Updated: Nov 16
This time of year, I read my kids a book about a lost package that arrived decades after it was sent from WWII Europe. While the book, The Lost Christmas Gift, is wonderful, the reality of lost packages for eCommerce businesses can be a nightmare. Especially during the holidays!
Almost anyone you meet will tell you that there are more lost packages than ever before and the most frustrating of all has been the rise in packages that say they were delivered but never were.
While some lost packages are never found, we have had pretty good luck at tracking them down and today I want to share with you our favorite tips and tricks!
Decide now on your policy. While most companies tell their customers that they are not responsible for lost packages, the fact is that customers are not going to want to pay for something they never receive and many will dispute charges, which you certainly don’t want. We find that most eCommerce businesses don’t want bad reviews and wind up replacing lost packages or providing store credits. No matter what you want to do, the important thing is to decide now so that you aren’t scrambling at the last minute.
Communicate clearly. Once a customer reports a package is missing, communicate with them clearly. Find out if they need the package urgently or can be patient. Reassure them that most packages show up and that you will assist them in finding it. If tracking shows the package was delivered ask them to check with their neighbors or, if they are in an apartment, property management.
Contact the Post Office right away. If the package does not track as delivered, file a Missing Mail Claim. If the package does show as delivered submit a Service Request. In both cases, you will need an account setup at USPS.com.
Ask for patience. Ask your customer for patience and accept as much as they are willing to give you. Most packages show up eventually!
Reship instead of refund. Customers may take advantage of you if they know you will refund lost packages so reship instead. Also, if you do reship, ask your customer to please let you know if the lost package turns up so that you can provide them a shipping label to return it. Most customers will if you ask.
Keep your customers happy! There is no need to lose a loyal customer over a lost package.
File a claim if you can. You can file a claim for Ground Advantage, Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express, and other mail classes where you purchased insurance as long as you have evidence that you purchased the postage. You can also file a claim for Priority Mail Express packages that are late. The Post Office does pay out on claims are they are generally efficient in doing so. Unfortunately, one time that you won’t be able to file a claim is when your package tracks as delivered.
We know that for most Shopify businesses, lost packages can be a headache that you don’t have time for. At Key Fulfillment we look forward to not only picking, packing, and shipping your orders but also assisting in finding lost packages, inventory management, and much more!