Can USPS deliver a parcel to the wrong address? Yes, it can. It isn’t common, but it happens. Understand that such misdeliveries occur due to errors from different sources—either a misspelled address, an error from the delivery person, or an entirely different source.
But whatever the situation may be, USPS works hard to ensure they handle all issues of misdeliveries adequately.
However, customers don’t take issues of misdeliveries lightly. The fear that their parcel could go missing can cause panic and anxiety. Even those that trust the courier service and have used them countless times would still panic.
Now, let’s go deeper.
Different USPS Misdelivery Scenarios
You know by now that misdeliveries are almost unavoidable because USPS handles thousands of packages daily. Here are different scenarios where misdelivery may happen:
You received the wrong package:
Many times, when you don’t get your USPS deliveries, it means that somebody else has most likely gotten a package that is not theirs. So, if you get the wrong package delivered to you, then somebody else has your package.
The first thing to do is let the post office know about the wrong package delivery. You can call them. Once you have dropped your complaint, they would start the process of getting the wrongly delivered package from you and providing the right one to you.
This method is one of the easiest and most effective ways to get your package delivered to you. Bear in mind that this is an easy process when the misdelivery error is the fault of USPS.
The sender gave the wrong address:
Sometimes, misdeliveries are the fault of the person sending the package. If the sender filled in the incorrect address, you would most likely not get your package. So, if you don’t get your delivery after the scheduled time, get the sender to confirm that they put in the correct address.
If the sender gave the wrong address, the USPS isn’t obligated to do anything for you. They may not get involved. So, your best option is to work together with the sender to resolve the issue.
USPS may also give you the name and address of the person who received your package if you ask for it. In some cases, they may offer more assistance than merely giving you the recipient’s name and address. Note that assisting you doesn’t mean they are obligated to since the mistake wasn’t from their end.
You changed delivery address after an order:
Changing delivery address after placing an order can sometimes cause delayed delivery or misdelivery.
If you change the delivery address, it may take longer for your package to get to its destination. This delay is because it might take USPS more time to reroute your package.
Also, if you change your delivery address when the package is on its way to the first address, then a misdelivery is almost unavoidable.
When your tracking status shows ‘delivered” and you don’t have your package:
When your tracking status shows “delivered” when you haven’t gotten your package, then it may be an issue of misdelivery or something else.
If your tracking status reads delivered and your package isn’t in your chosen location, it could mean one of two things. The delivery person marked your parcel as delivered before getting to your address. Your package would still get to you.
The second thing is your package might be at the wrong address. So, if you wait for a day or two (if the delivery isn’t urgently needed) after your delivery status shows delivered and your package hasn’t gotten to you, you’ve to act.
Check to be sure you didn’t put in the wrong address. If not, alert the USPS.
What To Do If Your Package Isn’t Delivered To You
It can be stressful and disturbing when you don’t get your package, especially when you fear that USPS may have delivered it to the wrong address or it has gone missing. At times like this, it is best to take action instead of fretting. Here is what to do:
Check around your house or the given address:
The first thing to do when you haven’t gotten your package is check around your premises. Do this to confirm that the delivery person didn’t drop your package in an unexpected place on your property. You never know!
Also, check different corners if a light package could have fallen somewhere or easily been thrown away (by mistake).
You may also need to ask your neighbors if they got any package addressed to you. It happens! It may be because of the numbering system. So, check with your neighbors to be 100% certain that your package isn’t with them.
If your package didn’t get to you and you have checked around your property and still couldn’t find it. Please, check online to be sure you put in the correct address. Any mistake at all in spelling a name or address can cause misdelivery.
Try to confirm a misdelivery:
You have checked online and around your premises, and there is no package from USPS for you; try to use the tracking system to find where your package went through and ended up.
If you didn’t make a mistake with the address, then the delivery person may have misread the information you provided.
With the tracking system, you can find the location your package ended up. So, please take note of as many details about your delivery, primarily where it got delivered. You would need the information when you contact the company about your misdelivered package.
To get back your package or its monetary equivalent:
After you contact the shipping company, they would put in the effort to get your package to you.
This retrieval may be an easy process, and you would get your package in a few days. Or it might be a complicated process, which could continue for a few days and end with you collecting the monetary equivalent of your package back.
With all the effort the company puts in, they may still end up taking a few days to track your package and deliver it to your correct address.
There are cases when the person who received the package at the wrong address makes it hard. For example, the package gets tracked to an address, and the receiver makes it hard to get the parcel back by refusing to let it go.
If this mistake isn’t your fault and the delay stretches for more than a few days, you have the right to ask them for your shipping fee, and they should oblige.
If the tracking takes time, and they can’t find your package, USPS would declare it a missing package. At this point, you have the right to file for a refund of the money’s worth of your package.
For a refund, you need to provide evidence of your package’s worth and shipping cost.
Using The USPS Tracking System
USPS provides a tracking system for you to track your package and delivery time. So, you would know where your parcel is and at what time it would most likely get to your location.
When you place an order for your delivery, you get a tracking number. You would get this number from your mailing receipt or email. This number is what you use to track the path your package goes through using the tracking system.
Once your package gets to you, your tracking system status would show “delivered.” If it shows delivered and it hasn’t gotten to you, then it is either back at the post office, on its way to you, or has been delivered to the wrong address.
What To Do When You Receive Someone Else’s Package
There are situations when you receive packages that are not yours. You should contact the USPS when you have a delivered package that is not yours. The USPS recommends that you bring a wrongly delivered package to their notice or return it to the post office.
They would take up the responsibility of finding the actual owners. In some situations, people receive packages with their addresses but not their names. These situations mainly occur when you just moved into a new apartment. The package could most likely be from the previous occupier of your new apartment.
You should know that as long as you did everything right and entered the correct information (names and addresses), whatever issue arises during delivery wouldn’t be your fault. Also, you can rest assured that USPS would always deal with whatever problems may arise.
They would track your package and have it delivered to you or pay you back for whatever loss you may incur.