Problem with the US Postal Service

In the past, I’ve have had relatively few problems with the US postal service and I’ve never had a package lost in the mail within the US. Today is a different story.

In early November, I had ordered a Russian reverse holo Voltorb and Electrode (what’s new…) from an eBay seller in Russia. This person was a delight to work with, great communication, good feedback and very friendly. The seller sold me the cards I needed and included tracking. After a few days, I took a look at the tracking number out of curiosity and saw that it had already landed in the ISC New York facility and had been processed. I was pleased that the cards would arrive so quickly from Russia. A week later, I noticed I had not received the package yet. I have some patience, so I waited a bit longer.


The package is STILL in the same facility according to the tracking. I realized it wasn’t going to leave any time soon, so I decided to hit up the ol’ customer service. The tracking number, type of package and other details were provided to them in the form so they would have the best chance of locating the cards. The website told me to allow 3 days or so to wait for a response.

Instead, I wait a week and am treated with a request for a survey describing my recent experience with customer service. What recent experience??? There was none! Annoyed, I decided to try and fill out another form. As I go to submit the form, I am met with a message that says “Tracking number RA636539323RU is associated with a previously closed case.”

A CLOSED CASE??? Perhaps, they solved the issue and got the package moving, I think to myself. I couldn’t be more wrong. Now the tracking number no longer works. No history, no nothing.

At this point, I am furious. To have them lose my package is one thing. To have them ignore my case, close it, then delete my tracking information, AND send me a survey is another thing entirely.

Long story short, I will be looking into another service for sending and receiving packages due to the way I was treated as a customer. Then, I will fill out the survey for them. They probably won’t like what I have to say, but hey, I’m just a nobody to them. After reading similar experiences online, I now understand that we are all nobodies to the USPS.


I’m having the EXACT same issue with a package from Belgium. Same location. Same bullcrap.

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Have you tried contacting them? I’d like to find out if there is a good way to go about this. I fear that you risk having your tracking number removed so they can ignore it, though.

I’m trying. It’s been a real pain and I don’t really even know if I’m getting anywhere. But I’ll let you know if I figure something out. If you don’t hear from me, the case just disappeared and I was in the loss on it.

Have you 2 guys tried calling them? You may have to hit 0, wade through a bunch of press 1, press 2 - BUT they do have a customer service number, and with patience you can get a real person to talk to.

Yeah. Got a rep, asked a question. Then they hung up on me.

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Keep calling,be relentless if you have to. I had a package stuck for a while around last March. I called my person was very polite and helpful. They were able to find my package and get it moving again. So I got the figure (it was some sort of Japanese figure) about 3 days later.

I assure you. I have not been sitting in a chair, short a $500 package, just letting things meander as they may. I’ve even gone and talked to a rep in person.
That said, I also don’t have hours upon hours of free time to sit on the phone with USPS customer support. So the difference is being split.

I found the worker on your case;


Sorry, but couldn’t help it.

I had 20 packages go “missing” in the hands of the USPS in November. In two of the incidents, theft by postal employee was proven.

Fortunately, everything was insured, and the final claim was just approved yesterday.

Having said that, the process of proving the loss and/or theft was a very unpleasant experience. The insurance claims procedure seems to be designed to put the burden of proof entirely upon the shipper. In nearly every case, my initial claim was rejected. There is an appeals process, but that also was for the most part ineffective and the first appeals were also rejected. It wasn’t until the second appeals round that I was able to get the claims approved.

I have since learned a few things that might help anyone dealing with this situation:

  1. Don’t be frustrated if your initial claim or first appeal is rejected. This stage of the process is apparently handled by the same low-level employees who answer the toll-free numbers and simply provide information that anyone can get by tracking packages online.

  2. The second stage of the appeals process is where “real” decisions are seemingly made. Claims that reach that level are handled by a dedicated claims division headquartered in St. Louis.

  3. The USPS takes a photograph of every single piece of mail at each step of the delivery process. Photos are taken at the originating post office and at each post office through which the letter or parcel passes on its way to the recipient. Photos are also taken if a mail carrier returns a parcel as “undeliverable.” (This is how I was able to prove theft by USPS employees. In one case, a sealed box of merchandise was photographed just before it was handed to the carrier for delivery. The carrier brought the box to the addressee, who refused to take delivery because the box had been sliced open and emptied! The carrier then brought the box back to the post office as “undeliverable,” where the opened-and-empty box was photographed again. After nearly six weeks, I was paid the insurance on the package.)

  4. There are several USPS “Consumer Affairs” offices in regions throughout the United States. The staff at these offices can and will help you with your postal issues if you are not getting properly assisted by the insurance division. Finding their direct phone numbers isn’t always easy (the USPS website provides their addresses, but only gives the general toll-free number). But you can insist to speak with somebody directly in the office serving your area, and the low-level employees are ultimately obliged to put you in touch with that office. (You can also use search engines to track down the direct phone numbers.)

  5. Sending a tweet in which you mention the @uspshelp Twitter account might get you some assistance. In my experience, @uspshelp will follow you and ask you to follow them so you can exchange DMs, and they will then attempt to help you.

  6. The “3 Ps” — Patience, Persistence, Politeness — will most likely pay off. Don’t give up if you are given the run around, but also be prepared to wait a bit for your issue to be resolved. Always be polite, but also express your conviction that you, the consumer, have been wronged. Continue to file appeals if your claims are initially denied. And work all the angles — make phone calls, file your claims online, tweet the @uspshelp account.

  7. Finally, I recommend that you ALWAYS pay for your postage using a credit card. Even if it’s for just a single stamp. As a last resort (or for leverage in a pending claim that seems to be going nowhere), you can file a chargeback dispute. As long as you have tracking information showing a package was never delivered, your credit card company will almost certainly support you in the dispute.

Of course, all of the above is only effective if you ship via insured mail to begin with. Never send anything important or valuable without insuring it (or using a USPS service that includes “free” insurance, such as domestic Priority or Express mail).


Ah, seems like something’s wrong down there at the ISC New York facility. Earlier this month, I was waiting for a package from Portugal after I bought a few cards. I checked the tracking number to see the status of my package, which had been accepted at the ISC New York facility on the 2nd, and that was the last tracking update that was shown on USPS’s website until I eventually received the package on the 15th. I’m not sure how it takes longer for the package to be delivered domestically than it took for it to clear Portugal customs/make it into the US (which I guess isn’t important as long as the package arrives safely), but going by 12 days without offering tracking updates is unacceptable. If customers are paying a little extra for adding tracking to the package, the USPS should at least do their job and scan the packages like they say they will.

I have heard others mention that the post office rarely loses packages that are fully insured (I wonder why…), you might want to look into purchasing full insurance for anything that you buy/sell from now on. It’s probably not best to do so for every small package (value-wise) but it doesn’t hurt to get full insurance for the more expensive packages.

Hope you’re able to get a reasonable solution out of this mess :blush:

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Based on my experience, packages shipped from overseas are given the absolute least priority, especially during busier seasons (such as around the year-end holidays).

I shipped 20 calendars from Japan to clients in the United States in late November. They were all insured parcels with tracking. All of them reached the United States (according to the tracking information) on December 3, four days after I had shipped them.

None of the calendars was delivered until January 11! There were no tracking updates between December 3 and January 11.

The truth of the matter is that the USPS is no better than a corrupt postal service operating in a developing nation. That’s why (I can’t stress this enough) you must always insure your packages if they are going to be passing in the hands of the USPS.


What quantity do you sell or transfer in a year?

Just as a ratio maybe.

We ship thousands of parcels through the USPS each year. I’d say the failure rate is around 10 percent, which really isn’t that bad.

Then again, we’re talking about the postal service in the world’s wealthiest, most powerful economy. When you think of it that way, a failure rate of even 10 percent is inexcusable.


yea the sad part is when ANYTHING gets delivered to the ISC NY location it will stop updating for a good week or so depending on the month and time. I’m IN NY and certain packages take them a week or so to process and sometimes they even have the balls to send it to jersey then back to NYC for me

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“The tequila is to your left!”

But in all seriousness, thanks for the advice everyone. I don’t doubt that they have a lot of mail to go through every day, but 10 percent really is inexcusable. The package isn’t really worth that much, so I might just wait it out a bit longer and see what happens. I’d rather not waste my day trying to convince them a 5 dollar package when I can just get another. However, due to them deleting my tracking number when I was polite and patient, I will probably look for a different service.

This is just baffling to me.

For the last 20 years between my thousands of mailers through Yahoo Auctions, my many thousands through eBay, as well as hundreds more per year privately I’ve had no more than 5 total ‘no shows’.
These are packages of all sizes, in and out, to and from, and maybe 50 different countries. If I lost 10% of those, which would be 500 to a thousand, I would have been out of business years ago or I would have killed myself.

Does anybody else here suffer losses in the area of 10%?


I had a single day about 15 years ago in which the USPS “lost” approximately 300 packages that I had shipped from Japan. (They were never recovered, though the evidence pointed to theft in the USPS San Francisco international hub.)

So, my single day of bad luck would have put you out of business :rofl:

Seriously, though — a certain amount of “shrinkage” is to be expected in any business. Considering the sheer amount of overseas shipping that I do (my company once received a certificate from the Japanese government for being a top user of the Express Mail Service system), the failure rate isn’t necessarily surprising. But disappointing? Absolutely.

Ugh, sounds like to worst nightmare I can ever imagine.

@japanime How long did it take to refund every purchase for buyers and get your money back from post services ? :slightly_frowning_face: