Although packages tend to come from other carriers like FedEx and UPS, the USPS sometimes delivers packages, too.
When you’re expecting a delivery from the USPS but never receive the package, despite the tracking information saying they delivered it, then you may be unsure of what to do next.
Here are the steps you can take when you don’t receive a package from the USPS despite the tracking showing they delivered it.
USPS Says Delivered But No Package (What To Do)
First, you should know the main reasons this might occur in the first place.
USPS will sometimes say they delivered a package, but in fact, it can take up to 24 hours for the package to actually arrive.
There are several reasons they might do this.
The most common is that they need to push a certain number of deliveries a day, and to save on time, they may prematurely mark the delivery as complete.
Clerical and technological errors sometimes happen, too.
A mail deliverer may make a mistake, or a computer may malfunction and mark a package as delivered prematurely.
Luckily, there are a few steps you can take to determine the status of your package.
The first is to contact the USPS.
Since their phones are usually busy, you’ll want to leave an email with them.
They’ll be able to respond faster to you.
They’ll most likely tell you to wait 24 hours, so you may want to wait 24 hours before contacting them, anyway.
After 24 hours, if your package still hasn’t arrived despite it saying, “Delivered,” then you’ll definitely want to speak with a USPS representative.
Does Your Neighbor Have It?
Before contacting the USPS, you should first see if your neighbor picked up your package by mistake.
Sometimes the USPS will accidentally give your package to your neighbor instead of you.
They do this with mail, so it’s likely to occur with packages as well from time to time.
Take a moment to visit each of your neighbors and inquire if they received a package meant for your address.
It’s possible that your neighbor may not even realize the package wasn’t for them if they haven’t opened it yet or looked at the shipping address.
Sometimes a USPS worker will also give your package to a neighbor for safekeeping.
This is usually only done if you told them to do so, however.
Most often, USPS will only do this in apartments or condos.
It’s rare for them to give your package to a neighbor if you live in a house.
Did The USPS Driver Put It Somewhere Hidden?
With porch pirates on the rise, postal workers and delivery drivers are doing their best to keep packages hidden.
Not everyone will place packages near your front door anymore.
They prefer to place the package in safer areas like the back door, in a garage, or in a concealed area.
They don’t always tell you where they put it either.
If the tracking system says your package is delivered, but you don’t see it, then take the time to look around your home.
Check around the front door to see if the postal worker placed it behind or underneath a bench or another decoration.
Check the inside of your garage if you left the door open.
If you have a back door, then you’ll want to check around that area, too.
It’s also possible that they put it on the side of the home.
Finally, check your mailbox.
If the package is small enough to fit inside of your mailbox, then there’s a good chance the postal worker will put it in there.
Even larger packages are sometimes squished inside of the mailbox.
Did They Give The Package To FedEx?
FedEx and the USPS partner up from time to time.
Sometimes FedEx will give their packages to the USPS and sometimes the USPS will give their packages to FedEx.
It’s possible that the USPS may say they delivered the package, but they really only gave it to FedEx.
It may take FedEx a day or two longer to actually deliver the package.
Miscommunication between the two carriers can also lead to false notifications that they delivered the package.
In this case, it’s worth contacting the USPS first.
They can tell you whether they used FedEx to complete the delivery or not.
If they did, then you can receive the information you need from them to speak with FedEx.
With that information, call FedEx next.
Give them information and ask about the status of the package.
They’ll likely tell you that it’s in transit.
Otherwise, if they did deliver it, then they can tell you where they delivered it and to whom.
While relying on FedEx to handle packages may sometimes be more convenient and cost-effective for the USPS, it does sometimes lead to clerical errors.
That can be frustrating for those who are still waiting for a package even though it says it has been delivered.
How To Prevent The Situation
There are a few things you can do to prevent this from happening to you.
While it’s impossible to ward off clerical or technical errors, you can put a few safeguards in place that can reduce the chance of it happening to you.
Follow these steps to prevent receiving a notification that your package was incorrectly delivered.
1. Ask For Signature
One of the best ways to prevent this situation is to ask for a signature upon receipt.
When you sign up for this program, it requires the postal worker to receive a signature from you or another adult at your home to deliver the package.
They cannot deliver the package unless someone signs for it.
That means that they can’t mark the package as delivered.
This does mean, however, that someone needs to be at home to receive the package.
Otherwise, you’ll never receive the package.
The USPS will only make a few attempts at delivering a package before they hold it for you at your local postal office.
If you let it stay there too long, then they’ll send it back to the sender as a failed shipment.
Requesting a signature, however, is an effective way to avoid missed packages and incorrect messaging.
2. Invest In A Locked Box
If you live in a home rather than an apartment or a condo, then you may want to consider investing in a lockbox.
This box comes with a code or key that you can give to the postal worker.
They also carry skeleton keys that allow them to access most lockboxes.
A lockbox is useful because it keeps your package safe.
Only you and the postal worker can open it.
The postal worker can place your package inside of it, then lock the box afterward.
In doing so, it will prevent thieves from stealing the package.
It’s safer than leaving your package by your front door or in other areas of the home.
It also helps prevent receiving a package delivered notification when you didn’t receive a package.
That’s because it’s harder to miss the package.
It should always be inside your lockbox.
It’s easy to find and it cuts down on the risk of someone having stolen it.
There’s always a chance that USPS did deliver the package, but someone stole it before you could get home to pick it up.
A lockbox solves many problems.
3. Sign Up For Informed Delivery
The USPS offers a service called Informed Delivery.
It involves the postal office taking photos of mail headed to your address.
It also includes photos of any packages that you’re receiving.
They then send those photos and a message to you through your email.
The message states that your local postal worker is going to be delivering the attached items to your address.
Sometimes, especially if the delivery day is a Saturday or day before a holiday, the package won’t arrive until a day later.
However, having Informed Delivery gives you a better idea if a package is actually on its way or not.
At the very least, it tells you that the package was, at some point, in the hands of a USPS worker.
4. Change Your Delivery Preferences
If you want to make absolutely certain that the USPS delivers your package, then you can change your delivery preferences with their office.
That includes telling the postal worker when they can deliver the package.
It has to be within the operating hours of the USPS office, however, so you can’t expect them to deliver your packages after 5 PM.
Some close even earlier than that.
Giving the workers a specific time slot in which you can accept their packages ensures that they always make the delivery.
They know that they only have a specific window in which they can deliver.
Since they don’t want your package taking up space in their inventory, and because it costs them money to re-deliver a missed package, they’ll work hard to deliver your package on time.
5. Set Up Cameras
A final way that you can ensure you receive your package is to set up cameras overlooking the front of your house.
The camera needs to show the driveway or front door area.
This will allow you to use the camera as evidence that the delivery agent never showed up at your home with the package.
It will also inform you about whether someone stole the package or not.
With this information, you can call the USPS office and figure out the situation from there.
Keep in mind that some deliveries are in your mailbox.
It’s worth putting a camera angled towards the mailbox, too.
Can Someone Else Sign For Your Package?
You may decide that you want the USPS carrier to have someone sign for your package.
This will ensure that you receive it and that there isn’t a mistake made when it’s marked as delivered.
However, most often, you may not be home when they attempt to make a delivery.
Luckily, you can give someone else permission to sign for the package instead.
The main regulation about designating someone else as the signer is that they need to be at least 18 years old.
You can choose another family member, a visiting friend, even your neighbor to sign for the package.
If you live in an apartment or condo, then you can designate the front person as the signer.
The receptionist in the office is a great example of someone who can sign for your package.
Then they’ll hold the package in the office until you arrive to accept it.
Having someone sign for the package is a great way to ensure it’s actually delivered to your home.
What Pickup Options Do You Have With USPS?
There are a few options you can use with the USPS to pick up your package.
Here are some of the most common.
1. Visit The USPS Office
One of the basic options is to head to your local office and pick up your package there.
The USPS does not deliver packages that are too heavy or too large.
They expect you to pick it up instead.
You’ll often receive a notification about your package being ready for pick up at the office.
It will include some information about the specific package.
When you’re ready to pick up the package, take your notice and head to the office.
You can present the notice to the clerk or tell them that you’re expecting a package.
They’ll request some information from you to ensure they give you the right package.
Once you have it, that’s all you need to do.
There aren’t any more steps or papers to sign.
2. Schedule A Package Intercept
Another option is to use their Package Intercept program.
This is primarily useful for those who need to temporarily stop the delivery of a package or reschedule it.
You can also sometimes direct it to another address.
This is useful if you know that you can’t make it home in time to sign for the package.
You can tell the office to hold your package, then pick it up from them there.
You can also schedule it for another delivery later in the week.
It’s also possible, in some cases, to have them redirect the package to your workplace.
You can sign for it there when it arrives and then take it home with you.
3. Schedule A Redelivery
In the event that the postal worker missed you, then you can always schedule a redelivery.
Redelivery is a service in which the deliverer will follow a new set of instructions for your delivery.
They’ll attempt to deliver the package again at the specific time and day that you request.
This is an ideal option for those who know that they can’t make it to the postal office in time to pick up their package before it closes.
Using the redelivery service ensures that you finally receive your package even if you’re not home.
4. Rent A PO Box
If you don’t like the idea of your package sitting on your front porch for a few hours, then you can always choose to rent a PO Box.
This is a different address than your home or apartment address.
When you have a package sent to your PO Box, then the mail carrier will deliver the package there instead.
A PO Box is more secure than leaving the package out by the front door.
Only you and the USPS have access to it.
It’s also an ideal way to deliver something to your home without having to put your home address on it.
It gives you some privacy.
When they deliver your package, then you can go to your PO Box and take out your package.
Does The USPS Deliver Packages On Saturdays?
Yes, the USPS delivers packages on Saturdays.
If the package is a Priority Mail Express package, then they’ll even deliver it on Sundays.
The Priority Mail Express packaging uses a pricier stamp to ensure a fast delivery.
However, you may want to use this service with some caution.
You’re more likely to not receive a standard package on Saturday even though it says they delivered it.
While the USPS is an effective mail carrier, accidents do happen.
Clerical errors can occur.
Most often, your package may receive an incorrect label or receive an update too early.
When this happens, you should wait for 24 hours.
If the package doesn’t arrive the next business day, then call the postal office.
They’ll help you figure out what went wrong.NEXT: Amazon Says Delivered But No Package (What To Do)