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What Happens If My Packages are Stolen?

By November 18, 2016

With Black Friday and the holiday season approaching, there is guaranteed to be an increase in packages stolen from your doorstep. Porch Pirates will closely follow a delivery truck and take the merchandise as soon as the driver is out of sight. A report from August Home Inc found nearly 11 million U.S. homeowners have had a package stolen within the past year. Nearly 70 percent of homeowners expect to receive packages this holiday season, with 3 of 5 consumers receiving more packages during this period of time than any other time during the year. How do you keep your packages safe and what if you are the victim of a porch pirate?

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What do you do if a package is stolen?

If your package was successfully delivered and then stolen from your porch, you have a couple of options.

For USPS deliveries, you can file a mail theft complaint with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. USPS will start your claims process.

If your package came through another carrier, contact the sender of the package to initiate a trace process with UPS or FedEx. The sender will then follow up with you on the progress of your shipment.

Reach out to your local police department to notify them of the theft. Many credit card companies including American Express offer protection for members who charge a covered purchase that ends up being stolen. The coverage is limited so check with your credit-card company for specifics.

How to Prevent Package Theft

1. Security camera

There are many security cameras on the market like Ring Video Doorbell. This sends instant alerts when anyone presses your doorbell or triggers its built-in motion sensors. With Ring’s two-way talk, you can tell your courier where to hide your packages or warn pirates they’re on camera.

The footage taken with a security camera could provide the evidence of the theft. As a member of my neighborhood NextDoor.com site, I have already seen neighbors posting clips of package theft taken from their Ring doorbell.

2. UPS access point delivery

The UPS Access Point network offers package pickup and drop off primarily at thousands of local business such as neighborhood convenience, supermarkets, dry cleaners and the like. All 4,400 UPS Store locations across the country are part of the network.

In order to retrieve your packages, present a government-issued photo ID where the last name and full address on the ID match that on the package. If the address on the ID doesn’t match the address on the package, bring proof of residency that matches the address on the package (like a current utility bill).

If the last name or full address doesn’t match, you will need to provide the package tracking number to the UPS Access Point representative. or your shipper-provided package release code.

3. Amazon Locker

Amazon.com also offers an alternative to home delivery. Instead of adding a shipping address at checkout, designate delivery to an Amazon Locker. This is a self-service kiosk that allows you to pick up the package at a later time. Once your package is delivered to the Amazon Locker, you’ll receive an e-mail notification with a unique pickup code that includes the address and opening times for your selected Locker location. All packages delivered to Amazon Locker locations must be picked up within three business days.

How should shippers ensure they have damage and loss coverage

FedEx, UPS and USPS all offer additional declared value coverage, with the first two carriers providing up to $100 of free coverage included with ground and express services. If you as a shipper would like to reduce the cost of additional coverage there are other insurance options you can investigate. U-Pic is a shipping insurance company offering coverage for shipments sent via the major shipping carriers worldwide. Shippers of all sizes can save up to 85% on shipping insurance and parcel insurance. UPS, Fedex, USPS, and DHL coverage is available.

U-PIC never requires a police report for lost packages.

The best practices for filing a claim are to provide all required documents at the time the claim has been filed. To name a few more specific best practices:
– Always submit the buyer’s statement of loss/damage AND the invoice at the time the claim is filed
– If the claim is for a damaged item, make sure either the shipper or recipient holds onto the package until the claim is resolved
– Use U-PIC’s 24/7 Claim Status page to monitor the progress of your claim

Each year carrier’s report record numbers of online orders and shipments, stolen and damaged packages stats will rise as well. Regardless of being the shipper or recipient, the more information you have the better. Happy holidays!

Brian Gibbs

Author Brian Gibbs

More posts by Brian Gibbs

Brian Gibbs | President of Refund Retriever

Brian Gibbs founded Refund Retriever in 2006 while running his first eBay based business and seeing the shortcomings of other shipment auditing companies. Refund Retriever's primary focus is FedEx and UPS parcel invoice auditing. After graduating from Texas A&M University in 2001, he then graduated from the University of Houston in 2004 with a JD and MBA. Gibbs has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur and other publications discussing parcel auditing, shipping, e-commerce and more. Learn more at www.refundretriever.com or call (800) 441-8085 for more information.

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