• Project Title:
  • Missent Mail in the U.S. Postal Service
  • Start Date:
  • Tuesday, July 14, 2020
  • Estimated Report Release Date:
  • February 2021

Mail is considered missent when it is sent to the wrong processing and distribution center or delivery unit. For example, mail originated in Albany, NY, addressed to Tampa, FL, but was received in San Francisco, CA. In 2019, the OIG surveyed postal managers, and they named missent mail as a top reason the Postal Service is not meeting service standards. This audit will be looking at missent First-Class Letters, First-Class Packages and Priority Mail.

If you are a Postal Service employee OIG auditors would like your input on the following questions:

  • What are the causes of missent mail? 
  • What additional costs does the Postal Service incur when mail is missent? 
  • What steps can the Postal Service take to reduce missent mail? 

PLEASE NOTE: We will not post customer questions or consumer complaints related to delayed/not delivered or misdelivered mail. This Audit Asks forum focuses on feedback from Postal Service employees on mail that has been sent to the wrong processing and distribution center or delivery unit. Concerns about your delayed or misdelivered mail should be directed to Postal Service Consumer Affairs online or by phone.


Comments (8)

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  • anon

    Hi are you aware that several companies and very large mailers are using a different window patch material (approximately 4-5 billion windowed envelopes) that is likely causing processing delays, reprocessing of mail and additional processing costs at the USPS? It’s true and I have been tracking this issue for several years now and would like to speak to someone and share my information. At a time when financially everything at the USPS is so critical and it all count, the USPS will want to know and see what I have. I have been in this industry for 35 years and can’t believe if you knew it you would allow it as it dumbs down the overall quality of the mail. Please reach out to me for more information.

    Jul 29, 2020
  • anon

    We are reviewing these incoming comments about missent mail to learn more about the causes, the additional costs, and possible remedies.

    Jul 28, 2020
  • anon

    With everything being automated the machines consistently read the wrong zip or address. Some things still need a human touch.

    Jul 27, 2020
  • anon

    On missent packages if they staffed enough people to clear the APBS chutes you could eliminate a lot. They will put one person some times no one down each side of the apbs and bins back up and packages get knocked into other gaylords, baskets and bags. Two people per side is fine if you have all baskets and gaylords but if you have bag you really need 8-10 people a side. The packages backing up also cause most of the damage to the machine and maintenance downtime that we get called for. Everywhere in the post office is kept understaffed though, so I don’t guess we should expect it any different. We could not have mail delayed being processed on Delivery Barcode sorters if they fully staffed them. The Universal Sorter System could run at full output and clear packages out fast if fully staffed. I get that y’all have to save money but most of the problems the post office is facing can be traced back to understaffing craft employees. I’ve seen nights where they had only supervisors running machines.

    Jul 27, 2020
  • anon

    I’ve headed Service teams Missent mails some causes: Labels not removed from empty letter/flat trays Process should be in place Mailer supplied mte labels and D&R tags still on them Labels still in trays between automation sort programs Racks should be completely swept of trays and NOT tested in until new sort scheme is programmed Perfect LSS project. Data needs office opportunities

    Jul 27, 2020
  • anon

    Causes of missent mail I have seen: tray label holders on both ends of the tray, so you potentially have two different destinations. DBCS not properly maintained. Glossy oversized cards sticking together. - There is a lot more I could say about mailpiece design that impacts processing and delivery efficiency (that could be another study.)

    Jul 27, 2020
  • anon

    Mis-sent mail is rampant in my subdivision. Fully 25% of the time for packages I receive packages that are not mine and/or my packages are delivered to somebody else. This is unacceptable and shows a lack of pride and commitment. About 10-15% for letters. Also unacceptable.

    Jul 26, 2020
  • anon

    For years the carrier has cramed my magazines in my box. I talked to Beacon hill about it, but it continues. I'm disabled & only go to box downstairs 1 x week. Beacon Hill recently sent back important letter from SS. I'm furious!! This shouldn't happen. They leave rude notes for me to get my mail more often. I'm at risk of falling every time I get my mail. I told them I'm disabled, they don't care. They are causing the problem they are complaining about. They put another person's mail in. It's a small box. I don't want other people's magazines unessarily filling my box. I had Mr Jaun Ramsey's & Mrs Lopez mail in my box for 8 yrs. When is this misstake going to stop? How many times do I have to ask for it to stop. I will be contacting Post Master General & Beacon Hill better not call me & complain rudely about me going to Post Master General because they have messed up for years. My box is my box & post office employeers have no right to continual cram magazines for Me Ramars or Mrs Lopez's mail in my box for any reason. Can't they read & see Me Ramars & Mrs Lopez's mail boxes? It's cruel to continue to abuse me by sending back my important because you cram 5 to 6 magazines & sales books in my box. I don't put my name on it because I don't want an ex boyfriend finding me again. I moved 3 times so he wouldn't find me. I have a right to privacy & to be safe & not have to be bullied by the post office sending my mail back. That's unkind & crimminal. Now it has created a problem with my SS benefits. They thought I died. I want it stopped this time. I can sue for post office sending my mail back on purpose. They are cruel, hateful, nasty bullies. Help me stop this cruel rampage that has gone on for 8 yrs. I will be contacting Post Master General again & again & again until he is very tired of hearing that Beacon Hill employees are bullies & sending my mail back & causing me more problems. I'm retired & should be relaxing not having unwanted mail in my box. There is no excuse for being vindictive towards a postal customer. I can always use FEDX to mail packages. I can request packages coming to me to be delivered by FEDX. I can call tv stations & get my story out. I'm so tired of all of these problems from post office. This is harassment in the first degree. It's insane that a perverse employee can cause so much problems. It's like he/she has a very vindictive personality & could "Go Postal" someday. I studied pyscology & that's aberante behaviour. Not normal it's crazy. We don't need vindictive post men & women. So please talk to whoever is responsible & tell them to stop. I don't need any of you blaming me!!! It's your actions, not mine there are in question? I don't think Post Master General will like what I have to report. Never send my mail back again, it's childish to make threats & cause post office customers grief. Stop it now? Grow up, it's ridiculous what you have done.

    Jul 25, 2020

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