So you ordered something and are anxiously awaiting its arrival, then the scheduled delivery date comes and nothing. You check the tracking of your shipment, and sure enough, it says your package was delivered. And yet it’s not there waiting to be opened
If this happens to you, and it happens often (33% of Americans1), especially during the holiday season, there’s a chance your package was stolen. Although you’ve done all you can to protect your delivery, sometimes your packages can be swiped before you can get to them. If you suspect that you are a victim of the porch pirates, here’s what to do if your package is stolen.
#1. Check Tracking & Video Footage
First and foremost, double check your package tracking information to confirm the status of your delivery. Shipments are often delayed due to a variety of reasons, but the holiday season, in particular, can cause for some shipments to arrive later than their intended date. If your package tracking says that the package was delivered and you have not received it, you should proceed with the next steps. Otherwise, it is likely still on the way
If you’ve installed security cameras or a smart video doorbell, make sure to review your security footage immediately. Check the footage to see if the package was in fact delivered and if someone picked it up before you could. The video footage can help your claim against the seller and shipping carrier as well as if you choose to file a police report
#2. Look Around & Ask Your Neighbors
If your package is missing, look around your home or delivery area in case the delivery person put the package out of sight and not in the usual location. It’s also worth asking your neighbors to see if they saw it, or if they grabbed it for you to make sure no one else would take it.
#3. Contact the Seller or Retailer
If you think your package was stolen, contact the seller or retailer to check their policy and report a stolen package. Most retailers will have a form of protection for you, and you will likely be entitled to a refund. However, if the seller does not have a stolen package policy and refuses to issue a replacement or refund, you can still take a few other measures to make sure you get reimbursed.
#4. File a Claim with the Shipping Company
If the seller cannot resolve your stolen package issue, they will often shift responsibility to the shipping company, in which case you will have to file a claim with the shipping carrier as well. Most carriers provide an online claims process through which you can report your stolen package. If you paid for insurance on your shipment, you will also have additional coverage to help you out.
#5. Contact Your Credit Card Company
Many credit cards also cover you for stolen items through purchase protection. These policies often reimburse you for stolen items as long as the item was purchased using that credit card. Keep in mind that some credit card companies have a minimum protection amount. You will have to report the theft within a specific timeframe, so make sure to check your credit card company’s policy and learn your coverage options.
#6. File a Report with your Local Police
Often, you can pursue a refund via your homeowner’s insurance if the value is above your deductible. If you go this route, you will need to get a police report to file a claim. Police reports are also typically required if you paid for third-party coverage of your shipment. Filing a police report may seem like an extreme measure, but depending on the value of your package it may be needed. Keep in mind that without witnesses or concrete evidence (security footage showing someone taking your package) there’s not much the police can do. However, reporting the incident does help the police know if porch pirates have become a problem in your neighborhood.
Dealing with the aftermath of a stolen package is a headache everyone would like to avoid. To avoid trying to figure out who is responsible for your stolen package, follow these tips to prevent package theft:
- Pay extra for the insurance
- Require a signature
- Use a lockbox location
- Install security cameras and video doorbells
NOTE: Remember to check if you left any special instructions for the shipping company to leave the parcel. During the holiday season, it is best to have items shipped to a secure place.
1 The 2017 Package Theft Report: Porch Pirates, Purchase Habits, And Privacy.