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Advice Needed: Lost Packages & Letters

Hi there!

I need advice on a small issue I've come across that I've never had to deal with before. This seemed like the right place to come, because the community here is so knowledgeable on how the postal service works.

Recently, I ordered an item from an artist's online shop. It was marked as shipped on September 16th. It is now October 14th, almost a month later, and it hasn't arrived. It was shipping within the United States in an envelope with no tracking, between two states that are both located on the east coast. You might know that a serious hurricane recently tore through the area, but I believe the item should have arrived well in advance to the storm, as it hit just last weekend.

Thus, I'm under the impression that the postal service has lost the envelope. It was intended as a gift, so I'm a little concerned.

So, I'm here to ask: what can be done to locate packages or envelopes that are lost?

Note that the artist is not responsible for lost or stolen packages/envelopes. Things like this happen sometimes, and this is a question of what to do when it does happen, not a critique of the artist or anything!

Thank you! <3

EDIT: Emailed the artist to find out through which service the item was shipped. I'm now working to recover it and they've offered to help, so this can be deleted or marked as resolved or whatever needs to be done!

Now, I'll answer my own question for anyone who might happen to see this and be wondering this themselves.

If a package or envelope is misplaced, the USPS offers a missing mail recovery program. You can submit a request to have the missing package searched for. [link]

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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 14th, 2016 06:55 pm (UTC)
It's true, once a package/letter is out of the shipper's hands they have no control over what happens. They should be taking reasonable precautions to ensure safe delivery, but sometimes accidents happen.

If your shipper just dropped the charm in a letter envelope and shipped it... well that's very poor practice. I would argue they should be responsible for sending a new charm at their expense. Letter sorting machines will destroy something like that often enough. A padded or hard envelope is a better way to go, and it gets shipped as a package instead of letter.

Regardless, you should contact the artist, let them know you still have not received the package, and ask them to file a claim with the USPS. Hopefully they have handy the order and tracking number to give to USPS so the process can get started.

Oct. 14th, 2016 07:07 pm (UTC)
I agree it isn't the artist's fault. Postal services lose items sometimes, it happens. I can't fault them for using a cheap method that has been effective so far. I'm not upset with them in the least and can't fault them for this. (This isn't meant to be about the artist at all, but rather, how I can potentially recover the missing package now that it's out of their hands.)

I'm not entirely certain it was a letter envelope; the site says "an envelope" and I'm not sure if that means like what a letter would be shipped in or a small padded envelope. I'll ask them for clarification if I email them! (It also didn't have a tracking number, so there isn't much to identify it, unfortunately.)
Oct. 14th, 2016 07:31 pm (UTC)
If they used paypal or a usps account to handle purchasing shipping it came with an order number, and most likely a tracking number as well. They should be able to give the USPS that info to start a tracking claim.

I wouldn't ask for clarification on the type of envelope they used. I would just say "My order with [x charm] still hasn't arrived, can you look up any information on the shipping or contact USPS about it?"
Oct. 17th, 2016 10:09 am (UTC)
mod comment
Just as a FYI advice posts don't have "resolved" tags, and deletion of them is against our rules. It's good that you got it semi-fixed, so feel free to just leave your post up!

Edited at 2016-10-17 10:10 am (UTC)
Oct. 17th, 2016 06:48 pm (UTC)
Re: mod comment
I wasn't sure if the same rules followed advice posts as actual bewares, but this is fine, thanks! <3
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )


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