Ordered an iPad from the US a month ago, still hasn't arrived - am I being scammed?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Yixian, May 28, 2010.

  1. Yixian macrumors 65816

    Jun 2, 2007
    Ok guys I really need your opinions here, and if there any any Americans with experience of USPS that would be great.

    I asked a friend of the friend in the US to buy and send me an iPad here in the UK and he agreed. He agreed to buy it first and for me to pay him when I received it.

    I told him to take out insurance on the postage and he did, however I also asked him to give me the tracking number but he said, quote "they said it would just tell you when it was delivered so I didn't think it was worth it". I assumed that any international postage, especially one on which you have taken out significant insurance, would come with a tracking number specifically on the receipt, but ok..

    So a month has passed, he sent it global priority and it was expected to arrive within 10 days but I think today is day 25 or something.

    He replies to his emails sparingly, never with anything useful, and yet he doesn't seem concerned a £500 electronic device he bought has seemingly disappeared.

    He claims to have called USPS and been told it is "in customs" and that either he or I needed to call to answer some questions. So I called UK customs and they said 1) we don't actually hold items here we just apply taxes if necessary and 2) if your item was being held because we had applied taxes,you'd have gotten an letter within 24 hours.

    So I called ParcelForce, the company that apparently would be holding the item if that was the case (although I still have received no letter) and they said they can't be sure without a tracking number, but doing a parcel search on my postcode they could find nothing being held or currently in transit for me.

    So I asked this guy again to check with USPS for a tracking code, and he said they told him that they can't do anything, they can't give him a tracking code and they don't know where his parcel is.

    What the hell?! I could just walk to my Apple Store and buy one today if I just knew for sure he was lying to me, I don't know why he would do it but it just seems insane.

    Please, need advice!
  2. PhantomZone macrumors 6502

    Jul 2, 2009
    then he has a tracking number - sounds like a load of BS :(
  3. sneeks macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2007
    Glasgow, UK
    You've not been scammed as you've not paid any money to him. On the other hand he does not sound at all helpful so if I was you I'd send him a email saying that you do not believe he has sent a iPad and that you are now sourcing one for yourself in the UK.

    If he has posted it then he really should have a tracking number anyway, if not then he has no proof at all that he ever sent anything to you. From how you describe his attitude it does appear like he has not bought one for you or sent it.
  4. Yixian thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jun 2, 2007
    Thanks guys, it's bizarre because like you say he hasn't gotten anything out of it at all, he hasn't turned around and denied taking out insurance so it's not like he can even try and guilt trip me.

    But as you say PhantomZone, I was sure that he'd just get a tracking code. It's not even a "tracking code" specifically it's just a receipt number that you are given whether you want it or not, and if you have taken out insurance than USPS are obviously going to have to know where the parcel is.

    I was thinking perhaps he didn't know that that code could be used for tracking, but he has supposedly been on the phone to USPS many times and they would have explained it to him.

    Gonna get my wallet and buy one for my bloody self now!
  5. KevinM2 macrumors 6502

    Jun 19, 2009
    The guy who "sent" it won't actually need to ask USPS for a tracking number as the tracking number will be on his invoice that he got when he sent it.

    He just needs to look at the paperwork he got.

    I had mine sent from the US, by USPS Global Priority, and it took 5 days to arrive in the UK, and 3 days to get delivered from customs release.

    25 days seems excessive, and unless he is prepared to give you the tracking number, I would just go out and buy one.

    He sounds very unreliable though.

    How good a friend of your friend is he? Is it liable to cause friction between you?
  6. billyjoegibsonx macrumors 6502

    Sep 10, 2008
    Dont pay for it, just go buy one :) if it does arrive then refuse delivery or something. Sounds too confusing!
  7. Yixian thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jun 2, 2007
    He did give me a "firm approved" number but it seems completely useless, although I gather it is a real USPS number if some sort?

    But yeah he sent it global priority and claims usps has told him theres nothin he can do, no way of tracking it and they have no advice for him...

    Walking home with my new ipad now!
  8. Stealthipad macrumors 68040


    Apr 30, 2010
    If I were you I would just move on and not look back! This "friend" is no more than a jerk!:eek:
  9. skubish macrumors 68030


    Feb 2, 2005
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    I not sure how you are being scammed as you paid no money but I would just move on.

    Also USPS doesn't over tracking service in the traditional sense. All they offer is delivery confirmation. They don't have a service that can track your package thru every step in the process.
  10. Yixian thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jun 2, 2007
    Ah I see. But if a parcel has not been delivered by the time promised (eg. in this case with global priority, 7-10 days, it is now over 20) can the pin point the problem?

    Also, is there any way a parcel can get stuck before leaving the US? Because I know that it isn't being held for taxes in the UK as customs here said I would have received a letter within 24 hours.

    I am opening my iPad now anyway, in the event his does exist and I do receive it I can just sell it. The whole point of ordering it from the US was to get it a month earlier and use it to revise for exams which have now passed anyway.
  11. miamijim macrumors 6502

    May 26, 2010
    Mine came USPS to Finland, it took over 3 weeks.

    The invoice number I had tracked it all the way and when it got to Finland it went to customs. It was in customs for 10 hours and I picked it up the moment the customs office opened on the Friday morning, two weeks ago.

    Yours may turn up but you can always bay it and get the cash for it then send the cash by wire transfer to the guy in the US.
  12. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    I recently sold my WiFi iPad (after I bought a 3G) to a guy that lived in SE Asia. I shipped it USPS Inti'l Priority. It was insured for $650. All USPS Int'l Priority packages have a tracking number, though to be honest tracking is horrible. After the package left the US the tracking was essential non-existent until after the package was delivered, which was exactly one week after I mailed it.

    I believe there is a 5 day guarantee for Int'l Priority packages to the UK though - you can check with at USPS.com. If he sent it First Class then it can take a while longer.
  13. Spudracer macrumors 6502

    Oct 4, 2009
    I'll chime in with more confirmation that USPS tracking universally stinks even for domestic shipments when compared to commercial shippers like UPS or Fedex. They are very reliable but slow(er) and tracking technology is not world class. If it's been a month, I think your friend of a friend is feeding you bovine excrement or the package is lost. Either way, you made the right move. Enjoy your new iPad.
  14. iWannaBeAdored macrumors 6502


    Apr 25, 2010
    Hey man. I bought my iPad from the US as well. My iPad was sent by USPS Priority International mail. This guy WILL have a tracking code so just tell ask him for the tracking code and if he tries to make excuses then he really isn't a good friend. Mine took about 14 days because of the volcanic ash! 25 seems a lot!
  15. Yixian thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jun 2, 2007
    He has apparently spoken to USPS a number of times, I am sure they will have explained to him that he has the tracking number if he really had done so, he just tells me that he has nothing but a "Form Approved No." and that USPS won't give him anything he can track with, and can't tell him where the parcel is.

    Someone mentioned above there is a 5 day guarantee, I know it's not in customs because I'd have gotten a letter so if this thing does exist, I guess that means he can claim insurance and I can wash my hands of it. I'll let him know.

    Loving my iPad by the way, it's just so.. right, it's like it fits into your life immediately.

    Thanks guys!
  16. Yixian thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jun 2, 2007
    I checked back and he actually sent it by Economy? Not sure exactly what that means, but he opted for insurance so I presume that USPS have to be able to locate the package in order to tell him whether or not he is eligible to claim.

    And he was still told 7-10 days delivery. Perhaps with economy he doesn't have the guarantee though.

    But still, he seems completely unable to figure out what is going on and yet it should be the simplest thing in the world if you've taken out insurance.
  17. bluedog3401 macrumors regular

    Sep 4, 2008
    Don't worry if he did or didn't buy it for you. At this point YOU are not out any money.

    Go buy yourself one. If your 'initial shipment' arrives you can decide to take it and sell it yourself (doing him a favor), or refuse it to return to sender.

    Perhaps he has the insurance and purposely distorted the address to try and claim the 'insurance' he took out on it. Either way, you aren't obliged to take it at this point in my opinion. If you do, you'll certainly be able to sell it for your cost (since demand will be high for such a device).
  18. Yixian thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jun 2, 2007
    Yeah I was wondering if there's an angle he could have to claim insurance fraudulently, maybe something like this. Well, so long as it doesn't involve me!
  19. RobNor macrumors 6502

    May 29, 2010
    IME USPS Priority can take anything from 10 to 20+ days
  20. tikidoc macrumors regular


    Jan 20, 2010
    Some things don't add up. You say he got insurance but that he got "economy" shipping. First Class is the cheapest way to go internationally, but you can't get insurance with First Class. That is quite slow, and 25 days would not be unheard of. Next up is Priority, which costs almost double First Class, and you can get insurance with Priority. There is no such thing as "economy". That should be 6-10 business days. Not sure what motivation he would have for lying though.
  21. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    Maybe to the North Pole, but not the UK. I just sent an iPad to SE Asia and it arrived in exactly a week, right on schedule. Not sure where you are getting your data from, but perhaps you meant to say First Class?
  22. RobNor macrumors 6502

    May 29, 2010
    I am in the UK and my experience is that 10 days for priority is good
  23. 0101001 macrumors 6502

    Apr 3, 2010
    Tracking is bad out of the states even on ebay I no longer ship overseas.
  24. fehhkk macrumors 6502a


    Jun 11, 2009
    Chicago, IL
    He probably didn't have the money and never bought it, seems to me.
  25. jfyrfytr25 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 6, 2008
    you know, I've heard this statement numerous times from different people and I dont see how it is true.

    I buy and sell things on ebay, and I have done some of it internationally.

    every time I ship or get something shipped there is a "confirmation number" and entering it into the USPS site returns me with the status of that package.
    then at the bottom of the page you can click details and it shows me all the steps it has gone through. and not just after it has arrived but during transit as well. it shows picked up here, arrived at this office, departed this office etc. and the international shipments were even more detailed showing me the time it entered customs the time it left.

    Im just confused when people say that because my experience has been that there tracking is just as good as UPS.

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