Lots of shippers wonder if USPS will refund them for the late delivery of their packages, and they expect full refunds for services such as First-Class Package, Media Mail, or Priority Mail. However, this won’t happen unless you paid for the specific money-back guaranteed service, Priority Mail Express.
Table of Contents
- The Timeframes That USPS Gives You Are Service Estimates and Not Guarantees
- USPS Won’t Offer Refunds for Late Delivery Unless You Shipped Priority Mail Express
- What Can I Do About a Late or Missing Package?
The Timeframes That USPS Gives You Are Service Estimates and Not Guarantees
First thing first: none of the regular USPS services offer money-back guarantees for late delivery. This includes First-Class Package, Parcel Select Ground, Media Mail, and Priority Mail (including Priority Mail Flat Rate & Regional Rate Boxes). Even if it says “2-Day Delivery” on your label after you pay for your postage, it doesn’t matter. These delivery timeframes that USPS gives you are estimates, not guarantees. So, USPS won’t refund for late delivery in those normal cases.
USPS Won’t Offer Refunds for Late Delivery Unless You Shipped Priority Mail Express
There is one instance where USPS will refund for late delivery: if you paid to ship Priority Mail Express. Priority Mail Express is the only money-back guaranteed service that the US Postal Service offers. It’s the most expensive service…but if your package arrives later than the timeframe USPS gives you, you’ll be eligible for a full refund for the cost of postage.
Since Priority Mail Express is the most expensive service, it’s also the fastest USPS service available. On top of the money-back guaranteed delivery within the given timeframe, Priority Mail Express features overnight delivery to most urban locations and delivery within two days to rural areas.
What Can I Do About a Late or Missing Package?
If it’s been 15 days since you shipped the package, you may be eligible to file an insurance claim with USPS. However, keep in mind that you only have USPS insurance if you paid for Priority Mail. Other popular services like First Class Package and Parcel Select Ground (aka Retail Ground at the Post Office) don’t come with insurance. So, if you shipped either of those two services, you may be out of luck.
Alternatively, if you purchased third-party shipping insurance, you can file a claim with the insurance provider you went with. If all else fails, you can also try to file a missing mail search with USPS. These searches don’t normally turn up much, but every so often, it might kick a package’s tracking updates into gear on the USPS website!