Finding Canada Post parcel lost in the US
October 16, 2019 12:38 PM   Subscribe

Trying to find a package shipped by Canada Post to my old address in the US, and I’ve hit a dead end on what to do next. Help!

We backed a Kickstarter that was severely delayed, and we moved in the meantime. We forgot to preemptively notify the creator of our address change. He claims he sent a pledge manager update asking folks to confirm addresses but we never got it - next thing we knew he was announcing that packages had all shipped.

He shipped the packages via whatever the cheapest method Canada Post offers for shipping to the US, and we assumed the package would arrive via USPS and we have mail forwarding set up from when we moved. But just in case, we called our old apartment manager on the 10th to let her know a package may show up and could she hold it for us. She said “Oh too late, the UPS guy brought it by a couple hours ago and since you don’t live here anymore I sent it back.”

The project creator said he had no tracking numbers for the packages he shipped. When we called UPS to try to figure out what would happen to it, the first person we spoke with said she looked it up by our name and old address and that it was delivered on the 9th and left at that address. She also said if it was given back it would be shipped back to the sender. We called the manager back to confirm - yes, it was today the 10th, and yes the driver took it back with him on the truck.

We call UPS back, and this time the employee says they literally cannot look up anything without the UPS tracking number and they have no idea where the previous employee got the info she gave us or how she looked it up. And that literally all UPS packages have a tracking number so there must be one somewhere. But he said that since it was an international parcel, it would not be shipped back to the sender, it would go to a warehouse and sit there for a couple weeks and then get thrown away. He gave us the addresses of two warehouses it might have gone to in our region, both of which are quite far away from us, and also said that without the tracking number he didn’t think they’d be able to find it, even if we did show up at the warehouses to ask for it.

So we went back to the creator, who finally sent us a list of 30+ numbers he says he was given when he shipped the items. We start plugging them in to the Canada Post website, figuring we can find ours, but every one says no info found. I don’t know if they’re too old and the info disappears after a couple weeks or if they’re not even tracking numbers.

I looked around online, and everything I can find says Canada Post packages to the US get delivered through USPS. In which case, great! Our forwarding is still active and it will theoretically show up eventually. But I can only find that info on third party websites like Quora and shipping-related pages, I can’t find anything confirming it on the actual Canada Post or USPS websites. And our UPS driver says he sometimes delivers Canada Post packages!

I don’t know who else to call or where else to look for info. The only reason we started calling UPS in the first place is because our old apartment manager said a package had arrived by UPS for us. But she could be.. forgetful, shall we say, and it’s entirely possible it wasn’t the UPS guy, or she was mixing us up with somebody else, or just wanted to get us off the phone. So if anyone has suggestions, or more concrete info about where our package might have gone (if it is returned to sender that’s fine, just annoying), we’d appreciate it. Or if we’re just out of luck, I guess it’s good to know that too. Thanks!
posted by skycrashesdown to Grab Bag (4 answers total)
CanadaPost owns Purolator Courier services, which delivers through UPS in the US. Because you can ship Purolator through CanadaPost outlets, packages sent through the two services can end up looking pretty interchangeable. That doesn't necessarily help you find your thing, but it may explain some of the confusion. I am not sure if it'll get you a different result, but you might try your tracking numbers on Purolator's website, as well.
posted by jacquilynne at 12:59 PM on October 16, 2019

Maybe try contacting CanadaPost customer service? The tracking numbers were probably generated by them and may not work for any other service. As with any provider, your success will depend upon the skill of the customer service rep you luck into getting, but I've had good experiences with their live chat before.

I have also had bizarre experiences similar to the one you describe with radically conflicting answers from UPS. You may be able to sign up your old address with UPS My Choice to check whether there was indeed a delivery attempt?

In my experience, CanadaPost parcels usually end up with USPS, but not always. You know for sure that CanadaPost had your item at one point, though, so I'd start with them, while hoping that it's currently bouncing around in a USPS redirect on its way to you and that the UPS thing was a weird red herring.
posted by halation at 1:11 PM on October 16, 2019

Response by poster: A few hours after posting this, it turned up in our mailbox from USPS! I choose to believe me posting this made it happen, and you can’t convince me otherwise.
posted by skycrashesdown at 4:45 PM on October 16, 2019 [11 favorites]

Great to hear you got your shipment!

For folks that come here in the future, you can track shipments sent to the USA via Canada Post by entering the Canada Post tracking number on the USPS tracking page - once it's been scanned into the USPS computer system, they take over all the tracking. No info gets sent back to the Canada Post site, it just continues to show that the package arrived in the US - the two tracking services don't exchange information after the hand-off. Works the same way in the other direction, too - if you're in Canada expecting a package shipment from another postal service, enter their tracking number into the Canada Post tracking site.
posted by Mary Ellen Carter at 9:02 PM on October 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

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