It can be incredibly frustrating when you are expecting a package and it never shows up.
Does USPS reimburse you for lost packages?! Or is there nothing you can do? We looked into it and this is what we found…
Does USPS Reimburse For Lost Packages?
The Untied States Postal Service will reimburse for lost or damaged packages under certain circumstances. These include what shipping service you used, whether or not it included insurance, and on the precise reasons for the issues.
This article takes a look at USPS reimbursement policies: what they are, how they work, and what you need to do if your mail goes missing or becomes damaged in transit.
What Happens If Your USPS Package Goes Missing?
When your shipping items don’t turn up, first of all check on the mail class you used to send them. Each mail class is different. You’ll find all the domestic and international shipping services set out in a handy table on the USPS website.
For example, Priority Mail has a 1 to 3 day shipping time and tracking and insurance included. First Class Package Services, however, has a 1 to 3 day shipping time, included tracking, and insurance that is available, but not necessarily included.
By clicking on each shipping service, you can read the policies. It’s important to do this, because when your mail is considered late or lost depends on the service you have chosen.
International shipping services are different to domestic services, so make sure you read these too if you’re going to use them.
How Long Should I Wait For Late USPS Mail?
USPS have a webpage for delayed mail. Here you will find out the USPS definition of “late mail.” And you’ll find another table listing each mail service and when you can consider your items “late.”
For example, if you used First Class Mail, you need to wait 7 days from date of mailing before beginning your search request.
If you used Domestic Registered Mail, you need to wait 14 days from date of mailing before submitting the search request.
If you have tracking, you can use this at any time to locate your packages. Simply enter your number into the USPS tracking bar to find the status of your items. The tracking numbers for each type of mail look different. Underneath the tracking bar, you’ll see an example for each type of tracking.
So, where is your tracking number? You’ll find it:
- On your Post Office shipping receipt
- On the sales insurance receipt
- In the confirmation email (if you completed your shipping online)
- In the shipping confirmation email from the online retailer you used
- The bottom peel-off part of your USPS Tracking label
If the tracking information hasn’t changed for some time or you don’t have any tracking information and your items are definitely late, USPS advise that you begin a search.
What Should I Do If My USPS Package Is Damaged?
Either the sender or the receiver of a damaged item can file a claim for damaged (or missing) packages. Regardless of who files the claim, the item, including all packaging and wrapping and contents, must all be kept. Eligible items include:
- Priority Mail Express and other insured mail
- Collect on Delivery (COD) items
- Registered Mail with included insurance
USPS have a How To File A Claim page, which lists everything you need to do, including how to make an appeal. You are allowed to make two consecutive appeals. USPS should get back to you with a decision within 10 days.
How Do I Apply For A USPS Refund?
If you used a service with a money-back guarantee such as Priority Mail Express, you can submit a refund request. For this you’ll need proof of purchase, such as a tracking receipt, purchase receipt, and a photo ID if you’re applying in person.
You can apply for a refund online, but you’ll need to have an account with USPS.
On the USPS refund page, scroll down to find the shipping service you used. Here, you’ll find out if you’re eligible for a refund, what you need to do, and when you need to do it.
Click on the Request (mail service) Refund tab, sign into your account, have your details ready, and go from there.
USPS does reimburse for certain lost or damaged packages providing you used a mail services with tracking and insurance.
If you did, there’s a step by step online process for searches and refunds.
Alternatively visit your post office with your receipts and follow the process in person.