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USPS Package Says Delivered But It’s Not Here: What To Do


You eagerly await the arrival of your package, only to find a notification saying it’s been delivered… but it’s nowhere to be found! The feeling of frustration and confusion is all too familiar, and you’re not alone. Many people experience the “delivered but not received” dilemma, leaving them wondering what happened to their package.

This can be caused by a variety of reasons, from simple delivery errors to more unfortunate situations like package theft. Don’t worry, though! We’re here to guide you through the steps you need to take to resolve this issue and hopefully get your package back. This comprehensive guide will empower you to navigate the situation effectively and increase the chances of getting your package delivered safely to your doorstep.

Table of Contents

  • Step 1: Verify Delivery Information
  • Step 2: Search Your Property Thoroughly
  • Step 3: Contact Your Neighbor(s)
  • Step 4: File a Missing Package Claim with USPS
  • Step 5: Consider Reporting to Local Authorities
  • Step 6: Contact the Sender
  • Step 7: Prevent Future Issues
  • FAQ Section
  • Conclusion

Step 1: Verify Delivery Information

The first step is to confirm the delivery details and ensure that the USPS tracking information accurately reflects what happened. Head over to the USPS website and enter your tracking number. Pay close attention to the tracking updates, specifically the delivery address and the estimated delivery time.

Here’s what to look for:

  • “Out for Delivery”: This means your package is on its way and should be delivered soon.
  • “Delivered”: This indicates that the package has been marked as delivered. Double-check the delivery address and the timestamp to make sure it matches your expectations.
  • “Attempted Delivery”: If your package was not delivered successfully, you’ll find a note about the attempt and the reason for its failure (e.g., “No access,” “Recipient not available”).

Example Screenshots:

  • Include screenshots of the USPS website with different tracking updates, highlighting key information for readers to understand. This visual aid will make the process clearer and easier to follow.

Step 2: Search Your Property Thoroughly

Before jumping to conclusions, it’s essential to conduct a thorough search of your property. The package might be hiding in plain sight! Look for signs of a package (e.g., ripped packaging, a delivery label) and pay close attention to areas like:

  • Front porch and back door: Check these areas carefully, as they’re the most common delivery locations.
  • Mailbox: Make sure your package wasn’t mistakenly placed in the mailbox.
  • Around bushes and under furniture: Don’t rule out less obvious spots where the package might have been accidentally dropped or hidden.
  • Mailroom or other designated delivery areas: If you live in an apartment complex or have a communal mailroom, check these areas as well.

Tips for Thorough Searching:

  • Look for footprints: Unusual footprints or signs of activity near your delivery area might indicate the package was moved or tampered with.
  • Examine your package: If you find your package, check for any signs of damage or tampering before opening it.

Step 3: Contact Your Neighbor(s)

If you’ve thoroughly searched your property and still haven’t found your package, it’s a good idea to contact your neighbors. The package might have been delivered to the wrong address by mistake, or it could have been left on their property.

Tips for Approaching Your Neighbors:

  • Be polite and respectful: Explain the situation calmly and ask if they’ve seen your package.
  • Offer to help: If they’re willing, ask if you can search their property together.
  • Promise to return the favor: Let them know that you’d be happy to do the same for them in the future.

Step 4: File a Missing Package Claim with USPS

If your search proves fruitless and your neighbors haven’t found your package, it’s time to file a missing package claim with USPS. You can do this online through the USPS website or by contacting customer service.

Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  1. Gather necessary information:

    • Tracking Number: This is essential for identifying your package and its journey.
    • Date and Time of Delivery: The delivery date and time, as shown on the tracking information, are crucial for your claim.
    • Details about the Missing Package: Describe the contents of the package, including the estimated value.
    • Proof of Purchase: While not always mandatory, having a receipt or order confirmation can strengthen your claim.
  2. Submit your claim:

    • Online: Navigate to the USPS website and follow the instructions for filing a claim.
    • Phone: Contact USPS customer service to initiate the claim process over the phone.

Understanding the Claim Process:

  • Claim Processing Time: USPS typically takes a certain number of days to investigate claims. You can usually expect an update on the status of your claim within a few weeks.
  • Possible Outcomes:
    • Investigation: USPS may investigate the claim and attempt to locate your package.
    • Reimbursement: If the investigation concludes that the package was lost or stolen, USPS may provide reimbursement for the value of the package.

Step 5: Consider Reporting to Local Authorities

If you suspect package theft or organized crime activity is involved, it’s advisable to report the incident to local authorities.

Here’s when contacting law enforcement might be necessary:

  • Repeated package theft: If you have experienced multiple instances of missing packages, it could indicate a pattern of theft in your area.
  • Signs of organized crime: If you observe suspicious activity around your delivery area or if you’re concerned about a potential package theft ring, it’s important to report it.

Tips for Reporting:

  • Gather evidence: Take photos of the delivery location and any signs of tampering.
  • Check for surveillance footage: If you or your neighbors have security cameras, check for footage that might have captured the incident.
  • Contact your local police or sheriff’s department: Report the incident and provide them with all the relevant information.

Step 6: Contact the Sender

Even if you’ve filed a claim with USPS, it’s a good idea to inform the sender about the missing package. They might be able to:

  • Resend the package: Some senders are willing to resend the package free of charge or with a reduced shipping cost.
  • File a claim with their shipping company: If the sender used a different shipping company, they might be able to file a claim for the lost package.

How to Contact the Sender:

  • Email: If you have their email address, send them a message explaining the situation.
  • Phone: Contact them by phone to discuss the missing package.
  • Through the online platform: If you made the purchase online, use the platform’s contact methods to inform the sender.

Step 7: Prevent Future Issues

While you can’t always predict when a package might go missing, there are steps you can take to minimize the risk of theft or delivery errors.

Tips to Protect Your Packages:

  • Install security cameras: Installing security cameras can deter potential thieves and provide evidence if a theft occurs.
  • Use package delivery lockers: Consider using package delivery lockers or designated safe spots, especially for valuable items.
  • Package insurance: Signing up for package insurance can help cover the cost of lost or damaged packages.
  • Request delivery signature confirmation: For valuable packages, request a signature confirmation to ensure that the package was received by the intended recipient.

FAQ Section

Q: What if the package was delivered to the wrong address?
A: If you believe your package was mistakenly delivered to a neighbor, politely approach them and ask if they’ve seen it. If they have the package, try to retrieve it. If they’re not home or unwilling to help, try to contact them later.

Q: What if the package was stolen?
A: If you suspect your package was stolen, contact the authorities and file a police report. Provide any available evidence, such as security footage or photos of the delivery area.

Q: What if I don’t have proof of purchase for the package?
A: Lack of proof of purchase can make it difficult to file a claim with USPS. However, you can still try to submit your claim and provide any supporting evidence you have, such as the tracking number, delivery details, and a statement about the contents of the package.

Q: How long does it take to receive a refund from USPS?
A: The processing time for refunds can vary depending on the complexity of the claim. You can typically expect an update on the status of your claim within a few weeks.

Q: What if the package was damaged during delivery?
A: If your package was damaged during delivery, file a damage claim with USPS. You’ll need to provide proof of purchase, photos of the damaged package, and a description of the damage.


The experience of a package marked “delivered” but not received can be frustrating, but remember that you have options. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can increase the chances of finding your package or receiving compensation for its loss.

We encourage you to share your experiences in the comments section below. For additional information and resources, visit the USPS website.

Remember, staying proactive and knowing your rights as a consumer can empower you to resolve delivery issues and ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience with USPS.