UPS Delivers Stranger’s Package To My House, Tells Them Where To Find It

UPS delivers 15 million items every day, so maybe it’s inevitable that some of them will end up in the wrong place. The problem is what happens when they deliver a package to the wrong place: say, 101 Truman Street instead of 101 Truman Avenue. In one man’s case, UPS appeared to have sent a stranger to his home to fetch his own misdelivered package.

That’s not really an issue when a package is inadvertently delivered to a business, but what about when it’s delivered to someone’s home? What about when it’s delivered to your home, and a stranger shows up on your doorstep asking for their package back?


That’s what happened to a man named Jay in Texas last week. He took to social media to complain about the policy, finding it very problematic. After all, UPS performs pickup and delivery: can’t they bring the package where it’s supposed to go?

As it turns out, that is what’s supposed to happen. Forbes’ Kashmir Hill wrote up the incident and talked to a UPS spokesperson about the real protocol in situations like this. If someone calls in with the tracking number, the company will tell them where the package was delivered. They do not, however, tell the recipient that they need to go pick it up: the company will take care of that. A UPS delivery person showed up at the house shortly after the intended recipient of the package.

The question is: how often do people rush over to that address to fetch their package once they get the information? Isn’t that a violation of privacy for the people at that address?

If You Get A Misdelivered Package, UPS Will Give A Stranger Your Home Address [Forbes] (Thanks, Mindy!)

Read Comments3

Edit Your Comment

  1. GoldHillDave says:

    “What about when it’s delivered to your home, and a stranger shows up on your doorstep asking for their package back?” Personally, being a kind and honest person, I’d give it to him (not “them”, for “a stranger” is singular). I might ask to see his ID first, or for the tracking number. Maybe he needed it right away and was willing to go through the hassle of coming to my house to get it right away.

    By the way, I was a UPS driver, and I made a few mistakes in 32 years on the job (no more than five or six, though). Nowadays the electronic gizmo (“DIAD” in UPS parlance, for Delivery Information Acquisition Device) beeps vociferously at the driver if its GPS determines he’s about to deliver to a wrong address.

    • SingleMaltGeek says:

      I’d probably try to help the person out myself since as you pointed out it would be easy to confirm that the person was the addressee. In fact, who would or could know that you got a misdelivered package except for UPS and the intended recipient? However I wouldn’t expect nor want my daughter or wife to open the door to an unannounced stranger. I would expect UPS to take care of the redelivery, as UPS said they should.

      If I were the intended recipient, I’d report the package missing and let the shipper deal with it. As has been noted here on Consumerist before, the shipper is the only actual customer of the shipping company when you order something online, and they are often the only one who can get the shipper’s attention.

  2. jdgr says:

    We just had something similar happen to us, although it was the other way around. UPS delivered our package to the wrong house (wrong neighborhood, wrong zip code, not even an apartment even though our address has an apartment number). We reported it missing to the company that sent it to us, and they contacted UPS. The person who had received our package called us a few days later and left a message asking us if she could drop it off or if we wanted to pick it up (um, neither, particularly when UPS mis-delivered it), but she didn’t leave her return number and the ID didn’t list a number. We thought maybe our phone number was on the package, as sometimes happens, but it wasn’t when we did finally receive it . . . and the package had her address and phone number written on a mis-delivered form that was still attached. So they must have given her our information when she called to report the package, and then they gave us her information when they finally delivered it to us.

    UPS did leave us a message about the package the day we reported it missing and said that they needed to ask us a few questions about the package. When we called back as they asked, they said they didn’t need any information from us. They didn’t know where the package was and were just confirming it was missing . . . but then they asked why we called them back. We reminded them that the message said they had questions for us, and they responded for a second time that they didn’t need anything from us. It was a very odd situation all around, and we weren’t too impressed by the way it was handled by the delivery company. The company we had purchased the item from, however, was awesome about everything!