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Buyer Claims Package Not Delivered USPS Says Different
Posted by: Felix
Date: December 19, 2011 01:22PM
We had a buyer purchase an item from us using PayPal.

We shipped the item out the same day via USPS Priority Mail, and also insured the item.

USPS tracking says package was delivered two days later, but buyer claims package was not delivered, and wants a refund.

We filed an insurance claim with USPS, and they are denying the claim as they say the package was delivered.

Are we between a rock and a hard place?
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Re: Buyer Claims Package Not Delivered USPS Says Different
Posted by: bazookaman
Date: December 19, 2011 01:24PM
I had the same thing happen with Amazon. Ordered something. UPS said it was delivered. But it certainly wasn't delivered to me. Fortunately Amazon was all too happy to make it right.




__________________________________
Never underestimate the predictability of stupidity
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Re: Buyer Claims Package Not Delivered USPS Says Different
Posted by: mattkime
Date: December 19, 2011 01:24PM
its possible that wasn't delivered to the correct address.

was this through ebay?





VTPKL it!
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Re: Buyer Claims Package Not Delivered USPS Says Different
Posted by: Kate
Date: December 19, 2011 01:32PM
As a retired USPS employee . . .

If you're going to pay for insurance, bump up to the level where the package has to be signed for. Costs a bit more but worth it, IMO.

Kate



[katesdisneycloset.blogspot.com]
[cholulared.blogspot.com]
[www.cholulared.com]
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Re: Buyer Claims Package Not Delivered USPS Says Different
Posted by: space-time
Date: December 19, 2011 02:08PM
I am curious what PayPal does in a case like this. Does it side withe the buyer or with the seller? I assume you shipped to a "confirmed" address (or is it "verified" address), whatever that means
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Re: Buyer Claims Package Not Delivered USPS Says Different
Posted by: Robert M
Date: December 19, 2011 02:14PM
Felix,

You need to give us additional information:

1. Was the delivery address an apartment building, P.O. Box or house and was the buyer home at the time of delivery? If the USPS says it's delivered, is it possible the package was left at a door and "walked away" prior to the recipient actually getting it in hand?

2. Was the delivery address the correct? Or, is it possible the USPS delivered it to the wrong address by mistake? (All of the carriers skew delivery once in a while)

3. The buyer is full of garbage.

4. What is the value of the package? And, was this all done via ebay?

It's quite possible both the USPS and the buyer are correct. The USPS could in fact have delivered the box. But, it could've been stolen prior to the recipient getting it in hand. Either way, the USPs isn’t going to reimburse you and, assuming the buyer isn’t full of garbage, he/she doesn’t have the goods.

Considering the following thread:

[forums.macresource.com]

Let’s assume you were given the proper shipping address and the USPS did in fact deliver the box to that address. If this is true, then you fulfilled your obligation. In actuallity, you’ve gone above and beyond.... You tracked the package. You even tried to put in a claim. That it was denied is no surprise because the USPS has proof of delivery. The question is what’s next?

The first thing I’d do is have the buyer contact his/her local post office and see if someone there will ask the postal carrier where he/she specifically placed the box. If he/she can find out where the box was placed, then it could be as simple as looking for it at that particular location. You’ll hopefully get a call from the buyer saying, “The <censored> carrier stuck it X, where there is no possibility of me finding it.”

What was the value of the goods? If it’s just a few dollars, then I’d _not_ admit any fault, reimburse the buyer and leave appropriate feedback and be done with it. Say something along the lines that you reimbursed the buyer for the sake of good will even though the carrier confirmed delivery. Do not admit fault, since there is none on your part. If any fault must be placed, put it on the carrier and the buyer since you fulfilled your obligation to the best of your ability.

If the value is more than just a few dollars, then it’s a different ballgame. I’d be very reluctant to reimburse the buyer for more than just a small amount of $$$ because you have something in writing saying the goods were delivered. His/her word isn’t enough if the value of said goods is significant.

In the future, depending on the value of the goods, always request packages get a signature. No signature, no delivery. It may be more inconvenient to the buyer but you need to do what you need to do to cover yourself. That this also covers the buyer, too is a different matter entirely.

Robert



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/19/2011 02:15PM by Robert M.
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Re: Buyer Claims Package Not Delivered USPS Says Different
Posted by: nwyaker
Date: December 19, 2011 02:16PM
I have stuff go to the neighbors more frequently than I like - could be delivery driver error.
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Re: Buyer Claims Package Not Delivered USPS Says Different
Posted by: hal
Date: December 19, 2011 02:23PM
Quote
Kate
As a retired USPS employee . . .

If you're going to pay for insurance, bump up to the level where the package has to be signed for. Costs a bit more but worth it, IMO.

Kate

Since I do so much ebay shipping, I once grilled a USPS person until I got full answers and they aren't fun to hear.

Delivery confirmation is not proof of delivery to your recipient - really, it just means that it was delivered SOMEWHERE.

Getting a signature is proof of delivery.

Not sure if delivery confirmation is good enough for ebay - might be.

Please post the conclusion of the story
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Re: Buyer Claims Package Not Delivered USPS Says Different
Posted by: decocritter
Date: December 19, 2011 02:52PM
Got my neighbor from the next street over (same house number) mail yesterday. Happens all the time.
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Re: Buyer Claims Package Not Delivered USPS Says Different
Posted by: Robert M
Date: December 19, 2011 02:54PM
Hal,

Even a signature isn't necessarily proof of delivery to the actual recipient. Many people have other individuals sign for packages for them. I have shipments delivered to my office. One of my staff may sign for it. Either way, Felix has done his part.

Robert
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Re: Buyer Claims Package Not Delivered USPS Says Different
Posted by: DRR
Date: December 19, 2011 02:58PM
What was the value of the item plus shipping?
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Re: Buyer Claims Package Not Delivered USPS Says Different
Posted by: Kate
Date: December 19, 2011 03:23PM
"Even a signature isn't necessarily proof of delivery to the actual recipient. Many people have other individuals sign for packages for them."

Well, yes this is true, but you can see that someone (and who!) signed for it, passing the responsibility on to them. It proves that the parcel was put into that persons hand.

Kate



[katesdisneycloset.blogspot.com]
[cholulared.blogspot.com]
[www.cholulared.com]
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Re: Buyer Claims Package Not Delivered USPS Says Different
Posted by: Kate
Date: December 19, 2011 03:24PM
And I've posted before about the uselessness of delivery confirmation, a complete waste of time. All it really does is provide you with proof of mailing.

Kate



[katesdisneycloset.blogspot.com]
[cholulared.blogspot.com]
[www.cholulared.com]
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Re: Buyer Claims Package Not Delivered USPS Says Different
Posted by: GGD
Date: December 19, 2011 03:28PM
Quote
Kate
And I've posted before about the uselessness of delivery confirmation, a complete waste of time. All it really does is provide you with proof of mailing.

Kate

I've used Certified as a way of getting tracking/signature, but even that often doesn't work. I recently mailed something certified, I know it was received at least 1 week ago because the recipient acted on the contents of the parcel, but the tracking only shows that it was mailed, and nothing beyond that.
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Re: Buyer Claims Package Not Delivered USPS Says Different
Posted by: Kate
Date: December 19, 2011 03:35PM
Then you go to the Post Office and they can get you a copy of the signed delivery receipt.

By the way, certified is just another proof of delivery/mailing, it carries no insurance. For real security (insurance, etc.) you need registered mail. Registered mail will stand up in a court of law, certified will not.

Kate



[katesdisneycloset.blogspot.com]
[cholulared.blogspot.com]
[www.cholulared.com]
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Re: Buyer Claims Package Not Delivered USPS Says Different
Posted by: Kate
Date: December 19, 2011 03:36PM
Just a side note, I was a claims clerk at the Post Office (in addition to a zillion other things).

Kate



[katesdisneycloset.blogspot.com]
[cholulared.blogspot.com]
[www.cholulared.com]
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Re: Buyer Claims Package Not Delivered USPS Says Different
Posted by: freeradical
Date: December 19, 2011 03:53PM
FOB origin

or

FOB destination


Two different things....
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Re: Buyer Claims Package Not Delivered USPS Says Different
Posted by: sekker
Date: December 19, 2011 04:03PM
We just had a package delivered to a neighbor's house via USPS' special deal with UPS.

Glad we have an honest neighborhood - they brought it by the next day.
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Re: Buyer Claims Package Not Delivered USPS Says Different
Posted by: Kate
Date: December 19, 2011 04:58PM
Yeah, that happens a lot, that's why I like getting a signature. At least you know who signed for it.

Kate



[katesdisneycloset.blogspot.com]
[cholulared.blogspot.com]
[www.cholulared.com]
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Re: Buyer Claims Package Not Delivered USPS Says Different
Posted by: Gareth
Date: December 19, 2011 05:11PM
Quote
hal
Not sure if delivery confirmation is good enough for ebay - might be.

Delivery confirmation is all you need up to $250 value for eBay/PayPal. Over $250 and you need to do a signature confirmation. So chances are, if it's an eBay package, Felix would win any claim (whether or not the buyer is telling the truth). I once had a buyer claim they didn't receive a package that was signed for. I won that claim without any drama.
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Re: Buyer Claims Package Not Delivered USPS Says Different
Posted by: Felix
Date: December 19, 2011 05:13PM
Thanks all for your input. The order was not done through eBay, but through our own website. The value of the item is $35, total with tax and shipping is $44.36.

Package was shipped out on Wednesday, with tracking showing delivery on Friday. Got on email on Monday evening from the buyer:

I just checked the tracking on the item I purchased, It says it was delivered on friday however we have not received it yet. I am quite concerned about this, Please let me know what can be done to correct this issue.

My response within an hour and a half:

Thank you for asking. The package shipped Priority Mail via USPS, and is insured. According to the tracking, as you have seen, it was delivered on Friday, December 2 at 1:35 p.m.

Here are the steps to take:

1) Ask your Postal Letter Carrier where they would have left the package. If you're not home, you can leave a note. The package is larger than the average post box, and sometimes they leave packages in between a storm door and a regular , in a garage, under a porch, or even by the back door. We had that happen to a fellow in New Hampshire a few years ago. He called about his package, and we checked and it had been delivered a week prior to his call. Turns out they left the package under his back porch. I still don't know why!

I had a package delivered Saturday when it was raining and found it when I got home from work. They left it in a plastic bag under the bushes by my front door.

2) Check with neighbors. Sometimes a package gets left with them, or even delivered to them, and they forget to say something. We sent the package to address Is that the correct address? Sometimes I get my neighbor's mail in my Post Box. Usually it's a bill, so I'm glad to take it right over to them.

3) Check with your local Post Office. They may have information about the package.

If none of these bear fruit, and after your mail is delivered tomorrow, the next thing to do is file a claim for the loss with the USPS. You can do that at your local Post Office, or online at www.usps.com

If you would like, we can file the claim for you and see about sending you replacement. So let us know what happens in checking with the Postal folks on your end.

We're open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. tomorrow, so if you would like, give us a call or send an email. We'll be here.


This was the response I got on Tuesday evening:

I spoke to the post office and all they will tell me is that the package was delivered on friday per there system. They have offered me no assistance and tell me that your company needs to file the claim since it was insured by you. So at this time I am asking for a full refund to be made asap. If I am not granted a refund within 24 hours I will report this as fraudulent to my credit card company. thank you for your assistance.

So I refunded full amount, and filed a claim with USPS, and they have rejected the claim as they maintain it was delivered.

Just wondered if anyone else has had a similar experience.....and if I should bother paying for insurance on packages in the future.
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Re: Buyer Claims Package Not Delivered USPS Says Different
Posted by: hal
Date: December 19, 2011 05:54PM
"So I refunded full amount, and filed a claim with USPS, and they have rejected the claim as they maintain it was delivered."

they did that based on a "delivery confirmation" only? That's preposterous! I'd go to the boss and scream a little, but having just returned from the post office, I ain't goin' back until after xmas so I'd hate to suggest that to you. I'd pay someone $40 just so that I wouldn't have to go back...

PS: "Just wondered if anyone else has had a similar experience.....and if I should bother paying for insurance on packages in the future."

in the past, anything claim under $50 was handed out on the spot in cash.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/19/2011 05:55PM by hal.
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Re: Buyer Claims Package Not Delivered USPS Says Different
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: December 19, 2011 08:17PM
I would have thought that insurance would cover this sort of thing, otherwise, it's not really insurance. By the way, I didn't like the recipient's tone. If he doesn't have a stellar record, I would be suspicious of him.
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Re: Buyer Claims Package Not Delivered USPS Says Different
Posted by: Speedy
Date: December 20, 2011 02:39AM
Seems like a scammer. Call the local post office for the s=customer and inquire about the delivery directly with the carrier. Next time you deal with this customer go the registered route as earlier suggested.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/20/2011 02:40AM by Speedy.
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Re: Buyer Claims Package Not Delivered USPS Says Different
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: December 20, 2011 03:01AM
Are we between a rock and a hard place?

Nope.

You did what you needed to do to fulfill your obligation. It appears the USPS did likewise. The buyer would be out of luck.


So I refunded full amount, and filed a claim with USPS, and they have rejected the claim as they maintain it was delivered.

And there's your mistake.

Yes, the carrier can make a mistake, it happens. So what is the percentage of Delivery Confirmations that are incorrect?

I'd bet that more DC records are correct than not. So while the buyer *could* be telling the truth, so could the USPS, and my money would be on them. I get a ton of stuff from Amazon that comes from UPS and USPS, all with DC. I pick up items at my PO Box, and the clerk scans the boxes.


I would have thought that insurance would cover this sort of thing

Why on earth would you? Insurance covers a damaged, delivered item, or an item that is never delivered. The USPS has a record of delivery, ending their obligation. Why would they pay for a "lost" item that was delivered?

You just don't give somebody money just because they say you owe them. At least I don't.

So-- the carrier may have misdelivered the item, a thief may have taken it off the buyer's porch, or the buyer may have your money and the item. In any event, I'd say the buyer has a lot of balls to ask *you* for a refund when there's evidence that the item was delivered. But it did get him/her what they wanted.


By the way, certified is just another proof of delivery/mailing, it carries no insurance.

Correct. It's only job is to get proof of mailing, require someone to sign upon delivery, and allow for the option of a return receipt for documents and items that don't need insurance or extra security.


For real security (insurance, etc.) you need registered mail.

As I understand it, Registered mail gets you lock and key security and just about everybody that handles a registered item has to sign for it, unlike Certified mail, or any other special service. And it allows for much higher insurance coverage than regular Insured mail. If I had a winning Lotto ticket for a high dollar amount, it would go Registered mail, not certified. While I only get the cost of the ticket (not the value of the stated winnings) it goes under lock and key. Or I could drive it myself to Sacramento and risk getting killed by a drunk driver or kid texting.

Otherwise ordinary insurance can be a worthwhile purchase. But if the Post Office has a record of delivery, then there is no claim.


Registered mail will stand up in a court of law, certified will not.

Certified mail is absolutely recognized in Small Claims, Municipal, and Superior courts, for the service it's designed to provide, and nothing more.

An acquaintance was sued in Small Claims for a collision involving a car that had been sold, but was never re-registered with the DMV by the new owner. The seller had a Certificate of Mailing (no indication on the envelope and no Return Receipt) for a letter sent to the CA DMV. This letter had the DMV Notice of Transfer form and was mailed in the required time period. Case dismissed.

I mail my taxes with Certificates of Mailing. That's all I need in court if The Man says I was late.



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And hope is a lousy defense.

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except by believing all possible evil
of evil men.

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I *love* Sigs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: Buyer Claims Package Not Delivered USPS Says Different
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: December 20, 2011 05:35PM
"Next time you deal with this customer..."

I would never deal with him again unless unless it turns out the mailman left the package at the wrong address. The customer saying "If I am not granted a refund within 24 hours I will report this as fraudulent to my credit card company..." sounds like a shakedown to me. He doesn't have to report it that soon. He has either 30 or 60 days, I'm not sure which.
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