Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Issues with USPS Shipping and eBay

Recently I sold an item on eBay as I have done in the past. Everything looked normal for example the buyer had good feedback and a confirmed shipping address. The buyer sent me an email asking when it would ship so I replied letting them know I would be shipping it out same day.

I prepare the package, take it to the post office and drop it off. So far so good. After I get home, I check my email and see frantic messages from the buyer saying their account was hacked and not to ship the item. Great, so I just dropped it off and now they are telling me not to ship it.

I try calling USPS, but the automated phone system is no use. I speed back over to the post office to see if they can stop it. The employee checked but was not able to find the package and said it probably already sent out. I asked if there was anything that could be done to make it come back and they said no.

So I go back home and let the buyer know the package has already been sent. Meanwhile I'm getting messages from eBay and PayPal about how there is an issue with the transaction and how the payment is now being held until the case is resolved.

I do some research and find there is an option with USPS to request an intercept on the package and have it return to sender so I put in this request. I figure they can catch it on the next scan and bring it back. Unfortunately it seems this system does not work because it passed several checkpoints and went all the way to the buyer's location without being stopped.

Fast forward about a week, the package has not returned yet but instead keeps going back and forth between cities. It seems they are confused and keep trying to send it to the buyer even though the request to return to sender has been made. Even the request to intercept the package said it was completed yet the package has not returned yet.

I finally email USPS to let them know what is going on. I get a call later that night from the post office where it is now located. They reassure me that the package will be returned to my address.

The next morning I get an updated status of the tracking and again they are trying to send it to the buyer! What is going on USPS? They just personally told me the package was coming back and then it still keeps going to the same place!

Luckily I have signature confirmation on the package so either it will end up with the buyer or it has to come back eventually. It has been almost 2 weeks and the package is still in limbo. I will update this post in case there are any new developments.

Update 12-10-16: The bad news and the good news.

So worst case scenario happened and USPS managed to lose the package while it was out for delivery at the buyer's address. It is hard to believe it went missing because it had signature confirmation. I called back the post office to try to get some more information. They basically said they would look for it and call me back. They have not called back.

I got an update from USPS by email saying they were not able to confirm the delivery. Meanwhile I have been updating PayPal with what is going on because the payment was being held until the case was resolved.

The next step would be to file a claim for missing mail with USPS. Just as I was about to do this, I get an email from PayPal saying the funds are now available and the case is closed. I log in for details and it looks like they refunded the money to the buyer and reimbursed me for the cost of the item. Much respect to PayPal for honoring their seller protection policy!

So the situation quickly went from worst case scenario to best case scenario. It went from thinking the item would be returned and I would have to resell it again, to thinking the item was lost and I was completely out of luck, to being reimbursed for the full amount of the purchase!

Still I am going to follow up with USPS on this case. One, they charged me for a package intercept that did not follow through, and two, the package is still missing as the status was never updated once it was out for delivery.

Today I filed a missing mail report to see if there is any chance they can find the package. Next step would be to file a claim for the value of the item. I'm not even concerned with the value since PayPal covered it, but USPS has to be held accountable especially if there are cracks in the system which are allowing packages to go missing.

Update 12-11-16: Unexpected turn of events

Just when I thought the dust had settled on this whole situation, the package shows up back at my residence. It did not have a tracking number but apparently USPS did manage to finally intercept the package and sent it back with First Class mail. I'm not sure why they did not keep the tracking number or update the tracking but it is a relief to know the package was returned and did not go missing.

So now I am contacting USPS and PayPal to cancel the search of the missing package and let them know it has finally been returned. It has been quite an adventure with this transaction to say the least!

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