Package visibility is important to consumers, as many ecommerce surveys indicate. “Real-time tracking” often tops lists of consumers’ preferred features.

So, it’s critical that U.S. Postal Service scanning information be accurate. Yet we continue to find shortcomings in this area. Our recent audit work found employees were sometimes improperly scanning packages at the post office rather than at the point of delivery and not following scanning policies. We flagged this activity in a recent Management Alert.

Carriers are supposed to scan a package at the delivery location after either delivering or attempting to deliver the package. This scan “stops the clock,” indicating USPS has met its delivery commitment. Anyone tracking a package would see that delivery was made or attempted. Two years ago, our comprehensive audit on USPS’s package delivery scanning process in city delivery operations found carriers were sometimes making improper “stop-the-clock” scans at a location other than the designated delivery location (house, business, apartment building).

If a carrier makes a “stop the clock” scan at a location other than the delivery point – before delivery is even attempted – a customer would see package delivery made or attempted when none has actually occurred.

Last year, we reviewed package scanning procedures at 25 delivery units and found USPS employees were not always following package scanning procedures at 21 of the 25 units. Specifically, 38 percent of the more than 1,100 packages that were selected at these units and that were in the facility before the carriers arrived for the day had been improperly scanned. For example, 191 packages had been scanned as delivered but were still at the unit, and 113 packages that were not delivered had no scan indicating why they weren’t.

The purpose of our Management Alert is to bring these issues to the attention of the Postal Service so immediate corrective action can be taken. We recommended USPS enhance ongoing strategies to improve scanning accuracy and enforce compliance. Prior recommendations focused on reinforcing adherence to package scanning guidelines and policies, as well as updating the Scan Data Integrity report to track improper scans performed at delivery units. We also recommended USPS develop a process that would allow carriers to scan multiple packages to a single delivery address.

Management was receptive to our findings and is implementing corrective action on all the recommendations.

Comments (124)

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  • anon

    Still going on. Said I had a package delivered thur and Friday showing scanned by my address but I was hold all day and home security shows no one approached my house either day. Local office was rude and would not take my complaint told me to report to Amazon (sender) and they'd replace it. They have declined to do so as it's been a multiple account issue. One package did arrive 4 days later and the carrier wouldn't speak to me as he walked to his vehicle. One of the same packages they claim was scanned by my house 4 days earlier as delivered..... Scam and fraud.

    Sep 29, 2020
  • anon

    All post offices scan stop the clock

    Sep 26, 2020
  • anon

    I have been having this issue EVERYTIME I have something delivered through the post office. I try my best to use other delivery companies because it puts so much stress on me. I call to NEVER get a answer on the phone, sends you to operator, I go to the location stand, in line for hours with a bunch of other angry people having the same issue, and leave empty handed knowing my package is behind that wall, and the clerk has just given up searching for it. I right now have Live Stock sitting in the post office on 83rd and Ashland. On my phone it says delivered, but at the office it says attempted delivery with no access, BOTH ARE LIES!

    Sep 23, 2020
  • anon

    Once again, West Bend Wisconsin USPS does not scan tracking packages in the blue box. This is an issue that must be brought to the Inspector Generals attention. Supervisors state that all blue box packages do not get scanned as they are thrown in the truck to ship right away. As some may think this is acceptable, it is not. Small businesses rely on USPS and it has been proven this is an ongoing issue. Please start thinking of the small business owners that rely on USPS.

    Sep 23, 2020
  • anon

    Sold an item on facebook marketplace, the package made it to the cities post office where it was scanned, then scanned out for delivery but whoever delivered the package never made a final delivery.. you get PAID when you shipment says delivered so now i need to figure out with FB how im going to get paid.. even messaged the person to make sure the item was delivered and it was just no delivery scan.. you have 1 job. Walk scan a frigan label and drop the package off

    Sep 23, 2020
  • anon

    I'm waiting on 4 packages. One was accepted on 9/14 by USPS with no further scans so far, one has been in pre-shipment since 9/9 and two were "attempted" at the same time on 9/18 with the "delivery attempted - no access" scan. A house with a clear street, no fence, no outdoor dogs or anything blocking a single mailbox. A couple of weeks ago a package was marked as "delivered" but I didn't receive it. It was delivered to the wrong address. Lucky for me that recipient returned it to a USPS location. This is ridiculous!

    Sep 19, 2020
  • anon

    Four packages in one week have been lost. Tracking says “delivery attempted” but that is a complete lie. I have video proof. Did everything online, called, created a search (once you I created a search I got an email confirmation from the station manager with a non working FAKE number). Make sure you vote in person folks.

    Sep 18, 2020
  • anon

    This seems to be a trend now. I have been getting the same message "Delivery Attempted - No Access to Delivery Location.“ I've had a package marked as this twice so far with multiple attempts made with the same message even though we have received our regular mail and delivery from other providers. This is fraud in my opinion since it's obvious that no attempt was made. I agree that someone from the USIOG office needs to look into this. How are we to trust USPS with our mail?

    Sep 16, 2020
  • anon

    Same thing here, this week 4 packages where marked Delivery attempted which is a lie and have video proof that the mailman didn’t even show up. Still waiting....

    Sep 18, 2020
  • anon

    Hello, Emily. Thank you for your comment. Please file an online complaint with our Hotline. You can access the online complaint form at www.uspsoig.gov/form/file-online-complaint

    Sep 17, 2020
  • anon

    This seems to be a trend now. We've now been getting the same message "Delivery Attempted - No Access to Delivery Location.“ We had three packages so far that went into this black hole of multiple attempts made with the same message even though we have received our regular mail and delivery from other providers. This is fraud in my opinion since it's obvious that no attempt was made. What frosts me the most is that I am paying for all of this in the form of shipping charges from the vendors sending this to me. Also, any attempt to reach the USPS to research this just returns an automated message saying the delivery was attempted. Someone from the USIOG office needs to look into this. How are we to trust that a) our regular mail is coming b) to trust vote by mail in the upcoming elections. FYI - I'm in 60660 area code if the USIOG is actually reading the message boards.

    Sep 16, 2020
  • anon

    I have been receiving this message for two days regarding packages from multiple senders. And this is not the first time in the past few months either. My neighbors as well. I've been home and there is direct access to my building. Other people on my street have had their packages marked this way as well with the exact same date and time. The post office isn't even attempting to deliver these packages to any of us. It's ridiculous.

    Sep 16, 2020
  • anon

    Yesterday (sep 15th, 2020)at 650am ish there was a destination scan here in San Antonio. Then later in the morning the information disappeared. The status changed to “your package is on its way, but arriving late”. And of course the previous information about the package being in San Antonio is gone. Hope it arrives today. Not cool USPS

    Sep 16, 2020
  • anon

    Also got the “ Delivery Attempted - No Access to Delivery Location “ lie today. I live on a major numbered street in one of the biggest cities in the country with zero obstructions to the street or my front door. For some reason Amazon has been sending my Prime deliveries with Parcel Select and I’ve had issues with 3 of 4 packages since then — one had this message, and 2 were “undeliverable” I just don’t understand why this is happening all of a sudden. If it’s delayed, fine, tell me that. Don’t make it sound like my stoop is inaccessible.

    Sep 14, 2020
  • anon

    This is exactly what has been happening to me for month now, I’ve made several complaints but nothing has gotten done about this.

    Sep 14, 2020
  • anon

    I arrived home today at 4 PM. I then look at track my package and it says the package was attempted delivery but was undeliverable at...4:07 PM. Well, that's a lie. The package does not require a signature, i have no outdoor dog, and no gate. It is wide open. I know they lied and scanned it as such because they didn't feel like delivering it today. I understand if you're backed up but JUST SAY THAT! Don't lie to me and assume I'm an idiot. It's clear this was done as a measure to push it a day further.

    Sep 12, 2020
  • anon

    My contract mail carrier regularly scans packages as delivered however they don’t come until the next day. What is he doing with my mail?? Does he take them home?? He is also dirty and his vehicle looks like it’s ready to catch on fire! I’m not joking! If my mail carriers goal to be like the mailman in the movie Funny Farm then he has reached his goal! They don’t like to drive all the way down our street to drop off mail for just 4 boxes. :( lived here almost 10 years we’ve become accustomed to not any getting mail for days sometimes 1 week and then our boxes are stuffed. Like he’s a mythical creature, or if you see him it’s like spotting a unicorn. I’d just like to get my mail from the person getting paid to do so. I’m waiting for a package today and am going out of town early Monday. I can guarantee it will not arrive even though it shows out for delivery. He’ll mark it delivered and it’ll come Sunday or Monday

    Sep 12, 2020
  • anon

    Received “no access to location” message when there is no lock on my gate and zero obstruction to my front door. Was home all day and did not see any delivery attempts. Not the first time this has happened. Tired of the lies!

    Sep 11, 2020
  • anon

    I received- Delivery Attempted - No Access to Delivery Location 09/10/2020 5:56pm....I have cameras on my front door and I checked there was NO mail carrier 15 minutes before or after the time noted and I don't have a gate, nothing blocking the stairs to my front door and nothing in the mail box so why lie about it.

    Sep 10, 2020
  • anon

    This is the second day in a row that I was lied to about attempted delivery. I was at my house both times and even saw the mail truck drive by without stopping at our house. Those responsible should be punished

    Sep 07, 2020
  • anon

    I received a 'Delivery attempted - Front door/Driveway was not accessible' message today.It is a lie. I have video footage that I reviewed from one hour before to one hour after the stated time. There was no blockage and there was no USPS delivery attempt during that time.

    Sep 06, 2020
  • anon

    At our office, we are told by supervisors to scan miss-sorts and packages that we cannot get delivered by 8PM as No Access/Business Closed as just our SOP. I have seen Sundays were close to 500 packages were scanned No Access/Business Closed due to mistakes where we were unable to even attempt deliveries due to large numbers dropped off by Amazon/UPS. All management cares about is stopping the clock so that there are less failures on whatever reports get made.

    Sep 06, 2020
  • anon

    This is crazy & against protocol. Why would they tell you to do such a thing? What city are you in?

    Sep 13, 2020
  • anon

    I've had several instances of false "No Access to Delivery Location" alerts when, in fact, there was no delivery attempt. USPS loses credibility and future business when you appear to lie about your delivery performance. In the age of Trump you simply must do better. Your very existence is really at stake here. For the good of the country, get your act together.

    Sep 06, 2020
  • anon

    Today I was home and can prove there was no attempt made at or around 7:58PM. Yet when I look online at the tracking it states they tried to deliver. Why lie about an attempt that wasn’t made. Just move the date. I don’t appreciate the lie. Simply change the date. I don’t even need an explanation. Just be upfront. September 5, 2020 at 7:58 pm Delivery Attempted - No Access to Delivery Location

    Sep 05, 2020
  • anon

    This is exactly how I feel!

    Sep 13, 2020
  • anon

    My package went from “out for delivery” to “available for pickup” in the same day. I went to go pickup my package and USPS told me it would be delivered to me that day. Here we are 1 week later and I still have no package. They have no idea where my package is only that a supervisor scanned or because it was on the wrong route but after that they don’t know anything. Highly frustrating and disappointing.

    Sep 04, 2020
  • anon

    This happened to me today. I received a "No Access" alert, which makes no sense. I have no gate, the mailbox is empty, and I was standing by the front door when the alert came in. There was no impediment to delivery, sidewalk clear for the entire block, and no mail carrier in the vicinity. Why lie?

    Sep 02, 2020
  • anon

    This happened to me literally today. I have a ring camera and I also happened to be talking to my neighbor during the alleged “delivery attempt” This is wrong and shady practice. How a package goes from “out for delivery” to this at the last minute tells me the worker wanted to cut his or her day short. What else can I assume when I never saw a postal worker, and my doorbell camera can back that up. Irritating.

    Sep 08, 2020
  • anon

    Our business shipped over 200 books Friday August 28, 2020 at approximately 12:30 PM. We hand delivered to the USPS Distribution Center 1301 Marshall Ave Lancaster PA. The shipping was a combination of prepaid International, priority mail and media mail. It is now Tuesday evening, September 1st and none of the 111 Media Mail book shipments have been scanned into the system. PLEASE HELP. The status is still Pre-Shipment! This delay can destroy our reputation because it looks like we never shipped the books.

    Sep 01, 2020
  • anon

    I've had upwards of 10 instances with a "No Access to Delivery Location" alert when, in fact, there was no delivery attempt. I understand and appreciate that the US Postal workers have it extremely tough right now, but please give a legitimate reason for the package not arriving. If the message is "Postal Worker did not have time make it to your location" that is understandable. I don't mind the delays I just disapprove of the flat out lies.

    Sep 01, 2020
  • anon

    Doing more training

    Aug 31, 2020
  • anon

    With what money? When you have an Inspector General purposely sabotaging an entire industry to benefit the person who hired him, this is what you get.

    Sep 14, 2020
  • anon

    USPS has twice in the last day said they attempted delivery and "business was closed" then "delivery location could not be accessed" however I live in a high rise with 24 hour doormen and receiving room and there was definitely someone there at 4:01pm yesterday and 10:55am this morning. Saw my postal carrier at 2pm and she has no idea why that would happen, doesn't have my package and agreed it's Amazon dumping packages on the Post Office and someone at the Post Office not wanting to deliver it or put it on the route because it's too heavy. Why take it all then?

    Aug 29, 2020
  • anon

    I've lost several hundred dollars because of lies about delivery attempts. The only solution was a mailbox alert device. The expression on my carrier as he rang my bell for a signature was priceless.

    Aug 28, 2020
  • anon

    look people i really feel for all of you, and i for one try to do the best i can for all my customers. What most dont understand is that unlike ups and fedex we also have mail to deliver. Our routes were not created, our vehicles were not designed to handle the amount of parcels we are seeing these days. This does not by any means make up for poor postal practices or lies in which you are being told, all i am asking all of you to understand is that our routes were created in the days of 12 parcels being over 2 pounds and maybe 30 being under 2 pounds. We now have over 280 scans that we make on packages in a single day on the route, and our routes were never adjusted to take on that load. The post office never created positions to help manage that extra work load. I feel your frustration, i will be the firstto admit there are times packages shift and i find a parcel for a delivery i did earlier that day in my truck hours later. Which we are instructed to call if this happens to get instruction from management as to how we handle this since we are not allowed to "waste time" going back for missed deliveries. 9 times out of 10 we are instructed to bring that package back to the post office at the end of day to take it out the next. I myself will not scan the package since the mail delayed scan on our scanners does not "stop the clock" and hand it back to management to scan however they feel it should be scanned. Just a note as i know that it is so much easier to complain and post blame online, but i for one would be much happier if my customers came to me to ask questions about an incident. Thank you all, and i hope this brings a little enlightening.

    Aug 27, 2020
  • anon

    They scanned my Amazon package at 10:30AM saying no one was home. I waited all day, no one came. Went to my mail box at about 11:30AM to check for the slip, no slip. BUT when the mailman came at 4:30 they put the attempted delivery slip in my box with my mail. VERY SLICK! You and I know what they are doing. They scanned the package at the post office as attempted, no one home. That way they “showed” Amazon they delivered on-time. Customers are not stupid. It must be difficult for caring employees to work for USPS.

    Aug 26, 2020
  • anon

    I understand workers getting overwhelmed but what does that have to do with flat out lying about making a delivery. Especially since the price of using usps has gone up. The service was better when it was cheaper. I like some other people use usps for selling on Ebay and when usps either lie or lose the the parcel it reflects on negatively on my feedback. There needs to be more ACCOUNTABILITY, rather than denial from local post office.

    Aug 26, 2020
  • anon

    I take in my totes full of packages that I print the usps labels at home and drop them at the local Tumwater,WA post office. I have found MANY days that they do NOT scan these items and they can sit their for days. This isn't right, sellers especially on EBAY get dinged for late shipment which effects our overall ratings and at times drops us to below standard.THIS is now costing us MORE money out of pocket. What is the problem here? Thought if I dropped them at the post office personally they would scan them ASAP. The only time that items are scanned immediately if I personally give them to my carrier if I am home to watch my packages before they come. Once I asked inside the post office and the response I got was "we only have so much time and if the trucks are full we don't scan???? They should be at least scanned to prove that we as sellers are doing our job correctly.

    Aug 24, 2020
  • anon

    I have a package that was supposed to be delivered on August 23, 2020 because it is a book for my college classes. The package was delayed with the message, " We attempted to deliver your package at 6:45 pm on August 23, 2020 in PANAMA CITY, FL 32404 but could not access the delivery location. We will redeliver on the next business day." I live in an apartment complex and there are two ways to get to my apartment, and neither have been blocked or unable to be accessed. I am having a hard time getting a representative on the phone and I need this package to be delivered. I am not sure why the package was flagged with this delay, but I need to make sure that the package was really attempted to be delivered. I am home everyday, and was all day yesterday when this was to be delivered, and not once did I have anyone try to deliver my package.

    Aug 24, 2020
  • anon

    I had the same problem on the same day as you. Then the next day 2 hours before my mailman even drove by it said delivered to my front porch. LIES! I was home in my garage all day. Tried calling but they don't answer the phone. Guess I am going to have to drive there myself.

    Aug 25, 2020
  • anon

    I am experiencing a similar problem. For 2 days, the package was supposed to arrive, and i was at home all but one hour each day. Each time, at about 9pm, the package was scanned, Delivery Attempted, Front Door Inaccessible. I do not know of any problem with access to my front door. They said they will try again. Olympia WA, Aug23rd and Aug24th. I think maybe this was improperly tagged, that is... wrong reason given for the delay

    Aug 25, 2020
  • anon

    Why does the carrier need to have you home to deliver your package?? The USPS has COVID changes for items that need sig. These are to be signed by carrier and delivered to your door. These procedures have been in place since May. The OIG has instructed all PO offices to follow this. Do you really want to be in close contact with someone who has prob over 500 del points ??

    Aug 28, 2020
  • anon

    Delivery Attempted but no access according to USPS. I was on my porch smoking during the alleged attempt and it was a lie. No attempt was made and if it had been my front porch is open 24 x 7. Don't lie to people when you are too lazy to deliver mail. This is for 75050 zip code. Thanks, Russell

    Aug 23, 2020
  • anon

    Just like everyone else, I have had 8 of 8 packages take weeks to receive or have delivered. It’s obvious that we can no longer rely on paid services to have our packages get to the intended destination in a fair and timely manner. So what I did, is cough up the extra money for other carriers and had no issues or complaints. To pay for this extra expense, I tacked on the extra costs and made buyers aware. And on the same token, I request other carriers when purchasing an item. This has gotten out of control and they push complaints off until the complainant is exhausted from the mental stresses they acquire through the ignorance of a once great service. As many already know, the postmaster general has a conflict of interest in running the usps. So why fix something that is crumbling and would make him more money in the long run? It’s a common question asked by many but will never have an honest answer to. We are left to feel the brunt of this problem. You will continuously be brushed off until you give up or maybe a good person working will answer you and figure it out. But that’s a very rare case these days. I have given up on the usps unfortunately. Although it plays into the hands of people who want their demise, what other option do we have that would fix this? Not even our congress can find a honest solution. Nor can they make them fix it to our expectations. I wish you all well and hope that this isn’t the end of the usps. I’d rather have them over any other service. Again, there not much hope for many. Airing out complaints on here will get the same answer, file a complaint. I’ve yet to hear anything for months and not expecting anything.

    Aug 22, 2020
  • anon

    I have 3 packages, that USPS has no clue of where there are ? I have given tracking information on all three to local post office, online chat, and numerous phone calls to USPS, to no avail ! All three were eBay packages, and now I have to refund buyers, one did claim they received their package, but never got scanned as delivered by USPS ??? One was sent out on 8/3/2020 it was 2 day priority package, it stop tracking on 8/8/2020, ??? now 20 days later USPS has no clue or can not tell me where this package is !!??, According to them I have to file a claim and only receive $50.00, but only after a lengthy investigation, I may or may not get my $$$ back ! 3rd package set in my local distribution center for 3 days, then went to Savannah, GA. were it is still showing no movement ? I'm to a point of saying PRIVATIZE USPS, what has become unreliable delivery service, I'll take my service to UPS ! Sorry but I am fed up with the waste at USPS, glad my two brother in laws retired from USPS before USPS fell apart !

    Aug 20, 2020
  • anon

    I got the "Delivered " lie on 8/14. No package. No one attempting on my ring either. Live in an apartment with a single entry. Have a dog that barks at anything at the door and I was home all day. It's time to stop auditing and do some real fixes starting with management. USPS is very unreliable.

    Aug 16, 2020
  • anon

    Got the "Delivery Attempted - No Access to Delivery Location" lie two days in a row. I live in building with 24/7 security access. Talked to the security guard and asked if USPS came through. He said yeh, these guys are lazy and will just lie about the delivery and force you to waste your time picking it up yourself.

    Aug 11, 2020
  • anon

    I got the "We attempted to deliver your package but could not access the delivery location" lie. Single home, no fense, no dog. If you do not have time to deliver then mark it as delayed. Don't lie about the reason.

    Aug 11, 2020
  • anon

    Same thing happened to me! It’s a plant delivery that I paid extra for to ensure faster shipping. 10 days later, On August 8th, I was outside facing the road and got the alert that there was an “attempted delivery, no access”. No one even drove by my wide open driveway... and now no one is responding. It’s been days since I filed a claim.

    Aug 11, 2020

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