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Thread: USPS International Priority & Lost Packages

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    USPS International Priority & Lost Packages

    Hi everybody,

    Got a question for all overseas buyers. I've bought some cards like 3 weeks from a store which has been discussed here earlier for its questionable business approach and customer relations, but the prices seemed good and I made the impulse purchase.

    Upon placing the order I sent them and email and told them that I wanted to update my shipping method to Priority instead of First Class because I wanted tracking. They gladly did the update and sent me the letter with the tracking number and told me the items were shipped.

    It's been 3 weeks but the package is nowhere to be seen. And later I learned that USPS Priority tracking actually doesn't "track". It was a $300 purchase and seems like it is lost. Because I thought I had tracking I didn't get the insurance but now since the tracking doesn't track and I'm uninsured what would be my options?

    I've sent the customer service 4-5 emails over the last 10 days but received only one reply 4 days ago saying that one of the representatives "would be looking into it right away".

    If they outright say that "USPS Priority doesn't guarantee tracking and your order is uninsured therefore suck it up" do my email requesting "an update to my shipping because I requested tracking" hold any value? Can I claim misguidance since they didn't tell me that Priority didn't actually provide (even though they just give you a dummy number)?

    USPS tracking just says that "The U.S. Postal Service was electronically notified by the shipper on March 02, 2012 to expect your package for mailing. This does not indicate receipt by the USPS or the actual mailing date" but this could also mean that the shop never sent the package and since there is no way to get any kind of confirmation from USPS it looks quite open to abuse by the shop against customers making high value, uninsured, USPS priority shipments doesn't it?

    Any advice, earlier experiences..?

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    Re: USPS International Priority & Lost Packages

    You should contact USPS customer service and verify that they scanned the package in question. Once you receive word from them, you can build your case around whether or not the shop is duping you.
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    Re: USPS International Priority & Lost Packages

    Quote Originally Posted by bilb_o View Post
    Got a question for all overseas buyers. I've bought some cards like 3 weeks from a store which has been discussed here earlier for its questionable business approach and customer relations, but the prices seemed good and I made the impulse purchase.
    Really?

    MTG Chicago?

    Not to sound like a jerk but you are most likely absolutely getting ripped off. Regardless, as an informed consumer, sounds like a poor choice on your part.
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    Re: USPS International Priority & Lost Packages

    No, not MTG Chicago.

    I don't want to name the shop directly because then it turns into something else, the thread gets locked and I don't get any input :)

    I tried calling USPS from 1-800-222-1811 but it's an answering machine with no way of reaching a human to pursue it any further. The machine tells me that there is no tracking information for my tracking number available since it's an international order.

    On Google I've read similar stories for ebay sellers, but in those cases sellers got in touch with their post offices to find out about the package and get things moving. In my case I'm not able to get a response from the customer service for any further help.

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    Re: USPS International Priority & Lost Packages

    I had to open a case with usps because somehow my packages with tracking numbers were showing to be "delivered" when they had not been delivered. Whomever I talked to said they would "investigate" and contact my local post office, which I wasn't able to contact. Almost a week, of me interrogating various mail carriers as to what, why, or possibilities to this issue, later did my supposedly delivered packages arrive. The thing is with tracking is that they have to scan the package right before delivery so its pretty hard to fight but its common for them to scan all necessary packages delivered before going out for delivery, according to 2 separate carriers. Anyways, within a few days following the actual delivery I recieved a follow phone call from the original person in customer service that open the case and I received a begrudging call from the head person of my local office. Firstly, I recommend you open a case with USPS customer service, it will be alot of waiting and transfers but you will get there. Next I would notify ebay customer care and open a case. They will have you try and work it out with the seller, and sometimes they can be rude or difficult, try and get you to settle for less or just bully you with false claims. This also gives you time to talk to USPS and/or the cards to arrive. If the package was lost in transit and not confirmed delivered or the tracking number you were provided was false ebay will side with you. Ebay has sided with people who have even had confirmed deliveries, claiming they recieved nothing. I personally feel it is the sellers responsibility to ensure delivery. What if it was the other way around and my payment wasn't ever guaranteed to arrive but the seller still had to send the product? It sounds like the seller knows what you were asking for an deliberately deceived you and provided a far less reliable and accurate tracking method. I always ask for insurance, tracking, and delivery confirmation on purchases over 100$, especially after my experience and receiving a tropical island in a hand written letter envelope. I can always sense when something is wrong within a few days of purchase, and its always the decent priced($30-$70) without tracking that never get delivered... Sorry for all that rambling. Just be firm and don't take shit but be polite in all communication, everything should resolve in your favour.

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    Re: USPS International Priority & Lost Packages

    Thanks rxavage for the elaborate response. It's not an ebay purchase however. It's a store. If it was ebay it would have been easier :).

    I've dealt with them before (both sold and bought) and never got ripped off but their customer service always left something to be desired but I also never bought money cards from them earlier.. I'm not trying to put blame but since they are not currently doing any follow-up (nor giving any response to my queries) I'm wondering my options to follow this up with USPS from my end. All I can get about USPS is the phone number with the answering machine.

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    Re: USPS International Priority & Lost Packages

    I will try and look for the contact number I used. Is it possible to call you credit card company or bank and ask for a stop payment or charge-back?


    I have had a few incidences with online retailers. I have had orders arrive missing cards, both retailers had friendly customer service and didn't hesitate to refund, more than I paid in one instance, or replace the missing card immediately. Even taking a loss the cs reps never acted like I was lying or showed even the slightest doubt. Another time a big local retailer with a separate online store sent me the entirely wrong order. They sent me an email notifying me that I may receive the wrong order and to send it back, Also that the correct order was sent already. Unfortunately I opened the package first and upon discovering the mistake I proceeded to contact them, thats when I read the notification email. So the next day I called an explained the situation and I offered to drop of the wrongly received cards on my way home from work. I didn't get a chance to return the cards for a few days, I never received an email or call inquiring about the return. The store was actually surprised and grateful I returned the cards; which although less than the value of my order was still pretty decent with a playset of jace memory adept when it was a 50-60$ card... It doesn't hurt and nothing to lose by chatting up an under appreciated customer service rep.

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    Re: USPS International Priority & Lost Packages

    Oh I know, last month I had an order lost while shopping with CardKingdom and they refunded my my money as store credit even though I didn't have insurance and using First Class instead of Priority. I made sure to tell them my appreciation. I know that people relations matter :)

    With this shop though their president/customer service representative is always late, uncaring and kind of arrogant. Order is late for 2 weeks and they are not returning emails for 5 days. Don't know which is more alarming.

    You said it was possible to withdraw payment. Did you do it before, do you think it's possible? I'm not so sure.

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    Re: USPS International Priority & Lost Packages

    Quote Originally Posted by bilb_o View Post
    Oh I know, last month I had an order lost while shopping with CardKingdom and they refunded my my money as store credit even though I didn't have insurance and using First Class instead of Priority. I made sure to tell them my appreciation. I know that people relations matter :)

    With this shop though their president/customer service representative is always late, uncaring and kind of arrogant. Order is late for 2 weeks and they are not returning emails for 5 days. Don't know which is more alarming.

    You said it was possible to withdraw payment. Did you do it before, do you think it's possible? I'm not so sure.

    I have stopped payment on a purchase made with a credit card. You have to call the company and ask them to do it after explaining the situation. You can also stop payment through the bank but if it has already cleared you might be too late.

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    Re: USPS International Priority & Lost Packages

    So the current situation is: Payment already made 4 weeks ago, package was shipped (if) 3 weeks ago, customer service last responded 5 days ago only saying they will look into it without any further updates, I can't initiate a tracking inquiry with USPS from my end and the seller needs to do it, seller can't be reached.

    Any advice?

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    Re: USPS International Priority & Lost Packages

    "International priority" does not track beyond the US border AFAIK - it uses USPS tracking only, which ends at the border. You need Express Mail International, which is the USPS name for the global EMS mail network that tracks globally. I personally will not use anything but EMS when shipping international packages, especially for eBay/paypal with their onerous seller requirements. I'd insist on EMS for anything valuable I bought overseas too.

    "The U.S. Postal Service was electronically notified by the shipper on March 02, 2012 to expect your package for mailing..." means that USPS never received the package in the first place though. USPS procedure requires the package be scanned when it's accepted by the post office and this happens 99.9% of the time. Even if it's missed at acceptance, it'll get scanned *somewhere* along the line. Almost beyond doubt if that's the tracking status, the package never got to USPS.

    If you paid by credit card, call the number on the card and initiate a chargeback against the merchant.
    It's possible. But it involves... {checks archives} Nature's Revolt, Opalescence, two Unstable Shapeshifters (one of which started as a Doppelganger), a Tide, an animated land, a creature with Fading, a Silver Wyvern, some way to get a creature into play in response to stuff, some way to get a land into play in response to stuff (a different land from the animated land), and one heck of a Rube Goldberg timing diagram.
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    Re: USPS International Priority & Lost Packages

    Thanks for the response cdr, I talked to my bank and they said they could start an investigation to get my money refunded. I'm sure it'll be long and tedious but at least now I know there is a way. I didn't start the process just because I'm a decent guy and thought to give these guys time to response to the emails until the end of the week. Come monday, I demand the refund through my bank. We'll see how responsive their customer service is when the money is coming put of their pocket :)

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    Re: USPS International Priority & Lost Packages

    I don't know about the shop or ways to get back your money, but there's something else to consider:

    Your package might be stuck at your custom office. I have no clue how long that takes in France, but I had that problem several times. Shipments that don't go through customs usually take 2-3 working days to ship to Germany. Shipments that do take 2-3 weeks. I had to wait as long as 4 weeks for some shipments to arrive.

    Just saying there's still a chance you're not being ripped off.

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    Re: USPS International Priority & Lost Packages

    If the seller did use USPS tracking, then it would have been scanned somewhere in the USA side prior to leaving for International shipment. If the post office has no record of the package, then it must not have been sent - which is what the OP can point to in a chargeback request.

    Packages are usually held up at Customs too, but there should have been a record of receipt at the USPS departure terminal. Best thing to do is check with USPS on the status of the tracking number on US soil.
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    Re: USPS International Priority & Lost Packages

    Hi Koby,

    Yes, that's excatly what I'm thinking. But the problem is I can't check with USPS from where I am. The USPS support line won't give me any additional information and I believe the only way for me to inquire USPS is by going through the post office the seller opened the ticket. They are based in Houston, so again unless they follow it up for me in Houston I have no way to follow it up from my end. In which case I believe I have the right to claim "no response + no support = no send" unless they put in any effort to prove otherwise.

    @jjjones
    Even though I'm kind of tilted right now I don't believe I'm being ripped off, that's why I didn't start the chargeback request process with the bank today and decided to give it time until Monday. The package might be at the customs, migt be lost after it entered France or could have been lost anywhere along the way. These are all very real possibilities and seller isn't responsible for any of them. The only issue I have is that the sender isn't verifiying that USPS received it and that it's out of their hands now.

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    Re: USPS International Priority & Lost Packages

    Again, if USPS ever got it there's no way there'd be no tracking entries. The seller just plain didn't send it. Nothing else is a "real possibility".
    It's possible. But it involves... {checks archives} Nature's Revolt, Opalescence, two Unstable Shapeshifters (one of which started as a Doppelganger), a Tide, an animated land, a creature with Fading, a Silver Wyvern, some way to get a creature into play in response to stuff, some way to get a land into play in response to stuff (a different land from the animated land), and one heck of a Rube Goldberg timing diagram.
    -David DeLaney

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    Re: USPS International Priority & Lost Packages

    @cdr
    I read on Google that sometimes if USPS receives the packages after office hours or close to Friday evening they might go unscanned up until the package is delivered but I don't know, I don't live in the U.S. I don't know how these things work over there :) So you're saying if there's no scan they probably didn't get it?

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    Re: USPS International Priority & Lost Packages

    Quote Originally Posted by bilb_o View Post
    @cdr
    I read on Google that sometimes if USPS receives the packages after office hours or close to Friday evening they might go unscanned up until the package is delivered but I don't know, I don't live in the U.S. I don't know how these things work over there :) So you're saying if there's no scan they probably didn't get it?
    I've sent hundreds of packages with USPS. A lazy employee might not scan it at arrival even though they're supposed to, but I've hardly ever seen even that happen - maybe 2 or 3 times. The chances of it not getting scanned somewhere along the way - especially at the border - are nil. I've never seen a domestic package not get scanned somewhere.

    "Electronically notified blah blah blah" just means someone created a mailing label. USPS hasn't received a thing at that point.
    It's possible. But it involves... {checks archives} Nature's Revolt, Opalescence, two Unstable Shapeshifters (one of which started as a Doppelganger), a Tide, an animated land, a creature with Fading, a Silver Wyvern, some way to get a creature into play in response to stuff, some way to get a land into play in response to stuff (a different land from the animated land), and one heck of a Rube Goldberg timing diagram.
    -David DeLaney

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    Re: USPS International Priority & Lost Packages

    Thanks cdr, that was most helpful :)

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    Re: USPS International Priority & Lost Packages

    And let me reiterate why you should prefer Express International (EMS):
    - The sender must present the package on the date of the label or the label is void. No sitting in "has been electronically notified..." status.
    - The sender must physically present the package to a mail clerk to be scanned into the EMS system - no throwing it in a mailbox, no chance of it not being scanned.
    - $100 of insurance automatically, additional insurance only around $1 per $100.
    - EMS takes package tracking very seriously, unlike standard airmail (Priority International is airmail).
    - Guaranteed to arrive in 3-5 days.

    It does cost $30 for a large envelope or more for a heavier package, but for more expensive purchases the peace of mind is completely worth it.
    It's possible. But it involves... {checks archives} Nature's Revolt, Opalescence, two Unstable Shapeshifters (one of which started as a Doppelganger), a Tide, an animated land, a creature with Fading, a Silver Wyvern, some way to get a creature into play in response to stuff, some way to get a land into play in response to stuff (a different land from the animated land), and one heck of a Rube Goldberg timing diagram.
    -David DeLaney

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