Tuesday, 11 October 2016

How To Get A Tracking Number

The majority of shipping companies offer package tracking. When you purchase postage that includes tracking, you will get a unique number that you can use to track your package online, by text or by phone. You can request a tracking number from an online retailer if they are using any major shipping companies.

Method 1. Tracking An Online Purchase

(i) Keep a copy of all emails and communication made with the sender. As soon as you buy something online, make sure you get an email confirmation and a receipt. These are essential for finding packages, dealing with disputes, and tracking your order. If you have not received an email within 24 hours, email the seller requesting confirmation of payment and shipment.
  • Check your spam and trash folders as well, as most confirmation messages are sent automatically the second you place your order.

(ii) Read any emails from the seller for a tracking number. Most sites will send you a tracking number as soon as they ship the package. If they do, you can use this number on the carrier's website (USPS, FedEx, etc.) to keep up to date with your order. Note, however, that you can not get a tracking number until the order is actually shipped. If there is a handling period or your order still needs to be made, you will not see a tracking number until it is shipped.

(iii) Check the online store you bought from for tracking information. Under "My Orders" on Amazon, for example, you can see a detailed breakdown of your order status, including if it has shipped, where it is now, and what the tracking number is.

(iv) Contact customer service for your order if you don't have a tracking number within a day of shipment. If you are sure your package is in the mail, but still don't have a tracking number, call or email the company you purchased the product from requesting. Be sure to have any customer ID or receipt numbers handy so that they representative can quickly bring up your order.
  • If you've lost a tracking number, the customer service team for the company you ordered from should have one on file.
(v) Plug the tracking number into the appropriate delivery system to see where your package is. If you have a FedEx tracking number, go online to FedEx and type it in under "Track Package.' This will help you see your package's current location and when it should arrive.
  • If you lose a tracking number, and can't get in touch with the company, call your local post office. They may have records of the package if it is delivered by the USPS. Otherwise, call your local UPS, FedEx, or DHL branch and see if they can help you, though it is a long shot.

Method 2. Getting A USPS Tracking Number

(i) Know in advance which US Postal Service packages include tracking information. If you are purchasing a product online, make sure that one of these postage types is included in your shipping information. For USPS, the following postage types include a tracking number:
  • Certified Mail
  • Collect on Delivery
  • Global Express Guaranteed
  • Priority Mail
  • Registered Mail
  • Signature Confirmation
  • UPS Tracking
  • USPS First Class Mail, Media Mail or Parcel Post do not include tracking. In some cases, you can add USPS Tracking to the products at the time of your postage purchase.

(ii) Save your receipt from the post office. It will include the tracking number. Ask the postal clerk to highlight the tracking number on the slip if you are concerned. They length of the numbers changes based on the package, but it will be a long string of numbers, occasional prefixed by two letters.
  • Ex. 9208 8000 0000 0000 0000 00
  • Ex. CP 123 456 789 US

(iii) Check the status of your package online. Go to USPS and type in the tracking number on your email or receipt. Press the “Find” button to track your package.
  • You can also text your tracking number to “28777” to get a text update of your package status.
  • It may take 24 hours after dropping off the package for it to show up in the system, so don't fear if it is not there

USPS hold mail

Spam mail

USPS address change

USPS tracking number

USPS office hours

How To Forward Mail

Forwarding mail means to resend received mail to a fresh address. There are many reasons people may choose to do this; they may have recently changed addresses and want mail shipped to their new home, or they want to send the package to someone new. In the case of electronic mail (or email), you can forward messages as a way to share them to other people who might be interested in their contents. How you'll go about forwarding mail depends on the type of mail (physical or electronic) and whether it's a one-time deal or you want to make the forwarding a regular thing for all subsequent mail that reaches a certain address.

Method 1. Forwarding  A Single Piece Of Mail

(i) Consider the ownership and responsibility of the package. In the majority of cases, forwarding a single piece of mail is a very simple procedure. Postal services are used to rerouting mail as a way to accommodate changes of address and other changes of location. If the package belongs to someone else, it is considered courteous to ship it along to the intended recipient. If the package is addressed to you and you still wish to forward it however, you may be required to pay for a new set of stamps before it's valid for shipment.
  • You may change the address on the package if required, but it is illegal to change the name of the addressee. In most cases, forwarding is only encouraged by the postal service if it needs to happen to get the message to whom it was intended.
  • If you are trying to reroute mail from somewhere else to your now-current address, you'll have to get in touch with someone that lives nearby to do the legwork for you.
(ii) Correct the address on the package. In a black marker, cross out the current address and write the new address directly below it. Make sure the address is correct, and write in block letters for clarity. Take care not to tamper with the package as much as possible, as the postal service may not handle it if they think it's been misused.
  • Don't suffice for anything less than a permanent marker. Anything lighter may be difficult for the mailman to read. Even worse, it increases the risk of potential tampering.
(iii) Remail the package. When you have the new address clearly written on the package, you're ready to mail it off. Postal services are generally fixated on efficiency, so the process of dropping it off should be relatively quick. Take it to a post office or a mailbox and drop it in. Before doing so however, you should check to see if the stamps are still valid.
  • Payment options vary depending on which postal service you're using. The USPS accommodates forwarding prices into their lump fee, so service users are technically paying for the chance of forwarding whether they use it or not. Canada Post on the other hand will charge a fee to anyone changing addresses to cover the costs of forwarding mail.
(iv) Verify the package has been received. If you are in contact with the recipient of the mail, it is good form to verify that the mail has been successfully received within two weeks of mailing it out. If it hasn't been received within that time, it's a good idea to contact the postal service regarding the mail's status.

Method 2. Requesting Forwarding Service

(i) Contact the postal service. If you are wanting to have mail forwarded on a more regular basis, you should contact your local postal service. They should be contacted during business hours by phone or email, and you can visit a post office directly to inquire about a forwarding address change if you so desire.
  • If you're meeting with the post office in person, you'll need to produce two pieces of identification to prove who you are.
(ii) Contact the postal service and request your mail be forwarded. Postal services will have an option to have your mail automatically forwarded to a new address if you sign up with the applicable program. In the case of the United States Postal Service, you can change your mailing address online. Let them know the address you would like to have the mail forwarded instead.
  • If you're using the USPS, they will charge a small fee to your credit card simply to confirm your identity.

(iii) Set up a payment plan. Payment will vary depending on the particular postal service you're using. However, a recurring bill such as regular forwarding will require use of a credit card. Whether as an annual, monthly or weekly plan, expect to be billed regularly according to how long you use it for. Some services may offer levels of speed for your mail with different prices; talk to the post office and figure out together what set-up suits you best.
  • If you need your mail sent to you promptly wherever you are, you can apply to the USPS's Premium Forwarding Service. This costs $18.00 per week of use, but you'll have whatever packages you're waiting on delivered to you within three business days.
  • Forwarding mail is useful if you have recently changed your residential address. Canada Post will charge $75.00 for a year of mail forwarding for a change of residence.
(iv) Get any current mail sent to the forwarded address. If you've had mail sent to your original address prior to getting the new forwarding plan set up, you should get the mail over to your new address. If you live within easy travel distance, you can retrieve the mail yourself. Otherwise, it's a good idea to get in touch with someone that lives near your old address and have them remark and resend the mail for you.

(v) Verify that the mail has been received. If you want to be cautious, or if the email has particular weight or importance, it's a good idea to confer with the other person to make sure the mail has been received. First, let the recipient know you have forwarded the mail along, and wait to hear back. If you've forwarded the mail to a new address of yours, wait to ensure it the forwarded mail makes it on time. If one package makes it through using the new forwarding set up, chances are the rest of it should follow suit smoothly.
  • If for whatever reason the mail doesn't get through within the expected time, it's a good idea to contact the postal service promptly to find out what happened with it. The sooner the better, as you don't want any of your mail getting lost.