It happens – you receive confirmation that your package was delivered but there isn’t one outside your door. Here is what to do once you realize the porch pirates have struck and made you a victim of package theft.
Ask the Neighbors
Check to be sure none of your neighbors has the package. It is possible that with the increased incidents of package theft, one of them saw your package sitting enticingly outside and decided to do you a favor by keeping it safe for you. If they did, you can thank them and breathe a sigh of relief. If they didn’t, then you will need to report the package as lost.
Reporting a Stolen Package to a Retailer
Some retailers will replace stolen items below a reasonable price point - so touch base with the retailer first. Just be sure to gather any information you have about the order, tracking data and confirmation of the delivery of your purchase before contacting them.
Giant retailer Amazon has a very shopper-friendly policy when it comes to lost items. They first advise you to wait 36 hours before making a claim, just to be sure it’s not a case of late delivery – which sometimes happens. Failing that, contact the seller and give them up to 48 hours to respond. If the seller does not respond or is unwilling to honor your claim, you can initiate a claim.
Reporting A Stolen Package to A Carrier
Each of the four major carriers handles reports of package theft a little differently so here is a rundown for each one.
The USPS requires you wait 7 to 75 days before filing a claim, depending on which of their services you used. It is a good idea to insure any valuable items you decide to ship with the USPS. That way, when you submit a claim, you are likely to have at least the insured amount refunded to you.
You can make a claim with UPS 24 hours after the package should have been delivered. During that time, they suggest you make a diligent search for the package around the outside of your home. They also advise you to provide them with as much information as you can, including sender and receiver details; package value; and tracking or reference number.
Your tracking number is all you need to begin the claim process with FedEx. In fact, if the package was worth less than $100, then the company does not require any other documents. Claims of greater value may need to be supported by other documents, such as an expense statement.
DHL will only accept claims of stolen or lost packages from the shipper. Their popular DHL Express service requires the shipper to have the waybill number and any relevant receipts and invoices ready to file a cargo claim.
Other Steps to Consider
It may be possible to claim for the stolen package through either your credit card or homeowners insurance, but conditions apply in both cases.
One definite step to take is putting measures in place to prevent package theft happening to you again. A good idea is to have a lock box, such as the smart Porch Pod, installed on your porch to securely hold packages until you retrieve them.
A stolen package does not mean all is lost. There are ways to get compensation for the theft. Just bear in mind that retailers and carriers have a time frame within which you can report a lost or stolen package. You may need to act fast!