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 (223)

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  • 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
  • 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 dont think you stood at your door all day. maybe a bathroom break or shower? why blame the carrier. did u know you can sign the back of the slip for redeliver and it will be there the following day if u refuse to leave your apartment. if you were a carrier before you should know over 1000 door deliveries a day you only have an actual second for each time a carrier has to wait on signatures. please dont call a carrier lazy.

    Feb 07, 2020
  • anon

    It happens all the time not to mention the person you replied to USED TO BE A CARRIER! Yes I can wait by my door all day as I have a tiny apartment and my bathroom is right next to my front door with an open window. Most carriers are lazy and its funny that this happens to me allot as well and I'm on the second floor also

    May 27, 2020
  • 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

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