U.S. Postal Service delivery points are increasing each year. Package volumes are rising steadily as well. And so are customer expectations. This paradigm tends to lead to an increase in customer complaints, especially when delivery performance doesn’t meet expectations.

Given these pressures, we are seeing an increasing risk in the areas of delivery and retail performance. Our audit teams are designed to quickly evaluate delivery and retail operations and provide meaningful results to Postal Service management and our stakeholders. Relying heavily on data analytics, teams target high-risk delivery and retail units based on a series of operational factors and trip wires, tools that let us focus on one or two data points to identify events that indicate a high likelihood of control weaknesses.

For example, we have seen an increase of delivery scanning issues at various post offices and annexes, where carriers sort mail for delivery. We found carriers were improperly scanning packages as “delivered” while still at their post office rather than at the delivery point. The carriers reported a variety of reasons for the improper scans at their locations, including saving time, fearing they’d forget to scan, following management instructions, or simply trying to be efficient when many packages were going to a single business address.

We recommended that district managers instruct unit managers on working with their staffs to ensure they follow standard operating procedures for scanning mail pieces. See recent internal control audits on delivery, scanning issues, and customer service issues:

You can find a full list of reports and white papers in our documents library.

Comments (88)

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  • anon

    I sell on eBay and more often than not use USPS for delivery. My packages are not being scanned and eBay holds me responsible financially for items "not delivered". I'm not a big corporation or whatever that can absorb these loses and still remain in business. Two days ago I printed labels for $700 in merchandise and delivered the packages to the post office, they have yet to be scanned at any checkpoint along their way. I can't even file a claim for insurance because i can't prove the post office took possession. It won't be long until I am forced to use other more expensive carriers. It's no wonder about reports the USPS will not be able to meet financial obligations in a few months.

    Apr 02, 2020
  • anon

    I already have a case opened but I thought I'd give my 2 cents as well. We sell on Amazon and have already lost our Prime seller eligibility due to USPS numerous delivery issues. That is thousand of dollars we are losing having to spend time tracking everything, remaking the product, repacking, resending, and we're lucky if the customer doesn't get pissed and leave a bad review. Our first 1 star review on Amazon in a year was due to USPS and the one before that was due to USPS too. Packages accepted and never go anywhere or we just get label created. 15 out of 35 packages missing on March 20 and 18 out of 48 on the 25th and those were low selling days. This happens all the time with them. Usually it's 2 or 3 packages but sometimes it's more. I've personally rechecked the orders before they go out and even dropped them off MANY times. We are doing our part. We've done drop offs, end of day scans with the postman. Nothing seems to work. You guys are ruining our family business that we've spent 60 years building! Everyone I talk to says to switch to Fulfilled by Amazon. I know it costs more but we'd probably save time and money doing so. UHG!!!

    Mar 31, 2020
  • anon

    Not only do the USPS workers not scan packages in when they are dropped off...they are almost always RUDE if you (politely) ask them to do so. They always seem super inconvenienced by this request, making you feel as if they are doing you a favor when they begrudgingly scan your packages in. It's quite ridiculous. I'm sorry you have to do your job, but that's what a job is. What I find even more ridiculous is USPS management doesn't think this is a problem. If they did, they would emphasize that employees prioritize scanning packages at the drop off point. It would seem that they just don't have the time... However, recently they began finding time to individually weigh packages that they suspect might be an ounce or 2 underpaid so that they can mark it as owing postage. Then they upload this info to Paypal (or whoever you purchase labels from) and block you from purchasing more postage until you pay for the extra shipping they CLAIM you owe without providing any info or evidence whatsoever. THAT it seems, is a priority. Ensuring that a basic, fundamental & vital step in the delivery process is completed, is not.

    Mar 31, 2020
  • anon

    When we purchase priority mail there is a contract between usps and customer . My packages aren’t getting scanned -usps employees aren’t being held responsible. Some of my mail is tampered. Seems like they can do whatever they’d like . Can we do a screening on the hired peoples? Also, if I’m paying and printing online I’m making usps job easier . Make the office responsible for stolen or lost properties . This is theft and a breach of promise to paying customers .

    Mar 31, 2020
  • anon

    Hello. Thanks for your comment. For mail theft, we recommend filing an online complaint with our Hotline. You can access the online complaint form at www.uspsoig.gov/form/file-online-complaint.

    Mar 31, 2020
  • anon

    Local parcels not scanned at drop off post office, items are getting lost or stolen!

    Mar 30, 2020
  • anon

    They let a scam package get away when they were well aware .

    Mar 18, 2020
  • anon

    I'm disappointed, I have received certain payments on the same day for years, the last 2 weeks the certain day says I have no mail, and then I receive it the next day in the mail box and still was not scanned that I was going to receive it.

    Mar 12, 2020
  • anon

    I sell on Poshmark and Mercari. Most of my packages are prepaid first class or Priority (Posh exclusively uses Priority) and I have been struggling with the same issues; packages not being scanned and oftentimes the mailman doesn't even take the packages I put out for scheduled pickup! I can't explain the rage when this happens! Last time this happened I just bagged them all up and brought to local post office, which was already closed (mail comes late in day). I was forced to leave in bin. Days and days go by before barcodes are scanned. While I don't have the rigid Ebay policies to deal with, I still need to maintain my "fast shipper badge" and fulfill the 1-3 day shipping on Priority orders, along with maintaining a 3 days or less ship time as a Posh Ambassador. USPS is making this very difficult lately. I use Fedex for anything over a pound (cheaper) and while Fedex moves slower, I have never once had an issue with my packages being scanned, EVER. I think USPS has become complacent and careless. I will say that my route got a new mail lady about 3 months ago and she diligently scanned ALL of my packages and tracking updated IMMEDIATELY! I have personally praised her hard work! I will need to get her name next time I see her (I pray she was just on vaca last week) so I can let USPS know that this lovely woman is the only mail carrier that does her job and actually follows procedure. The rest of the carriers need to take notes from her and start doing their jobs! They make good money as government employees and get plentiful vacation packages...exactly why most of them just don't care! No incentive to do their jobs right.

    Mar 09, 2020
  • anon

    Amen Krystal!! I have sold on eBay for 22 years and the seemingly indifferent f not downright lazy behavior regarding the scanning of package by the USPS directly affects my business in a detrimental way as immediate shipping is eBay's life blood these days. Etsy is less stringent however I despise a customer being led to think I drug my feet getting their package out when in fact the package was mailed the day the order was placed. Additionally, like you mentioned, Fedex has NEVER delayed a scan EVER. I know where my packages are every moment of every day when Fedex is the carrier. I pray for the day it is cost efficient for me to use Fedex exclusively...the stress in my life added by USPS is maddening.

    Mar 18, 2020
  • anon

    My order was tracked from San Francisco to Anaheim, then to Seattle, then to Tacoma. Destination is Huntington Beach, CA. Why is a package shipped to within 20 miles of destination, only to be shipped back out of state. This is a recipe for bankruptcy.

    Mar 07, 2020
  • anon

    Is a priority mail or express mail package suppose to be scanned upon pickup by a postal carrier? I understand that when the package leaves my possession it is to be accepted into the USPS system and not be scanned hours later.

    Mar 04, 2020
  • anon

    I sell on ebay and Amazon and use prepaid shipping labels. The only sure way to get a package scanned in is to take it to the post office, wait in line, and ask for a receipt. If you drop it in a mailbox or leave it for pickup, it may not get scanned. If it hasn't been scanned and no tracking info, I always send a message to the buyer that it is on its way. So far, all my non-scanned packages have arrived. If the item has any significant value, don't leave the post office without a receipt, and never put it in a mailbox or leave for pickup.

    Mar 04, 2020
  • anon

    I was waiting home all day for my priority mail package and it showed that they attempted delivery at 6:25 pm and that was false I was looking out the window constantly to make sure that I didn’t miss it and the truck never showed up today not even at that time so Idk why they keep putting false tracking info that is so dumb like seriously they don’t like there job they should quit

    Feb 28, 2020
  • anon

    I have come to the same conclusion as Mike Brown Feb 15th post based on my experience as well. USPS needs to get a handle on this.

    Feb 27, 2020
  • anon

    I myself has experienced improper scanning of my packages showing that it was delivered but in fact, it wasn’t. The recent one was a jewelry I was expecting a certain day. The tracker showed thar it was delivered and handed to the resident. I was home all day and was waiting for the delivery so I know for a fact that it never came. Even if it was handed to someone, mail carriers should make it a point to only to hand it to the resident not just anyone. I filed a complaint online but no one has gotten back to me. It’s very disappointing!

    Feb 27, 2020
  • anon

    i am having a continuing isssue with usps not scanning packages. they are small first class pacages but it s ebay and we get marked down if they are late. also, i believe there must be a program to help find sellers who have lazy mailmen as lately i am getting claims on them which in ebay is ruled in the buyers favor which results in me having to give a refund. have two right now. today i had about ten first class and two padded envelopes (prioity) that were not scanned even after pointing it out to the local post office every day last week. last week they was not even picking up the scheduled pickups. ] i pay for the tracking and feel this needs to be solved.

    Feb 22, 2020
  • anon

    I sent my grandsons valentine package to Missouri priority with tracking. Says it was delivered Thursday 13th at 12:13 pm to front door never arrived. Same thing happened same son in December only after I made a case it showed up magically on doorstep three days later. Now they’re telling me from post office in Missouri carrier scanned to a different house number next door because I mislabeled address. They said it’s gone and probably can’t be retrieved. I said it is possible I did but I want to see the address somewhere because on the receipt it just shows city state zip. She said it’s no where to prove I addressed it that way. So we’re just to believe that I addressed it incorrectly? Without proof? Look I can make a mistake too but let’s show me I did it it had a Buccanneer hat from my uncle that has passed away in late November in the package. I thought tracking and paying extra for priority meant something. Guess not. Supervisor is calling back Friday. Unbelievable.

    Feb 19, 2020
  • anon

    I have had this happen enough times to draw my own conclusion, which happens to make more sense than those explanations given. Best to explain using the current example. I expect a package which has a guaranteed delivery date of today (Saturday) from Amazon. The Post Office really needs to get this to me today so their numbers look good, wouldn't want to lose all of Amazons' business because they fail to meet delivery goals. The package tracking shows it got to the local PO early in the morning (I think that is true), about 8 AM it shows as out for delivery (that again I think is true). It's a Saturday and PO closes at 1 PM, I imagine all the delivery trucks need to be back around then so they can all go home. At 1:20 PM the package is marked delivered, specifically says in was left in customer mailbox (this part is not true). So one of two things happened, the delivery person wants to look good so he/she scans the remaining packages they have as delivered and parks the vehicle with them in it, or they are unpacked back at the post office and are scanned as delivered. By the way, we have a front office that accepts mail, there is no mailbox. As far as their customer is concerned (Amazon, not us tax paying citizens), they have delivered all their packages within the specified time. Now I have to wait until Monday delivery time to actually get the package, which is car parts I needed to repair car over the weekend in order to have it to go to work during the week. This practice is a bad idea on the part of the post office, I can imagine the amount of stolen package claims that get initiated as customers believe their package was actually delivered, only to see them show up the next delivery day. FYI - If Amazon offered us the option of requesting that the post office NOT be used for any of our deliveries I would certainly select it, especially for these time sensitive packages. At least we can trust UPS & FedEx

    Feb 15, 2020
  • anon

    How can you verify, not just take an employee's word for it, that the package was actually scanned at your mailbox and then actually put in your mailbox especially when there has been ongoing issues of mail going to neighbors houses?

    Feb 14, 2020
  • anon

    My package has been in postal service possession for three days and they don’t scan it. It’s a priority triangle. I pre label it and leave it with the rest of the pre labeled packages. They never scan anything, my customers think I didn’t ship them. It’s a nightmare. Why can’t employ scan them??? These people are lazy and incompetent! Three days on priority and no tracking still??

    Feb 13, 2020
  • anon

    My mail carrier says that a different carrier dropped of our neighbor's package at our house yesterday, and scanned it at our location, but we did not receive the package. Supposedly the carrier said he came back to retrieve it and no one answered the door. Now our neighbors think we're thieves.

    Feb 11, 2020
  • anon

    USPS fraudulently scans express mail as attempted/delivered when no such event happened!!!

    Feb 10, 2020
  • anon

    USPS claims that packages are scanned multiple times and the tracking system is updated. My 1st class package was received by USPS a week ago with an estimated delivery of 1/28. The last update - package in transit to next destination” - came 3 days ago. Customer service (an hour wait for an agent) says that tracking isn’t updated when scanned until the package is out for delivery. They have no idea what the last or next destination might be.

    Jan 31, 2020
  • anon

    I sell on Ebay and have been marking my packages to please SCAN THE TRACKING # BARCODE and have had 3 packages that have not been scanned and I have to refund the payments, why can't they SCAN the barcode?

    Jan 31, 2020
  • anon

    I ended up leaving eBay because of this very reason. I sell on Poshmark and the posh people don't lie and claim that unscanned items weren't delivered

    Feb 03, 2020
  • anon

    You guys just straight up don't scan tracking numbers from Spain. Its asinine.

    Jan 23, 2020
  • anon

    Should a mail carrier confirm a scheduled pickup upon completing it or at a later time? My mail carrier picked up 7 packages from my business an hour ago but I have neither received email confirmation for the pickup nor has there been subsequent tracking events for any of the packages individual tracking numbers.

    Jan 09, 2020
  • anon

    I had the same issue, except I ended up receiving a confirmation and the packages were never scanned. I'm still trying to sort out how to file insurance claims since the packages have been lost and I had to replace the items for my customers. Are you having this issue?

    Jan 28, 2020
  • anon

    We are having that issue. Never scanned 2 of the 3 packages mailed, so now they cannot track. Our word against their word. Customers are not happy. No idea of whether they will be delivered or what.

    Mar 03, 2020
  • anon

    I'm having a problem with my mail clerk she scans all the mail on a table about 30 feet from p.o. boxes and lockers I have a p.o. box but shows delivered to a locker my packages are small and should be in my box not a locker there's never a key for a locker or package in my box is that procedure? I don't think so then all of a sudden a couple days later my package appears I would really like to know how to report this problem they don't follow scanning procedures this is not acceptable

    Jan 06, 2020
  • anon

    Hello, Clint. Thanks for your comment. We recommend filing a complaint with our Hotline. You can access our hotline by visiting our Website, clicking the "Contact Us" tab on the top and selecting "Hotline." This will allow us to look into the matter for you.

    Jan 06, 2020
  • anon

    I take my pre-labeled packages to the Canal Fulton OH 44614 post office to be delivered. Some of them are scanned as "accepted", etc. at Blue Hill ME 04614. As you can see, their scanner zip is one digit wrong. When I called it to the attention of a woman at the post office, she didn't see the problem!! Said it happens sometimes...like they have no control over what zip is in their scanner. Sure, it gets delivered correctly, but isn't this a problem that should be fixed?

    Jan 04, 2020
  • anon

    Hello, Joann. Thanks for your comment. Regarding your concern, we recommend contacting your local Postal Service Consumer Affairs Office at https://ribbs.usps.gov/locators/find-cam.cfm.

    Jan 06, 2020
  • anon

    OIG Moderator ... please post a working link ... https://ribbs.usps.gov/locators/find-cam.cfm redirects to some other "PostalPro" web page. Thank you.

    Jan 30, 2020
  • anon

    Recently I began selling things I no longer wish to keep on EBay where Priority Ship labels can be purchased to ship prepaid with tracking information. If I use the drop off shipping option at the Middletown Ohio location sometimes randomly items will not be scanned in there and instead shipped to another location that eventually scans them. This causes issues when dropping off and it taking a couple days to show up for customers to track their shipments. It also leaves risk if it gets lost between point a and b postal location after its dropped off. I don't feel I should have to stand in line to get packages scanned at the counter to ensure the tracking gets entered when shipping, but I have to do that because its a crap shoot using the drop box or even leaving on the end counter. Int just happened again dropped off on Friday after hours thinking Sat morning they would be scanned in as shipped and they were not. Five packages in limbo with a customer already complaining it doesn't show shipped. What is the point of paying for premium shipping when tracking cant even be used properly?

    Jan 04, 2020
  • anon

    I ship quite a bit with Ebay . I had situations where I would hand it to a carrier and the package would simply never get scanned and only shows payment for the shipping provided by me. It's super frustrating. No scans at all. Why can't the carriers scan the item right away when it's handed to them? They do have the scanners. Also if you place the item in a mailbox you just never know. The whole point of paying for postage online is that you DON'T have to drive to the post office and wait in line. Sadly, this is the only way to be sure, as when I hand it to the person in the front who is gathering the packages and I ask to scan it, it shows up almost immediately as received and all subsequent scans seem to be more timely. I just handed a package to the carrier yesterday. I asked him to scan , but of course he refused.

    Feb 27, 2020
  • anon

    I returned my order to the seller by a USPS Return to sender. The usps employee scanned the wrong address when delivered the package. He scanned my address instead of the seller one. The seller refused to return the payment to me because he did not received the package although the tracking says delivered. Now I am going to send a claim of package lost to usps.

    Dec 28, 2019
  • anon

    Went to mail a Smart Label Parcel Return Service package at the Sanford post office in Koreatown yesterday morning. The clerk told me the post office stopped giving receipts for prepaid package dropoffs. I reluctantly dropped off the package at the counter where all prepaid packages were left. It’s been over 24 hours and of course my package has not been scanned. It’s ridiculous that USPS issue tracking numbers for packages but don’t scan them. What good is a tracking number then? All I can do now is pray that the package gets delivered and hopefully scanned along the way. No peace of mind whatsoever. I’ll never send any packages that require tracking through the USPS!

    Dec 28, 2019
  • anon

    I handed several packages myself to the mail man and watched him load them into his truck yesterday. All but ONE, the only one that had a delivery deadline, were scanned and are in transit. The package that has not been scanned was larger than the others. Is there any reason why he would not have scanned this?? I specifically paid for 2-day delivery and now it will not arrive before Christmas. What is going on??????

    Dec 21, 2019
  • anon

    I worried all day yesterday that my package had been delivered to the wrong address because it was scanned earlier in the morning that it had already been delivered. I have been going through misery with FedEx now for two weeks because they have lost my packages and now I had to spend all day yesterday worrying about another package that was being delivered by the USPS because they obviously scanned my package while still at the post office saying delivered which I didn't know until after 4pm in the evening when they finally delivered it. This is fraud. Mailing services deliberately worrying people that their packages is lost because they are scanning before they actually deliver the packages.

    Dec 20, 2019
  • anon

    This is becoming a common occurrence. Specifically I've noticed this with packages going to my Aawa Dr. Ewa Beach, HI and Parkforest Dr. Baton Rouge, LA addresses. I get notifications that my package was "delivered", but it doesn't arrive until 1-3 days later. I don't think it's in an attempt to "be efficient" or the other passive excuses given in your report. It's obviously an attempt to game delivery statistics. I also notice this happening with UPS delivery. Seems only FEDEX has managed to maintain their integrity in my areas...

    Dec 19, 2019
  • anon

    I mailed a package on 11/22/19 from AR going to Amsterdam. It shows that it was scanned at the Miami international facility on 11/24/19 and is in transit. It has not arrived and I have no other information. Today is 12/18/19. I opened an incident report by phone and was told it could take up to 32 DAYS to find my package. I am beside myself!!!! This is incredibly frustrating and unacceptable. USPS is imploding. I will never ever ever mail another package this way. UPS, FedEx, DHL are more expensive but definitely worth the piece of mind knowing they can track and deliver efficiently.

    Dec 17, 2019
  • anon

    OMG ME TOO!! i have been worried sick. i’m from NC and mailed a package to the Netherlands the 20th of December... yet haven’t received any further updates since it’s arrival to Miami on the 24th. do you think it could be lost?? and has your package arrived??

    Jan 06, 2020
  • anon

    My temporary holiday c.c.a routes parcels apt. and homes 1 week good no issue, 8 day my no change right , but, lots parcels full promaster route end day . Supervisor hey " you no scanner 8am- noon, my no way " always scanned successfully " tomorrow he investigated lost parcel , suspended. Google normal scanned parcel to home/apt, but transmit to office to few days ( glitches, networks error) to appear 3 - 5 day. Frustrated. Suspended four day waiting investigation normal?

    Dec 16, 2019
  • anon

    Hello Maurice. Thanks for your comment. We recommend filing an online complaint with our Hotline. You can access the online complaint form at https://www.uspsoig.gov/form/file-online-complaint.

    Dec 17, 2019
  • anon

    I dropped a "click and ship" Priority package off at my post office on 12/11/19 on the counter where everyone was leaving their prepaid packages. As of 8pm 12/13/19 the tracking number still does not show that the package was scanned as accepted by the post office. I asked at my post office and they said it probably wasn't scanned at their location, but it would be scanned at other legs of its journey. That sounded logical, but after two days there isn't one scan on this package any where. They are so busy due to Christmas that no manager will talk to me. How can a Priority Package never get scanned any where? I am waiting to see if it ever arrives. Now I would never just leave a prepaid package on the counter.....I'd have to wait an hour in line to hand it to a person. Not very convenient.

    Dec 13, 2019
  • anon

    Pam please let me know the outcome of what has been going on with that package. I am having a similar problem happening as well. I had a package dropped off at the post office 3 days ago, but there is not one scan on it. I’m concerned if it is missing because it has an expensive item in it.

    Dec 27, 2019
  • anon

    I had label made at Staples then walked to post office 50 yards dropped in box . 3 days still no scan done . What do I do if guy says the pack never got there . So I guess he gets it for free .. wtf man

    Feb 02, 2020
  • anon

    A carrier that has delivered to my address in Omaha, NE told me that he'd scanned my package as delivered when he entered my neighborhood. I can only assume he'd been doing so for all packages he'd been delivering that day. I confronted him when he arrived to deliver mail at my house because the package was showing as delivered. I keep a very close eye on the status of my packages because I've had an unbelievable amount of them misdelivered this year alone. It's hard when you run a business out of your home and rely on deliveries for your business to function.

    Dec 10, 2019

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