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Old 03-29-2014, 10:28 AM   #1
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USPS question: Package returned from Calif to Iowa taking >2wks?

I'm the buyer, and there was a package that was undeliverable (according to tracking, it was attempted at the wrong zip code... On paypal I have a confirmed address with the correct zip code...so I'm guessing the seller wrote the wrong zip code... or else USPS read her writing wrong), and the package is now on the way back to the seller.

It's being returned from Calif back to Iowa to the sender. It left the sort facility on 3/15. Today is 3/29 and there has been no update to the tracking. Iowa isn't THAT far from Calif. Anyone have this similar experience when a return package takes this long or longer? When I last called USPS they said they put it on the slowest route back, so it could take up to 2 wks... which is today, but I'm getting a little antsy.

I'll be calling USPS again today, but just curious if anyone else has had this and if the package turned up or went missing?.... and what you ended up deciding with the seller? This was a $130 package. Protected by paypal, but I'd hate to have the seller out of that $, nor do I want to be out of that either.

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Last edited by elated; 03-29-2014 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 03-29-2014, 01:21 PM   #2
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Re: USPS question: Package returned from Calif to Iowa taking >2wks?

First, the USPS informed you inaccurately. They should have said "at least two weeks", not "up to two weeks", for returned packages. RTS takes a reeeeaaally long time, like painfully long. I've had a package returned from a neighboring state that took 3 weeks. I believe it can take up to a month, and as anyone will tell you, there are exceptional cases that are even longer.

Second, have you communicated with the seller to find out whether she printed the label through paypal or else mailed from the PO? This will clue you into whether the mistake is likely on her part or the PO.

Third, was the package mailed priority, or insured? For that amount most savvy sellers would have purchased insurance. It's not likely going to be lost, but it's good to have some assurance that your purchased was covered for loss, even if partially.
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Old 03-29-2014, 01:42 PM   #3
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Re: USPS question: Package returned from Calif to Iowa taking >2wks?

Thank you for the feedback!!
I will give it a good month before getting worried then.

I've been communicating with the seller so she's aware it's coming back to her, but I didn't ask about how it was addressed (though I did mention that the paypal address was accurate and mentioned that they had tried to deliver it to a different zip code, she didn't say anything in response to that). I figured we'd find out what happened when the package was returned. I'll also ask her about insurance when the time comes. But I think at this point, I'll give it a good month before starting to worry about it.

Thank you, that's very reassuring.

Last edited by elated; 03-29-2014 at 01:45 PM.
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Old 03-29-2014, 01:47 PM   #4
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Re: USPS question: Package returned from Calif to Iowa taking >2wks?

I wish all buyers were as patient and optimistic as you.
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Old 03-31-2014, 06:47 PM   #5
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Re: USPS question: Package returned from Calif to Iowa taking >2wks?

Similar situation, only my package got stuck en route to me. Looped at a sorting facility for 2 weeks and then got lost when out for delivery from my PO. Seller shipped it a month ago. -sigh- When I talked to my postmaster, they told me it was the seller's fault for not shipping it priority (insured up to $50 - the purchase was $48). I really wish I'd had the foresight to ask her how she was going to ship (I would have paid the difference for priority as that's how I always ship over 13oz). Like you, I hate to file a claim against her over the PO's mistake ... and while she tried to help on her end, she seems convinced it's my loss, not hers. I did ask her to split the loss with me (over my filing a claim). But for me it does raise the question, what "protection" does DC off the seller, really?
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Old 03-31-2014, 07:05 PM   #6
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Sorry to hear it ended up getting lost
I hope mine doesn't end up the same way.

The seller has been great to work with and we've worked out that I'm happy to wait until June for it to show (I'm due end of July) and she said she'll refund if it doesn't show by then.
We are staying hopeful!
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Old 04-21-2014, 04:42 PM   #7
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Re: USPS question: Package returned from Calif to Iowa taking >2wks?

Just adding a happy ending to the story. The package did arrive! Turns out the sender had put the wrong zip code.

From what it looks like... It went to a Post Office to get returned to sender. At that point I had put in several redelivery requests trying to get it sent back to me with the correct zip code. It then showed up a month later to another PO just a few miles away from the last one. At that point, the online system allowed me to do an intercept request (it was $11.something). Then a couple days later it went back to the previous facility (which was a little concerning since it now seemed like it was just being sent back and forth!), then out for delivery, then notice left (my postal worker likes to just mark it with 1st attempt without even doing a 1st attempt, but I hear that's a new common thing with short staffing??), and delivered today
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Old 04-21-2014, 04:47 PM   #8
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Re: USPS question: Package returned from Calif to Iowa taking >2wks?

So glad you got it
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