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

    On Sat 10/13 we mailed a card to our daughter in Nashville, tn. It has never been delivered. This is the second piece of mail sent on a sat which was not delivered, Sub carrier that day. Put in mailbox, picked up that day.

    Oct 26, 2017
  • anon

    I was sent a package in the mail that had a key and key fob but it was not in there how do I get that back????

    Oct 25, 2017
  • anon

    Envíe un paquete el 16 de octubre a puerto Rico y aparente mente esta perdido porque la persona que me atendió en el correo puso la direccion mal

    Oct 24, 2017
  • anon

    Gracias por su mensaje. Inoportunamente, esta situación está fuera de nuestra área jurídica. En la Oficina del Inspector General (OIG), nuestra función es investigar, derroches, robos, fraude y abusos con el Servicio Postal a través de nuestras auditorias e investigaciones. Para pérdidas o tardanzas en envíos por correo favor comunicarse al Servicio Postal Domestico e Internacional al departamento de rastreo al 800-222-1811 o visitar su página de internet.

    Oct 27, 2017
  • anon

    Y porque no respondes a las otros mensajes? Nadie nos quiere responder pero si trienes tiempo para responder a esta pregunta? Aqui deveriamos poder buscar ayuda y cada pregunta que esta aqui, esta sin respuesta. Si quieres ayudar, ayuda. Si no, que sea clara con que nunca vamos a tener los envios que supuesta mente se perdieron. Que tenga buen dia.

    Nov 08, 2017
  • anon

    Hola Edith, Nosotros leemos cada mensaje que recibimos. Desafortunadamente no podemos responder a cada uno, aunque tratamos de responder cuando podemos. La mayoría de las preguntas son muy especificas sobre la ubicación de un paquete. Nosotros somos una agencia independiente que investiga derroches, robos, fraude y abusos con el Servicio Postal y no tenemos control de la entrega de correo. Si uno necesita ayuda con eso la mejor opción es ir al sitio del Web de USPS y comunicarse con ellos. Muchísimas gracias por sus preguntas.

    Nov 08, 2017
  • anon

    I sent a package off normal mail from Cottonwood, AZ to Madison, WI 12 days ago & it never got there. Mail is expensive enough without always having to send it Priority or any other special delivery. I had return label on the outside & inside of the package. Do people not care or steal things. I also send a B-day card to my friend in AR & that never got to her either??? Not pleased!

    Oct 22, 2017
  • anon

    I ordered something online that was supposed to be delivered today and when I went to track it ,it said that my package was marked as undeliverable by address,which is odd as my address was correct when I filled out the shipping info on the website in which I ordered my item from.It doesn’t make any sense I’m guessing there may have been some kind of error made in the USPS system because there’s no reason why it shouldn’t have be able to be delivered.I don’t know if there’s anything that can be done at this point in being able to retrieve my package before it’s returned to the sender.

    Oct 21, 2017
  • anon

    I have sent a friend two letters over the past 2 months and neither of them have been received. highly frustrated.

    Oct 20, 2017
  • anon

    Same except I've been expecting two letters!

    Oct 28, 2017
  • anon

    I have a friend that's has been sending me letters but I'm not receiving any of them iv waited a 10 business days this is the 3rd time it's happened

    Oct 17, 2017
  • anon

    On the 10/10/2017, A large Envelope contains {car registration documents (Title and ...etc.)} was sent to by First Class Mail (Certified Mail) to Woodbridge Virginia, unfortunately it has not reached the recipient address till now, while the Mail Tracking indicates that the envelope on its way to its destination in wooodbrige since 10/12/2017, how can get my package back and or to be delivered to its destination/

    Oct 17, 2017
  • anon

    I was supposed receive something in the mail, 2 days ago, it hasn't come. Im very concerned.

    Oct 17, 2017
  • anon

    My check was sent to the wrong address

    Oct 13, 2017
  • anon

    Please help me locate my package that was mailed from Union, NJ chestnut station on 9/09/17 heading to heron Ky a suitcase wicker picnic basket to amazon returns 1600 Worldwide blvd.

    Oct 13, 2017
  • anon

    I just want to put in a complaint that a letter sent out 10 days ago has not been received by the person I sent it to. It had checks in it. And now the USPS say they can't do anything because it was a regular letter sent and not priority. You wonder why people are not using the postal service as much.

    Oct 13, 2017
  • anon

    I have a receipt with a number but apparently it's not tracking number can I still track it with that?

    Oct 13, 2017
  • anon

    My mom sent me 200$ in cash and I have not received it it was last monday, I had a different post man the last week and I've had problems before what should I do

    Oct 11, 2017
  • anon

    I've been waiting for a package for a few days and I keep getting updates saying it's out for delivery to my house but I haven't received mail in days?

    Oct 10, 2017
  • anon

    I had an I'd card made an it was I'm assuming sent to my old address cuz I hadn't moved but due to unforseen circumstances I had to move before it was delivered how do I go about retrieving it?

    Oct 09, 2017
  • anon

    I received an envelope from my sister, was supposed to have a homemade, engraved dog tag in in. When I received the envelope it was ripped open with nothing inside. I have a heart broken daughter who would like to see if we can recover it? How do I go about doing so? Thank you

    Oct 07, 2017
  • anon

    Not receiving mail or packages

    Oct 06, 2017
  • anon

    I've been waiting since September 26th for a very important letter from an insurance company in Portland Oregon to Riverside county in California how long does it take to get this letter to my PO box I have not yet gotten it who can I call or report this to it is regular mail

    Oct 06, 2017
  • anon

    Hello! I have expected a package and the tracking number said dead mail and sent to recovery center?

    Oct 04, 2017
  • anon

    Hello Monique, Thank you for your message. The OIG is an independent agency of the Postal Service and day-to-day mail delivery issues are outside of our jurisdiction. If you have not already done so, please try contacting your local Post Office. If you have already done that, try contacting USPS Customer Service, (800-275-8777), or file an online complaint with Customer Service on the USPS website.

    Oct 04, 2017
  • anon

    Three personal checks within 1 yr. were lost, going to the same address. Each were in a small white envelope. Why does this keep happening? Why weren't they returned to me, or sent on to proper address? Are lost letters just discarded? Real mystery & the USPS really isn't a safe way to send mail anymore. Can You see if they're in a bin somewhere? SUGGESTIONS! DH

    Oct 04, 2017
  • anon

    Hello Diane, Thank you for your message. The OIG is an independent agency of the Postal Service and day-to-day mail delivery issues are outside of our jurisdiction. If you have not already done so, please try contacting your local Post Office. If you have already done that, try contacting USPS Customer Service, (800-275-8777), or file an online complaint with Customer Service on the USPS website.

    Oct 04, 2017
  • anon

    My daughter mailed me some personal documents on September 15, 2017 from Charlotte, NC to Riverside, RI, however I never received envelope with the documents. Where can it be??

    Oct 03, 2017
  • anon

    A cell phone I purchased was sent to the Atlanta Mail Recovery Center....they give me no way of contacting them to get my phone back...I have filed a complaint with the BBB and have written a letter. How can I get my phone back?

    Oct 02, 2017
  • anon

    Atlanta Mail Recovery Center P O Box 44161 Atlanta, GA 30336-1161 You will need to write a letter and provide as much info as you can regarding your cell

    Nov 11, 2017
  • anon

    Hello im just wondering why i havent recieved letters from my husband in a correctional facility . His mail is sent out of the jail to the post office in Lakewood CO and they return to sender before I ever recieve it if you could let me know the reason behind this it would be greatly appreciated as it is becoming quite frustrating thank you

    Oct 02, 2017
  • anon

    I purchased makeup tools from an Independent Consultant of Younique. She entered my address wrong and it was delivered somewhere on my street. How do I go about getting my package?

    Oct 02, 2017
  • anon

    My boyfriend sent me something in the mail and the thing said it was delivered last Monday but i didn’t get it.

    Oct 01, 2017
  • anon

    We put in a change of address from radcliff ky to Hebron ky. A lot of my mail never gets to us or it's late all the time. Well this month my daughter didn't get her check at all but the place that sent it out says it never came back that it's still out in the mail. What's happening to the mail? This is crazy!!!!! Who can help?

    Sep 30, 2017
  • anon

    My mom sent me mail from new Jersey to mi last wed never got it

    Sep 30, 2017
  • anon

    Ten days ago, I had USPS pickup a package from my home to be delivered to Amazon. I have been checking in with Amazon daily and still, the package is in transit. I am only allowed until October 10, 2017 for the package to be returnable. Otherwise I am uneligible for a refund. What can be done here? We're you unable to ship it? Did you lose it?? I would be grateful for some answers. Thank you in advance for your prompt response.

    Sep 29, 2017
  • anon

    I mailed a certified letter containing a lot of personal information that someone could use for identity fraud if they get their hands on it. The USPS has lost it and seems to have difficulty finding what happened to it. I tracked it and filed a search request, all to no avail. If someone steals my identity, the post office will be responsible. My father was a postal carrier and I always trusted them. No more.

    Sep 29, 2017
  • anon

    I feel a certified letter from Mount Verno POST OFFICE 10553 PURPOSELY WILL NOT GIVE ME THE CERTIFIED LETTER AND GIVEN IT TO SOMEONE ELSE WITHOUT MY PROMISSION . They seen to never find the letter and i gave them my number to call and no response of the certified letter was found.

    Sep 28, 2017
  • anon

    My friend sent me a letter from Louisiana that was a month ago I still haven't gotten that letter it was important I want answers to this!

    Sep 28, 2017
  • anon

    I sent a certified letter, return receipt requested, on Sept. 15, which contained a very important document containing personal information. I've kept track of it with the tracking no. but on Sept. 20, the tracking site said delivery was delayed and they'd let me know when it would be expected. I've heard nothing since. It is now Sept. 28. I filed a form for missing mail and received a search request ID no. but still have heard nothing. Found out address may have been wrong. It's to a company with several address but in the same area. I called the USPS 800 ASK number and was given a post office number to call but when I did so, they couldn't help me. He said to call the distribution center in Philadelphia, PA. I did but the person answering couldn't help me and told me to call their customer service no. When I did so, I got a message that said they couldn't take calls. This is a mess. Will they ever find the missing letter? Please help. I'm worried.

    Sep 28, 2017
  • anon

    On September 18 I took to hahira ga post office drop off box a envelop with my payment on a bill, I reviewed a call this morning that envelope was never received been to my local post office and was told the letter isn't there

    Sep 28, 2017
  • anon

    I mailed a very expensive package and it was never delivered. Just received 3 pieces of the envelope and no contents!!! ,return address,shipping address and label stapled together in a envelope . I would like some answers or an explanation now!!! Never again will I ship anything usps

    Sep 27, 2017
  • anon

    I lost my car/house keys at the West End post office (30310)... I'm not sure if they accidentally fell into outgoing mail. There should be one vehicle key to an Acura RL. and three lock keys. and the key ring also has a Acura remote entry fob..

    Sep 25, 2017
  • anon

    I mailed a priory mail package and tried to send it to WA, but it went to El dorado hills because the I accidentally put 4270 Red Deer Way el dorado hills,CA AND it was supposed to return to Sacramento 95823, CA

    Sep 25, 2017
  • anon

    My mail from my old apartment hasn't been transferred to my new one. Old roommate said they put my mail back in to return to post and come to my new address but I haven't received it.

    Sep 22, 2017
  • anon

    I never received my package and in worried

    Sep 22, 2017
  • anon

    Mailed an important letter to Augusta on Saturday my uncle received only the envelope on Wed. Letter and papers were missing Please help Thank you

    Sep 22, 2017
  • anon

    I sent a card in a manila envelope thru the south chicago il post office on sept 8 2017 to corpus christi tx 78412 and the person has never received it. This person received mail from someone else in this area way after I sent I sent my mail to them...it only took this mail 2 days to get there...what happened to MY MAIL I sent??

    Sep 22, 2017
  • anon

    Sent a package from Illinois to Atlanta. postal code 30342. It was marked as undeliverable. I sent some navy Dior Trackpants with a red strip going down the side.

    Sep 21, 2017
  • anon

    We sent a package fro m Cobden, IL to Louisville, IL on august 21. 2017. usps tracking has it attempted to be delivered in Atlanta, Ga on 9/01/17. it has not been rerouted to correct destination as of 9/19/17 the recipient would like to receive the contents. package is insured.

    Sep 19, 2017

Pages