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Subject: Possibly stolen USPS package - what can I do? rss

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kabhilan
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I had recently got some games off an auction here on BGG. The package was delivered on Friday according to USPS tracking (left at front door/porch; approx 3 pm) and I reached home later at night to find no package there. I figured it might be with the apartment manager then, but today, they said they didn't have it either. I'm going to check with the post office now to see if there was a mistake, but in case the package was stolen, what can I do? The seller luckily insured the package, and from what I see online, I need to get money back from seller and then he claims from insurance? I really don't want to screw him over though - I know insurance can be a pain to get reimbursed from. Any ideas?
Update: USPS confirmed delivery and suggested police report and insurance claim.

tl;dr - USPS package was possibly stolen from front door, can I get my money back??
 
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Evan Dunn
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File a missing package case with USPS. Tell the sender to start a claim on the missing package. Hope for the best, and call them for updates a lot, in case they need some additional documentation to process the claim.
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that Matt
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You can try asking nicely, but I'd expect that USPS will politely tell you to stuff it. They delivered it as contracted, and their service was complete at the time it was stolen.

So USPS insurance won't apply, but your homeowner's/renter's insurance might, depending on your policy terms.

You can also file a police report, if that sounds like fun.
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kabhilan
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Well that blows. Just checked with USPS and they confirmed with geo cache data that it was delivered (at least somewhere in my apartment complex!). So the only recourse is file a police complaint and get a refund from the seller, and hope that they can get insurance to pay them.
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shrimpoboy wrote:
Well that blows. Just checked with USPS and they confirmed with geo cache data that it was delivered (at least somewhere in my apartment complex!). So the only recourse is file a police complaint and get a refund from the seller, and hope that they can get insurance to pay them.

FWIW it's not clear to me why the seller in the auction has any obligation here, if they mailed it to you as agreed, but then someone stole it after it was delivered to you. (What if had been dropped through a letter slot in your front door, and then a burglar broke into your home and stole it? Would the sender still be responsible? Surely not.)

But I honestly don't know, so I'm curious if someone does know.

Anyway, a bummer situation, and hopefully the package somehow turns up!


Tangentially, it seems weird to me that it's normal/routine/standard for deliveries to be left outside at people's homes, given the risk someone will steal the package.
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that Matt
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russ wrote:
Tangentially, it seems weird to me that it's normal/routine/standard for deliveries to be left outside at people's homes, given the risk someone will steal the package.

I had a trade package stolen off my doorstep. While I was home. My carrier turned out to be a bit of a dick about it and claimed that going around the side of the building to buzz my door would have been against policy. I ended up leaving a standing order at the post office to hold all USPS packages too big for the mailbox until he got retired/fired/shipped away.
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Steffan O'Sullivan
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https://www.usps.com/help/claims.htm
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shrimpoboy wrote:
Well that blows. Just checked with USPS and they confirmed with geo cache data that it was delivered (at least somewhere in my apartment complex!). So the only recourse is file a police complaint and get a refund from the seller, and hope that they can get insurance to pay them.


USPS has confirmed that the package was delivered. So they and the seller have fulfilled their obligations. It sucks, but I don't see this as the sellers issue.
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kabhilan
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russ wrote:

FWIW it's not clear to me why the seller in the auction has any obligation here, if they mailed it to you as agreed, but then someone stole it after it was delivered to you. (What if had been dropped through a letter slot in your front door, and then a burglar broke into your home and stole it? Would the sender still be responsible? Surely not.)

But I honestly don't know, so I'm curious if someone does know.

Anyway, a bummer situation, and hopefully the package somehow turns up!


Tangentially, it seems weird to me that it's normal/routine/standard for deliveries to be left outside at people's homes, given the risk someone will steal the package.


Agreed. It seems unfair to put the seller in that situation. I'll just check with the neighbors, and probably have a standing order for all packages to be held from now on.
Learning - make sure to ask seller to add on signature confirmation!

Thanks for all your thoughts. Appreciate it.
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Bryan Thunkd
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shrimpoboy wrote:
tl;dr - USPS package was possibly stolen from front door, can I get my money back??
If you can catch the thief, possibly.

You're not thinking that the guy who sold you the game owes you anything after it was delivered to your porch are you? He did his part. If you weren't there to receive the package it's not his fault that someone swiped it from your porch.

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I had a situation like this a while back, but from the other end. I shipped to a Miami address and about a week later I started getting angry emails. Turns out the recipient did not live at that address it was an office he "operated" and he actually lived somewhere in South America. There were threats of legal action and everything else, but once I was able to verify it was delivered I politely explained it was between him and the "staff" at his office and no longer my concern.
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Mindy G
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Someone just told me last week that these package thieves are now called Porch Pirates. Seems like it is happening more and more these days. Have stuff sent to your work address if you can, so you'll get it during the day?
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Bill Gallagher
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oriecat wrote:
Someone just told me last week that these package thieves are now called Porch Pirates. Seems like it is happening more and more these days. Have stuff sent to your work address if you can, so you'll get it during the day?

It's especially prevalent around the holidays.

To prevent that, I have all packages shipped to a private mailbox (PMB) at a nearby UPS Store. If it's too big and/or heavy for them, I'll make sure I'm at home on the delivery date.
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Yuglooc wrote:
oriecat wrote:
Someone just told me last week that these package thieves are now called Porch Pirates. Seems like it is happening more and more these days. Have stuff sent to your work address if you can, so you'll get it during the day?

It's especially prevalent around the holidays.

To prevent that, I have all packages shipped to a private mailbox (PMB) at a nearby UPS Store. If it's too big and/or heavy for them, I'll make sure I'm at home on the delivery date.


I have things sent to my work, just in case.

Good luck!

-DK
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Mike Jones
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russ wrote:
...
Tangentially, it seems weird to me that it's normal/routine/standard for deliveries to be left outside at people's homes, given the risk someone will steal the package.


A vast majority of places it will be fine, I would guess I am getting close to a thousand packages and have only had one taken and that was in the one sketchy area I have lived in.

Dropping at the door is so much better then having to go get it. My wife ordered something for me for Christmas and it required signing for some reason. Of course, no one was around when they came by, so no she has to go pick it up. In order to do so, she will have to get off work to do it. So, we would have much preferred it to be dropped off.
 
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Wolvehunde
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I think you might be able to do a chargeback if you used a reputable credit card or if you used paypal you can open up a dispute. Sometimes the package just magically shows up after doing this. laugh You are not screwing over the seller, the seller has insured the item. Paypal and The credit card companies have services to protect the consumers.

Also as a seller it is always a good idea to get signature confirmation along with tracking and insurance. tracking alone sometimes isn't proof enough when buying online.
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Dan Cichoracki

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shrimpoboy wrote:
russ wrote:

FWIW it's not clear to me why the seller in the auction has any obligation here, if they mailed it to you as agreed, but then someone stole it after it was delivered to you. (What if had been dropped through a letter slot in your front door, and then a burglar broke into your home and stole it? Would the sender still be responsible? Surely not.)

But I honestly don't know, so I'm curious if someone does know.

Anyway, a bummer situation, and hopefully the package somehow turns up!


Tangentially, it seems weird to me that it's normal/routine/standard for deliveries to be left outside at people's homes, given the risk someone will steal the package.


Agreed. It seems unfair to put the seller in that situation. I'll just check with the neighbors, and probably have a standing order for all packages to be held from now on.
Learning - make sure to ask seller to add on signature confirmation!

Thanks for all your thoughts. Appreciate it.


Signature required usually adds to the shipping cost.

I had this problem in an apartment complex where I used to live, and I updated all my shipping for packages to read "Leave with manager" and I put a notice inside my mailbox indicating the same.

That way, if the delivery is marked "left at door" it is not delivered according to the shipper's requirements and you can then hold the delivery responsible.
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Eric Chiriboga
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I had a package stolen recently from a communal mailbox at my old apartment complex.

Amazon was nice and kind of just refunded my money without so much as asking for proof (I guess because I'm a Prime customer), but USPS was useless. They told me they'd call me back with the details of my report, but they never even did that. I get that they can't really do anything, but I would liked the courtesy of a call, as they said they would.
 
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Wolvehunde
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while the post office and the delivery service might have done there job,until an item exchanges hands from the seller to the buyer a transaction hasn't been completed. that's why its a good idea to get signature required for the extra couple a dollars.
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Hugh G. Rection
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Sounds like you live in an apartment complex. Check with your surrounding neighbors. Delivery people from all the carriers mess this up from time to time.
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My daughter ordered some cake decorations for a birthday party a couple months back. She was in the process of moving so she had them delivered to my house. Same deal; they showed up as delivered in the tracking info but we never got anything. Talked to the mailman, etc.

A month later a padded envelope shows up for my daughter, and sure enough it was the missing package. It had been delivered to the wrong address, and even had a pencil note on it from the recipient to the mailman, telling them they thought a smudged numeral in the address might be a 6 rather than a 5 (they were right).

We had actually checked with the neighbors on either side, because we do get each other's mail sometimes, but this had been delivered a block away. Why it took a month to get to us I do not know. Maybe the people didn't return it right away, or maybe the post office was slow; maybe both. No theft though, just an honest mistake.
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that Matt
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tenpointgames wrote:
Signature required usually adds to the shipping cost.

Yes. $2.45 online or $3.00 in person for USPS. I consoled myself after my stolen trade package by realizing that if I'd paid the extra amount for signature confirmation every time some BGGer sent me a box, it would have already cost more than the stolen game.
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Bryan Thunkd
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wolvehunde wrote:
I think you might be able to do a chargeback if you used a reputable credit card or if you used paypal you can open up a dispute.
I doubt he was able to use a credit card in an auction. And if you dispute the PayPal charge, you'll lose after he shows proof of delivery.


wolvehunde wrote:
Sometimes the package just magically shows up after doing this.
How would that work? You seem to be implying that the seller might not have actually sent the package? But it was sent, delivered and confirmed with a tracking number.


wolvehunde wrote:
You are not screwing over the seller, the seller has insured the item.
Actually you would be. PayPal shouldn't revoke the charge, but if they did, the seller can't collect on his insurance... The package was delivered. They don't pay insurance on a successful delivery. So the seller would be out his game and would have no recourse. You would be screwing him.
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kabhilan
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Sphere wrote:
My daughter ordered some cake decorations for a birthday party a couple months back. She was in the process of moving so she had them delivered to my house. Same deal; they showed up as delivered in the tracking info but we never got anything. Talked to the mailman, etc.

A month later a padded envelope shows up for my daughter, and sure enough it was the missing package. It had been delivered to the wrong address, and even had a pencil note on it from the recipient to the mailman, telling them they thought a smudged numeral in the address might be a 6 rather than a 5 (they were right).

We had actually checked with the neighbors on either side, because we do get each other's mail sometimes, but this had been delivered a block away. Why it took a month to get to us I do not know. Maybe the people didn't return it right away, or maybe the post office was slow; maybe both. No theft though, just an honest mistake.


I'm really hoping it is something like this. It has happened before with me receiving a package from a completely different apartment a few blocks away...
interesting experience for me was when I went to return it though; the grandpa, whose mail I was returning, was completely blase about it saying the post office got mail mixed up all the time. So, I guess with the number of packages I keep getting from BGG, this was bound to happen still, I really wanted that Trajan!!
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William Springer
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I'm repeating what some people have already said, but since I've done a LOT of shipping at times:

1) Once the package has been delivered, the seller no longer has any responsibility for the item. (Although as a seller, if I'm shipping something expensive I require a signature anyway...but only for items that cost a few hundred dollars)

2) Yes, filing a credit card dispute, if successful, does hurt the seller. This is why they'll often choose to refund you and have the dispute withdrawn rather than fighting it. However, in this case you're not claiming that the item wasn't delivered or that it was the wrong item, so you don't really have grounds for a dispute.

3) Like other people in this thread, I also have packages delivered to me at work so I know they're sitting inside, away from the weather and anyone who might decide to grab them.

4) I can't imagine that ANY shipper is going to take responsibility for a package, insured or not, that disappeared after being delivered where it was supposed to be. Even getting them to pay out for things that are clearly their fault tends to be a challenge.

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