Problem with USPS delivery confirmation

I recently started an e-commerce business, and out of my first 18 orders shipped by US Mail with delivery confirmation, 3 of them haven’t shown up in the online tracking system as being delivered even though (apparently) they were, in fact, delivered. They just remained listed as “accepted” at the post office from which they were shipped.

The first time this happened, I had been anxiously waiting for the shipment to show up in the tracking system as “Delivered” for two weeks, and I was about ready to contact the buyer and apologize for the apparent delay, but then I found the buyer’s positive feedback rating saying he was happy with his purchase, so apparently the order was, in fact, delivered, even though it didn’t show up as such in the tracking system at, and still hasn’t.

How common is it for this to happen, and what should I do about it? The first time it happened, I called the Postal Service in the hopes that they could confirm that the order had been delivered and perhaps manually update the tracking status accordingly, but they couldn’t tell me anything about the tracking status and just told me to check it online, which, as noted above, has been stuck on “accepted” status indefinitely. Since then, I’ve had two other orders where the tracking status has been stuck on “accepted” indefinitely, and I’ve just crossed my fingers that I won’t hear back from my customers saying they never received their orders, but this hardly seems like a good solution. To have this happen on 3 out of 18 orders (or 17%) is not a good success rate, and it seems inevitable that it will sooner or later lead to some confusion over whether or not an order has actually been delivered, while opening the door for an unscrupulous buyer to exploit this flaw in the tracking system to claim that they never received their order when, in fact, they did.

Does anyone have any insight or advice on this? Thanks in advance for your help.


The USPS is horrible at tracking packages, or even confirming delivery. Their systems are old and antiquated and they’ve tried to tack a tracking system on top of it to compete with FedEx, UPS and DHL.

They’ll have to do a complete overhaul of their systems to really get something to work consistently. I don’t ship much through USPS, but always have little technical problems. I rarely have anything lost - but it’s not uncommon for the items to not show up for tracking (ever) or get delayed and show up late (even for Priority shipments, which are supposedly guaranteed).

Hey Greg,

I’ve used USPS with delivery confirmation to track all of customer’s orders shipped. And I have not had any problems like you have described. (Knock on wood) Where have you ship your goods? Is it possible that the mail person who delivers them never swipped the delivery confirmation label? Please keep us up to date as to what you did to resolve this situation.

The larger the organization and the more packages you have, the more problems you will experience unfortunately. I ordered something and the company was tracking it. While I was on the phone with them, they said the package just disappeared in Texas. While the company was in Northern California and I was in Southern California - they said they never saw their packages go to Texas. So they had to send it out again.

I do not like receiving packages via USPS at my home address because we live within 1/2 mile from a post office. And it seems we always have a different mail person every day. We get other people’s mail almost weekly. Give people a choice and let them pay for UPS. I know as a consumer, I would rather pay for it to know I will get the package

We are an online business and we mail daily with the USPS. Four weeks ago we mailed a box with $600 worth of chocolates to an address in Boston where we mail weekly these orders. This time the box disapperead. We called daily the post office in Boston asking where the box is. The delivery confirmation is showing that it’s undeliverable to that address ( where we shipped every week earlier and later to) and will be mailed back to sender. We called and called, filled out all the forms possible and after 4 weeks, someone of the USPS told us over the phone that nine out of ten the box most likely has been trashed. It means that we lost $600 of goods and $35.00 shipping!!! We called our lawyer and he said that it’s practically impossible to sue the USPS because it’s a Federal Institution. What shall we do now :mad:
It’s a real theft and the consumer is helpless. If John Doe would steal the worth of $200, it would be remitted in the hands of a D.A, but because it’s the USPS they are protected :agree:

Why not use UPS Ground? Their rates are very reasonable, they are more reliable, and they provide basic insurance up to $100 USD on all packages - with more insurance available, if needed.

Speaking of theft, by far & away, most thieves never even get charged with a crime if the theft is under $500 – I have a family member working in loss preventation, and the statistics are dismal. Most of the time, the police don’t even get called.