What Do You Think?

Have you ever had something get lost in the mail?  Something that you paid for?  What did you do about it?

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That happened to me once with contact lenses.  The company graciously resent them and asked no questions as the tracking information was clear that they never got delivered.

This week, I almost had a home décor item get lost in the mail.  I simply did not update my address so it went to my old address.  No problem since things get forwarded and that service seems reliable.  Well, this time, the package was deemed undeliverable and marked as returned to sender.  Then, it wasn’t returned or scanned for almost a week.  It seemed to be lost in the mail.

Official tracking information showed it was sent and then stated that it was undeliverable and returned to sender, if appropriate return address information was provided.

The seller didn’t want to resend new product if it was lost in the mail, as they felt it was not their fault.   It wasn’t.  They wanted it to be my tough luck.  However, IF they got the package back, for an additional fee, they’d resend the original package. They felt I should have updated my address.  Granted, I should have and did later, but the usps should have forwarded it to the new address.

However, in my defense, I did message her the new address to which she mailed a fabric sample.  But she went off of the store records for sending it, rather than off of the message and rather than using the address that she mailed the fabric sample to earlier in the week.

But, in my book, address wasn’t the issue.  Even if it had gotten returned to her, that would have been fine with me and she would have refunded me, I’m sure.  The issue was that it could be lost in the mail and I could be paying for nothing.

I called the US postal service.  Of course, they said it wasn’t their fault, but that I could file a complaint.  However, it was unlikely that they would do much about it as it was not insured.  They had no idea why it didn’t get forwarded or where it was.

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So, such a situation can put someone in a tough spot.  I didn’t want to pay well over $100 for something that I never got….  a refund certainly didn’t seem to be in the cards.

What do you think should happen if an item is lost in the mail, and you have proof that you did not get it?   I’m not sure all companies have a protocol for that.

In my case, there was a happy ending.  The item ended up being forwarded and I received it.  It worked out.

But, what if it was lost?   It wasn’t the clear fault of the buyer or seller.

Do you feel the buyer should be protected so they will be comfortable buying again/ out of good customer service?   Or, do you feel the seller should be protected so they don’t lose money?

I know I’ll always use that contact lens company now!  I feel protected. Customer service goes a long way! And, they raised the bar, which also works in their favor when other companies don’t react the same way.

Should the buyer eat the cost and get no product due to the postal service losing the package?  Even if they file with their credit card for the reason of not receiving merchandise, it means the seller would have to not get paid and lose money.  Of course, the seller can dispute that.

It’s a tough call.  Right?   I don’t think either party wants to lose money.  What do you think should happen in an ideal world? Have you run into this?

Thoughts?

9 Comments :

  1. Glad your package finally arrived! I don’t know what I would’ve done if that was me. Seems silly that with all the technology out there that things still get lost in the mail!

  2. I put everything I buy like that on my discover card & if I have a problem, I call them & they take care of it.

  3. Oh my goodness, this is so frustrating to me to read.

    I’m guessing this was from an Etsy shop or something similar. I learned a few of the shipping lessons the hard way when I first started on Etsy.

    First, my take on it – if it happened to one of my customers, I’d absolutely send new product or a full refund. Simply because I want my customers to be happy. It did happen once, and I shipped a new product out right away, then waited for the old one to be returned in the mail. Sure, I could have told the buyer it was their fault for not updating the address, but I just wouldn’t operate that way.

    Second – if it was via Etsy, this is why I now use the shipping system provided by Etsy / Paypal. If I print shipping through my PayPal account, then tracking is automatically included for free.

    • Thanks, Jane! It’s always good to hear from people who have been in a situation, from either side. She did use tracking. And, tracking showed she sent it, but it also showed that I never got it at the time as it was saying it would be returned to sender. USPS – not reliable. Her reaction does impact if I’ll continue to shop there – even though the product was beautiful once I received it.

  4. Woo hoo! A poll!

    I think the seller should be responsible. I don’t think you should have to pay extra to make sure your item is delivered.

  5. Glad you eventually got your package! I just had an issue with UPS not delivering to my home because they said it was vacant…which it is, but someone is there all day er day working, so I have packages sent there that need to be signed for. When I got them to agree to delivering, I found the package thrown on the front step…guess someone wasn’t happy about climbing through the scaffolding (whoops!). Anywho, in both cases, I don’t think the buyer should risk buying NOTHING. That’d drive me mad, seeing a credit card charge and not actually getting any goods.

  6. As a seller myself, the customer is taken care of first and foremost. Never ever say “it’s not my fault”. …. ugh! Refund or offer to make right in any way you can. Period! Sometimes it hurts but that’s just plain good customer service. I have had two packages never delivered. I refunded and then contacted the shipper. I was reimbursed immediately. I recently had a usps item damaged in the mail. Customer was refunded immediately by me and the usps covered the insured item within three days. Excellent service on their part. :) P.S. These things rarely ever happen though. In all my years of selling these three instances are the only ones.

  7. This is a frustrating situation for both the buyer and the seller. My vote goes to a new shipping service. USPS might offer tracking, but it doesn’t help if they lose the package. Shipping through UPS is much more secure. They have a better tracking system and know exactly where the package is so it never gets “lost.”

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