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Buenos dias everyone. A few months ago, I wrote about VirtualPostMail, the service I use to receive, scan, and forward my physical mail. I typically have them collect items for me over the course of a few weeks, and then I select the items I want to keep and have them shipped to wherever I’m going next. Since I was heading to Washington, DC for work last week, I asked VPM to mail a package to my post office box in Washington, DC a few days before I was going to arrive. This package included several important items:
- My replacement AT&T Access More Credit Card (since someone tried to hack my account)
- My new Discover It Credit Card in a different design
- My Amazon Prime Store Credit Card
- 1 $50 Hotels.com gift card from Amazon
- 2 $50 Petco gift cards
- 6 iTunes gift cards from Staples (3 x $100 and 3 x $50)
- 2 sets of Cabela’s gift cards I purchased from SVM on eBay
- My Hyatt Explorist welcome packet
- My new Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance card
Unfortunately, when I arrived in Washington, DC and checked my post office box, the VPM package was nowhere to be found. When I pulled up the tracking details on the USPS website, I saw that the package was marked as delivered on April 28 – to a different zip code! USPS packages sent to a post office box aren’t marked as delivered until they’re actually handed to the recipient, unless they’re small enough to fit in a mailbox – I don’t think this was the case here.
I reached out to VPM for help and they confirmed that the tracking number they gave me was correct and that the package was addressed correctly. They said they can’t file a claim until 15 days after the package was shipped and advised that I might be able to do something more quickly through the local postmaster. They also said the package might get returned to sender if the person who received the package realizes that it’s not their mail.
I stopped by my local post office again, but they weren’t able to do anything except give me the address and phone number of the delivery station responsible for the zip code that the package was misdelivered to. I didn’t have time to follow up with them before I left Washington, DC, but I may try. In the meantime, I visited the USPS website and found my way to a contact page that had an option for missing packages. I entered the tracking number, sender’s address, and recipient’s address, and was promised that someone would get back to me within 1 business day. I’m not going to hold my breath on that one.
In the meantime, I’m trying to see what I can do to recover the items in case I never get the package back. I reached out to Petco about the gift cards, and they are going to issue a refund for them (so I’ll lose out on the profit I would’ve made selling them with the Petco AMEX Offer, but at least I won’t be out $80). I’m hoping I can get Staples, SVM, and Amazon to do the same thing.
The credit cards will be easy to have reissued, but I will probably hold off on those for a while – I don’t want to be without access to those cards at the moment, and watching those cards closely might let me know if the package ended up in the hands of someone nefarious. I’m sure I can get my employer to have a replacement insurance card issued, and I won’t be heartbroken if I never get to see my World of Hyatt Explorist welcome packet.
So hopefully this won’t end up being a disaster, but it’s definitely annoying and time consuming. If the package never shows up, I think the USPS will refund the shipping cost, and they provide $50 in automatic insurance on Priority Mail (though it probably excludes gift cards, so I don’t know if I’ll be able to claim it). I’ll keep you posted on how things progress.
Have you ever had an important package go missing? How did that turn out for you? Let me know in the comments.