Stolen package from Amazon US - advice needed

No, I did not steal it :wink: It was stolen from me.

I actually wanted to post this in the BBQ pit, but then I figured I need advice more than venting.

On the 8th of April I placed an order with amazon in the US. It was for DVDs worth over 200 US $. These DVDs are not available here in Germany, therefore I ordered them with amazon USA.

On Wednesday there was a little note in my mailbox, indicating that I had received a package. I don’t know how this stuff works in the US, but here when you are not at home to take the package, you get a little note telling you to pick it up at the local post office.

From the little red note I could tell that this was for my amazon shipment, since it also instructed me to pay 30 $ VAT - something that happens only for shipments from outside the EU.

So I go to the post office, happy about my DVDs only to find: they are not there. We checked and doublechecked, looked everywhere, called the package central … the package is gone. Since the contents of the package and its value are written on it (because of customs/tax) I am pretty sure that somebody in the post office stole the package.

Now comes my question: I myself can not do a lot about this. I will contact amazon to report my package lost, and I am also considering going to the police.

I have reported a package lost to amazon in Germany once before, there it was no problem and they just sent my stuff again. I am a pretty good customer (1000 EUR or more per year).

  • does anyone here have any experiences with amazon USA in this respect?
  • what would be the better tactic? telling amazon that I know the package has arrived in Germany, but was probably stolen or simply reporting the shipment as missing?



PS: May the thief’s DVD player explode while he is watching my DVDs!!! :smiley:

Have you tried contacting your credit card company? Here in the UK you get automatic insurance for items over a certain value.

I think that telling everyone possible is the best thing. Amazon needs to know that the package arrived bt you never got it. MAybe they’ve had reports of the same like from other customers in the area.

The PO needs to know 'cos if this person thinks they’ve gotten away with it they’ll probably ruin someone elses day in the future the next time a box of lovely imports passes through their hands.

I should think this is solely the fault of the post office, not Amazon. Clearly they are the last ones who had it, if you have an attempt-to-deliver receipt. Is it possible that you went to the post office on the same day as the delivery attempt, and just got there before the letter carrier returned with the package? You might try again another day.

I think you should only report it to Amazon and the post office. You never took possession of the package so I doubt that you can even file a police report. I believe here in the US the postal inspectors would be responsible for investigating this. If it’s a police matter, the post office can contact them.

FYI, out of boredom, I recently read some year-end report from the United States Postal Service from a couple of years ago. It described how Netflix reported multiple cases of DVDs being lost in the mail in the same area of Florida. The USPS worked with Netflix to investigate and found that a postal employee was stealing the movies from the post office, something like $100,000 altogether. Of course Netflix envelopes are really easy to pick out of a pile of mail.

What did they do at the Post Office? If you had the ‘little note’ saying there was an attempted delivery of some type of package shouldn’t the post office begin an investigation or acknowledge reponsibility?

See, that’s the problem: the contract is between the sender (amazon) and the postal service. The recipient can do nothing to make the postal service investigate.

In response to Fear Itself, I received the slip on Tuesday, went to the post office on Wednesday and Thursday and called again today.

What I am afraid of is that amazon (who is responsible for getting my shipment to me and should replace it in case it gets lost on the way) will not replace my shipment if I tell them exactly what happened.

Are you sure that the post office will decline beginning a formal investigation when asked by you (i.e. did the postal employee at the counter tell you), or do you just infer this? I had occasion to have Deutsche Post look for a parcel that I sent, just a few years ago (they found it), and I seem to recall that the investigation request form had a field to indicate whether you were the sender or the recipient.

Another possibility: Do you live in an apartment house or in a row house? I had the following happen two times in the last years: red notification card in my postbox, but the parcel had in fact been signed for by a neighbor. It turns out that the parcel carrier had rung at the neighbors’, then filled out the red notification card and dropped it into my postbox, but then my neighbor opened and accepted the parcel on my behalf. Less likely in your case because of the VAT due (I have had neighbors advance small charges on my behalf, though), but worth asking.

Still another remote possibility: Was the post office branch that you asked at in fact the one that the red notification card mentioned? Deutsche Post/DHL has had some major changes these last year.

Anyway, you need to notify the post office (so they can investigate) and (so they can request a track of the parcel.) The manner in which the parcel disappeared can hardly make Amazon decline responsibility - after all if the parcel was handed to you Deutsche Post would have your signature to show for it - in electronic form if handed to you by the parcel carrier/on paper if handed to you in the post office. I had to show my ID card, too, last time when I signed for a parcel at the post office because the postmistress who knows me was not on duty.

If Amazon does nothing - i.e. does not file their own complaint - or does not replace the package, then I would call the credit card company as well. I may be naive, but you were charged for an item which you never recieved, and I would think you could do something about that.

Why do you think neither nor the post office will do anything? You should tell each of them what happened, file whatever paperwork is necessary and wait. Why wouldn’t replace your order?

this guy took it! (except for he’s already been arrested)

Thanks for all the helpful tipps!

I live in a fairly small house (only 8 appartments) and I have spoken to all the neighbours already. There are 2 who regularly accept packages for me since I order from the internet a lot. However, they would not pay 35 EUR VAT for me.

The post office was the correct one (I doublechecked, as stuff from outside the EU sometimes has to be picked up at the local customs office, in case they are not sure about the contents/value).

So I guess some person in the post office (post office guy or cleaning person) must have sought to add something to their DVD collection. I am sure they were quite disappointed about the 27 Xena - Warrior Princess DVDs which I am sure nobody except me will like :smiley:

So I will report “the truth” to amazon and try to file a “missing package” report with the post office, even though I am the recipient (I am quite sure only the sender can do that, as the sender has the contract with the postal service, but I will ask anyway).

At the same time I will inquire with the police whether I can file a complaint with them. If I find anything suspicious on ebay, I could let them know as well.

If all else fails I will check with Barclays (credit card company) whether the purchase was insured.
Thanks for your help! I will come back to let you know what happened.