physical, private, and permanent mailing address you can use to improve safety and security, the ability to accept packages from the USPS and any other shipping company – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
For more information about all that US Global Mail has to offer, or to get started with your new virtual mailbox account today, visit their website now!