Need help locating a mysteriously vanished package
October 13, 2013 11:29 PM   Subscribe

I ordered a package last winter and just realized that I never received it. I was out of town for a bit and traveling so it slipped my mind and I just assumed my partner had brought it in. Now, over six months later, I contacted the company that shipped it to me, and they were able to track down the USPS routing number, but USPS' website is not helping. How can I track this down?

This was sent in January 2013. I have the USPS routing number (RT__________, I can PM it to you if you want) but the USPS tracking system can't find an item by that number. They do have an option to search for held packages based on delivery date and other criteria, but the date doesn't go back to January (when I submit the form with an older date, the site errors out).

Is there any hope for ever finding my package? Or even figuring out what happened to it? USPS claims they left a notice, but I definitely never got one.
posted by deathpanels to Technology (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Not from USA so certainly can't help with the actual details.

I just chimed in to ask did you also seek an explanation from the company that shipped the item? Or they are just concerned till the time they ship it and then it's shipping provider's responsibility - USPS in this case?

As you have said the tracking number doesn't exit in USPS database, it might be the case that your shipping company never shipped the item in the first place.
posted by amar at 12:00 AM on October 14, 2013

If I recall correctly, USPS numbers do expire, though I don't remember the timeframe. If the company didn't get it return-to-sendered and you say it's lost, ask if they can replace the package or, at minimum, give you store credit. Though they dont *have* to replace it, their customer service may be willing to help out if you ask politely.
posted by HMSSM at 12:29 AM on October 14, 2013

have you tried calling your post office? i've had pretty good luck dealing with mine but sometimes you have to follow up with them as they do get busy.
posted by wildflower at 2:14 AM on October 14, 2013

I had a similar problem and tried to resolve it, both over the phone and using various web forms for the purpose, and got nowhere--until I physically showed up at the post office and spoke to the actual people who handle packages.
posted by Obscure Reference at 4:37 AM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I did manage to get USPS to unarchive the history for the tracking number. Basically, the package was actually sent to my apartment building, then a "notice" was left at the building (again, I'm pretty sure it wasn't, but that's what USPS is claiming). After that... nothing. It wasn't returned to sender. No further deliver attempts were made. As far as I know, the package has been sitting in a postal service warehouse somewhere gathering dust for a couple months. But I am pretty sure the shipping company actually sent the package. Otherwise USPS wouldn't be able to tell me it had shipped (I think).
posted by deathpanels at 6:14 AM on October 14, 2013

it might still be at the local post office waiting for you to pick it up. have you given them a call?
posted by lester's sock puppet at 6:38 AM on October 14, 2013

IIRC, lost USPS mail gets sent to Atlanta and eventually goes up for auction, I believe.
posted by mecran01 at 9:05 AM on October 14, 2013

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