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Why the USPS Launched a Premium Tracking Option

Why the USPS Launched a Premium Tracking Option

The US Postal Service launched USPS Premium Tracking, which, for a fee, extends the length of time that customers can access the tracking history of a domestic package. We were first to report the new feature on Sunday thanks to a tip from a reader.

We’ve since learned that the optional service includes a premium tracking statement that can be used as “USPS evidence of delivery” to resolve disputes and for legal and court proceedings.

Currently, customers using usps.com have limited access to tracking information for non-signature (120 days) and signature items (two years). Customers who purchase USPS Premium Tracking will have access to their online tracking data for as long as 10 years for a fee.

The USPS announced the feature on Monday on its News Link portal, where it explained how customers might wish to the optional tracking feature:

“USPS Premium Tracking is aimed at customers who need evidence of delivery to resolve disputes and claims; evidence of mailing or delivery and delivery attempts for legal and court proceedings; and an official, authentic source of data for legal and financial sources.”

Other things to know about Premium Tracking: Customers must have a usps.com account to purchase the service, and “the new tool can only be purchased for one package at a time.”

The USPS also provided EcommerceBytes with the following statement on Tuesday:

“Effective late January, and consistent with our investment in innovations that enhance the customer experience, the U.S. Postal Service introduced USPS Premium Tracking which offers customers the option to retain tracking data for longer periods of time.

“Currently, access to USPS tracking information for non-signature items is limited to 120 days and information for signature items is available for two years. With the launch of USPS Premium Tracking, customers can now access USPS Tracking data from an additional six months to 10 years for a nominal fee.

“In addition to the extended access to tracking data, USPS Premium Tracking includes a premium tracking statement that may be used as USPS evidence of delivery to resolve disputes and claims or critical evidence of mailing, delivery, or delivery attempts for legal and court proceedings. Small businesses, law offices, ecommerce marketplace, financial institutions, pharmaceutical providers, and others can benefit from extended access to tracking data for Proof of Delivery to resolve disputes and claims.

“For more information about USPS Premium Tracking, including eligible products and fees, please click here.”

Learn more about USPS Premium Tracking: Extended History and leave a comment on the EcommerceBytes Blog.

Ina Steiner on EmailIna Steiner on LinkedinIna Steiner on Twitter
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

8 thoughts on “Why the USPS Launched a Premium Tracking Option”

  1. Ina, any chance you can get them to share with you the specifics on what this “premium tracking statement” contains and how it is delivered? I’d be curious to see how it varies from the typical “proof of delivery” and other tracking methods. . . .

  2. That would be great if all marketplaces actually acknowledged USPS delivery information as factual, as it is now unless a signature is required Amazon rejects almost all A-Z cases or charge-backs unless it was signed for even with USPS proof of delivery.

    I would suspect this has to do with the growing number of con artists who are waiting 119 days to file claims or CC charge-backs stating item not received knowing that after 4 months USPS scrubs the data.. I’ve noticed a growing trend of this happening on both Amazon and PayPal and since they don’t retain the information and rely on USPS website, the claims are granted and sellers are out the money because the proof of delivery is gone.

    1. If you buy shipping from Amazon, and not on your own, you supposedly get more protection:
      Negative Customer Feedback: If you ship on time with tracking via Buy Shipping, and the buyer leaves seller feedback solely related to delayed or undelivered packages, you can request to have the feedback reviewed. If approved, the impact of the feedback is removed from your Order Defect Rate, and the buyer’s comment will display with a strike-through and the statement: The fulfillment issues associated with this order were not due to the seller. To learn more, see Can Amazon remove buyer feedback?

      The customer feedback policy ensures sellers are only responsible for shipping their products on time and are not penalized for delays out of their control.
      – from https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/help/G200202220

      Amazon USPS Priority also has Cubic Rates, similar to Pirate Ship. 12″ x 12″ x 5.5″ and smaller up to 20 lbs at a much reduced rate.

  3. The tech is used in the free service known as “informed delivery” where images of machined letters (dps) and tracking numbers are emailed to customers. Images of packages are stored in usps intranets. The hand held scanners used by carriers also store images of packages and signatures. Essentially USPS wants to cash in on your meta data because USPS does not sell it (like google amazon ups and facebook). USPS takes personal data seriously as our faithful inspectors can attest to. Little known fact. Here is an office @ the FBI where packages can be unsealed inspected and resealed with the customer never knowing. When the inspectors look at your package the stamp ‘item inspected’.

  4. From what Ina wrote in ECB, it’s worthless. IMO it’s another cash grab to cover for their deficit. Congress needs to step in and help the USPS.

  5. I keep paper copies of everything. I never rely on digital copies alone. So, while the clock may run out on the digital version, I still have my hard copy. If anyone refuses to accept that as proof, then they can speak to my SAG.

  6. Seems like a ripoff the fee is around $2.00 PayPal leaves sellers liable for 6 months and normal tracking can only be verified for 4 months. Seems they should do a minimum of 6 months or a year anyway for as much business sellers do with USPS.
    Just a cash grab. Thanks for the article!

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