Next day delivery, please!
November 5, 2010 7:56 AM   Subscribe

Can I get package delivery companies to just leave the package rather than leaving an InfoNotice/"you weren't home, we'll try again tomorrow" slips?

I moved within my town from a less-busy street to a main road (but a different zip code, if that matters). At my previous address, when I received packages in the mail delivery services would leave them on my non-enclosed front porch area, no signature required. At my new address, 95% of the time they never leave the packages unless someone answers the door and can sign for it. Since my boyfriend and I are usually at work we're not there to answer, and I keep coming home to those sticky notes that say "Nobody was home, sign this and we'll try again tomorrow!"

On one hand, this makes sense because my new street is busy, BUT on the other hand I have an enclosed front-porch-area that the delivery person has to enter in order to leave the notice on my door. Grr! Is there some reason they can't just leave the package in front of my door anymore? And more importantly, does anyone know if there's a way I can somehow get my address status changed from "needs a signature every time" to "just leave the package there", maybe through my town or through each specific delivery company? It would be nice not to wait the extra day for my swiftly shipped Amazon Prime and Zappos packages! This is in Massachusetts.
posted by ghostbikes to Shopping (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
If it's the same driver every day, it may be just good enough that you leave a note on the door when you are expecting a package. It's worked for me in the past. Other things that have worked are putting shipping notes on the packages to leave if no one is there.
posted by deezil at 7:59 AM on November 5, 2010

In the past, I've just left a note ahead of time (in a sheet protector if it looks like rain).

Dear postal professional:

I am expecting a package from [Address/Company]. Please consider this letter a signed confirmation of that.

Thank you

[Signature] [Date]
[Printed Name]
posted by jander03 at 8:00 AM on November 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

Talk with your delivery driver. Ours (Fedex) allowed us to just give him a pre-signed slip. It depends on how well you know your driver.
posted by 6:1 at 8:01 AM on November 5, 2010

It also depends on your 'hood. If you are in a high-package-theft area they may not leave it regardless, or if you do allow them to leave it, they may not work with you if it's stolen (since you told them to leave it, it's not their fault).
posted by Medieval Maven at 8:10 AM on November 5, 2010

I know our UPS guy and he knows to leave our packages with the butcher across the street if we're not home. We have a note on our mailbox saying that all items should be delivered to the butcher if we're not home but UPS is the only one that actually does it.

USPS will never leave something with someone else and I think the FedEx guy just doesn't want to walk across the street.
posted by Siena at 8:11 AM on November 5, 2010

Is there some reason they can't just leave the package in front of my door anymore?

If it goes missing there is nothing to stop you accusing the delivery driver of stealing the parcel.
posted by fire&wings at 8:17 AM on November 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

Many courier companies do have a "no signature required" option, but it's the sender that has to specify this. If they do, the driver is happy to comply with that instruction because it's less work for them. So you might have better luck if you can get people sending you stuff to select this option. They may or may not be willing to do this, since it means if you say you didn't get a package, they can't ask the courier for their scan of your signature and the courier won't be liable for the missing package.
posted by FishBike at 8:27 AM on November 5, 2010

Can you get the deliveries sent to you workplace? That's what I do and it saves a lot of hassle as there's always a receptionist around to sign for stuff.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 8:32 AM on November 5, 2010 [3 favorites]

Sometimes you'll have success by taping a copy of your item's shipment confirmation email showing the tracking number to your front door with a signed note to the driver to leave your item.

Otherwise you can sometimes call and ask them to hold the package at their local terminal for you to pick up at your convenience.
posted by davidvanb at 8:36 AM on November 5, 2010

Hmm. I remember years ago being able to contact package delivery companies and get my address set up with delivery instructions (okay to leave without signature, precisely where to leave packages so they're not sitting right in front of my door, etc). I don't see anything on a quick scan of the FedEx or UPS sites, but maybe it's there, or maybe you have to create an account and log in, or maybe you just have to call/email/something. (Maybe it's not an option anymore.) I'm pretty sure I remember doing this on their websites, though.
posted by galadriel at 8:49 AM on November 5, 2010

Okay, I saw this awesome idea on the Davis Square LJ the other day. Basically, you build a nice sturdy wooden box with a padlock, leave a sign on it (Leave Packages in Box), and leave the padlock open. Delivery guy comes, sticks package in box, and locks it up.

I thought it was really clever.

Beyond that, your options may be to have the packages delivered to your works, pick them up at a pickup location, or stay home on the days you know a package is coming. If enough packages have been stolen in your neighborhood then the delivery company likely has a policy to not leave packages when someone isn't there to sign.
posted by 6550 at 9:02 AM on November 5, 2010 [2 favorites]

I worked for USPS doing deliveries for a couple years, and whether or not the package needed a signature was completely under the control of the sender. Some mail carriers will sign for you, but they will get in trouble if the post office officially finds out. I think the same is true of UPS at least.

A note with a signature does not necessarily mean the delivery requires a signature though, it likely means you are requesting another attempt at delivery.

If they just do not want to leave a package on a busy street, give each company you get deliveries from a note to keep. Say that you are okay with packages being left in a certain location. If you indicate someplace very well hidden, but where you will always find it (like over a fence into a side yard), you can get all your packages there.
posted by rai at 9:22 AM on November 5, 2010

When I lived at home still, I was able to sign a waiver that was placed on file for my name at that address that meant the UPS driver didn't need a signature for delivery unless the sender specifically checked the signature required box, in which case my waiver would not apply.

Two moves later and I wouldn't want packages left outside my door, so I pay for a box at the local UPS store, where anyone can deliver to and they keep it for me until i can stop by. On the positive side, it's 5 blocks from my house and on the way home, so it's never a big deal. I look forward to not worrying about lost mail during my next move.
posted by Brian Puccio at 10:16 AM on November 6, 2010

Like jander03 (and others), I'll leave a note with my sig for most stuff. But some things require an actual signature. If I know I can't be home that day, I'll have that stuff delivered at work. Is than an option for you?
posted by zanni at 11:22 AM on November 7, 2010

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