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-   -   USPS delivery confirmation vs insurance and signature (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=420201)

unbrok3npp 05-09-2007 08:54 PM

USPS delivery confirmation vs insurance and signature
 
I was wondering what the differences are between delivery confirmation, insurance, and signiture confirmation...what is the safest route?? thanks!

Sapo 05-09-2007 09:15 PM

What are you shipping? documents? valuables?

Delivery Confirmation means that the carrier will scan the item on delivery (which could be on the recipient's hands, mailbox or PO Box)

Signature Confirmation means that someone will have to receive it. It could still be anyone at that address.

Insurance means that you can spend a lifetime fighting for the value you declared (and you need to prove that it was worth that much).

You might also consider Restricted Delivery where you can specify that only an adult or a particular person signs for it.

Again, it all depends on what is it that you are shipping

Mr. Goob 05-10-2007 07:37 AM

Each service cost extra money.

I'm pretty sure that delivery confirmation means you get proof of delivery delivered back to you. A waste if you ask me. Go on their website and you can see who signed for what when.

Common Tater 05-10-2007 07:37 AM

Remember that "delivery confirmation" just means that it has been delivered.

Unfortunately, this does not necessarily mean that it was delivered to the correct address.

What people generally want when they think of "delivery confirmation" is actually signature confirmation - presumably this would tend to prevent the item being mis-delivered. "Restricted Delivery" means the item shall be delivered to the addressee only, and they are required to show ID.

Duke of Rat 05-10-2007 10:08 AM

You don't get any proof of delivery back to you with Delivery Confirmation other than being able to check the USPS website to see if your package has been scanned at "some" destination.

Return Receipt is a separate card that is attached to the package that must be signed upon delivery and then the card is mailed back to you. If nobody is home, the package is taken back to the Post Office and a card is left in the recipient's mailbox telling them that they have to come there to sign for it.

Insured packages have to be signed for or a card is left like the Return Receipt. You don't get any confirmation of delivery with insurance, but if the package hasn't arrived in a reasonable amount of time you can take the insurance receipt to the Post Office and they can tell you if it's been delivered or start the claim procedure.

Sapo 05-10-2007 12:57 PM

And then there is Registered. Here every person that touches your package along the way has to sign for it. This should mean that it is impossible that it gets lost or misplaced. It costs and arm and a leg and it takes forever. It has to REALLY matter for you to choose such a thing (and if it matters that much, then FedEx it, sorry to the postal guys in here)

Hail Ants 05-11-2007 03:13 AM

Insurance is only worth it if the item gets lost in transit. I tried making an insurance claim with the USPS once and it was an absolute joke. Like a Three Stooges episode.

Had one with FedEx too. That was a little better. I bought a $1500 camcorder on ebay and it arrived damaged. Problem is, you have to send the package to them, they have to examine it and determine if it was likely their fault, the repair vs replace costs, etc. etc. They told me it could easily take weeks.

I just paid $400 to get it fixed and wrote it off...

Chief Pedant 05-11-2007 07:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by unbrok3npp
I was wondering what the differences are between delivery confirmation, insurance, and signiture confirmation...what is the safest route?? thanks!

Use delivery confirmation if you just need proof you actually sent something.
Use signature confirmation if you want to make sure an actual person took responsibility for receiving the item (versus, say, it having been left on a front porch).
Use insurance if it's valuable. I've never tried to recover any money so I don't know if this works. I use private services (FedEx, e.g.) for important items but I can't cite data proving superiority over the USPS.

There is an odd thing about damaged goods...the recipient generally has to decide immediately if something arrived damaged, and refuse receipt. But you might not be able to tell from the package (which might be damaged but have intact contents). If you refuse the damaged package, you don't get the item. If you accept the damaged package you don't have time to check the item out but you have to sign that it arrived in good condition in order to open the package and check it out for damage.

control-z 05-11-2007 08:36 AM

Much of this stuff sounds better than it is.

I've been told first-hand that USPS delivery confirmation, at least in some cases, just confirms as far as the recepient's post office.

As far as FedEx, I just received a package last week, marked as signature required. Well the FedEx guy just handed it to me at my office, he didn't know me. I went to the online tracking and it correctly showed the delivery date and time, along with a chicken-scratch signature that I assume was written by the FedEx guy!

Also, did you know that Priority Mail is handled by FedEx?

The insurance claims are indeed a joke. We've been dealing with the USPS/FedEx for months on a box we sent Priority Mail that was empty by the time it reached the recepient. The USPS/Fedex seems to be passing the blame to each other, and we're out the ~$200 since we had to ship another to the customer at our expense.

KidKaos 05-11-2007 08:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by control-z
As far as FedEx, I just received a package last week, marked as signature required. Well the FedEx guy just handed it to me at my office, he didn't know me. I went to the online tracking and it correctly showed the delivery date and time, along with a chicken-scratch signature that I assume was written by the FedEx guy!

I can confirm this happens first hand. I received a FedEx package in my hands at our house while mowing the lawn. (Not from our usual FedEx guy who is very good) The FedEx guy passed it to me quickly and went straight back to the the truck. On his way back I watched him scribble on that electronic box then hop in the truck and drive away. He did not know me so I could have just as easily been the guy who wanders residential neighborhoods offering my services to mow lawns not the actual owner of the house.

Duck Duck Goose 05-11-2007 09:11 AM

Speaking both as a consumer and as the wife of a veteran letter carrier, I can tell you that even signature confirmation does not necessarily mean that someone at the other end will sign for it. My daughter had important school papers that had to be delivered "absolutely, positively", so she paid for signature confirmation--and did not get it. Apparently the letter carrier at the other end simply dropped the letter off with the administrative office's other mail.

Which is something that, yeah, letter carriers apparently do, being only human and thus subject to the sin of Sloth.

If it's a letter (or small package under 13 ounces), and it must get there "absolutely, positively", I'd use Registered Mail, because this is the top security mail, and gets the letter carrier's attention faster than other, lesser modes.

TheLoadedDog 05-11-2007 09:18 AM

Off the record (there's only you and I reading this, right?), as a postal worker, my advice is to send anything remotely valuable as anonymously as possible. No insurance, no nuffin'. YMMV.

Sapo 05-11-2007 09:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by control-z
Also, did you know that Priority Mail is handled by FedEx?

It just flies in their planes, really. From PO to PO. the tricky segment (delivery) is still handled by the USPS

Duck Duck Goose 05-11-2007 12:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheLoadedDog
Off the record (there's only you and I reading this, right?), as a postal worker, my advice is to send anything remotely valuable as anonymously as possible. No insurance, no nuffin'. YMMV.

Wishing to point out that you're a postal worker in Oz. ;)

Here, it's not *that* uncommon for ordinary mail to get lost in transit (sometimes to re-emerge years later in a deceased postal worker's car trunk or garage), or to be chewed up or incorrectly routed by the sorting machinery (and then sent to Podunk, USA, where the old fart who runs the USPS mail drop shrugs and files it in the circular file), so really the best thing to do is to insure and paperwork the thing to a fare-thee-well, because at least that way you have some kind of recourse when it disappears in transit, to comfort yourself with.

You can also get a tracking number option with Express Mail, so at least you'll know at which branch of the Podunk post office to start looking.

singlei 03-22-2012 03:08 AM

any suggestions
 
Gave the mailman a pkg to be signed for by a company in Salt Lake. Only the Company a few blocks away signed for it, and now the $1500 box is missing.
No help from the PO or either of the Companies. Who ever knew some postman are "scatter mailers" and don't even pay attention to the address. Simmons Bedding
is the signer, and that Company stole the package and there is nothing I can think of to do.

Any suggestions out there?

kaltkalt 03-22-2012 07:17 AM

Delivery Confirmation just lets the recipient know you sent it, lets them see where it is along the delivery journey (insofar as it's scanned at each intermediate point, sometimes it is and sometimes it's not), and lets both sender and recipient know it was delivered ... somewhere in the city/zipcode to which it was shipped. Insisting on delivery confirmation prevents someone from taking your money via paypal and falsely claiming "oh I mailed it today" and then saying "musta gotten lost" when the package never arrives.

Certified/Return Receipt is more for lawyers... when you need proof and a record of when something was shipped, to whom, who signed for it, and on what day.

Kimballkid 03-22-2012 12:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kaltkalt (Post 14890500)
Certified/Return Receipt is more for lawyers... when you need proof and a record of when something was shipped, to whom, who signed for it, and on what day.

I got the tax papers on my new car by certified mail from the car dealer.

Sethcrzygy86 03-22-2012 12:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hail Ants (Post 8561482)
Insurance is only worth it if the item gets lost in transit. I tried making an insurance claim with the USPS once and it was an absolute joke. Like a Three Stooges episode.

Had one with FedEx too. That was a little better. I bought a $1500 camcorder on ebay and it arrived damaged. Problem is, you have to send the package to them, they have to examine it and determine if it was likely their fault, the repair vs replace costs, etc. etc. They told me it could easily take weeks.

I just paid $400 to get it fixed and wrote it off...

That doesn't make sense. Insurance protects the seller not the buyer. If you received damage goods, you make a complaint to Paypal or your credit card and they give you your money back and it's the seller who has to deal with insurance. Unless you paid via cash or money order, and the seller said, "tough luck"

singlei 03-22-2012 01:45 PM

Oh I did send it "signature" required. Do you think I can get anywhere if I hire a lawyer?

samclem 03-22-2012 07:59 PM

This old thread was reopened today to address a specific case. We don't do actual, real-life cases in General Qeustions. Normally, I'd move this to IMHO, but the question here is pretty simple--If there was no insurance, you probably can't recover any money. Closed.

samclem, Moderator


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