Oops UPS
April 8, 2014 7:33 AM   Subscribe

I had a return to Amazon. I printed the label they provided and put it on the envelope. I didn't realize it was a UPS label and not USPS until last night when I went to check the status of my return. I had accidentally put the envelope in a USPS mailbox on Monday last week, April 1. What is going to happen my package?

I have called the local post office several times and no one answered. I left one message when I got voicemail. I tried to call main USPS number and they are having high call volume. I waited for 10 minutes on hold.

The label has my return address.

The tracking says that a label has been printed but it hasn't been scanned anywhere.

I can't get to the actual post office in person until Friday.

I tried google but just get a lot of info about getting a mailbox with USPS or UPS, not what happens you accidentally put something in the wrong mailbox.
posted by sio42 to Grab Bag (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
According to this Yahoo answer, USPS might drop it off in a UPS box for you, but there will probably be a delay.
posted by Bentobox Humperdinck at 7:46 AM on April 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


and not to threadsit - i did see that answer, but that was the only answer i found like that, so i was hoping someone here might know more.
posted by sio42 at 7:50 AM on April 8, 2014

If you have it, continue to check the tracking number, if UPS picks it up, then you know that the USPS did you a solid.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:54 AM on April 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

The post office may hand it off to UPS. I worked for FedEx years ago and the big carriers did hand stuff off if it was misdirected. It's not the fastest thing in the world, but it certainly happens. At FedEx it was often handled by the pickup courier if the dropboxes were adjacent. If that label didn't scan into the FDX system, the courier knew it wasn't a FedEx package and just tossed it in the correct box. In cases where the dropboxes weren't adjacent, the item went back to the station for special handling.

At USPS not everything has a bar code and the UPS label may make it through the address scanner. If that happens, the package will either be returned to you or sent to Amazon postage due. Amazon will refuse it and it will eventually make its way back to you. If you'd dropped a USPS into the UPS or FDX, it would be caught very quickly. Dropping into the USPS box is a little tougher since the address will scan as it would for other mail.

Short answer: it's hard to guess exactly what will happen because it depends on when the box gets kicked out as a defect.
posted by 26.2 at 8:01 AM on April 8, 2014

I'm in the UK, but I did the same thing a while ago - put an Amazon return in the outgoing mail at work without actually reading that it wasn't a Royal Mail label. There seemed to be a few weeks of delay, but I eventually got a "thank you, we have received your return" email from Amazon.
posted by winterhill at 8:02 AM on April 8, 2014

Something like this happened to me with a package that I tried to return recently. After the required 2 week wait, Amazon marked it as "lost" and refunded my purchase. It was only a $20 item though so I guess they just wanted to keep me happy.
posted by Poldo at 8:06 AM on April 8, 2014

> I have called the local post office several times

I'd suggest to go over there and talk to someone in person.
posted by chazlarson at 8:11 AM on April 8, 2014

oh thank goodness.

all of these replies make me feel so much better.

it's under $20 so hopefully they'll just refund. i think this is like my 2nd return ever, so maybe they'll take pity.

and yeah i will go, but i can't get there until friday.
posted by sio42 at 8:12 AM on April 8, 2014

Amazon actually has really good customer service. If you go to this contact link, you can have a chat with a customer service rep and let them know what happened. They can put a note in the order so that Amazon knows its return may be delayed, and why.
posted by mudpuppie at 8:26 AM on April 8, 2014 [3 favorites]

I did this a couple months ago. I was able to get through to someone at my local post office in Los Angeles and they assured me they take care of that as a matter of course (they did not even ask for my package info and I did not get details on their process). Sure enough, my return was processed with some delay a few weeks later. For under $20 I wouldn't even pursue other customer service avenues and just hope for the best.
posted by Uncle Glendinning at 9:22 AM on April 8, 2014

mudpuppie - i sent them an email just now. thanks for the link!
posted by sio42 at 9:33 AM on April 8, 2014

Happy to help!

Another pro-tip for future issues: Once they've responded to your email, you will receive a separate How Did We Do email shortly thereafter. If you respond to the survey in that email by letting them know that they did not solve your problem, you'll be navigated to a page that has a Call Me Now button. And when you click that button, your phone will ring within, like, 15 seconds, and a real live Amazon person will be on the other end.

Keep that in your pocket for next time, Amazon users, because it's really very helpful!
posted by mudpuppie at 12:48 PM on April 8, 2014 [3 favorites]

At my wife's office, the mailman left with a package meant for UPS. When asked, he said USPS might deliver it and charge UPS. Whatever, it was delivered with a few days delay.
posted by SemiSalt at 3:28 PM on April 8, 2014

Amazon replied to my email that if they didn't receive by the 15th, they would refund me anyways and investigate where the package went.

Today they got it! Yay!

I don't know if they would refund if it was say, a $1000 computer that went missing, but apparently this sort of thing happens.

Thanks everyone!
posted by sio42 at 9:57 AM on April 10, 2014

Just a follow up for posterity:

USPS did indeed pass it along to UPS and it was received by Amazon.

How nice of them!
posted by sio42 at 6:12 AM on April 16, 2014

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