Discussion Forums - USPS Postal Regulations USPS Postal Regulations

Topic: envelope arrived w/o book-what can I do?

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: envelope arrived w/o book-what can I do?
Date Posted: 3/3/2008 1:54 PM ET
Member Since: 12/26/2006
Posts: 91
Back To Top

Okay, so here is what happened-I picked up my mail at the PO, a few days ago. The envelope was with some other packages that I picked up, so I didn't notice at first that it was empty.  When on my way home, then I took a closer look. The book was not inside! (the envelope is the type that has a perforated tab/strip at the top, to pull for easier opening.  andthat is where it was opened-I figure that somehow part of it got caught and came open while in transit, and then it didn't take much for the rest of it to rip open... ) Is there anything that I can do to at least attempt to find this book? Or at least what happened to it?


Date Posted: 3/3/2008 3:29 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2007
Posts: 2,164
Back To Top

Yeah, this unfortunately happens sometimes!!  This is a good reminder for those of us who mail with bubble wrappers - you have to reinforce the seal with tape.  You should mark the book received with a problem, damaged by USPS and explain what happened.  Feel free to ask for your credit back, although the sender may not agree to give it to you.

Date Posted: 3/3/2008 6:40 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,209
Back To Top

I disagree, she did not receive the book, she should not mark it as received.


eta the help doc:

I received an empty wrapper--no book inside!

If this is a book you requested, you should not mark the book received, since you did not get the book.  You should contact the sender to let him or her know what happened.  

Last Edited on: 3/3/08 6:42 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/3/2008 6:41 PM ET
Member Since: 2/10/2008
Posts: 1,080
Back To Top

You should notify the post office too. You can file a report online or at the toll free phone number. Locally we have a claims and inquiry number that tries to match found in mail items with the owners. Maybe you will get lucky.

Date Posted: 3/3/2008 9:13 PM ET
Member Since: 12/26/2006
Posts: 91
Back To Top

Thank you for the thoughts and suggestions!

The envelope is cardboard, not bubble... I think that's likely why it came open more easily.

And I haven't marked the book received yet.. was waiting to see what I can do through the PO, to see if I can possibly find it that way, before I make a final decision there.

I did contact the sender already, to let her know what happened.

How do I file the report online? What should I search for, to find info it? All I found so far is for claims regarding insured mail...

Date Posted: 3/3/2008 10:47 PM ET
Member Since: 2/12/2006
Posts: 4,527
Back To Top

Rebekah, don't mark it received.  If USPS finds it and gets it to you, then even if PBS has marked it lost, you can go to transaction archives and mark it received at that time.

I'd start by calling the 'Ask USPS' number and explaining the problem - they will tell you how to proceed.


Date Posted: 3/4/2008 12:17 PM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2005
Posts: 517
Back To Top


Don't be put off by the "Mail Theft" header, just click the radio button for "Mail received without contents" and proceed from there.  Not all the information is required, just fill in what you know.  For a book lost in the system, the most important things are where was it coming from, where was it going to (i.e. which distribution centers should be searched) and a good description of what it was.  And how to contact you if it is found.

Subject: Returned wrapper - missing book
Date Posted: 3/18/2008 2:16 PM ET
Member Since: 3/2/2008
Posts: 4
Back To Top

I mailed a book 2 weeks ago and received a notification from USPS that the "contents" were missing - they returned my damaged mail wrapper.   I have submitted the parcel search request form, but what should I do about the person looking forward to receiving the book?  How do I notify them of these events - and will this damage my good swapping karma? 

Date Posted: 3/18/2008 2:32 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 5,034
Back To Top

I received one last week that was empty.  I marked it Received With a Problem and chose "Damaged by USPS".

The sender immediately sent an apology and not one, but TWO credits.  Now doesn't that just reinforce that we have some great folks here.  I was so impressed by the response that I buddied those two credits back.

Date Posted: 3/18/2008 5:50 PM ET
Member Since: 3/2/2008
Posts: 4
Back To Top

Thanks, Lita.  I'm new around here and appreciate the feedback. 

This was a book that I was sending to someone else - and don't know how to tell him that its no longer on it's way...  There doesn't seem to be an option on the tab that says "books I've mailed".