What Options for Late, Delayed,Lost or No Delivery of USPS Mail or Post or Packages

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USPS LATE OR DELAYED MAIL

I think my USPS Mailpiece is Late or Delayed – What should I Do?

USPS® provides you several tools and options to help determine where your mailpiece is in the mailstream and if it is delayed or not. You can check the delivery standard for your mailpiece to make certain that it is delayed or late, check the item’s tracking status, if available, and/or contact the shipper or USPS customer service for further information on your expected mail.

  1. Check USPS Mail Delivery Standards

    Before you assume that your mailpiece is delayed or possibly lost, it pays to check the delivery standards for the mail class being used to send the mailpiece. Delivery time varies from one class of mail to another.  It may be possible that the mailpiece is still in transit and is not lost or delayed depending on what class of mail is being used and how long ago it was mailed. The following chart outlines the delivery standards for various mail classes and indicates how long you should wait before you contact customer assistance with a concern:




    MAIL CLASS
    DELIVERY STANDARD
    CONTACT CUSTOMER SERVICE AFTER:

    USPS First-Class Mail®

    1-3 days (not guaranteed) 5 or more Days from the date of mailing

    USPS Priority Mail®

    1, 2, or 3 days (not guaranteed) 5 or more Days from the date of mailing

    USPS Priority Mail Express®

    1-2 days (guaranteed) Guaranteed Delivery Date/Time Missed

    USPS Retail Ground®

    2-8 days* (not guaranteed) 14 or more Days from the date of mailing

    USPS Media Mail™

    2-8 days* (not guaranteed) 14 or more Days from the date of mailing

    USPS Bound Printed Matter

    2-8 days* (not guaranteed) 14 or more Days from the date of mailing

    USPS Marketing Mail™ 

    3-10 days (not guaranteed) 14 or more Days from the date of mailing

    Note:  *Except Alaska, Hawaii and US Territories – estimate provided by the USPS postage price calculator.

    If you wish to contact a customer representative:

    • Email USPS  your concern. Send us an email with as much detail as possible and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours.
    • Call 1-800-ASK-USPS® (1-800-275-8777)
      • Monday thru Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET
      • Saturday:  8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET
      • Sundays:  Closed
      • Holidays:  Closed [When are Postal Holidays?]
      • Telecommunications Device (TTY): Call 1-800-877-8339
        • Hours of Operation are the same as 1-800-ASK-USPS



  2. Check USPS Mail Delivery Standards

    How to track a mailpiece using USPS.com®

    In order to track a mailpiece on USPS.com, you will need the USPS Tracking® number from the Mailing Label or Receipt of the mailpiece. On the receipt, that number, depending on the extra service purchased, may be labeled as USPS Tracking #, USPS COD Tracking #, USPS Signature Tracking #, USPS Certified Mail #, or USPS Registered Mail #. The number of letters and numbers vary depending on the class of mail or extra service being used.  Sample tracking numbers are as follows:

    MAIL CLASS OR SERVICE

    SAMPLE TRACKING NUMBER

    Priority Mail Express®

    EA 000 000 000 US

    Priority Mail Express International®

    EC 000 000 000 US  

    Priority Mail International® (includes Flat Rate Small Boxes and Envelopes)

    CP 000 000 000 US

    HC 000 000 000 US

    First-Class Package International Service®

    LZ 000 000 000 US

    UX 000 000 000 US

    Global Express Guaranteed®

    82 000 000 00

    Registered Mail

    RA 000 000 000 US

    USPS Tracking®

    0300 0000 0000 0000 0000

    Priority Mail®

    9205 5000 0000 0000 0000 00
    1400 0000 0000 0000 0000

    Certified Mail™

    7000 0000 0000 0000 0000

    Signature Confirmation™

    2300 0000 0000 0000 0000

    If there is no status available or the information has not changed since the last time you viewed it, check back regularly as information is updated periodically throughout the day.  If you have questions about the status of your mailpiece, you can email us your concern with as much detail as possible. We’ll get back to you within 24 hours. You can also call the toll-free customer service number at 1-800-222-1811. Customer representatives are available as follows:Next, go to USPS Tracking on USPS.com®, enter the tracking number from the Mailing Label or Receipt into the field labeled “Enter up to 35 tracking numbers separated by commas” and click “Track.” The most recent tracking status of your mailpiece(s) should appear.

    • Monday thru Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET
    • Saturday: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET
    • Sundays:  Closed
    • Holidays:  Closed [When are Postal Holidays?]

    Note:  For international inquiries, call hours are closed on all holidays. The call center does not accept inquiries about ineligible First-Class Mail International and First-Class Package International Service items.

  3. Contact Shipper or Customer Service

    • If you HAVE the tracking number from the mailing label or receipt (sender or recipient):If you suspect that your mailpiece has been delayed (not within the mail class’s delivery standard) or possibly lost and you have a tracking number for your item, please contact our USPS Tracking® customer service. You can email us your concern by sending us a message with as much detail as possible. We’ll get back to you within 24 hours. Or you can call us at 1-800-222-1811. Customer representatives as available as follows:
    • If you DO NOT HAVE the tracking number from the mailing label or receipt (recipient):If you were notified by a shipper that they have sent out a package and believe that it has been delayed or possibly lost, contact the mailer of the item and request them to:
      1. Track the item; or
      2. Email Us your concern. Send us an email with as much detail as possible and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours; or
      3. Contact USPS Tracking customer service at 1-800-222-1811 to learn the status of the mailpiece.

At what time of day is my daily mail delivery considered late?

Delivery times are not guaranteed because the volume of mail fluctuates daily. All deliveries should be made by 5:00 p.m. local time (unless there are unusual circumstances). We do not have the ability to find out when a carrier will arrive at a specific location.

Please Note:  Priority Mail Express® and Amazon parcels are the only pieces of mail delivered on Sunday.

Who do I contact if my magazine / periodical is late?

Your local Post Office should be able to address most of your concerns. Often there are identifying marks on an envelope that pinpoint the cause of a delay. Record the delivery date on the envelope and present to your local Post Office for examination.

If expected First-Class® or Priority Mail® has not arrived within five (5) days from the mailing date, you should:

  • Email usps your concern. Send us an email with as much detail as possible and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours.
  • Call 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777) where a customer service representative will document your concern. Customer representatives as available as follows:
    • Monday thru Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET
    • Saturday:  8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET
    • Sundays:  Closed
    • Holidays:  Closed [When are Postal Holidays?]

Please Note: While there is no automatic response to emails referencing missing mail, you can be assured that if and when your item is found, it will be returned to you.

If you have a tracking number for your item and would like assistance, please contact our USPS Tracking customer service at 1-800-222-1811

USPS Lost or Late Mail and Post

LOST MAIL,POST OR PACKAGES USPS

Reporting Missing Items

If more than 14 days from the date of mailing (more than 7 days for Priority Mail Express service) has passed and your item is insured and lost, go to “What is the Timeframe for Filing a Domestic Insurance Claim?” You may be able to file a claim.

If you checked your item’s tracking status and it indicates delivery, but:

  • The recipient does not have it, email us or call 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777). Your situation will be documented.
  • The package is missing content, complete a search form on the Missing Mail Application (requires a USPS.com® account).

If your mail item has not been delivered, here are some simple steps you can follow for help depending on how the item was mailed:

  • USPS PRIORITY MAIL EXPRESS® SERVICEPriority Mail Express® service comes with a scheduled delivery date and time backed with a money back guarantee. Information regarding the delivery status of your item is updated throughout the day as carriers return from their delivery routes. Using the Priority Mail Express® tracking number, you can find out if your item has been delivered online via USPS Tracking service on USPS.com or you can obtain information by calling 1-800-222-1811.

    If the delivery status indicates that the item has not yet been received by the scheduled delivery date, we recommend that you contact the recipient to determine if they have received the item. If the item has not been received, you may email us or call a customer service representative via 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777) and they can complete a search request on your behalf. If seven (7) or more days have passed since the date of mailing and the recipient has confirmed that the item has not arrived, you may file a claim and/or submit a search request for your lost mailpiece on the Missing Mail application. For more information about filing an insurance claim or requesting a search for missing mail, go to either the “What is a Domestic Insurance Claim?” or “Search for Missing Mail” FAQs.

  • PRIORITY MAIL® AND FIRST-CLASS MAIL® SERVICES
    • Item mailed by Priority Mail® ServicePriority Mail service includes tracking of the mailpiece in the cost of mailing. Using the tracking numbers, you can check the delivery status online via USPS Tracking service on USPS.com® or you can obtain information by calling 1-800-222-1811. If seven (7) or more days have passed since the date of mailing and the recipient has confirmed that the item has not arrived, you may either submit a search request for your lost mailpiece on the Missing Mail applicationemail us, or call a customer service representative via 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777) and they can complete a search request on your behalf.
    • Item mailed by First-Class Mail® ServiceIf the mailpiece was sent with First-Class Mail® service and also has a trackable service (i.e., USPS Tracking service, Signature Confirmation™, or Certified Mail® service), you can check the delivery status online via USPS Tracking service on USPS.com® or you can obtain information by calling 1-800-222-1811. If seven (7) or more days have passed since the date of mailing and the recipient has confirmed that the item has not arrived, you may submit a search request for your lost mailpiece on the Missing Mail applicationemail us, or call a customer service representative via 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777) and they can complete a search request on your behalf.
    • Item mailed with USPS Tracking®, Signature Confirmation™, or Certified Mail® ServiceUsing the tracking numbers, you can check the delivery status online via USPS Tracking service on USPS.com® or you can obtain information by calling 1-800-222-1811. If seven (7) or more days have passed since the date of mailing and the recipient has confirmed that the item has not arrived, you may submit a search request for your lost mailpiece on the Missing Mail application, send us an email, or call a customer service representative via 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777) and they can complete a search request on your behalf.
    • Item mailed with Domestic Registered Mail™ ServicePlease allow fourteen (14) or more days from the date of mailing for your item to arrive. Using the Registered Mail tracking numbers, you can check the delivery status online via USPS Tracking service on USPS.com® or you can obtain information by calling 1-800-222-1811. If the proper amount of time has passed and the item has not arrived, you may submit a search request for your lost mailpiece on the Missing Mail application and/or file a claim. For more information about filing a claim, go to the “How do I File an Inquiry for an Item Sent with Registered Mail™ Service?” FAQ.
    • Item mailed with InsurancePlease allow fourteen (14) or more days from the date of mailing for your item to arrive. Using the Insurance tracking numbers on the receipt, you can check the delivery status either online via USPS Tracking service on USPS.com® or by calling 1-800-222-1811. If the proper amount of time has passed and the item has not arrived, you may submit a search request for your lost mailpiece on the Missing Mail application and/or file a claim. For more information about filing an insurance claim, go to the “What is a Domestic Insurance Claim?” FAQ.
  • USPS RETAIL GROUND® MAIL, PARCEL SELECT®, AND PARCEL SELECT LIGHTWEIGHT® SERVICESUSPS Retail Ground® service includes tracking of the mailpiece in the cost of mailing, but does not include insurance. Using the tracking numbers, you can check the delivery status online via USPS Tracking service on USPS.com® or you can obtain information by calling 1-800-222-1811. Please allow eight (8) days from the date of mailing for your item to arrive. If fourteen (14) or more days have passed since the date of mailing and the recipient has confirmed that the item has not arrived, you may submit a search request for your mailpiece on the Missing Mail application and you may either send us an email or call 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777) to request documentation of your issue.
    • Item mailed with InsurancePlease allow fourteen (14) or more days from the date of mailing for your item to arrive. Using the Insurance tracking number on the receipt, you can check the delivery status either online via USPS Tracking service on USPS.com® or by calling 1-800-222-1811. If 14 or more dayshave passed and the item has not arrived, you may file a claim and/or submit a search request for your lost mailpiece on the Missing Mail application. For more information about filing an insurance claim, go to the “What is a Domestic Insurance Claim?” FAQ.

      Note:  When contacting customer service regarding lost items, please note that 1-800-222-1811 is customer service for tracking, delivery status, and related information.  1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777) is for customer service regarding filing of documentation for lost or delayed mailpieces, questions about Postal Service policies, and other general information. Customer representatives for both of the above telephone numbers are available as follows:

      • Email us your concern. Send us an email with as much detail as possible and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours
      • You may also file a search request for your lost mailpiece by going to the Missing Mail application and completing a Missing Mail search request form.
      • Call 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777) where a customer service representative will document your concern. Customer representatives as available as follows:
        • Monday thru Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET
        • Saturdays:  8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET
        • Sundays:  Closed
        • Holidays:  Closed [When are Postal Holidays?]

NO MAIL OR POST DELIVERY USPS

What conditions or events may have prevented the delivery of my mail?

  • Dog on the Premises

    Delivery service may be suspended when there is an immediate threat (including, but not limited to, threats due to loose animals) to the delivery employee, mail security, or postal property. The U.S. Postal Service® is charged with the responsibility of providing consistent and reliable mail service.  However, as an employer, we are also dedicated to the well-being and safety of our employees. Each year Postal Service™ employees sustain more than 5,000 painful dog-bite injuries, resulting in loss of time from work and costly medical treatment. The annual estimated cost of these injuries is more than one million dollars.

    Delivery service may be temporarily withdrawn when animals interfere with our ability to complete mail delivery. Owners must confine their dogs during delivery hours and be notified promptly if service is suspended.  Mail delivery will resume as soon as the Postal Service is confident the animal is no longer a menace.

  • Hazardous WeatherMail delivery service may be delayed or curtailed whenever streets or walkways present hazardous conditions to our carriers and/or vehicles. The Postal Service curtails delivery only after careful consideration, and only as a last resort.  We appreciate your understanding of our responsibility for the safety of our employees, as well as of our customers. To obtain current information regarding weather related impacts to U.S. Postal Service® operations, go to http://about.usps.com/news/service-alerts/welcome.htm.
  • Mailbox BlockedCustomers are required as a condition of delivery to ensure that proper access is provided to mail receptacles. Without such access, the safety of the carrier is jeopardized and the delivery of mail may be prevented.

    Proper access includes the removal of large accumulations of snow from the area around curb line receptacles and from sidewalks leading to door or other house?mounted receptacles. Mailbox blockage by a vehicle may also prevent the delivery of mail.

    According to our policy, the city or rural carrier should get out of the vehicle to make a delivery if the mailbox is temporarily blocked by a vehicle. However, if the carrier continually experiences a problem in serving curbline boxes and where the customer is able to control access or on?street parking, the postmaster may withdraw delivery service.

    If your mail cannot be delivered because of accumulated snow, a vehicle, or any other blockage prevents the carrier from reaching your box, you may choose any one of the following alternatives:

    1. Arrange with a neighbor to receive your mail.
    2. Put up a suitable temporary mail box (for example, a sturdy box).
    3. Meet the carrier at your box.
    4. Pick up your mail at the Post Office™.

    Your postmaster will be pleased to discuss these alternatives so that you may select the one most convenient for you.

  • Full Mailbox

    If a letter carrier notices that a mailbox has filled up to the extent that no more mail will fit in the mailbox and it is apparent that the dwelling unit is vacant, the mail is brought back to the office and returned to sender identified as “vacant property”.

    If a mail receptacle is deemed by the carrier to be full and the letter carrier knows that customers still live at that location, the mail is brought back to the office and handled as “Hold” mail. This mail will be held for 10 days. A PS Form 3849 (Delivery Notice/Reminder/Receipt) is left in the mail receptacle.

  • Travel ObstructionsPersons responsible for road maintenance must be notified of road conditions obstructing the delivery of mail. If repairs are not made promptly, service may be withdrawn.

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