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 (54)

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  • 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'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

    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 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

    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
  • anon

    Katie i know its frustrating. Unfortunately u already confronted him. U should have said hey i saw my package was here and it wasnt and u have now. So i really need u to scann it when its at my door not at the office. Etc. Because it really messes things up for me. If the person is caring they will change their behavior. If not. Then go into you post office and let the manager know. Things will be changed. Thankyou

    Dec 16, 2019
  • anon

    My packages are never scanned at the Port Orchard Wa post office. They also mis-delivered a box worth a lot of money. The agent even told me it was delivered to a spot two minutes later than the intended address, via the gps tracker. Put in a claim for my insurance coverage and just continually got shut down. I have ZERO trust in USPS. Scammers

    Dec 07, 2019
  • anon

    I was sending a package to through their location and they stole it. Opened my package and stole the items out and delivered the gift wrapping paper

    Dec 10, 2019
  • anon

    Hello, Angeline. Thanks for your message. 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.

    Dec 10, 2019
  • anon

    This continues to be an issue at my post office, up to and including yesterday. Online tracking states delivery was attempted but there was no slip in my box.

    Nov 26, 2019
  • anon

    Is there a S O P for customers coming to the retail window with multiple parcels that all have bad barcodes. Must clerks manually type in all parcels? Customers are insisting we type all parcels in, which means when they go through the whole process and get to the morning pass, the clerk again types it in, and then so does the carriers . At what point is the customer responsible for.

    Nov 22, 2019
  • anon

    I use to have a excellent rural carrier very efficient and would go far beyond to insure my outgoing and incoming parcels were safe, He scanned every package at pick up no matter how many I had I do not use bulk shipping it does no work for me I could leave packages in my mail box he would scan them all now I must go to the post office to scan my stuff and get a receipt to be sure i have no missing parcels the current carrier is to fast and i have lost packages that I put my mail box that were in my mail box for pick up I also get other peoples mail , seems the postal office is desperate for help i get help wanted from them all time ,I Understand contract workers are not the same as the regular postal workers but they should do the same jobs do it right we are paying for this service .

    Nov 19, 2019
  • anon

    If you have a package pickup. That u apply for online, the carrier will go and pick it up that day. If that was not done. They carrier does their normal route and pickups up outgoing. Once its done 1 time. Its done unless notified u have another with a paper printed. And given to mail carrier. As a mail carrier. If u have done your job once. U dont need to again. And if u have a business and need.it done more than once u should go into the post office. Routes can be big and some little. So for those offices that deliver packages and then come back sort their mail and deliver packages again u have more chances of getting it picked up by a mail carrier of they see it. U must put your flag up. Many many people do not put their flag up. So as to not let theifs know they have valuables in their boxes. It causes alot of problems for carriers. Sometimes it looks like mail that not picked up by a customer Etc. Imagine 600 too 800 peoples boxes u deliver.and most have mail still in them. I do not think a mail carrier would pass by a box that has a flag up and not pick it up. So also the time issue mail carriers are on a time limit. The route has a specific time the goverment says they want u back by. Its a race to succeed in that time. So as to him getting done early. Unfortunately u must adjust your time as well. If you know hes going through earlier mail it earlier. We would like our customers happy. So maybe u can find out when he or she normal is the area. And adjust to that. Thankyou i hope this helps.

    Dec 16, 2019
  • anon

    Sadly, the amount of promoting to use USPS to ship packages is disappointing. the service is unreliable and there is no way to speak to a person to find out what happened. 2 packages were given to my mail carrier almost 5 days ago and there is still no update that they ever took receipt of the package so I can't track it. The information on the website shows that the USPS never actually received or scanned it. So based on that, I can't even file a claim b/c there's no documentation to prove they ever took possession of it. I am out the time and money of the contents of the packages + the cost to ship. Based on this, it's not worth using an unreliable service and would rather spend even 2x the amount to ship using UPS b/c at least they have a customer service number and human beings to speak with. I'm very upset b/c even if I go to the post office, I get a shrug and sorry we can't help you. Filing a claim isn't possible and if they never received the package there's no way for them to track it. the only thing I can think of is that the website is not working and it was scanned but the site's database was never updated. All I know is that both packages should have been delivered by now. I'm out time and money I can't recoup. Ridiculous. I wish USPS would stop promoting so heavily on using their shipping services. Even if I paid for ever type of insurance it would be futile in this case since they have no record of taking possession of these packages.

    Nov 18, 2019
  • anon

    I agree I have been going to post office with my packages and she will scan all of them like 20 or more I do not do bulk shipping I had too many problems with it be the postal worker never complains this is what very carrier should be like getting a receipt shows it was accepted , yes this it is pain going there but I cant trust the carriers now unless we get good one again and doing carrier pick up i would have to be here anyway I would never leave my packages outside and more so during the holiday season.

    Nov 19, 2019
  • anon

    I had a "Sorry We Missed You" receipt left in my mail box today, 11,13,19. I live in a condo complex and was home all day waiting for the delivery. According to the receipt left the mailman tried to deliver said package but was unable. No attempt was made to contact me and I feel that the mailman or his floater was simply just to lazy to come up to the apt and knock on the door. I have tried calling the P.O. here; Paradise Valley, 4975 University Center Dr, Las Vegas, NV 89119. I have the station phone number (702) 736-7910. However the phone just rings and no one will answer yet they were still open, this is an ongoing practice of this P.O. as they simply do not want to deal with customers. I have spoken with the Station Manager in the past on the rare occasion that the phone was answered and he was rude and condescending at best. I was a Letter Carrier may years ago in Chicago and I find it absolutely appalling at just how low the Postal Service has sunk regarding anything resembling customer service. I try my best to see that any package mailed to me is via any other delivery service other than the Postal Service for just this reason. I am almost positive I will hear nothing from you (the P.O.) because as I stated before that all of you just simply do not give a damn! I am still waiting on hold to speak with someone on the phone and I'm sure their just hoping that I will hang up before they have to assist me. I will be visiting the P.O. Station stated above tomorrow morning to collect my package so that your lazy mailman or floater does not have to exert and excessive energy and come to my door to see if I am actually home.

    Nov 13, 2019
  • anon

    I've had an excellent rural route carrier for 15+ years whom I adore and never had a complaint. The previous one was terrible. That being said, sure the staff has a lot to do with accuracy, timeliness etc. But remember, they don't get funded like other Government agencies so these's some outdated equipment and the fact they pretty much get paid a flat salary. A few hours over during high volume times or due to equipment failure (mainly scanners and delivery vehicles) is free labor essentially. Go to your local Postmaster if you have an issue and keep going up the chain if needed. Most of the people down the ladder are working hard and doing their best with what they have available. And no, I don't work for the Postal System and not related to anyone that does.

    Nov 09, 2019
  • anon

    Although my package was only a day late i thought it may have been the weather but after tracking my package it was delilverd to Mansfield ,Pa then back to Harrisburg as (Missent) then to Wellsboro then to our post office in Middlebury center before being delivered. On another note most all of my packages I recieve look like they have been through a war zone, half opened, torn or holes into the boxes. Ill never have anything sent through the Phili airport. I usually dont get it or its broken upon arrival.

    Nov 09, 2019
  • anon

    I am told that scanning my outgoing packages before they leave my property is a courtesy, and many times they are not scanned when the carrier gets to the PO. And since I am an eBay seller, EBay doesn't understand that sometimes packages do not get scanned accepted, and I lose the status I have with EBay for something that is not my fault. My new carrier doesn't want to take the time to scan them, she is always in a hurry, yet I bet when it is time for count she will scan them on my porch.

    Sep 17, 2019
  • anon

    Donna ive know a mail carrier she said it is a push from the post office for package pickup. Rarely was it as popular as it is now. The post office one day says hey your picking up packages and no you dont get any more money for it. And no their.isn't a limit on how many a person decides to give u. Could be a huge business with 5000 etc. So she is doing a courtesy. And she is in hurry Because she must deliver by 5:00 when the mail truck leaves. If she doesn't ,she can or will get fired. Next time u see her give her a smile and a water and say wow i had no idea u were working so hard. This is for u. And say hey can u do me a favor i really need to.make sure these r scanned and why. A little honey is better then vinegar. I hope this helps. Also if a mail carrier has 800 mailboxes imagine how many scans they do in a day. Maybe it didnt work or someone. Came up to them while working u never know. Thankyou

    Dec 16, 2019
  • anon

    My carrier delivered a package addressed to me to the wrong address and scanned it as if it were delivered to my house. I contacted the local post office and they began an investigation. After several days of not hearing from them, I called back and was told that yes, the carrier delivered it to the wrong address and that they were attempting to recover the package. Several more days passed with no word so I called back and was told that they could not reach the home owner at the wrong address and that I needed to file a claim. I filed a claim and it was denied several days later. I called the person at the district office that issued the rejection and was told that since there was no insurance that they would do nothing to compensate me. Even though the carrier admitted to delivering to the wrong address, that they could not recover the package and that I had video evidence, the post office accepts no responsibility. What kind of business can operate like this? Oh, I know, a government funded business!I I will do everything possible to not use the post office i the future including alternate shipping and signing up for every e-statement possible. It's no wonder they are floundering.

    Sep 13, 2019
  • anon

    the post office is NOT gov't funded, it is tax payer funded..

    Dec 02, 2019
  • anon

    Self funded by sales NOT tax funded. Get your facts straight

    Dec 10, 2019
  • anon

    The post office does take taxpayer's $. Get YOUR facts straight. https://fortune.com/2015/03/27/us-postal-service/ I'm an early retired USPS employee with pension because of documented management errors and abuse to me, as stated on my discharge papers.

    Dec 21, 2019
  • anon

    When i track my item on your website it says shipping label is created, awaiting item but when i ask my seller about the status of the product he says to me that is already sent to usps post office. Who to trust?

    Sep 13, 2019
  • anon

    Hello there Gerti, As a seller myself - this has been a big headache for us using USPS. Being that your seller has nothing to gain from not sending your package ( it will be their loss in the end anyway if they didn't - and having to refund you) it is likely that they did indeed drop it off and that usps either didn't scan it at arrival (pre-paid packages can be dropped off without waiting in line) or the scan gun wasn't working. This was my personal post offices excuse today as I am actually having the same problem. So before you go pointing any fingers - wait it out until the expected delivery date before taking negative action against the seller

    Oct 08, 2019
  • anon

    Hello, Gerti. Thank you 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. You can also file a complaint directly with the Postal Service at https://www.usps.com/help/contact-us.htm.

    Sep 13, 2019
  • anon

    I know that with the USPS as well as other package delivery companies, the shortest route is not necessarily a straight line. However I'm currently tracking a package being sent to south Mississippi. It has gone from Houston, TX to Mobile, AL and now is shown to be in Orlando, FL. ???????

    Sep 08, 2019
  • anon

    Cameras with audio need to be installed at all post offices they would save enough to pay for them in one year

    Sep 07, 2019
  • anon

    The Carrier's scanner could have an alarm activate when a parcel is delivered outside the 100 feet delivery point and the carrier would have to acknowledge the missed delivery, right at the time of delivery. This would eliminate mis-deliveries, plus cut down on office personnel trying to find out what happened.

    Aug 20, 2019
  • anon

    It already has that capability. A year ago or so that alert function was enabled for a week or so. Meanwhile 10% or so parcels are mis-coded so that the printed address doesn't match the address the bar code reader reports.

    Aug 20, 2019
  • anon

    Within the last 5 years, the quality of our mail delivery has drastically gone down, and it’s not due to anything but a lack of attention by the sorters and carriers. We are constantly getting mail for our neighbors, and they are getting ours. We will also get mail for the next street over, but same numerical address. Lack of accountability and failure to discipline careless employees is the real issue here.

    Aug 12, 2019
  • anon

    I recommend u tour the post office behind the scenes and really see why that might be the case. Merry Christmas

    Dec 16, 2019
  • anon

    I know exactly what it's like behind the scenes. It's still due to procrastination and lack of attention. Are you another USPS employee? Maybe instead of getting defensive we could take some accountability for problems and acknowledge where we need improvement. Happy New Year.

    Jan 09, 2020
  • anon

    this pharmacy uses usps everyday, we count on your service, the pharmacy packages are very important to our patients, your post office is losing our packages and NOT scanning them out. we tried calling the post office at the number given to us from the 800 number but nobody ever answers. what should our pharmacy do as the next step. we haven't got back lost packages, and again nobody to call.

    Aug 07, 2019
  • anon

    Mailed my college son's drivers license on July 23, 2019 using 2 day priority from Wrens, GA to Cookeville TN. Tracking shows time post office took possession and departure time. After that, never scanned again. Now it is August 6th, I have filed every claim for I can. Last form was for mail recovery. Did a test and sent empty envelope with first class stamp and it arrived in TN in 3 days. Why did I pay extra for tracking when scans are not be done properly. I just want the driver's license.

    Aug 06, 2019
  • anon

    Same I recently had two packages delivered to the wrong address; I tried to intercept delivery during the process but no one responded and it was delivered any way.

    Aug 05, 2019

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