What do you do when USPS loses a package

mbmcfarland

Sr Member
UPDATE - I thought the mods had deleted or locked this thread. I never did find out what happened to that package, but I did get a full refund, so the drama is over.

Nothing to see here... move along...

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I bought a couple of Spider-man TV web shooters from a boardmember a month ago, and I did not receive them. I did not notice that it had been so long since I ordered them, but as soon as I realized they should have been here almost four weeks ago, I got worried and asked the seller when they were shipped. Fortunately, this seller keeps good records and he still had the delivery confirmation number. The delivery confirmation report online says

Arrival at Unit, February 16, 2006, 8:56 am, LEESBURG, VA 20175

I guess it got to my local post office. When I went to the post office and asked them to look for it, the postmaster ran an "Intranet Item Inquiry" for me. This shows the same information as the online system, except that there is an additional record:

ARRIVAL AT UNIT 02/28/2006 14:10 ATLANTA, GA 30378 Scanner ID: 00A38T83G

The postmaster does not know why the item got sent to Atlanta. He asked me if I refused delivery. (I did not.) Maybe it got misdelivered and the recipient refused delivery. Maybe it is on its way back to the seller. Nobody knows.

Here comes the crazy part: I asked the seller to help me look for the package by initiating a search at his end (because that is what my local post office told me to do). The seller thinks that because I waited so long to contact him about the missing package I must be scamming him. He says that the USPS online delivery confirmation system clearly states that it was delivered a month ago. He is accusing me of lying, cancelling all my pending orders for new items, and being generally mean.

What should I do? It's only a $100 item so that is not even any big deal. What upsets me is that somebody who doesn't even know me is calling me a liar and effectively "banning" me. (He makes lots of good stuff, too.)

Mike

edited - typo.
 

Sidewinder

Sr Member
Can you phone that post office you visited to make that type of enquiry? If so give the seller the tel no. and name of postmaster and have them speak to the same person you did.

SAS
 

Jedirick

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I imagine the seller may be a tad perturbed to have something dropped in his lap over a month after shipping it out.

Looks like the post office screwed up. Hope you insured package. Looks like they need to pony up. I don't know how it works but if they can't provide acceptible confirmation of delivery I would think they owe you even if not insured. Of course owing and collecting are two different things.
 

mbmcfarland

Sr Member
Perturbed would be putting it mildly.

So how long is the right amount of time to wait? I didn't know when the item was shipped, and I have often had to wait a few weeks before receiving a prop replica. The post office says to wait at least two weeks from when you expected to receive the item before initiating a search.

I think the package is at the USPS Mail Recovery Center in Atlanta, which is basically a dead letter office where things go if they can't be delivered or returned. It should be held there for 90 days, which means I still have 73 days to find it.

Thanks for your advice. This has never happened to me before.

Mike
 

Gordon Gekko

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
You might also point out to the seller that "arrived at unit" does not mean it was delivered to you it means it is still in the USPS system.
 

Neon Sentry

Sr Member
I had a similar problem a while back. A lot of 12 GBA's were "delivered" to my house last year... USPS claims they were delivered, but, hey, no package. Nothing in the parcel locker, and nothing on my patio (we have a locked gate, and most of the time they just drop the package over the top without even checking) so that means, obviously I did not receive a package

Well, there was a handful of cash I lost that day...

However it seems there's a light at the end of your tunnel. Perhaps the seller marked an incorrect address?
 

Tatooine_Todd

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
It seems part of his question is regarding how the seller is handling it. Calling him a liar and cheat, banning him from future sales, and not lifting a finger on his end to help in the search. Perturbed or not, I say it's not good form on the sellers part. It costs nothing to have the post office look into it.
 

mbmcfarland

Sr Member
Thanks for the input. Like I said, this one really got to me for some reason.

The good news is that I think the seller finally believes that the USPS lost the package because he has agreed to contact USPS and initiate the search from his end. (He would not give me his phone number so I could complete the post office form myself, anyway.)

Of course, he still refuses to sell me anything else because he does not want to "risk" having anything else get lost. My mail is not any less reliable than anybody elses, but if that's the only issue then why ban me instead of just using UPS or FedEx? Frankly, I don't think I want to do business with him anymore either after this experience. That's a shame too, because his stuff is so good.

I guess the moral of the story that the buyer and seller should both do whatever they can to make sure that tracking number is emailed to the recipient as soon as a package is mailed so the buyer knows when to expect it and can track it in real-time.

Mike
 

temponaut

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
For my part, I always request insurance, and frequently tracking, when I purchase something valuable via the Internet. And the cost adds up fast, as I live in Japan. But I've had too many bad experiences with things disappearing. Even when the buyer and the seller act in good faith, if they don't know each other well, it's hard for them not to wonder about each other's integrity should a package disappear.

There appear to be two possibilities in your case: the package has either been returned to sender or lost. If it was returned, then the seller will get it back and at that point he'll know that you were telling the truth about non-delivery. If it was lost, however, the seller may still have his doubts about you. But you haven't asked him to replace the items for free, have you? If not, then the seller has lost nothing by dealing with you (except, perhaps, the time it takes him to deal with this problem). You are the one swallowing the loss.

In that case, in order to counteract whatever doubts the seller may still have about you, you might offer to pay for UPS, FedEx, or some other trackable carrier in the future if he will let you buy his stuff again. It will be more expensive for you, but you seem to admire this seller's items very much, so perhaps it would be worth it. And every time you buy from him this way, you'll build up a bit more trust between you.

As for the accusations: I'm guessing the seller has (like a lot of sellers, and buyers, too) been burned before. Since so much time had passed before you told him the package was missing, he may have had a gut reaction based on bad experiences he's had with buyers in the past. I don't have both sides of the story, but based on what you've written it sounds as if the seller was pretty quick to point the finger at you. However, the fact that he's now expressed a willingness to pursue the package through the post office indicates that he's reconsidered his position, at least to some extent. In other words, it seems as if he is willing to recognize the possibility that you are telling the truth and the package was returned or lost.

I hope the package will turn up. Whether it does or not, I hope that both of you can chalk this up to a misunderstanding, bad timing, and a fumble by the USPS, and agree to do business again. Try offering to pay for FedEx, if you're willing. It's worth a try. :)
 

Jimbo890

Well-Known Member
From time to time I sell a few resin and vac-formed parts, and if my order is over $50, I usually get insurance, and delivery confirmation. Less than $50 I take the risk of the item getting lost, and sure enough, recently, I sent some parts out that the buyer claims he never received. I can't track that order so, I just sent him a duplicate order. If it shows up, or he is lying about it, I don't know. Part of the cost of doing business IMHO.

Sellers should understand this. But some don't.
 

temponaut

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Originally posted by Jimbo890@Mar 19 2006, 12:51 AM
I can't track that order so, I just sent him a duplicate order. If it shows up, or he is lying about it, I don't know. Part of the cost of doing business IMHO.

Sellers should understand this. But some don't.
I like your attitude. You sound like an easy seller to deal with. And, unfortunately, I imagine that some buyers will take advantage of your trusting attitude. :(

Most sellers I know take a different approach:

Insurance is at the buyer's option. If the buyer elects not to insure an item and it's damaged or goes missing, the seller cannot be held responsible.

Personally, I think insurance and tracking protect both the buyer and the seller. It would be great if the expense could be shared. :)
 

mbmcfarland

Sr Member
Originally posted by temponaut@Mar 18 2006, 10:57 AM
Insurance is at the buyer's option.  If the buyer elects not to insure an item and it's damaged or goes missing, the seller cannot be held responsible.

Personally, I think insurance and tracking protect both the buyer and the seller.  It would be great if the expense could be shared.  :)
I agree completely.

I didn't want to get into the money issue since it's not as important to me as the issue of trust (or at least a little respect) between boardmembers. In this case, the seller did offer to give me a refund along with the other refunds he is processing on my pending orders. I told him not to worry about it because I know he shipped the item. He shouldn't have to pay for the post office's mistakes any more than I should. Insurance would indeed have protected us both, at least as far as the financial aspects of the situation are concerened.

Mike
 

Rylo

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Michael, No need for the Cloak and dagger act. I have nothing to hide.

Now, let's clear up a few things up here since you've decided to make this a public issue.

First, you contacted me an entire month after a package was shipped, asking where it was. I told you I thought that was odd. I further stated I would've been wondering long ago where my package was if I were you. I hate to wait on packages, etc.

You simply said, "you didn't want to bug me." Again, I mentioned it was odd and I explained I don't mind anyone checking with me at any time if curious about the status of a package. I never called you a liar or a thief. But, I must say I've never had anyone out of thousands of transactions over the years contact me so long after a package has been shipped. That's also what I told you...

About 2 minutes after you brough this to my attention, I sent you a copy of the stamped delivery confirmation slip clearly marked with your addy and asked you to take it to your PO. (you've suggested I didn't want to help you??? This slip is seen below with the transaction info from USPS)

You later informed me that they sent the package to VA for some reason but you wanted 'ME' to check on it. I informed you that there wouldn't be much I could do on my end since it was your postal branch that sent the package to Atlanta and there was no record of that on-line. The confirmation/confirmed delivery was to your State but for whatever reason, they sent it elsewhere. (Again, I sent a photo and record of your transaction without delay but you paint are trying to paint a different picture for some reason)

I belive you became upset when I informed you that I would be uncomfortable sending you anything else at this time with so many questions in the air as to the location of this package. I informed you I would be processing refunds for your pending packages and also informed you the need to insure items and request Signature confirmation in the future.

If I can prove I mailed a given item but you say you don't have it then that leaves me one choice. To give you a refund. Just like a told you...it rather holds me hostage in the transaction because the buyer will always demand one or the other.

See, unlike some, I don't leave clients in a spot for any reason. Eventhough I can prove I sent your package I will still process a refund for you. Yes, it bothers me to make and deliver an item and still have to process a refund. I am one of only a few sellers on the RPF who offers a 100% cash back guarantee on anything and everything they offer. While I believe you are demonstarting poor form here, you're certainly no different and are covered just the same.

You are also neglecting to tell everyone that you currently have over 350.00 worth of merchandise reserved and paid for that I have offered to refund rather than risk an instant replay of this whole event.

Let's wrap it up.

1) You ordered an item that was shipped with delivery confirmation.

2) You contacted (me) the seller an entire month later asking about a cold delivery.

3) I instantly tracked and sent you the delivery info and a photograph of the actual receipt and asked you to run it by your PO since that was indeed the last point of activity. I keep fantastic records.

4) I informed you that I would be refunding your other reserve orders rather than risk this happening again pending an investigation. Why would I risk having to make this stuff, deliver it, have it go lost and then have to refund it again, too?

In all honesty, if your PO can't get a package to you worth 99 bucks I'm not gonna risk packages worth hundreds. Not to mention, it does disturb me that you brought this up a month after the fact, making this more difficult to locate. You are the only RPF member that I've ever had a problem with in over half a decade. That's just a fact... It ceratinly doesn't make you a thief. I suspect you're reading too much into things.

6) It seems to me that you're simply upset that I had informed you that I'm not comfortable sending anything else to you at this time while one package is lost and I have to make good for it.

In an effort to protect both mine and your piece of mind I informed you I would be processing a refund. Please check your PM where I stated you would need to request insurance and Signature confirmation if the future. You weren't cut-off, Soup Nazi style or anything.

7) Looks to me like I did everyhting to help you and give you piece of mind even going as far as to offer a refund for the package I proved was shipped.

While we had no problem with our relationship before (as far as I was concerned) I think you can probably imagine that I do now. Just as I considered you contacting me a month after the fact odd, I consider you posting this rather non important thread at the RPF just as odd and rather telling.

This strikes me as a futile attempt to sully my reputation for no other reason than you were told I wouldn't ship anything else to you at this time.

Sound about right? I mean if you aren't out any cash at all, who's lost anything but me even after even proving I shipped?

If anything I should've authored this thread;

"What do you do when you bend over backwards to help someone, offer reunds and even send delivey confirmation photos and they still post a thread about you?" :angry

I informed you in our last exchange that I would handle all details of this investigation. I know nothing about a pakage being sent to Atlanta. The final tracking info shows this item to be in VA. No matter...it would take too much time for the PO to go between us both when I'm the one who has to make this right, anyway.

As mentioned. I have processed a refund for your lost order and will eat it on my end. I do indeed consider it the price of doing business. Please return the package to me if it should ever make it to you. If you check your PayPal you will see the credit.

I remain perplexed by your post. As a matter of record and to protect my reputation I am posting a copy of your shipping receipt. Please note the date. You contacted me about this yesterday and I leaped to action for you.

If my tone seemed curt I like to get to the point and stick to business. No need for romance... Just a prop or the cash. I believe all RPF transactions should be handled the same way. The prop or the cash.

In this case. It's cash for you and I'm out both. What exactly are you distressed about? As mentioned, isn't the real truth of the matter, you're simply upset because I refused to send anything else your way in light of these events?
 

TOSPHASER

Sr Member
Yeah.........With all that being said what is the big deal. sounds like you are very lucky Rylo is such a great guy... in the prop world it is for the most part.....as-is no refund... once it is mailed with record it is out of my hands..
I would say this thread needs to be removed and a public apology is in order.
 

mbmcfarland

Sr Member
Rylo,

First, I got the refund. Thanks, but it was really not necessary for you to do that. It's not your fault that the USPS lost that package.

I am not upset about you refusing to ship me additional items, just surprised that your reaction was to single me out as a "bad customer" when I did not think I had done anything wrong. I am, however, upset because even though we have had no problems in the past you just assumed that I was trying to rip you off or something.

When I originally posted this thread, you had told me it was my problem because the package made it to my post office and the tracking "clearly stated" that it was delivered. My post office had told me that you (the sender) needed to initiate the investigation with your post office. I was not trying to bash you or anything, just hoping somebody might have an idea as to why you reacted like you did and what I could do to track down the package without your help. I did not know what else to do.

I am sorry I waited so long. I figured it could have taken you a couple of weeks to mail it and then (if there was some kind of problem) maybe a couple of weeks to get here. I just now realized that something was definitely wrong. Please accept my apology.

I am also sorry I posted this thread. I should have known that my comments would be misinterpreted. I really did not mean any harm. Please accept my apology for that, too.

I'm glad you decided to tell your side of the story.

Mike
 

Rylo

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I ask that the mods DO NOT lock this thread. (Just spoke to Rick about it)

I've posted a delivery receipt to protect my reputation. I have also edited out the addy as requested.

This thread is of your design, Michael. You are having your own argument which makes no sense at all to me. I never accused you of anything or labled you a bad client. Perhaps you should revisit my PM. If the mods choose to remove the photo of the receipt; fine but please leave the thread. It serves a purpose.

I believe we see too many threads at the RPF about people being ripped off. I think it's important to call a bad seller out in the best interest of the community and to serve as a warning to others.

This; however, is abusive. I believe you've tried to use the RPF to extort a different outcome than what's been given to you. I believe it's rather telling when people try and light brush fires such as this. It can damage a sellers reputation that they've spent years grooming. I will certainly protect mine at all costs.

You've been loose with all the facts, here. You need to fess-up and admit anger got the better of you and you've made an error in judgement.

I did everything humanly possible to assist you and was still attacked. I believe your primary motive for posting this was out of anger that I refused to send anything else your way till this was resolved.

Was this supposed to make me change my mind and persuade me ship to you anyway? You were never called a liar. As stated; I beleive you were (and still are) having your own argument. I did nothing but try and assist you.

Even as I type this, your purchase has been refunded and I remain without the props or payment and STILL have to defend myself on your thread.

Let's get the proper perspective on who the injured party is here. :rolleyes

It's ironic that I've been on the phone with happy clients all morning who have been commenting on this thread. Oh' well...I'm happy to know I'm not the only one who's baffled by this. Thanks guys. :thumbsup
 

temponaut

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I have nothing but good things to say about Rylo. And Mike, I don't know you, but you seem to be a good guy, too. It looks to me as if there were some misunderstandings, invalid assumptions, and overreactions here and there. It would be a shame if it meant that two good guys couldn't do business anymore. :(
 

Jedirick

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Rylo called me while I was at a winery. :D Took me a bit to shape up and get back here.
I'd never fault any member for posting concerns about a transaction. I'd rather see a handful of misfires than another case of finding out way too late that nothing can be done.

Looks to me like not only is there a missing apckage which is upsetting to both but also some incorrect assumptions made because of corrective action taken by Rylo.

In otherwords, two problems exist, missing package and misinterpretation of intention.

Nobody knows what happened to this package. This could be the first link in a chain of missing packages due to a weird neighbor or USPS employees. I'd be apprehensive as well. Until the mystery is solved, precautions should be taken. Insurance is certainly a given.
 

DrStranglove

Sr Member
Questions:

1) Is it true that the PO says Rylo has to start the investigstion from his end.

a) If so, is there a problem with Rylo doing this?



Originally posted by Rylo@Mar 18 2006, 11:46 AM
I am one of only a few sellers on the RPF who offers a 100% cash back guarantee on anything and everything they offer.
[snapback]1208308[/snapback]​

As far as I know, I and RAC are the only others.
 

Jedirick

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Originally posted by DrStranglove@Mar 18 2006, 08:08 PM
Questions:

1) Is it true that the PO says Rylo has to start the investigstion from his end.
a) If so, is there a problem with Rylo doing this?
Looks like he'll have to for any hope of recovery, he's out $100 and his goods. :D
In my limited experience with USPS insurance claims, it didn't matter whether buyer or seller paid for insurance. The claim investigation originated from where package originally was mailed. I'd assume the USPS system is set up this way for this type of problem as well.
 
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