Package Vanishes Into Thin Air Inside The Post Office

Anthony’s faith in the U.S. Postal service was clearly misplaced. He dropped off a package with a prepaid label at a local post office, with the misguided belief that it would enter the shipping system, and that the delivery confirmation barcode on the label would show the package’s path through the mails. That’s not what happened. What happened was that the prepaid label, with no package attached, was returned to Anthony’s house. Where’s the package? No one knows. But it’s not the post office’s problem, since there’s no proof that he even mailed it in the first place.

I shipped a package via USPS on January 18. The package contained a laptop screen and battery I had sold on eBay. A week and a half later, the buyer complained that they never received the package. On the same day, I received a bubble envelope that contained the label from my box, that had been cut off with a box cutter, along with a “mail recovery form”. The bubble envelope had no postage on it. I called the post office immediately, and they said they had no record of the package, even though the label had a sticker attached to it by the post office that said “zip codes help speed the mails”. Yes, mails, plural. The label was pre-printed, with the zip code.

They only had proof that I purchased their label online, but no proof they accepted it. Even after I explained what I had received in the mail, the forms, the sticker, etc, they deny it went through their processing plant because there “are multiple high speed cameras, and one would have picked it up”. They told me “sir, you have no proof that you ever shipped the package”.

The auction total with postage was $70, and was not insured. Even if it was insured, they claim to have not accepted it, so it wouldn’t be covered. I have spoken to half a dozen representatives, in multiple departments, and have played phone tag, leaving dozens of messages attempting to recover this package. I submitted the mail search form 2 and a half weeks ago, but haven’t gotten a response, and when calling that number, was unable to leave a message (and redirected 4 times to end at someone’s voicemail.

When I shipped the package, the extremely rude clerk at the USPS refused to give me a receipt because it was prepaid, and for all I know she stole the package’s contents and dropped the label and forms at my house personally. I directly questioned the integrity of the post office, and asked how I could ever trust that my packages would be sent successfully, and they simply replied “they should” … That I could “hope” they get there safe and sound.

In terms of compensation, they have only offered me a postage refund of $10 (with proof of shipping). I have an eBay buyer who has been extremely patient, but is obviously getting fed up. No one in the post office seems to care, and I have filed for 2 investigstions, which both concluded that the package was never received or lost in transit.
Please help Consumerist!!

I frequently ship items with prepaid labels printed through PayPal, and when I hand them over, the clerk scans them in, showing that they were received at X post office and the time and date. I also get a receipt indicating this. If your local post office doesn’t do this for your prepaid packages, insist on it.