USPS Delivery Confirmation May Not Be All You Want
The US Post Office likes to sell the Delivery Confirmation when you ship a package, so that you can see it was scanned at delivery. That way you know your package has arrived at it’s destination, so the receiver can’t say “I didn’t get it.” It is given free when you purchase your shipping postage online. It’s nice to be able to go online and track the location of a package – when it works. Many packages are scanned when mailed at the post office, and then never scanned again until delivery. Or, in more than one case, never scanned again, and it never arrived at it’s destination. What happens if it doesn’t arrive?
According to the Post Office, when Delivery Confirmation is on the package, all they can do is to track it online the same way the customer does. And if it hasn’t been scanned anywhere else, they don’t know anything more than we do. Sorry! They provide no explanation, no back up, and no claim is allowed on it. They may have lost it, or possibly it was stolen. Too bad. Your lovely tracking, which used to show a packages’ progress through distribution centers and post offices, doesn’t show any progress at all half the time. Now it doesn’t show anything. And now you’re out the package and postage. DHL API
When pursuing a lost package with Delivery Confirmation only, the Post Office asks for a physical description of the package and states they will call the handling facility to see if they have it. They’re not liable for your package or it’s handling, no matter where it goes, or if it doesn’t go at all. The only exception to this is if you buy their high-end shipping, Express Mail, which is guaranteed to arrive, on time (noon or 3pm), or it’s free. At over $17.00 for a 9×12 envelope, the insurance is cheaper by far.
You may find the slightly pricier, but better alternative, is to ship with insurance. You can’t track it online yourself, but if you need it tracked you can contact your post office directly and have them track it for you – they can do that. And if it doesn’t arrive – then you can file a claim for the amount insured, and not lose your investment. Judging from the comments on eBay auctions, it appears that a lot of folks have had similar experiences in dealing with these shipping problems.
So when shipping, ask yourself: Do I need verification of delivery date, or do I need to protect myself in case this doesn’t make it where it’s going? For a lot of eBayers and other frequent shippers, the answer is to take the insurance.