Will USPS Refund for Late Delivery?

USPS won't refund the cost of postage for late delivery unless you paid for Priority Mail Express service
will USPS refund for late delivery
Written on:

Due to COVID-19 surges and unprecedented holiday shipping volume, more and more packages keep facing delays in the USPS network. As a result, lots of shippers wonder if USPS will refund them for late delivery of their packages. However, this won’t happen unless you paid for a specific money-back guaranteed service.

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 USPS 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.

That said, none of the other USPS services offer money-back guarantees for late delivery. Even if it says “2-Day Delivery” on your label, it doesn’t matter. These delivery timeframes are estimates, not guarantees. So, USPS won’t refund for late delivery in those normal cases.

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!

Last Updated:
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Reddit Share via Email


Post a Comment
  1. Kathy

    I ordered an item online and selected Priority Mail Express shipping and paid the extra for the guaranteed 2 day service. My item arrived on the 5th day, tracking showed it was in the possession of USPS from day 1. I contacted USPS to enquirer about how I get a refund and they stated only the sender can apply for a refund, not the receiver. The vendor I purchased from won’t issue me a refund as it was a “USPS issue” and they are not willing to do the leg work to get the refund and pass it in to me (bad customer service) seems crazy that I’m the one who paid the shipping, I’m the one inconvenienced by not receiving my package but I’m not able to apply for the refund!!

  2. Jack

    Maybe it’s time to replace DeJoy!!!!

  3. Dj

    Robin and Marlene…….seems this is becoming a frequent issue. Not even Christmas rush. So sorry for you both to deal with this. I never did get any satisfaction for my 3 week delivery. Final appeal was denied.I sent them a letter denouncing the system and that they need to consider cases on individual basis and not by policy or change the policy. Also the fact they took no accountability for their own tardinesss and in my case the error by P.O. Clerk with the 2 tracking numbers. I wrote that for the benefit of people like you who encounter this same issue. Hopefully they will take notice of everyone’s complaints and claims as remedy this. We pay extra for insurance as well which is invalidated by the delays or loss. I appreciate Shipping School for this site so we can post our experiences and opinions….hopefully USPS reads them?

  4. Robin

    So the original letter w ck in it was mailed reg mail on 2/9. It was apparently lost in mail so on 2/21 I had the check cancelled and reissued, sat on hold forever finally got a call back from usps, 54 mins later had a click n ship label set up and paid for , emailed it to the sender to send to me. It shipped on 2/23, was supposed to be to me 2/24 by 6pm, it wasn’t. So on 2/25 it arrives, so late I couldn’t get to bank and do anything with it. Couldn’t even go to a check cashing place bc of Incone tax refunds, all the places are out of money I’m told. So, since it was late and has cost me overdraft fees bc of this, am I able to get the $100 insurance money bc of the problems it caused me w the packages tardiness?? 609 filing indemnity claims for loss or damage Section 4.0 claims section 4.2 payable priority mail express a3: loss sustained by the use of funds to maintain cash balances during document reconstruction. and 4.2 c: negotiable items. Help me w this so I can recover some of my losses….

  5. Marlene

    14902200789302656695 Priority Mail.is STILL not delivered!!!


  6. Dj

    Update on previous comment: I have needed to mail subsequent packages and report they have been delivered promptly. I also want to add that unknown to me at the time of prior posts, I had recieved a voicemail from a gentleman from USPS announcing that my package had been located and forwarded to its destination. This was in response to a Search Request option I had initiated 3 weeks after I mailed it. I was pleased that my search request was successful and that I was notified of its delivery. I just wanted to give credit where credit was due on in this circumstance. Let’s hope things continue to be resolved in these kind of situations

  7. Dj

    Thank you all for your comments and warnings of this practice. I have not heard response to my appeal of denied refund yet. Cost of priority mail express is too expensive for most common shipping items . It also seems pointless to pay for any extra insurance coverage at all above the allotted $50.00 included for priority mail since they dont pay out. ‘Late’ shipments seems to be more prevalent now. But l recall lost or damage claims being refunded for regular priority mail just a few years ago which are now denied even with proof and photo. Why bother to offer us an appeal process either if they just deny again? Waste of time.

  8. John Campion

    The GOP and especially Trump’s appointee to head the USPS are determined to destroy this great institution–deliberately slowing mail service and taking what belongs to the commons (THE PEOPLE FOLKS) and giving it to the private and unaccountable rich. I have lived in countries that went through this robbery–only the rich have mail service now. Wake up Sheeple–do you want a decent country to pass on to your children or an oligarchy full of greedy plutocrats?

  9. DJ

    Shipping UPS from now on. Post office erred in applying two different tracking numbers for same package. One for priority mail extra insurance and one for priority retail ground. Mailed on December 6th , no tracking after leaving my p.o. I filed missing package request and it finally arrived day after Christmas, 3 weeks late. They denied my refund request for its great delay when it was initially their fault. I mailed 3 other priority mail packages that same day at same post office and they arrived when they were supposed to. Unethical insurance protection policy.

  10. In my experience, USPS is absolutely the worst of all shipping companies! They either have the most archaic tracking system out there or they opt not to use it. They lost a set of 14 books I shipped in a heavy moving box last year at this time. No tracking and no help for days on end and then, poof- my shipment vanished into thin air- 14 books, all the same jacket design in “List Mail.” Had lots to pre-ship pics I sent them but to no avail. Just sent bday gift to granddaughter Priority Mail and instead of 2-3 days it was 8! They love to make promises but are not required to keep any of them. And good good luck with a refund. In my opinion, If possible, all other service carriers should be considered ahead of USPS. Their Nov-Dec performance is especially deplorable!

  11. Rob

    To whom it may concern and anyone who can help, in recent months, I have successfully filed refund requests for priority express two days guaranteed packages delivered beyond their guaranteed date. This time being late again on a guaranteed date I applied for the refund online but I was denied. I then contacted them and they denied me a second time on the same matter stating that they don’t guarantee refunds on regular priority mail. Nowhere did it ever say anything about priority regular mail what do I do at this point after two denials in the same matter when I’m in the right.

  12. Noel

    I need a refund went to the post office told me I was Past the 30 days and I was it the thing was you kept the package in Orlando for two extra days and now they don’t want to refund me because supposedly I was late I need your help to get my refund back ASAP


Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Shipping Guides