E-commerce: Who is Responsible for Lost Mail?

Feb 17, 2016 · 3 min read
Image retrieved from The Saga

When we send merchandise out to a client, we make sure to follow our shipping process to the letter. Our products are safely packed and ready to be delivered to our customers. We also have checked the shipping address twice, or if you are like me, you’ve checked it at least 10 times. You know, just to be sure the package is not going to get lost in the mail.

However, no matter how many measures we take to not have our packages declared as lost mail, we still might face this issue at some point in our e-marketing career.

Why is lost mail a problem for e-merchants?

Lost mail means trouble for every e-tailer. This is not only bad for business, it is bad for your customer satisfaction rate. This is why the lost mail status on any package is so dreadful. Fortunately, it pays to be prepared and informed about who is responsible for lost mail. Here we teach you who should be held responsible for lost mail. We also look into some tips on how to avoid lost mail or protect your customer’s money and your own.

Image retrieved from Memecrunch

But who is responsible?

Let’s get started. So who is responsible for lost mail? That depends. Did you write the correct address on the package? Was there a return address in case the carrier had to return your package? If using a shipping software, did you fill in the box “return to sender if non-delivery”? If you answered no to any of these questions, I’m sorry to break it to you: You are responsible for any lost mail. In this case, you need to refund your customer or send another product. Sometimes you will need to do both, depending on the situation. Either way, this is a loss for your e-company. The only thing to do is revise your shipping process and learn from your mistakes.

When you did all the grunt work correctly and your package should’ve arrived at its destination without any problems, then the carrier is responsible for the lost mail. Of course, claiming lost mail to any carrier is not as easy as it sounds. Most of the time, delivery services will have some contract that protects them against being held responsible for lost mail.

How to resolve a non-delivery resulting in lost mail

In any case, you need to be ready to prove that the carriers are the ones to be held responsible for your lost mail. In order to do this, you will need to investigate some details about the delivery options of the package and read the liability policy of the carrier for lost mail. For example, FedEx has a very simple way to dispute lost packages. In simple words, if the customer or merchant requested to have their package delivered and left at their doorstep if no one answered the door, FedEx will not be responsible for lost merchandise. If FedEX marks your package as delivered and your client didn’t receive it for negligence, they will come to an arrangement with merchants or customers. Here is some extra info about how to process a claim with FedEx. UPS and the USPS have different processes.

Protect Your Business With These Shipping Habits

To avoid shipping woes, make sure to follow these tips. When shipping items, always…

  1. Insure your shipments. Especially when they are expenssive products.
  2. Always fill the “Return to Sender”. In case your package doesn’t get delivered.
  3. Save all shipping info. Receipts, tracking numbers, and shipping especifications that could help if your items get lost. This is what you will need to build a case and fill a lost mail claim.

Hopefully this can shed some light on what to do when and if your shipments are lost. Happy Shipping!

Originally published at shweebo.com on February 17, 2016.


Written by


Shweebo provides international parcel forwarding, PO box, shipping & forwarding, international tracking, parcel tracking, shopping USA, and forwarding services.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade