General Question

Mr_M's avatar

Where do you go when you think your local Post Office is stealing packages?

Asked by Mr_M (7621points) February 5th, 2009

Who’s higher then the Supervisor? My Amazon purchases show activity until they reach this Post Office and then all activity stops. I go down to ask about it and they say they don’t have it. Later in the day it gets delivered. This happened several times.

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18 Answers

squirbel's avatar

Um, maybe they didn’t have it. It was still on the truck, ready to be delivered. Postal carriers only come to your house once a day. They can’t track packages every step of the way like FedEx or UPS.

squirbel's avatar

But to answer your question you can report the individual post office on the USPS website.

eponymoushipster's avatar

The Post Master General. Then Obama.

TaoSan's avatar

If there is indeed foul play, the United States Postal Inspection Service Waddaya know, they’re actual cops with guns and badges, postmen on roids :)

Jurisdiction is 18 USC 1700, 1701, 1702 & 1703, Destruction, Obstruction and Delay of Mail

The Postal Inspection Service upholds federal statutes aimed at securing customers’ mail, including those related to the desertion, obstruction, delay or destruction of mail. Postal Inspectors demonstrate their resolve by implementing mail security processes to ensure that customers receive their mail intact and free from outside interference.

Since they get delivered after you research though, it’s most likely a job for the local postmaster.

eponymoushipster's avatar

i feel the need: ”hey hey wait a minute mr. postman!

Mr_M's avatar

@squirbel, I don’t think so. Later that day, when it was delivered, the guy says “Hey. If you’re not home when I have a package, can I leave it at your door?”.

Same guy asked the SAME question last time I went down there about another package that he later delivered.

Packages are left at my door from USPS ALL the time by him!

Another time I ordered something that never came. I called the company and they sent another. 2 weeks later it never came as well. Called the company and they sent a THIRD! Never came. Went down to the Post Office and the guy tells me “Oh yeah! 2 came for you today.” and he gives me 2!!!

Later on that day, the 3rd appears in front of my door.

AstroChuck's avatar

First off, not meaning to argue with squirbel, but the USPS is perfectly capable of tracking any package that has been sent with delivery confirmation or signature confirmation, as well as registered, certified, insured, express, and other such accountable pieces. Also, quite often private delivery companies, such as UPS and FedEx, turn around and send the very packages you sent out with their company through the USPS for delivery.
If you are going in to the post office and they are telling you they don’t have your parcel, it is possible that the carrier is already on the street with it, or if you are coming in too early, perhaps it just hasn’t arrived at the post office yet. It also could have been put in the wrong hamper and was returned to the “hot case” and picked up on the way out to the street. There are many scenarios that could explain why they don’t see it when you come in to check.
If you really believe something nefarious is going on you need to ask for the station manager (in smaller towns a postmaster runs the office). If you get nowhere there I would move on up to the Postal Inspectors.
Hope this helps. Good luck.

janbb's avatar

I was going to say, “Call in ASTROCHUCK” when he weighed in.

(Our very own Superhero of the P.O.)

Darwin's avatar

Sounds like it is scanned when it arrives at your local PO but not scanned before it goes on your mail carrier’s vehicle (which actually is very rarely done although it can be). So you see it has arrived there, but it has actually not only arrived but gotten on the truck for delivery. Just wait at home and the package should show up.

Now if you have packages that show that they are at your local PO but never, ever show up at your house, you can contact the station manager or the postal inspectors.

AstroChuck's avatar

@Darwin- A package doesn’t get scanned between the time it’s received at the office and it’s delivery. There is no scan when it’s taken to the carrier’s vehicle. The next scan is at the delivery point.

Darwin's avatar

Actually, while most post offices do not scan the package when it goes on to the carrier’s vehicle I have seen it done. I ship books for a living and routinely check the delivery confirmation status, and have sometimes seen a scan that indicates that the “Item is on truck for delivery.”

There was one PO up in Ohio one time that showed every move the package made, as it arrived at the PO, as it was put on the carrier’s vehicle, as it went to the label address and then went back on the vehicle, was forwarded to the PO of the forwarding address on file, was put on the next carrier’s vehicle, was refused at the forwarding address and returned to the second PO, was put on yet another carrier’s vehicle, and then sent on to a third address on file at PO number two.

At the same time I have seen situations where an item has indeed been delivered but the carrier failed to scan it, or an item shows no scans at all, not even an acceptance scan, until it is scanned as delivered.

Bear in mind that, as you very well know, the PO is a human endeavor, with all the variety that results from people doing the job as they were taught by whoever taught them.

AstroChuck's avatar

That’s weird as it’s not normal procedure. In fact, I don’t understand how that would be done since “moving the package to the vehicle” isn’t one of the selections on the scanner.

Darwin's avatar

I don’t know how it was done and I was surprised to see it, but it was helpful because the buyer wanted to know where he book was. I had seen something like that two other times: once with a package in New York City, and once somewhere near Chicago.

A year or so ago I even got an international scan from Sweden indicating a package had been delivered. Typically with overseas shipments you get to see when the item left the US but nothing past that.

galileogirl's avatar

So this isn’t about ‘stealing’ your packages, it is about not getting them as quickly as you wish. First of all, you are lucky your PO will deliver when you aren’t home. They won’t do that in our city.

Why aren’t you having Amazon deliver by UPS? Often with a $25 order you can get free 2nd day delivery. I always keep a few supersaver items on my wishlist to bring the order over $25 and UPS tracking is great.

jamms's avatar

post office customer service is lousy. I routinely send items certified for court and they get lost or delivered without any confirmation. it’s annoying to pay $5 for a letter to be signed for and have it just disappear in thin air. post office lost it, you can’t prove it was received, and you don’t get it back. this happened twice to me last month.

you can’t go online for service as they only send form replies, nothing useful. the post office will tell you anything just to get you out the door.

it reminds me of the simpsons episode where grandma simpson said I sent you a letter each week and homer went to the post office looking for his lifetime worth of missing letters and the post office worker hands him a huge bag and said ‘you should have left a tip at Christmas’

Mr_M's avatar

@galileogirl, UPS works WITH USPS such that UPS may be the main carrier in some cases but the last “leg” of the trip is done via USPS. So, I could pay for UPS and STILL get USPS.

I certainly think that when a package is sitting in the Post Office for several weeks (like the scenario I mentioned above where THREE items were sent), that looks like I would never get that package had I not gone down to the Post Office. I suspect that, after time, had I not gone after it, it would have disappeared.

BTW, I neglected to mention…I WAS home. I work from home! I’m ALWAYS home! And I checked my front door several times each day that I expected the item.

lollipop's avatar

@Mr_M I am sorry I don’t have a solution for you. I just wanted to say I have had similar problems in the past myself! IT does get very frustrating and I never knew what if anything at the time I could do! I would get the ‘run around’ from Amazon or elsewhere and the post office or UPS so ‘neither one wanted to admit a mistake’ then mysteriously the package would show up!

Don917's avatar

Sounds like a contributing factor to your problem is that UPS & FedEx tracking is close to “real time” whereas USPS “tracking” shows up on the public website early the next morning. So it appears like the package “disappears” for a day when it gets to the Post Office. And the package may get deliverd by the USPS before the “tracking” info shows up on their website.

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