In the world of online shopping and package deliveries, one of the most common questions is, “What happens if USPS attempted delivery?” This question arises when the recipient isn’t at home or available to accept the delivery. To help you navigate this situation, we’ve compiled an in-depth guide on what happens when USPS can’t deliver your package and what steps you can take next.
If USPS attempts delivery and you’re not home, the carrier may leave a notice with instructions for redelivery or pickup at a local post office. USPS typically makes 1 or 2 delivery attempts. If the package cannot be delivered, it will be held for 15 days before being returned to the sender. You can schedule a redelivery, pick up the package at your local Post Office, or call USPS customer service to arrange for receipt of your package.
The USPS Delivery Process
Understanding the USPS delivery process can help you better understand why deliveries might fail. When USPS attempts delivery, they follow a specific process:
- A postal carrier collects the mail from your mailbox or a blue community collection box and takes it to your local post office.
- The mail is placed on a truck and taken to a mail processing plant.
- At the mail processing plant, machines separate the mail by shape and size, orient the packages so their addresses are right side up and facing the same direction, apply postmarks, and print cancellation lines across postage stamps to prevent reuse.
- The mail is then sorted by ZIP code and transported to the final processing plant.
- At the final processing plant, sorting machines read the barcodes and sort the letters by carrier and into delivery order for that carrier.
- The letters are taken to the individual post offices, and the carriers load the trays into their individual vehicles for final delivery.
Once the vehicle is loaded, the carrier drives to the street where the mail is to be delivered and loads their satchel with the mail to be carried to each house or business. Within minutes of leaving the truck, the carrier delivers the mail to the addressee.
What Happens If the Recipient Isn’t Home?
If the recipient is not at home during a USPS delivery attempt, the carrier may leave a notice indicating that they attempted to deliver the package. This notice may provide a phone number that the recipient can call to arrange a different delivery time, or it may instruct the recipient to go to a local post office or courier facility to retrieve the package. The carrier usually makes a second delivery attempt the following day and a third attempt after a few days. If the delivery still cannot be completed after multiple attempts, the package may be returned to the sender.
How Many Delivery Attempts Does USPS Make?
USPS typically makes 1 or 2 attempts to deliver a package. If the package cannot be delivered after these attempts, it will be held for 15 days from the initial delivery attempt before being returned to the sender. In the case of accountable mail, it is returned to the sender after 15 days (or 30 days for Customs). Carriers will leave two notices for accountable mail, regardless of whether or not a customer schedules a redelivery.
How is the Recipient Informed About Failed Delivery?
In the case of a legitimate failed delivery attempt, USPS may leave a notice at your address, informing you of the situation and providing instructions for redelivery or pickup at a local post office. If you are expecting a package and suspect a failed delivery attempt, it is best to contact your local post office or visit the USPS website to track your package using the provided tracking number.
What Options Do You Have If You Missed a USPS Delivery Attempt?
If you missed a USPS delivery attempt, you have several options to receive your mail item:
- Schedule a Redelivery: You can schedule a redelivery online using the tracking number or the barcode number shown on the back of your PS Form 3849, “We ReDeliver for You!”.
- Pick up at the local Post Office: You can go to your local Post Office pickup location based on the information on the back of your Redelivery Notice.
- Call USPS Customer Service: You can call USPS customer service at 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777) to schedule a redelivery.
Can You Reschedule a Delivery with USPS?
Yes, you can reschedule a delivery with USPS after a missed attempt. To do so, you can schedule a Redelivery online using the tracking number or the barcode number shown on the back of your PS Form 3849, “We ReDeliver for You!” Redeliveries can be scheduled online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
How Long Does USPS Hold a Package?
After a failed delivery attempt, USPS holds a package for 15 days before returning it to the sender. If you do not pick up the item from the Post Office or schedule a redelivery within 5 calendar days from the first attempted delivery, the package may be returned to the sender.
What Happens If the Package Isn’t Claimed?
If a package is not claimed or redelivered within the stipulated time period, it may be returned to the sender. The sender may be charged additional fees for the return shipment.
In conclusion, if USPS attempted delivery and was not successful, they provide several options for you to receive your package. Whether you choose to schedule a redelivery, pick up the package at your local Post Office, or call USPS customer service, it’s essential to act within the USPS holding period to ensure your package is not returned to the sender.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I change my USPS delivery address after a failed delivery attempt?
Yes, you can request an address change through the USPS Package Intercept service. There is a fee for this service and it is not guaranteed, as it depends on when the request is made and the package’s status.
What if my USPS package is marked as delivered but I didn’t receive it?
If your package is marked as delivered but you did not receive it, it’s best to first check with your neighbors and household members. If you still can’t locate the package, contact your local post office or USPS Customer Service at 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777).
Can I leave a note for the USPS carrier if I am not home?
Yes, you can leave a note for the USPS carrier detailing instructions for where to leave your package. However, the final decision lies with the carrier, and they may choose not to leave the package if they believe it’s not safe.
What if I am going on vacation and won’t be home to receive my USPS package?
If you’re going on vacation and won’t be home to receive your package, you can request USPS to hold your mail. You can schedule this service up to 30 days in advance or by 2AM CST (Mon-Sat) on the start date.
Can someone else pick up my USPS package for me?
Yes, someone else can pick up your package for you. They will need to bring the PS Form 3849, “We ReDeliver for You!”, and their photo ID. If the item is restricted delivery, they will need written authorization from you.