UPS Lost & Stolen Package Factsheet

We’ve all been there. Waiting all day for an important package to be delivered by that familiar brown truck or hoping to see the familiar shape of a neatly wrapped package on our porch or in front of our door. There’s even excitement in seeing that yellow note stuck on the door when the driver felt it unsafe to leave the package alone. Unhappily, often the driver leaves the package anyway. Then it’s just an invitation for porch pirates to make their move. What do you do when they strike, and your UPS package is stolen? People search this or similar questions thousands of times a month on Google. Well, we’ve decided to make this easier with this factsheet.

UPS has different rules to follow depending on whether you are the person receiving the shipment or the person or company who shipped it. Generally speaking, UPS works more with the shipper than the receiver unless you received a UPS InfoNotice (one of those little yellow notes taped to your door). Also, it’s really important to realize that lost and stolen packages are treated differently. Generally speaking, UPS doesn’t take responsibility for packages that were successfully delivered but then stolen. However, they will participate in the investigation with law enforcement officials. All the more reason to think seriously about prevention and deterrence.

So you’re the recipient?

You’ve decided that your package was lost, and you want to pursue the issue with UPS. If the UPS driver completed the delivery, then the package’s tracking status will show that it was delivered. This means you either signed a signature release for your address allowing drivers to leave packages unattended, or the driver found a safe place to leave it. If the package couldn’t simply be left, the tracking status will show UPS InfoNotice was left.

If no InfoNotice is present, it means the package either hasn’t been delivered or has been lost or misplaced.

    1. If your package’s status shows a missing delivery, your first step is to contact the shipper.
    2. After you contact the shipper, UPS works with them to search for the package (see the process below).
    3. You’ll need to work with the shipper through this process to determine if a replacement item or refund will be granted.

If you received a UPS InfoNotice, then it will give you more information on the state of the package. This means the UPS driver didn’t feel comfortable simply leaving the package on your doorstep. UPS drivers have a good deal of discretion regarding where they can leave the package, so the InfoNotice will give you important information about the decision they made.

    1. If the package was redirected to a UPS Access Point, you’d be able to go pick it up there. Much better than driving out to the nearest UPS hub.
    2. You may also have the opportunity to reschedule a delivery and leave additional instructions for the driver. Sign the UPS InfoNotice and place it outside your door for the re-delivery attempt.
    3. InfoNotice might say that the package was left with a neighbor or in a good hiding spot like behind the house or a shed. Locate your package there.



So you’re the shipper?

Likely, you’ve just received a call from someone you sent a package to. Maybe an upset customer. Now you’ve got to figure out this lost package issue and quickly. If you receive a report from a recipient of a missing or stolen package, UPS will want to work with you to find the package or provide reimbursement for the replacement or purchase cost, whichever is less. Responding promptly to these occurrences is essential to good customer service and return business. This is especially important with UPS because they prefer to deal with the shipper.

  1. Report the Lost Package
    • UPS requires the shipper to report any lost packages.
    • Wait 24 hours AFTER the delivery window.
    • Once the report is received, UPS will perform a package search.
    • Package searches can take up to 10 business days.
  2. UPS Authorizes the Claim
    • If the package is not located, a Damage/Loss claim letter will be sent to you, the shipper, via email, fax, or post.
    • If the package is found, UPS will not approve the claim and will route the package on to the recipient. UPS will notify you when the package is delivered.
  3. Document Review
    • You will need to send UPS documents that determine the package’s value. This includes an invoice, purchase order, and proof of mailing (make sure you keep copies of your documents…but I didn’t need to tell you that).
    • UPS will determine the potential value of the package contents and verify that the product falls within the guidelines of UPS terms fo service.
  4. UPS Pays the Claim
    • Once the claim has been approved, UPS will make a payment (to the shipper).
    • UPS will pay either the replacement or purchase cost, whichever is less.
    • UPS will also contact you if they refuse the claim.

No matter your role in a lost or stolen package, shipper or receiver, the process of delivery replacement is not simple. With UPS, if you’re the recipient, you are going to need to contact the shipper, because all reports of lost packages and claims must be filed by the shipper. If you’re the shipper, then you’ll be working through a long process with UPS. As package theft continues to rise, people and companies who ship and receive a lot of packages should seriously consider how they might prevent this crime before it happens. Even if package theft isn’t the fault of the shipper or carrier, it’s all too easy for the recipient to direct their understandable frustration in that direction. If you’re one of the 23 million Americans who’ve had a package stolen, hopefully, you have a clearer sense of what you can do. Above all, it’s worth thinking about ways to prevent package theft.