What happens to packages shipped without the addressee's phone #?
April 25, 2013 3:19 PM   Subscribe

I recently ordered something something from the US via eBay to be shipped to Canada, but did not include my phone number with my mailing address. What will happen to the package when it reaches customs if my number is not on it?
posted by Gin and Comics to Grab Bag (5 answers total)
Best answer: It will probably be fine. I ship from the US to Canada occasionally (usually small inexpensive things I've sold on ebay), and I don't think there has ever been a phone number on the package. Thus far, everything has made it.
posted by insectosaurus at 3:56 PM on April 25, 2013

Best answer: I've never been called with a phone number on a package either. Some customs broker might self-designate to expedite/facilitate your package, and you may get a bill, but I'm not clear on when that does or doesn't happen. It might have to do with declared value, but even then my experience is mixed.
posted by Heart_on_Sleeve at 5:41 PM on April 25, 2013

Best answer: Nothing, says this mail-order-shopping Canadian who hates the telephone and so nearly never gives out an accurate telephone number. This has never been an issue with any shipper.
posted by kmennie at 5:49 PM on April 25, 2013

Best answer: The number is so the delivery driver can find the location. Unlike the post office, who has to know where everything is, UPS and FedEx drivers won't necessarily know where #3 Mockingbird Court is. So the driver calls you up and asks you. I've had this happen (because my street is hidden, shaped funny and becomes another street at one end).
posted by gjc at 6:24 PM on April 25, 2013

Best answer: I regularly see sellers list their own number on packages.

I suspect this became a whole lot less relevant with the advent of address normalization and Internet based shipping label generation, which takes care of a lot of bogus data entry errors and unreadable handwriting issues, and the advent of GPS and advanced logistics software that plans the delivery driver's route, so they're no longer driving around trying to figure out where your darn house is.
posted by jgreco at 1:00 AM on April 26, 2013

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