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Wed Apr 2 2014 12:33:42

USPS Sets Records Straight on Scanning 'Misinformation'

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
This is in response to the March 26 letter, "eBay Seller: USPS Tracking Leaves Much to Be Desired."

We regret the inconvenience the customer experienced with USPS Tracking(TM) when attempting to track items recently mailed at an unspecified location within the Postal Service.

If the customer was provided inaccurate or incomplete information by a postal official, we apologize and encourage the customer to contact us so we can ensure that our employees have the correct information.

Unfortunately, there were numerous errors in the customer's letter. To set the record straight, the Postal Service is not charging for items scanned at local Post Offices. If a postal employee is telling the customer something different, we would like to know more information about this discussion so we can take corrective action to avoid miscommunications going forward.

Here is how the process is designed to work.

USPS Tracking is built into the price of the following classes of parcels shipped using online eBay labels: Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, Standard Post (formerly Parcel Post) and First-Class Package Services.

There is no charge merely to scan parcels at the retail counter at a local Post Office, for prepaid eBay packages.

Every item accepted at the retail counter at a local Post Office that has a USPS Tracking number must be scanned, whether the customer requests it or not. By the time the items reach the first processing facility, they will have had two scan events.

The customer wrote that "a supervisor told me that there is not tracking on delivery confirmation or signature confirmation until it reaches its destination." Again, this is incorrect information and we would like to correct it.

The Postal Service replaced "Delivery Confirmation" in 2013 with USPS Tracking(TM) as it better reflects our end-to-end tracking, from the acceptance of a package to final destination, including confirmation of delivery.

By the time a package leaves our processing site, it will have had at least two scans. It will receive four more scan events by the time of delivery.

Contrary to what was stated in the letter, Postal Service carriers are required to perform an acceptance scan on all prepaid, barcoded parcels that they pick up from customers.

The letter states that scanning at a mail processing center may not be done if the barcode on the package is not visible. Not true. In some instances, if the barcode is not visible, the package will be re-oriented by hand. However, the majority of package mail volume is processed by mail processing equipment that scans 360 degrees and validates the barcode at the same time.

We recently changed the description for missent events to simply show that packages were processed through or at the location where the event occurred. The events still display on our USPS Tracking external website. "Missent" is no longer used because it was shown to unnecessarily alarm customers who thought their packages were lost and would not be delivered.

The Postal Service is making tremendous progress through its investment in technology innovations to achieve 100 percent visibility in mail and package delivery. Our national performance is averaging higher than 95 percent in scanning all mail and packages we are processing and delivering.

We regret the March 26 letter was posted with so much misinformation and believe this response will help to clarify and educate eCommerceByte viewers and customers of the Postal Service about our scanning practices.
Roy Betts
U.S. Postal Service
Corporate Communications

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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for USPS Sets Records Straight on Scanning 'Misinforma   USPS Sets Records Straight on Scanning 'Misinforma

by: CDRR This user has validated their user name.

Wed Apr 23 13:25:24 2014

This message is to respond to Anonymous Annie in regards to the DMM being available in a pdf format.  Please go to (this is Postal Explorer) and, at the top of the page, you can choose to view the documents in PDF or HTML.  The DMM is one of the documents available.  Hope this helps.

Perminate Link for USPS Sets Records Straight on Scanning 'Misinforma   USPS Sets Records Straight on Scanning 'Misinforma

by: RichieC This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 3 00:18:41 2014

Hey where Roy Betts now??

This is the latest response I got from my email to the USPS, what a joke Mr Betts! The second part of there response was my question why my local sort facility was no longer scanning any of my packages. Not one has been scan there for over a month! We are in for big trouble using the post office, if this is the best they can do!

Thank you for contacting the United States Postal Service.

According to information on our database, your First Class item 9xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx3 was delivered as it addressed to xxxxxxxxx, VT xxxxx by the Rutland Post Office who covers the delivery area of xxxxxxxxx, VT xxxxx.

According to Track and Confirm indicates there are two scans in xxxxxxx.  The item was accepted on May 28, 2014 by Post Office, it was processed in Nashua, NH 03063 on May 29, 2014 and it was delivered on May 29, 2014 which is one day ahead of the scheduled delivery day. As information, all the packages do not follow the same logistical pathway therefore every package might not get scan in the (local) Sort Facility.

If you have any question, please contact Consumer Affairs at (xxx) xxx-xxxx.
Thank you for the opportunity to address this matter with you.

Consumer Affairs Representative

Perminate Link for USPS Sets Records Straight on Scanning 'Misinforma   USPS Sets Records Straight on Scanning 'Misinforma

This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Thu Aug 6 00:35:19 2015

Thank you for Roy Betts contact info as I just fired off a lengthy e-mail referencing USPS Pickup Services, scanning and tracking policies.

I was told by USPS personnel to ALWAYS get a scan when dropping off at the post office. I never leave without a scan and receipt. I think this is especially important if you live in urban areas.

Perminate Link for USPS Sets Records Straight on Scanning 'Misinforma   USPS Sets Records Straight on Scanning 'Misinforma

by: up74 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 10 22:50:00 2015

I am keeping this letter and sending it to my local USPS guy who I just spoke to today regarding a complaint I made that my items were not scanned when they were received. The scans did not show up until 2 days later. He informed me that they do not scan items when they are received. They just put them thru and at some point they get scanned, HA! Good Ole USPS. You can't argue with these people, it does no good.

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