I had a package going from the US to Copenhagen, Denmark (where I live), after arriving in Denmark it was forwarded to Tokyo (!) where apparantly it was rejected by japanese customs and returned to sender in the US...
I've ordered stuff from the US that has moved through multiple distribution centres (including the 'lets keep sending it back to the same one every couple of days' that you've had) before the eventually get to either LA or NY for international transfer. The ones from NY then run the risk of getting lost in Dubai for weeks or even months before restarting their journeys. The ones shipping out of LAX usually make it without problems but one decided to go Honolulu, LA, Tokyo, LA, Honolulu, LA, Australia.
Mind you, AusPost sometimes also add to the fun. I've about an hours drive from Sydney Airport, post obviously goes from the airport to AusPost's distribution centre for Sydney, from there to my local sorting office and to me. One packet from the US managed to visit every Australian Capital City at least once (Melbourne x3 and Brisbane x2). It even went though my local sorting office twice (first time it was sent back to Melbourne) before it eventually got to me. I contacted AusPost several times whilst this was going on and despite the evidence of the tracking they were in complete denial, Having checked various review boards it is not a frequent problem and most stuff goes direct, but once it starts the grand tour of Australia it seems to just keep going. AusPost even tried blaming the shipper for a bad address label - it was machine printed and completely correct. I later found out that if the sorting machine can't read a label (either 'cos the label is bad or the machine needs maintenance) it just sends it back some random main post hub and that this will happen a minimum of three times before a parcel will be redirected for human intervention!
I got a nice email from etsy saying that my package has been delivered. So I guess the sender got the package back.
So its no longer in the mail system, it has come full circle and was delivered back to the sender.
Recently I had some tobacco, ordered from SPC, go to Chicago then back down to SC and finally to me. I only live 2 hrs from SPC. I usually get my orders from SPC in one day. USPS definitely doesn't have their act together. Their tracking system is terrible.
I've been in the freight business all of my working life. All it takes is for some moron dock worker to out your box in the wrong cage and away it goes. Very easy to happen and does happen quite often, even with the scanning systems
I have had two recently, one where the package went from South Carolina to Denver, but then instead of going to Colorado Springs it went to San Jose, then back to Denver after 4 days, then to me the next day. Three weeks ago I had a pipe ship from CA and then sit at the regional distribution center for 6 days, then finally to me. In either case what was supposed to be 3-4 days ended up being over two weeks. USPS is pretty weak at times.
I had a pipe leave Alberta, go through Vancouver (a big hub) down to the big center in San Fran for sorting, and this was a pipe destined for California, so all looked good. Then it showed up in Philadelphia, then Chicago, then France. I figured that was it but it made it into Germany, then booted back to the USA, went through San Fran again and was delivered like 2 days later.
It truly is a mystery. Mostly it works, but occassionally it's a disaster.
USPS is hit or miss. You wonder why they lose money each year.
Had a passport sent to the Korean Chicago Embassy for my E-2 teaching visa back in 2014. Registered and certified mail envelope for them to send it back. This was about 3 weeks before I was scheduled to leave abroad.
Waited the typical 3-4 days it would take to send it back. Realistically I am only a 5 hour drive from Chicago bring from metropolitan Detroit.
Didn't arrive after a week. Two weeks went by.
Had to cancel my flight and explain to the school I'd be arriving late. Had to get an expedited passport made, send my new passport to the Embassy again and then drive a few days later to pick it up. Highways flooded on the way back and wasn't able to make it home until the next day.
Made it to Korea a few weeks late. 9 months later, my father called me and said "Guess what came in the mail?" It was my passport that was lost for that long.
USPS lost a box full of aged tobacco I bought off a forum member a couple months ago. It got all the way here to Milwaukee, and the last update was "Out For Delivery" - and then it disappeared. No arrival scan, so it wasn't nabbed off our porch. It just got on the carrier's truck and then didn't get off. I talked to all our carriers, really gave them the full Larry David treatment, then I talked to their supervisors, etc. and then spent hours on the phone with USPS. It was a large flat-rate box, so only 50$ of insurance, and I paid way more than that. I'm _still_ following up, hoping they'll find it or cough up some more money. Some fine tins are probably lost forever - 15-year-old Telegraph Hill, 5- and 6-year-old FVF, Wessex Dark Flake, Solanis, Aylesbury, that other one that starts with "A" that I'll never get to try, Navigator, etc. God, I hope a big old box of long-lost goodness shows up unannounced on my porch some day like troyniss's passport. But I ain't holding my breath. Live and learn, right? All my other transactions and trades with forum folks have been nothing but pleasant. But I'm going to insist on insurance for anything big from now on.
Something like this happened to me the last few times I ordered tobacco from SPC, EBay, and some other various packages. USPS would mark the package “Delivered” on the tracking only it wouldn’t be there. My fear was always that they had been stolen off my porch, but they would either turn up next door...
*Funny story about one of the next door deliveries, my neighbors there are in their 90’s and the gentleman can’t see so good, so he opened one package of tins was surprised and confused by the contents and then continued on and opened not one but two tins to figure out what it was before he realized they weren’t his! Poor guy brought them over to us and said “I’m so sorry I opened these.. they’re yours... but what are they!?” I asked him if he wanted to have a pipe with me but he declined said he was never much of a smoker haha*
Back to the point.. or they’d show up down the street, not even the same house numbers that way. All with clear machine printed labels. A few times they didn’t turn up at the neighbors, I would call USPS after a day or two and be directed that the carrier still had the packages but they couldn’t track down the carrier, two days later the thing would show up while they were still “looking” all with them having no idea it had been delivered or where it had been in the mean time.
Once I had two packages coming from the same place at the same time with the same delivery date (placed one order at SPC and then went back for more an hour later, I’m sure some of you can relate) both got “delivered” one actually made it, and one got “lost” only to show up days later. Had one packaged marked “Delivery refused package to large to fit in mail box” it was one tin in a bubble mailer... they’ve left 24x48 slabs of plywood on my porch not sure why the bubble mailer couldn’t find a home...
They’ve left things out on the ground in the rain, my porch is covered and 1 foot from the mail box...
Very frustrating, and clear that USPS has some serious issues around where I live too, or I thought maybe they just decided they don’t like me for some reason, until I talked to many others in my neighborhood that have all had very similar issues.
Troyniss & Trubka2 that is the worst feeling I really hope your ordeals work out like mine and they show up soon!
I’ve been hesitant to use USPS; when ever I have a choice I’ve been paying the few bucks extra to use UPS or Fedex when I can
USPS has made sure a couple of my packages were well-traveled, but at least their tracking system now provides some interim updates. In the wayback, a FedEx or UPS tracking number worked the way it does now. It regularly reported where your package was and when it would arrive.
USPS tracking numbers, on the other hand, would provide an initial "shipped" entry showing the shipping location. Then, nothing. The package would arrive at a reasonable interval, and then, as soon as it was marked delivered, the details of its journey would be populated in the tracking log. "Two days ago, it was here. Yesterday, it arrived in this other city."
Well, I don't care now.
I try never to use USPS if possible. They leave packages on my front step in the rain/snow when the specific delivery instructions tell them to leave it on the side porch of my house.
Not surprised that the Detroit office sent your package back to the original sender. Totally clueless.
I never use Certified mail because the few times I have used it, the mail disappeared. Nothing Certified ever made it to its destination. After a number of packages were delivered to the wrong address I decided to make it a condition that every package sent to me needs to be signed for. That way, the carrier actually has to pay some attention to what he or she is doing. No further problems since then.
This is all part of the USPS' new Deluxe Tobacco Aging Service, designed to provide you with a greater smoking experience, free of charge.
I once came home to find an antique surplus rifle leaning (in a cardboard box) against my door jamb. I was both excited and horrified.
Anything manufactured before 1899 is considered by the fed to be "antique" and requires no FFL transfer, but that package still should have required a signature.