USPS mailing mystery

So a few days ago I mailed a friend of mine a small package – USPS Priority Mail, the smallest standard mailing box they have, which is roughly the size of a VHS tape (for those of you who remember those).
I checked the tracking today just to see if the package had made it to its destination, and saw this:

December 2, 2015 , 2:24 pm
Delivered, In/At Mailbox

followed by:

December 2, 2015 , 2:25 pm
Undeliverable as Addressed
Your item was undeliverable as addressed at 2:25 pm on December 2, 2015. It is being returned if appropriate information is available.

Um, wot?

Important facts: I know the mailing address is correct and if the package made it to the mailbox, I cannot imagine that any part of the label was damaged or unreadable. I used Click N’ Ship to print the label and it was well affixed to the package with clear tape.

I have mailed both letters and packages to this address before with no problems at all. The recipient lives in a condo complex. I know they have those mailbox clusters (like this) but I don’t know specifically know how packages are handled (the last time I lived in an apartment complex packages were delivered to the complex office and they’d call us or leave a note on the door to come pick them up). I’d guess the mailboxes are big enough to handle a small package like I sent, unless there was a lot of other mail that day, or she had failed to pick up mail from the previous day. Or if packages are handled by the condo office, maybe it was closed when the postperson came by?

So can I really expect this package back, or will they try to redeliver? Or something else?

I’ll just mention that I had a corrupt/incompetent mailman last year who apparently was blocking any mail addressed to me (thankfully all important stuff I get sent elsewhere), and got this “undeliverable” notification on an Amazon order. When I tried to talk to the mailman about it, he got very snippy with me.

Which tool or website did you use on the USPS page to track that? And what time zone are you in?

Mailbox at that location may have been jammed full of other shit and the postperson was too fuckin lazy to go knock on the door (yes, I know, because I was too fucking lazy to empty my mailbox full of ads, yes I realize the hypocrisy)? That’s happened to me a few places I’ve lived. Now I sometimes don’t get packages because my ravenous vicious murderous 5lb yapper dogs scare them away from my porch/door.

I had the exact same situation happen to me with something I ordered for delivery to myself. The mailman had delivered the package to a mailbox, just not mine. He delivered it to the neighbor on my right. When the neighbor stopped the postman to tell him, he instructed the neighbor to just give it to me. Then the postman reported it as misdelivered and the same message showed up on tracking. I thought it was odd at the time, but I did get my package and all was well, so I didn’t worry any further about it.

Check with your recipient and have her check with her office or any neighbors that might have picked it up.

The USPS’s tracking tool, and we’re US Eastern.

I am wondering if it was something like this. The tracking also says the original scheduled delivery date is today (Thursday) so I am curious to see if they’ll try again today.

IME USPS tracking sucks compared to UPS and FedEx. I’ve had USPS tracking display a package enroute when I had received it two days prior.

Yes, that’s happened to me too. That’s easier to understand though - sometimes the updating just gets delayed.

Ask your friend if there was one of those peach colored left notice slips in lieu of the package in the mailbox.

Those boxes look similar to mine. There are a couple of lockers that have ample room for packages. The mailman locks your package in one and leaves the key in your letter box. When you get your mail, you can open the package locker with the key. The key stays in the door of the package box until the postman has another package to deliver.

Interesting - while the pic I posted is just an example (I don’t recall the exact configuration of the actual boxes at my friend’s complex) it’s certainly a good way to deal with packages, particularly in places that don’t have an office that will take deliveries.

I’ve got a “MyUSPS” account that gives me inbound tracking of packages to my address.

That last part is important. The inbound tracking is based on packages that have been mailed to my house. A couple of days ago, the system kicks out an email to me that a package is due to arrive on Thursday from Southern California. Right about the time my mail was delivered, I get an email saying the package was undeliverable as addressed and will probably be returned to sender.

How were they able to track a package all the way from the sender to my local post office in a system designed to tell me about anything coming to my address, then say at the last minute “Oh, never mind!”

Odd, isn’t it?

In further developments on my package mystery: it turns out that my recipient has a temporary forward on her mail … she’s having it sent to a neighbor in the same complex for the next few weeks, which explains at least part of the weirdness. And now the tracking says it’s being forwarded!

I have a package that was supposed to be delivered yesterday and the last tracking scan is still from November 30 and says it is still in New Hampshire. I’m in South Dakota.

I have another one that said it would be delivered anywhere from December 4 to December 21 and it’s out for delivery today.

USPS tracking is really weird and sucky.