Background

The Mail Recovery Center (MRC) is the U.S. Postal Service’s official lost and found department. Processing centers and retail and delivery units nationwide send mail items with no valid addressee or sender information to the MRC. The MRC’s core mission is to search, recover, forward, or return undeliverable mail nationwide.

In fiscal year 2014, the MRC received 88 million items, processed 12 million for possible return to customers, and returned 2.5 million. All items not returned to customers were sold at auction, donated, or destroyed.

The objective of this audit was to assess the MRC’s effectiveness at handling customer inquiries and managing items it received.

[Paragraph redacted]

What the OIG Found

The MRC did not effectively handle customer inquiries or manage undeliverable items it received in certain circumstances. Specifically, the MRC did not:

¦ Track how many inquiries resulted in items returned to customers.

¦ Return, dispose of, or secure military items efficiently.

¦ Return wallets, purses, and the documents they contained to customers.

¦ Sufficiently oversee the contractor responsible for auctioning unclaimed items at the MRC.

In addition, Postal Service operations outside of the MRC’s control negatively impacted MRC efforts to return undeliverable items to customers. Specifically, sales and service associates did not provide customers with clear instructions for filing search inquiries and field offices incorrectly sent recyclable materials to the MRC.

These conditions occurred because the Postal Service either did not have adequate policies and procedures for these functions or did not follow them. As a result, there is an increased risk that customers may not have the opportunity to recover lost items.

What the OIG Recommended

We recommended the Postal Service enhance policies and procedures for handling lost and undeliverable mail at the MRC, review the contract for auctioning unclaimed items, instruct sales and service associates to provide customers with proper procedures for filing a search inquiry, and enforce existing policy for recyclable materials that should not be sent to the MRC.

Read Full Report

Comments (679)

  • anon

    I sent a package to my daughters old address. I have a tracking number and the date it was delivered. My name was the return address. Can anything be done?

    Dec 13, 2017
  • anon

    I sent a birthday card with a 100 dollar check on 11/29/2017, now 2 weeks past my daughter has not received it yet. Any suggestions?

    Dec 12, 2017
  • anon

    same thing here my brother mailed me something almost 2weeks ago and I still haven't received and post office told me there's nothing they can do about it

    Dec 18, 2017
  • anon

    I sent a card with a 50 dollar check and it was never received on the other end. Going on 2 weeks now and only had to travel 65 miles. Any suggestions?

    Dec 11, 2017
  • anon

    I sent on October 20 a package with confidential information to the social security.yesterday they told me they never receive it. The envelope didn’t have my address just the address to the social security. Important information was into . What shoul I do?

    Dec 08, 2017
  • anon

    I received my LARGE FLAT RATE BOX with an opened end. All my files (Tenant Leases, Bank statements, receipts for previous charges, etc.), were missing, as was my make-up kit. There is a bit of confusion as to who did what and who saw or didn't see what??? Some items will have the last name of FRANK others will have the last name of LIPMAN

    Dec 08, 2017
  • anon

    I moved in the apartment a month ago. The mailbox has no lock but I didn't realize it. I bet there are lots of mails sent to me. Where can I find them and get them back. Please show me a hand!

    Dec 07, 2017
  • anon

    Recently I received an envelope that a friend sent me with the charm bracelet that my daughter left at her house. When it arrived at my house it was in a plastic bag from the US Post Office stating that they were sorry for the inconvenience. The Envelope came from Fort Worth Texas And arrived at my house December 5, 2017. Is there anyway that I can find out if her charm bracelet was found and turned in? Can you please help because this charm bracelet from James Avery was very sentimental.

    Dec 06, 2017
  • anon

    MAILED A THANKSGIVING CARD TO SON IN LEHIGH ACRES, FL ON NOV. 20TH AND HE STILL HASN’T RECEIVED IT YET. CONTACT HIM AND HE STATES HE ONLY RECEIVES MAIL TWO TIMES A WEEK. WHAT’S THE PROBLEM AND WHERE DOES HIS MAIL GO?

    Dec 06, 2017
  • anon

    I mailed a birthday card on 11/26/17 and it's now Dec and they still did not receive my card. Is there anyway to know if it will turn up?

    Dec 03, 2017
  • anon

    My package was non-deliverable yesterday due to wrong address, and apparently not returnable, so already "disposed of" one day later. The street number was off by two digits, they couldn't run my name with that zip code? How to I recover my package? Report fraud? How about the USPS using this as an excuse to auction off items for profit after one day? I see nothing about how to claim my package, only the crime hotline. This is outrageous!

    Dec 02, 2017
  • anon

    I mailed a letter on November 9th or 10th 2017 and mother in law never received? Can you please help us find it

    Dec 01, 2017
  • anon

    I haven't been getting mail, at my new address for a month now. Can someone please tell me what i need to do in order to get my mail

    Dec 01, 2017
  • anon

    I sent a manilla envelope to my son from Lake Mary, Fl to Hamlet, In. I sent original paperwork he needed and receipts. I put two stamps on it went inside post office and put in the drop down for regular mail and on the 18of November 2017. As of today Nov 30th it did not get to him or return to me. I did not certify as just papers. Is there anyway of knowing if it's lost some where?

    Nov 30, 2017
  • anon

    I have been waiting to receive the mail from immigration that supposed to reach me in July but never receive it yet until today. They said that your mail was being returned to us twice. So, it's a confusing though I check my mailbox everyday but do not see anything in it. Can anyone help me with any suggestion please?

    Nov 29, 2017
  • anon

    An international item was mailed to me on the 11th of October 2017, Arrived at Customs on the 15th Oct, outbound out of Customs and stuck "in transit" since October 15th. Tracking number was given, nothing rc'd as of one month and counting. Filed missing mail claim, inquiry and now filed MRC claim form. A similar package from the SAME COUNTRY (England) arrived within a week of posting from said country. Not very pleased with the USPS losing the first package, as it was important and expensive.

    Nov 29, 2017
  • anon

    My mail is ALWAYS getting mixed up with my neighbors. My Tx tag invoice was going to another neighbors address due to all the mail boxes on one side. I now need a letter stating the postal service does not take any recgongition UNLESS its certified. My local postal service is not at all being helpful besides sending me to the website which is of no use. I need a letter or email stating the postal service only helps if the letters are certified so I can send a letter or report to my Tx tag bill since I had not received the letter that was obviously not certified. PLEASE HELP WITH SOMETHING SOON. Audrey Cantu

    Nov 28, 2017
  • anon

    I sent my rent via 2 day priority mail 2 weeks ago. It has since been lost and the post office does not even have a scan since it left the post office I sent from. My landlord has now served me with a 3 day notice due to this situation. I have filled out all required forms and spoken to multiple people. I am at a loss. My husband and I have 3 children and now have this to worry about just before Christmas. Happy holidays to us.

    Nov 27, 2017
  • anon

    My package was delivered to the wrong place. Local post office supposedly doesn't have contact info for the boxholder. They left a note in the box to return it. This has been weeks of waiting. Can you please help?

    Nov 27, 2017
  • anon

    I have a question. I mailed a letter in 2016 it was returned to me as undeliverable. Is there a way to get proof that the letter was returned to me as undeliverable?

    Nov 25, 2017
  • anon

    I have been living in my house for about 6 months and since I moved in I have yet to get any mail. I put my name on my mail box a month after moving in and my mail carrier can care less if my mail makes it to the right box. Every week if I do get any mail my neighbor is the one delivering it because she received the wrong mail. This is causing issues in my household I have bills that come through the mail and I'd appreciate it if my mail carrier could match the names to the correct mailbox

    Nov 23, 2017
  • anon

    I live in metro Atlanta. I know the Mail Recovery Center is here. All the google searches I do show the facilities are permanently closed or have moved. I need to know the correct address of the Mail Recovery Center, please. My lost package is there and I want it back. Please help.

    Nov 21, 2017
  • anon

    They delivered my pay check to the wrong address, it wasn't returned to sender, was forwarded to me. That's my rent, Christmas and thanksgiving! They don't know where it is. Thanks to you! I will lose my home and have no holidays for my kids

    Nov 18, 2017
  • anon

    A letter mailed November 9, 2017, has not arrived. It has a check which is needed by my daughter. It had two stamps just to make sure it would arrive. It also has a return address.

    Nov 18, 2017
  • anon

    I had my high school send my transcript from Beaufort NC to Lynchburg VA and I called and confirmed the address it was sent to over 2 weeks ago. The college has yet to receive it. I seriously need that to be delivered. The sender confirmed it was sent to the right address and the college confirmed that it was their correct East Carteret High School address. I can not see why it has not arrived yet. Its beyond ridiculous that I may lose a bunch of money and have to wait another 6 months to go into college. As it is sent with regular mail it was not given a tracking number, but my mother mailed something to the college (same address) from her home which is practically across the street and it arrived just days after she sent it. I had to pay to have this document sent so I would really like to know where it is.

    Nov 17, 2017
  • anon

    I am missing mail that I sent out oct 13th 2017. It was a Alvarez guitar and I need help locating it and making sure that it gets to the buyer. I so far have had no luck being helped by the USPS. Thank you

    Nov 17, 2017
  • anon

    I have been waiting for my disability check for about 4 days now. I don’t know about you, but that means i am obviously not working. I need that check, they usually get here every Monday the latest is tuesday and it’s only happened once. I’ve also noticed i haven’t gotten any mail at all at my house in a week at least. I need my stuff!! If i don’t get a bill then i can’t pay it obviously and i am going to be really pissed off if they cut anything off. So please do your job and find it!!

    Nov 16, 2017
  • anon

    Sir November 10, 2017 I send two first class certified mail to National passport processing center, for renewing the passport of myself and for my wife. My wives mail received very promptly on 11/12/2017.But my mail along with that is missing somewhere, tracking shows in transit it on the way to destination, since 3 days. I send emails to postal department, Then I report this to local post office, but no body knows where the mail is. My important documents are there in the mail. I send the mail from same post office same time and to same place and address to be delivered, one delivered to its destination . Other mail it is missing. I was sick and hospitalized . It is my humble request kindly trace the missing mail and send it to its destination. Thanks George chirackal

    Nov 15, 2017
  • anon

    I was sent a money Order from Detroit MI. To Longwood Florida on 11/6/17 & still haven't received it!!

    Nov 15, 2017
  • anon

    There has been serval packages that I've not received. But my computer left me a message that I had a package. And I'm trying to find out more about it !

    Nov 15, 2017
  • anon

    My Son dropped a Fed Ex envelope into a PO box on Clark St. in Mt. View Ca. I went to the main post office to tell them and they said they carriers do not bring the mail there, but they would give it to Fed ex when they find it. It has been 3 weeks now and it is still not been scanned nor was it received. What to do, where to go?? Thank you, Andy Schmidt The envelope is addressed to Tony Schmidt my brother in Oakland OR. Sent by San Francisco Bay Brand Newark, Ca. 94560

    Nov 12, 2017
  • anon

    I have a check that I have yet to receive , please let me know if its in deadmail .

    Nov 11, 2017
  • anon

    I’ve been looking for my mail since November 7th and it’s very important that!

    Nov 10, 2017
  • anon

    My boyfriend got a money order of $695 to pay our rent and put it in the blue box to be mailed to the landlord and that was 3 months ago and they still have not received it, also I mailed some pay stubs and our garbage payment that also never got to the destination. All of those items were sent around the same time period. I called the post office and they were no help. This is in aledo,IL. If you have any idea why this would happen or where our mail could have gone please let me know. Thank you.

    Nov 09, 2017
  • anon

    Just trying to track any importin. Mail that i never recieved

    Nov 03, 2017
  • anon

    With all due respect, Isn't the post office supposed to have a dead letter office, or mail recovery location. There seems to have been one in Georgia. But the posts I'm the Internet say it's closed and the phone number is not working. Isn't it your department supposed to that make sure the post office is run according to its Constitution (or guidelines for operation) it doesn't seem like it. Mail Recovery Center Mail Recovery Center Guidelines The Mail Recovery Center (MRC) in Atlanta is the U.S. Postal Service®’s official “lost and found” department. Formerly the “Dead Letter Office,” the MRC has had several consolidations that have centralized the operation from four centers into one. As part of the 2011 USPS® reorganization, the MRC operations moved to the Supply Management group under the Asset Management organization. Initial assessments of the MRC indicate significant opportunities to streamline and improve existing processes. Asset Management is sponsoring a Lean Six Sigma (LSS) project that covers the MRC’s processes and improvements to process inputs. The MRC receives many items that do not meet the guidelines for acceptance or customer searches. A major project objective is to improve the quality of process inputs or items sent to the MRC from various postal facilities. The LSS team is developing communications pieces that provide guidance on how to prepare mail and other loose items to be sent to the MRC. What is going on? I would like information on who to contact, that has integrity, I can get my issue resolved. Please do not advise me to call the one 800 ask USPS. They are the one who informed me for me to contact the RMC. Michael

    Nov 03, 2017
  • anon

    I sent a package from Mass General Hospital to a nonprofit in Tennessee 2-day shipping w/insurance on Oct. 23. I've tracked it and spoke with a Sherman Boyd from Supervisor Customer Service who told me they don't know why but it is in the MRC/dead letter center. We needed this for a big conference on November 6 and we are disappointed that this was not delivered especially since we sent it out from the Post Office here in Boston. We need help finding this important package.

    Nov 03, 2017
  • anon

    I had a new drivers license that never showed up in the mail. I went to the SOS to report it, took another picture a month ago and I still don't have my drivers license. Also, my license tag reminder never came in the mail. I had a change of address on file and I thought that might be the problem so I went to the post office, filled out the card to cancel the forwarding order. I really need my license. Any suggestions?

    Nov 02, 2017
  • anon

    I mailed a key to my friend that was wrapped in paper. She received the envelope but it only has the papers and no key? I could feel the weight of the key when I put it in my mailbox. Need to know where the key is.

    Nov 02, 2017
  • anon

    My son was visiting me in Elliottsburg PA (He lives in Carlisle, PA) - he brought along several pieces of mail that he received - the mail was addressed to the previous owners of his home. I took the mail to my local Elliottsburg Post Office and they refused to take the mail. I was told that I had to take it back to Carlisle and put it into my son's mailbox, that "they were not allowed to take mail that was delivered to a mailbox outside of their area." This is extremely strange to me. I could have simply dropped the mail into a local mailbox and been done with it but I thought I would talk to a person and explain that it needed to be "re-delivered", knowing it would filter back to the Harrisburg Headquarters and then onto the Carlisle Post Office.

    Nov 02, 2017
  • anon

    I mailed a prepostaged letter with bar code to a insurance company, the bar code has never been scanned I submitted in dropped off mail. I have tried calling mail recovery center but no one will answer the phone. I need help finding my mail.

    Nov 02, 2017
  • anon

    my Uncle from hawaii sent me a birthday card and until now i haven't received it. its been 2 weeks and this happened last year too..

    Oct 31, 2017
  • anon

    I was returning to sender unopened mail left at renters house at big post office on W 25th and Broadview Rds in Cleveland, Ohio 44109 and by mistake put in an envelope containing about $250 worth of HOME DEPOT gift cards while I was putting in the envelopes from my missing tenants to return to sender. I went to post office and was told to put in a form saying what I did by accident and this is the only thing I found so I could report this. the mailbox was in front of the post office itself and had a late afternoon pickup and the person surely found the Home Depot gift cards. I am sorry to bother you but please, can you help me out. I was told that mail is picked up direct from box and taken to Cleveland main postoffice downtown. Lot of people do that I was told. Any help would be appreciated.

    Oct 31, 2017
  • anon

    Hello, i want to know why my package was delivered ans was not return

    Oct 31, 2017
  • anon

    I mailed car keys from greely co to east texas pa and the keys were not in the envelope, it tore. Is it possible to trace?

    Oct 31, 2017
  • anon

    I sent a phone on June15th 2017 to Uzbekistan when I was in East Glacier,MT. I already came to Uzbekistan but we haven't got the phone yet. What is the reason for that? It was a gift for my brother's birthday. Please help me to find my missing package. Thanks beforehand.

    Oct 31, 2017
  • anon

    A family member mailed me a birthday card on Oct 11th, 2017. Here it is Oct 30th and I have yet to receive this card. Without a tracking number how can we find this card?

    Oct 30, 2017
  • anon

    I have been waiting for a envelope from home which is memphis and im in holly springs Mississippi for college my mom sent it wednesday and is been 4 days so when am i suppose to be recieving it

    Oct 30, 2017
  • anon

    I put a hold on my mail in Hopkinton MA almost 4 weeks ago.I have not recieved a piece of first class mail since. I have spoken to the postmaster who assured me everything is in order with their records and they dont think its unusual that my bills have not shown up, correspondence that I have confirmed was sent to me is missing. I am waiting for a very important piece of mail from a lawyer - it was sent 3 weeks ago. I need this. Please help me find my mail.

    Oct 28, 2017
  • anon

    This is by far the worst mail service there is been waiting on an order since oct 19 2017 was supposed to be here on the 25 it is now the 27th an still nothing I called and got me nowhere I’m waiting for a date that the computer makes up to tell me when it will be delivered cause it is delayed 2days after it was supposed to be here what a load of crap I asked well when will I receive the date an nobody knows. I would never use this service personally an I advise businesses to do the same very unreliable fed-ex rocks even ups the only thing u get on time from usps is bills

    Oct 27, 2017

Pages