In this day and age, chances are high that you’re purchasing more online than ever before. But the convenience of ordering things online also comes with the risk of getting a package stolen every now and then.
Having a package go missing or falling victim to a porch pirate can be frustrating and demoralizing, but fortunately, it can be dealt with in just a few simple steps. Here’s what to do if a delivery doesn’t arrive or a package is stolen from your front door:
- Always track your packages.
- Ask around about missing packages.
- Contact the sender or retailer.
- Report the stolen package to FedEx, UPS, or USPS.
- File a police report for the stolen package.
- Check with your credit card company about purchase protections for stolen packages.
- Consider filing a claim with your homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance for high-dollar items.
- Avoid becoming a victim of porch pirates in the future.
8 Steps to Take if Experience a Stolen Package
1. Always track your packages.
When you order something online, save the confirmation email as well as any shipping notifications. Find a way to keep these organized, whether you add them to a specific folder in your inbox, keep a note on your phone, make a spreadsheet, or use an app to keep everything together. When you know a package is due to arrive, keep an eye out for the delivery truck or delivery notification so you can bring the package inside right away. If you aren’t home or can’t get home soon, consider asking a neighbor to grab your package, especially if it contains a high-value item.
2. Ask around about missing packages.
If you know your package was supposed to arrive, but it’s not on your porch, don’t start by assuming the missing package was stolen. First, double-check your shipment tracking to be sure it’s listed as delivered. Then, ask your family, roommates, or neighbors about the package, as someone may have grabbed it for you to be helpful or protect it from being stolen.
3. Contact the sender or retailer.
If you are still unable to locate the package, contact the sender first. Depending on who sent it, they may help you locate it, replace it, or issue a refund. Just keep in mind that different retailers have different policies for handling stolen deliveries. You’ll likely need to have your order confirmation number on hand as well as a tracking number. If you have pictures you can share that may be helpful as well, especially if the item was stolen but the packing materials were left behind.
What to do if your Amazon package is stolen.
As one of the largest online retailers, Amazon packages are often among those stolen. So what should you do if you never received your Amazon package? Will Amazon replace stolen packages? Typically, yes. Amazon’s customer service is very helpful and responsive and can tell you what steps to take to get a refund or replacement product. If your item was purchased from an Amazon Seller (instead of Amazon directly), you’ll need to contact that seller first, but if the seller is unresponsive or uncooperative you can request an A-to-Z Guarantee refund. If your stolen package was sent by a friend or family member, confirm they sent it to the right address, then proceed to the next step.
4. Report the stolen package to FedEx, UPS, or USPS.
Next, report your stolen package to the shipping company. Each company has its own process and guidelines for what to do if your package is stolen. Here is how to file a claim or report a missing package with three of the top shipping companies.
How to file a claim with FedEx
The process for filing a claim with FedEx is relatively straightforward:
- First, you’ll complete the online claim form on FedEx’s website with the tracking/PRO number for the lost package.
- Then you’ll add any supporting documentation before you review and submit the form.
Some claims will require an inspection, so always keep the shipment’s packaging until the case is resolved, when applicable (for example, if the contents were stolen and the packaging was left behind). You may be able to complete the inspection yourself. Once everything has been submitted, you’ll be able to check the status of your claim online.
How to file a claim with UPS
UPS follows a similar process for filing claims.
- You’ll need to submit information about the package, such as a tracking number, along with some supporting documentation.
- Then you’ll be able to track the status of your claim online.
Just note that UPS always issues any payments associated with claims to the shipper of record or the shipper of record’s specified payee. That means that you’ll still need to coordinate a refund with the seller for any stolen online purchases.
How to file a claim with USPS
USPS lost packages or missing packages are a little more complicated. If you have a lost package, a missing package, or lost mail sent through the U.S. Postal Service, your process for reporting missing mail or filing a claim will look a bit different.
- First, you’ll need to go through the missing mail process. Before you begin, if your package has a tracking number, check the USPS tracking to be sure it’s showing up as delivered.
- If your package is still lost, submit a help request form to inquire about the missing package, and your local post office will help you find it.
- If it hasn’t been located within 7 days of submitting the help request, submit a Missing Mail search request to formally report a missing package to the USPS.
At this point, you may request a refund if you used a service with a money-back guarantee such as Priority Mail Express, or you may file a claim if your package was insured. Claims must be filed no more than 60 days after the package was originally shipped.
|Shipping Company||How to Report a Missing or Stolen Package|
|FedEx||File a claim.|
|UPS||File a claim.|
|USPS||Follow the missing mail and lost package process.|
|Amazon||Contact customer service.|
5. File a police report for the stolen package.
At this point, you may choose to file a police report. However, know that unless you have a doorbell camera or exterior security cameras, there may be very little that police can or will do unless there have been multiple cases of package theft in your neighborhood recently. Regardless, if you plan to file an insurance claim or a credit card claim for the stolen package, a police report can be helpful to have.
6. Check with your credit card company about purchase protection for stolen packages.
Some credit cards offer purchase protection that covers stolen packages. If you purchased something online with a credit card that was stolen off your front porch, contact your credit card company to see if you are eligible to file a claim and receive a refund, especially if the retailer or delivery company won’t offer one. Note that there are likely to be restrictions here. You’ll probably need to file a claim within a certain amount of time, some credit card companies may require a police report, and some may not offer a refund until you’ve exhausted all other options.
7. Contact your credit card company to learn more about your specific purchase protections.
Consider filing a claim with your homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance for high-dollar items. If the stolen package contained something very expensive, you may be able to file a claim with your insurance company, as long as the value of the contents exceeds your deductible. Just know that filing a claim may increase your premiums, so this should only be exercised as a last resort for extremely expensive items.
8. Avoid becoming a victim of porch pirates in the future.
Once you’ve sorted through the process of finding a stolen package or getting a refund, there are a few steps you can take to prevent package theft in the future. For example, installing visible security cameras on your home’s exterior and investing in a video doorbell camera may deter porch pirates, capture sound and video of the thieves if it happens again, and make your entire property more secure overall. For more information on keeping your home safe and secure, visit the CPI Security blog.