Where has my parcel gone?!
March 28, 2007 4:54 AM   Subscribe

I’m trying to track a parcel posted in the US with the USPS to my work address in Nottingham, England. I have a tracking number, but all the information I can get is this:

Service Type: Express Mail - Post Office to Addressee

Shipment Activity Location Date & Time

Attempted Delivery GREAT BRITAIN 03/26/07 11:07pm

Out of Foreign Customs GREAT BRITAIN 03/26/07 3:03pm

Into Foreign Customs GREAT BRITAIN 03/25/07 7:32pm

Arrived Abroad GREAT BRITAIN 03/25/07 7:00pm

International Dispatch LOS ANGELES AMC 03/23/07 11:06am

Enroute LONG BEACH CA 90810 03/23/07 11:03am

Enroute SAN DIEGO CA 92137 03/22/07 6:24pm

Acceptance SAN DIEGO CA 92117 03/22/07 4:56pm

Does anyone know what carrier USPS might have used over here, and if the attempted delivery time would have been U.S. time (as I presume)? Despite work being manned all the time they’ve no record of a delivery (attempted or actual) and there doesn’t seem to have been any update since, so I don't know what company has my parcel, where it is or when (if) they might try again - and I’m getting worried my parcel may end up in limbo (or worse, sent back to the U.S.)!. I’ve tried emailing the USPS, but their site doesn’t like emails from overseas.

Any ideas, please?
posted by timpollard to Work & Money (11 answers total)
Best answer: The last USPS parcel I received in the UK was delivered by Parcel Force.

Here are the details:

Delivered Abroad, January 11, 2007, 9:28 am, GREAT BRITAIN
Bullet Attempted Delivery Abroad, January 08, 2007, 4:22 pm, GREAT BRITAIN
Bullet Out of Foreign Customs, January 07, 2007, 7:23 pm, GREAT BRITAIN
Bullet Into Foreign Customs, January 07, 2007, 4:51 pm, GREAT BRITAIN
Bullet Arrived Abroad, January 07, 2007, 4:41 pm, GREAT BRITAIN
Bullet International Dispatch, January 04, 2007, 10:41 pm, SAN FRANCISCO AMC
Bullet Enroute, January 04, 2007, 10:41 pm, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94128
Bullet Enroute, January 03, 2007, 9:17 pm, PORTLAND, OR 97238
Bullet Electronic Shipping Info Received, January 03, 2007

The "Attempted Delivery Abroad" on January 8 is incorrect. This is the day they sent me a letter saying it had been held up in customs, and I was going to have to pay VAT to get it released. I did this online, and it actually turned up on January 11.

So, if you think you might have been caught by customs, give it a day for a letter to turn up informing you of this. If not, just call Parcel Force and see what's going on.
posted by caek at 5:18 AM on March 28, 2007

Best answer: If your tracking code doesn't work with Royal Mail, then possibly Parcel Force?
posted by insouciant at 5:19 AM on March 28, 2007

Response by poster: Wow - thank you both very much indeed, I really appreciate your replies - due to you I've found it already, and you were right - it is with Parcel Force, and it is just sitting there waiting for me to pay vast amounts extra, but at least I can go and fetch it straight away now! Thanks again!
posted by timpollard at 5:38 AM on March 28, 2007

Parcel Force is the devil. They have lost 3 packages sent to us from the States.
posted by medium format at 5:47 AM on March 28, 2007

I see occasional AxMe questions concerning Parcel Force and I'm confused. Is it part of the Royal Mail? What's with the extra fees and the evil?
posted by bshort at 7:36 AM on March 28, 2007

Parcelforce is just the parcels section of the Royal Mail - the separate branding is part of a botched privatisation that no-one's ever bothered to reverse. More here, as ever. The extra fees etc. will be down to customs wanting import duties on the parcel.
posted by reklaw at 7:49 AM on March 28, 2007

And also ParcelForce wanting extra fees to deal with customs. These brokerage fees can be more than the VAT and duty.
posted by grouse at 7:54 AM on March 28, 2007

Parcelforce isn't alone in demanding vampiric fees to process Customs charges--UPS does it too--but the company is a nightmare. A few years back I sent fifty identical valuable packages to UK locations, and Parcelforce lost four of them. When notified of this, its attitude was, "Your problem." I don't think we ever managed to get any compensation, though by God we tried.
posted by Hogshead at 8:09 AM on March 28, 2007

Just wanted to add to the "Parcel Force is evil" thing.

DO NOT tell them you want them to deliver to your local Post Office for a £1. I did this and my package got completely lost. Both companies denied having it. I told Parcel Force my tracking number and can you believe it, they don't keep it in their systems for more than like 2 months or something. So basically I was SOL.

Luckily my friend who sent the package had it insured. She went to collect and guess what? USPS found it. It had been returned back to the states with "Undeliverable" as the reason. She e-mailed me saying "You should look at this thing, I don't know where's it's been but it's got so many stamps and stickers it looks like it went ina war zone".

Anyway, in a nutshell, it's a hassle, but go to the Parcel Force depot and pick up the package yourself!!!
posted by like_neon at 8:23 AM on March 28, 2007

For future reference, I've never had any problem shipping from the US to the UK using Global Priority Mail. It gets there almost instantly, it's never been held up in customs...it's brilliant.

That said, it's pricey, and it has to be a pretty small package.
posted by dejah420 at 8:27 AM on March 28, 2007

Ah, yes, Parcelfarce. I found trying to send or receive packages in the UK trying indeed. I second the advice to go in person.
posted by lukemeister at 7:59 PM on March 28, 2007

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