Where is my package?
May 31, 2007 11:43 AM   Subscribe

Where oh where have all of my wifes clothes gone? A postal Mystery in 3 parts.

My wife sent her clothing to the UK via USPS from Austin Texas.

She did not insure them or get a tracking number (yeah I know).

We were living in London when she sent them. We moved to Cambridge soon after she arrived.

Due to an inconsistent landperson and twitchy royal mail forwarding, we missed the package being delivered and didn't find out until 3 weeks later.

So where is our package going?

We recieved a note card from Home Delivery Network. It included my wifes name, and the name "TPG Post" scrawled on top.

The tracking number for their website shows This..

I contacted HDN. They said it was returned back to Royal Dutch Mail (???). I asked for their internal reference number for the package.

They gave me - cp 99 89 35 87 0 US

This number works nowhere except the USPS web site, which shows it wasn't delivered on May 10th.

Royal Dutch Mail has no idea what I'm talking about. Nor does TNT post (which I think is a division of Royal Dutch Mail).

Currently, our mail is forwarded in the states. Apparently we need to cancel the forwarding, or it will be sent to the unclaimed package facility, but nobody can confirm or deny this.

So the question becomes, where is our package? Where will it go? Where is it now? How do we recover it? Who should I contact to get this resolved?
posted by Lord_Pall to Travel & Transportation (7 answers total)
Maybe I'm wrong about this, but I didn't think that they would return unclaimed packages to the sender, internationally, unless the sender specifically paid for the service.

In other words, if I send a package, parcel post, to someone in the U.K., and they don't pick it up, I don't think that the package will bounce back to me in the U.S. like a domestic package would, unless I somehow agree to pay for the return trip in advance. I think it just ends up in the dead-letter bin somewhere in the U.K.

I can't find any hard information on this from the USPS, but maybe someone else can confirm or deny it.

Anyway, if I were in your situation, the first thing I'd do is try to go to the local Royal Mail office for your old address in London, preferably in person, and try to get the Postmaster (or the RM equivalent) and explain to them what happened. The whole Royal Dutch Mail thing seems like a red herring; if the Royal Mail system is anything like the USPS, the package is probably sitting around the local P.O. (or at least was at some point), and your best bet for tracking it down is going to be to start from there.
posted by Kadin2048 at 12:30 PM on May 31, 2007

Actually they will return the package to sender after a specified period of time of the package being in the USPS distribution center. Usually they will try several times to deliver then give you a notice that the package is available for pickup at X location, and after 2-4 weeks (I forget the duration), they will return the package. It happened to me once... I was out of town for a month and really, really pissed off at what transpired.
posted by fusinski at 12:35 PM on May 31, 2007

Or was that UPS? Crap... I can't remember. Either way I would treat it as a real possibility.
posted by fusinski at 1:00 PM on May 31, 2007

just for fun, i put the tracking number into parcelforce's tracking website (i think they often handle royal mails's shipping)


they seem to have a parcel with that number - any chance it could be yours?
posted by wayward vagabond at 1:29 PM on May 31, 2007

ooops, seems they HAD a parcel with that number - it says "handed over". but if it was yours they should be able to tell you WHO they handed it over to?

might be a dead end after all...
posted by wayward vagabond at 1:33 PM on May 31, 2007

Response by poster: I think they handed it over to TNT for delivery.

Who gave it to Home Delivery.

Who say they gave it back to TNT or dutch Mail, who seem confuse as to why we would be calling them.

It is a mystery.
posted by Lord_Pall at 2:00 PM on May 31, 2007

I'm guessing something like this happened:

1. You sent package through USPS
2. USPS sends it internationally via TNT Post
3. TNT Post sends it to the UK via Home Delivery Network.
4. HDN tried to deliver package to you (several times)
5. HDN couldn't deliver package, so sent it back to TNT Post
6. TNT Post now has your package, unless they've sent it back to USPS (which is unlikely considering the tracking page doesn't say so).

The only thing that doesn't really make sense is why HDN would send the package back to TNT Post, instead of keeping it at their local depot.

I think your best bet would be to keep calling TNT Post (which used to be called "TPG Post", hence the note with "TPG Post" on there). It's likely they have your package.
posted by jayden at 2:15 AM on June 1, 2007

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