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Post Office Lost Package

On December 12 of 2016 I sent a brand new laptop to my mom on the Virgin Islands and the postal office told me that it was going to arrive in two weeks. I never had problems with anything I shipped before so I didn't get insurance for it. Almost a month later she told me that it didn't arrive. I lost the receipt. About a week later I got an envelope with part of the box (where the tracking number is) and an application for refund of fees, products, and withdrawal of customer accounts. I checked the tracking number and it shows this:

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December 14, 2016 , 12:22 am
In Transit to Destination
The item is currently in transit to the destination as of December 14, 2016 at 12:22 am.

December 13, 2016 , 4:03 am
Departed USPS Facility
TULSA, OK 74141

December 13, 2016 , 12:22 am
Arrived at USPS Origin Facility
TULSA, OK 74141

December 12, 2016, 2:11 pm
Acceptance

Is there anyway that I can get it back or get the money back?

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January 23, 20170 found this helpful

Mailing any thing outside of the continental US is simply taking a chance; prior success is no guarantee. If you did not insure your package, the USPO will not do much, if anything, for you.

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January 23, 20170 found this helpful

It is a catch 9 to insure or not to insure. Sometimes when you insure a package, it spotlights the package as valuable. I insured a diamond bracelet for $800 that I sent to my daughter by UPS. It got to Birmingham, AL and disappeared. Since I sent it from a satellite office and not a "regular" UPS I was never compensated.

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When you do not insure a package with USPS, they cannot do anything. My advice to anyone mailing a valuable package is to box the item in a very oversized box and insure it. Send it by USPS---not UPS (or if you must use UPS, make sure that it is a regular UPS office). That way you are covered and a big box is hard to conceal if someone is trying to abscond with it.

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January 23, 20170 found this helpful

You would need to ask the post office, but most likely not. Always get insurance for expensive items.

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January 24, 20170 found this helpful

Unfortunately for you, lesson learned. Insurance is very inexpensive, and I always buy it for items that I would take a financial hit on if they were lost.

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January 24, 20172 found this helpful

Sorry that you are having this problem.
Insurance would have been great but that is in the past now and I am sure you will never do something like that again.

Since the Virgin Islands is also "US" territory you should have a better chance of recovering some of your loss.
First question: What class of mail did you ship your laptop?
If you shipped it Priority Mail then you have an automatic $100.00 coverage - not much - but something.

If you shipped it Parcel Packages (not sure of the USPS term now - old parcel post) then it may be difficult to recover much more than your postage. I hope it was in a box and not paper wrapped on the outside, but none the less - the package is missing.

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It would be better if you still had your receipt but - do not give up easily - the tracking clearly shows your package was in the USPS system and was lost/stolen while in the system.

The postal service has a very good investigative service but you will have to push your loss to really get anyone higher than your local office involved.

You will need to start with your local postmaster.
Be sure to take a receipt showing where, when, cost of the laptop along with whatever you received from the post office.(Without a receipt for the laptop your case will be difficult to process.)

When the postmaster tells you what the post office will do - then is when to decide if you are satisfied with their answer.
If you are not - that is when to state that fact and ask for an address of who to contact to voice your problem.

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Do not leave any original papers (let them make copies) and contact someone at the address they give. Keep going with your complaint until they have told you they can do no more as they have searched their "lost and found" and have found no trace of your item. Hopefully you will receive some monetary value for your item.

I retired from postal management (after 26 years) and I have handled cases similar to this but it will take a lot of effort on your part so I hope you will follow through.

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January 24, 20170 found this helpful

Hey sorry about your package but there is no way that your going to get your money back. Believe me I work for the post office. You should of got it insurance on it. That's the only way it would of got to your mom safe. Either someone took it or its still out the some where. Sorry about that but they not going to give you your money back.

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January 25, 20170 found this helpful

Thanks it was really helpful, and I do have an electronic receipt for the laptop what I didn't have was the tracking number but now I got that too

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January 24, 20170 found this helpful

The above written by cybergrannie is probably the best advice from the lady who knows, but I just wanted to add that I have had many issues with this sort of thing and usually either the item get there eventually, or I manage to get my money back.

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Usually I do get insurance, though insurance options for mailing out of the country are limited - the one time I was trying to mail a high priced item out of the country, the options for insuring were minimal to nonexistent: you COULD get some nominal insurance in order to mail things to Canada (I had wanted $2000, and I could only get $800, for instance), and to other countries you simply cannot . I know VI is technically inside US territory but I don't know how all that works.

So last time I had to mail something to South America I had no recourse but to cross my fingers. I sent it air mail express.

Sure enough, it didn't get there at all. It did not get there for 2 and 1/2 months. I had given up hope of it being received but then one day after I'd clear forgotten about it, the item arrived. There had been a postal strike, and after it was relieved, the thing arrived.

I don't undrestnd at all what you meant with receiving the box with the tracking number and refund receipts, does this mean that someone mutilated the box and stole the laptop???? If so you could try to get the police involved because it becomes a story of theft.

in any event, barring theft/mutilation of the package, just hold off a bit longer, it might arrive yet.

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January 24, 20170 found this helpful

i meant from cybergrannie, oops, too bad i cant edit a commment

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January 24, 20170 found this helpful

You can edit a comment if you go into your account/feedback. Hopefully we can make it clearer in the future. I added cybergrannie's name to your original comment also. :)

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January 25, 20170 found this helpful

Yes, they did cut the top part of the box and send it back to me. I think someone did in fact stole it because they probably new what it was.
I had to ship it through ground rate because of it being a laptop so they put a sticker on the box saying that it cannot be sent in a plane, I'll go to the police station and see if they can help me

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January 24, 20170 found this helpful

outside of the USA , is the problem .. you can ask the post office but i dont thin you will have much luck.. for future reference.. take pic of item .. keep receipt of item and receipt of post office... insure package.... and keep tracking number.... we cant do to much... so sorry..

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January 24, 20170 found this helpful

Take what information you have back to the store and ask for the head manager

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January 24, 20170 found this helpful

Just for clarification - the Virgin Islands is US territory and has a US post office so the item did not go to a "foreign country" and most likely it was flown all the way even if it was sent parcel post.

The biggest problem is going to be if she cannot prove proof of purchase for the laptop so hopefully she has a receipt or bought it on a credit or debit card.

I believe she meant that she received part of the box that did fortunately have her name and tracking number - otherwise she would have no proof that she even mailed the box. I do not believe this shows proof of theft as why would she get any of the box returned.

I think it is possible that the laptop may not have been packed sufficiently and the box came apart. The post office uses a very sophisticated conveyor system for handling and sorting parcels but even so, there can be jams that may cause a "weak" parcel to end up in a torn condition. At the same time, the contents of the parcel may keep moving until it reaches a human who has no idea what happened to the box or who the item may belong to.

I know this sounds kinda dumb but monitors on these conveyor systems sort parcels (zip codes) many times from country, state, city, station, and on to the unit or carrier. There can be miles of conveyor "belts" in a large facility.

This is the reason that I stated she needs to keep pushing until they tell her it cannot be found. The postal service has very large lost and found facilities that handle many items a year (mainly from packages that maybe were not wrapped/boxed/sealed good enough for their journey). But, even photos, coins, checks, etc turn up and are never returned to the rightful owner because there is no way to find that individual.

I am not saying that the post office is never at fault - after all - humans work in all of these facilities and we can all make mistakes or just be careless at times.

Sorry for the length, but it is difficult to explain this sort of thing with a few words.

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