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Old Jun 29, 2009, 12:44 PM   #1
r6girl
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Am I being scammed? Weird USPS tracking results...

I won an auction on eBay and got a fabulous deal. The seller sent me a tracking number and I've been keeping an eye on it since last week, but today's tracking update totally stumps me the package appears to be going back to the sender without having reached me at all!
Your item was processed through and left our JACKSONVILLE, FL facility on June 28, 2009. The item is currently in transit to the destination. Information, if available, is updated periodically throughout the day. Please check again later.
  • Processed through Sort Facility, June 28, 2009, 8:31 pm, JACKSONVILLE, FL
  • Processed through Sort Facility, June 27, 2009, 7:43 am, JERSEY CITY, NJ
  • Processed through Sort Facility, June 25, 2009, 7:24 am, SPRINGFIELD, MA
  • Processed through Sort Facility, June 23, 2009, 11:44 am, JACKSONVILLE, FL
  • Acceptance, June 22, 2009, 1:59 pm, HIALEAH, FL
Why did it get to Massachusetts (where I am) then go back to New Jersey and then back to Florida where it originated? I have never seen this sort of behavior before. I have emailed the seller to see if she knows what's going on. I called USPS and they were totally unhelpful, unable to give a reason for this and stating that they could only "make a note" of a problem after 14 days have passed.

Is there some way the sender could have intentionally routed the package to get returned to her to avoid getting it to me? It's nothing expensive, just a brand new pair of boots that I got for a great price.
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Old Jun 29, 2009, 01:25 PM   #2
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USPS tracking is completely useless. I wouldn't worry just yet
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Old Jun 29, 2009, 01:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yg17 View Post
USPS tracking is completely useless. I wouldn't worry just yet
I have had experiences where USPS tracking never shows an item has been delivered, even after I've received it, so I have seen it to be useless from time to time. This one is new to me, though I guess I shouldn't be surprised that they can be so inefficient as to route a package back the way it came accidentally. No wonder they keep raising postage rates!
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Old Jun 29, 2009, 01:56 PM   #4
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I would give it a few more days. USPS is worthless.

I've had a package with fedex coming from TN go to New York waited there for 3 days ,and then the day before it was scheduled to be delivered it was over nighted to st.louis, it sat there for about two minutes and then was in rolla a hour and a half later and out for delivery at 7 am. I never did call and ask if it did indeed go to New York but i thought it was funny.
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Old Jun 29, 2009, 02:06 PM   #5
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I would give it a few more days. USPS is worthless.

I've had a package with fedex coming from TN go to New York waited there for 3 days ,and then the day before it was scheduled to be delivered it was over nighted to st.louis, it sat there for about two minutes and then was in rolla a hour and a half later and out for delivery at 7 am. I never did call and ask if it did indeed go to New York but i thought it was funny.
You're right. I should probably be more patient. I think I'm antsy because they were such a good deal and it took the seller several days after I paid to send them as it was. Gah. Patience is not my forte.
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Old Jun 29, 2009, 02:14 PM   #6
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I hate waiting too. I can't stand shipping times. Even if you went too or called the USPS they wouldn't be able to tell you anything more than "we don't know.
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Old Jun 29, 2009, 02:16 PM   #7
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And I'm not even sure that the USPS allows you to reroute a package in transit like UPS and FedEx can.
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Old Jun 29, 2009, 02:33 PM   #8
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Ive seen this kind of thing, too. Once I was getting something shipped from the west coast to Southern Illinois and it went past me to Ohio, then up to Chicago before finally ending up at my house (or, at least that's what USPS "tracking" said). To their credit, they don't call it tracking, they call it delivery confirmation. Way to pass the buck there.
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Old Jun 29, 2009, 03:17 PM   #9
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Ive seen this kind of thing, too. Once I was getting something shipped from the west coast to Southern Illinois and it went past me to Ohio, then up to Chicago before finally ending up at my house (or, at least that's what USPS "tracking" said). To their credit, they don't call it tracking, they call it delivery confirmation. Way to pass the buck there.
My dad mailed a fathers day card to his father, I mailed a fathers day card to him as well. We both mailed them from the same place at the same time (our house, we put them in the mailbox for pickup) and they were both going to the same place. My card reached my grandfather's house, not even 10 miles away from us, the next day as expected. My dad's card arrived almost 2 weeks later. Gotta love the USPS.
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Old Jun 30, 2009, 08:40 AM   #10
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Gah. So I check the tracking today, and it shows the package was delivered to an address in Florida. I'm guessing it went right back to the seller. I've emailed her to ask if she received it and to find out what's going out. Sheesh. What crappy luck I'm having with this one.
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Old Jun 30, 2009, 08:46 AM   #11
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To me it sounds like this package did not have enough postage or maybe the postage tape detached during shipment or something and so the postal service just turned it around and returned to sender. Hope it is eventually resolved to your satisfaction. You're right to be inquiring of the sender. Good luck!
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Old Jun 30, 2009, 08:47 AM   #12
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Maybe she gave you the wrong tracking number?
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Old Jun 30, 2009, 08:51 AM   #13
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I'd go with the not enough postage deal had it not actually reached your state.
That is odd. Sure the payment went through?
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Old Jun 30, 2009, 10:32 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by yg17 View Post
And I'm not even sure that the USPS allows you to reroute a package in transit like UPS and FedEx can.
I doubt it. They don't even know where packages are, how are they supposed to reroute them?
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Old Jun 30, 2009, 12:47 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LizKat View Post
To me it sounds like this package did not have enough postage or maybe the postage tape detached during shipment or something and so the postal service just turned it around and returned to sender. Hope it is eventually resolved to your satisfaction. You're right to be inquiring of the sender. Good luck!
It's possible that the postage tape came off during transit, but wouldn't they have sent it to me still and then given me a postage due notice? Then I would have to pay to make up the difference in order to get the package. Or do they not do this anymore? It's been a while since I had to pay postage due.

Thanks for the kind thoughts – I do indeed hope the seller works this one out quickly.

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Maybe she gave you the wrong tracking number?
She hasn't said anything to this effect yet, but it is possible. If she did, her package took a really indirect route if it was intended for someone in the same state!

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I'd go with the not enough postage deal had it not actually reached your state.
That is odd. Sure the payment went through?
My payment to her for the boots and shipping? Yep, paid from an existing PayPal balance the moment after the auction ended on 6/16. She didn't get around to shipping it until 6/22.

I haven't had a response from her yet, but I have 3 guesses:

1) She sent it via Media Mail to get a cheaper rate even though it's not eligible. A random inspection of its contents by USPS employees revealed that it was ineligible and they returned it to her.
2) She didn't pay enough postage and something about how she sent it required them to return it to her instead of letting it get to me and having me pay the postage due.
3) Something happened to it during transit that rendered the delivery address illegible, so they sent it to the only place they could possibly send it – back to her.

Hopefully she'll respond soon and send them to me in a manner that will get them to me quickly to make up for this debacle.
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Last edited by r6girl; Jun 30, 2009 at 01:24 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old Jun 30, 2009, 01:09 PM   #16
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3) Something happened to it during transit that rendered the delivery address illegible, so they sent it to the only place they could possible send it – back to her.
I think you can rule this one out. I work for the USPS, and this is actually my job. We hand key any mail pieces that are otherwise unreadable by the automatic scanners. The mail pieces then get scanned and the image sent to us to decipher. Unless the sender left off your home address entirely, we would be able to figure it out and get it to the right place.
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Old Jun 30, 2009, 01:20 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by r6girl View Post
It's possible that the postage tape came off during transit, but wouldn't they have sent it to me still and then given me a postage due notice? Then I would have to pay to make up the difference in order to get the package. Or do they not do this anymore? It's been a while since I had to pay postage due.

Thanks for the kind thoughts I do indeed hope the seller works this one out quickly.



She hasn't said anything to this effect yet, but it is possible. If she did, her package took a really indirect route if it was intended for someone in the same state!



My payment to her for the boots and shipping? Yep, paid from an existing PayPal balance the moment after the auction ended on 6/16. She didn't get around to shipping it until 6/22.

I haven't had a response from her yet, but I have 3 guesses:

1) She sent it via Media Mail to get a cheaper rate even though it's not eligible. A random inspection of its contents by USPS employees revealed that it was ineligible and they returned it to her.
2) She didn't pay enough postage and something about how she sent it required them to return it to her instead of letting it get to me and having me pay the postage due.
3) Something happened to it during transit that rendered the delivery address illegible, so they sent it to the only place they could possible send it back to her.

Hopefully she'll respond soon and send them to me in a manner that will get them to me quickly to make up for this debacle.

If it wasn't enough postage i don't think they would accept it. I've always wondered about the pre-paid USPS postage thru ebay. I guess they just hope it works out to their benefit. I know i have sent stuff that didn't have enough postage.

It's defiantly a weird situation. What exactly did you buy? Just curious.
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Old Jun 30, 2009, 01:30 PM   #18
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I think you can rule this one out. I work for the USPS, and this is actually my job. We hand key any mail pieces that are otherwise unreadable by the automatic scanners. The mail pieces then get scanned and the image sent to us to decipher. Unless the sender left off your home address entirely, we would be able to figure it out and get it to the right place.
Good to know - thanks! Can you comment on any "content checks" that might be done when people try to take advantage of media mail for sending things that aren't eligible for that rate? I'm beginning to think this is the correct guess. When I track it online, the class is listed as "Package Services."

Quote:
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If it wasn't enough postage i don't think they would accept it. I've always wondered about the pre-paid USPS postage thru ebay. I guess they just hope it works out to their benefit. I know i have sent stuff that didn't have enough postage.

It's defiantly a weird situation. What exactly did you buy? Just curious.
I always assumed that packages sent using pre-aid postage was weighed somewhere along the way and the postage paid was checked. If she did a pre-printed mailing label and simply left it for her mailman to pick up, they might not have scanned and weighed it until it go closer to me and found only then it did not have enough postage. But, I still think it would have been sent to me with a bill to pay the postage due.

It is weird, isn't it? It's just a sweet pair of brand new Doc Marten boots that I would gladly have paid much more for, but the auction got far less attention than I expected, so I got them for less than $10, plus shipping. To a certain extent, I wouldn't blame her if she just felt she got jilted out of more money what with the way the auction ended (without sniping), but that's way the dice roll sometimes with eBay and I won them fair and square, as they say...
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Old Jun 30, 2009, 02:00 PM   #19
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Good to know - thanks! Can you comment on any "content checks" that might be done when people try to take advantage of media mail for sending things that aren't eligible for that rate? I'm beginning to think this is the correct guess. When I track it online, the class is listed as "Package Services."
Can't help with that, sorry. The only thing I really know about is directly related to my job, and since we don't actually handle any physical packages/letters, I don't know anything about that.
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Old Jun 30, 2009, 02:01 PM   #20
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I would start a complaint thru ebay into the matter. Since you said you won them on the 16th of june. Thats plenty of time to ship them out.
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