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Thread: USPS Tracking Numbers Recycled
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Permlink Replies: 11 - Pages: 1 - Last Post: 22 Jul, 2013 2:01 PM by: CSHSPL
BennyATMack

Posts: 62
Registered: 03 Mar, 12 5:16 PM
Posted on: 20 Jul, 2013 4:48 PM  
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I'm aware the USPS (and most of the carriers) recycles their tracking numbers. This has become a problem for us this week in particular as amazon is showing customers that their orders have been delivered, when in fact the order that was delivered is a year or two old (the last owner of the tracking information).

So, customers are messaging us saying "Amazon is showing this order is already delivered. Please confirm this isn't a problem" type emails.

So the problem seems to be that the USPS is not scrubbing the old tracking info from the recycled numbers even after it is clear the number is in use again. Amazon is not smart enough to not show customers that their order that they placed today was not actually delivered 400 days ago.

I hope this is cleaned up by 1. ideally the USPS, 2. amazon.

Won't hold my breath ;)

FYI, this has so far been a problem on labels produced through our stamps.com account (but I don't think they're the culprit on this one).
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zoo

Posts: 495
Registered: 27 Apr, 13 7:42 AM
Posted on: 20 Jul, 2013 4:55 PM   in response to: BennyATMack in response to: BennyATMack  
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Yes, it happened to me also. I bought something at eBay and the tracking says it delivered in CA(I live in NY). So, I sent email to the seller asking whether the tracking number is correct. The seller replied me saying there seems be glitch with USPS. Now, I realized what is going on.
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Osmun Gifts

Posts: 74
Registered: 04 Aug, 12 11:21 AM
Posted on: 20 Jul, 2013 6:34 PM   in response to: BennyATMack in response to: BennyATMack  
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I have had this happen a few times. The new tracking information usually overwrites the old once the USPS scans the new package into the system.

It is very confusing for the customer. If the customer complains to me, I ask them to check again the next day for updated tracking. Fingers crossed. So far, the information has been updated.
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Rockin' Deals

Posts: 520
Registered: 01 Mar, 12 8:56 PM
Posted on: 20 Jul, 2013 8:21 PM   in response to: BennyATMack in response to: BennyATMack  
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I had this happen Friday. I dropped off the package Friday morning and got a message from the buyer, the tracking showed it was delivered in Oct 2012. The problem was gone once the package got scanned.
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Woods Freedom

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Registered: 02 Mar, 12 1:40 AM
Posted on: 20 Jul, 2013 8:51 PM   in response to: BennyATMack in response to: BennyATMack  
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You are not the only one and we also use Stamps.com

We even created Template to respond to curious customers as many contacted us with the same question. And all tracking was showing delivered in October 2012,

Once scanned, the tracking got updated as normal, but it looks very odd for customers who may wonder if seller is using old tracking as a way to post shipped status,

It started this Wednesday and hopefully is resolved by now,
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ChampionLine

Posts: 24
Registered: 26 Apr, 12 8:39 PM
Posted on: 22 Jul, 2013 10:40 AM   in response to: BennyATMack in response to: BennyATMack  
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I just encountered the same problem today, 7/22/13. My customer is asking me to "fix it". I will direct her to this thread and let her know to check the number tomorrow.

I hope this is fixed soon. Has anyone contacted USPS? They should be aware, so they can work on getting it fixed.

I use stamps too. I will open a case with them as well. I believe they create the tracking numbers for USPS.
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bunga bunga

Posts: 11,387
Registered: 06 Mar, 12 11:20 AM
Posted on: 22 Jul, 2013 11:04 AM   in response to: ChampionLine in response to: ChampionLine  
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You can add a fourth Stamps.com customer to this list. The source of the problem begins to seem obvious, eh?

We had a customer point out that her package had been delivered, per the tracking, last October. Our response that this was excellent service, given that the shipment had been delivered nine months before it was even ordered, fell on deaf ears.

bunga bunga!
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baer

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Registered: 01 Mar, 12 4:02 PM
Posted on: 22 Jul, 2013 11:06 AM   in response to: BennyATMack in response to: BennyATMack  
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It has happened to us - several times over the past few YEARS... It is unsettling.. I believe the confirmation eventually corrects IF the post office scans it along the way and at delivery..

The only time I check is if there is a reason for something to get there in a particular time frame. So, the stress can be awful.
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johnnypuck

Posts: 534
Registered: 05 Apr, 12 11:11 PM
Posted on: 22 Jul, 2013 12:31 PM   in response to: bunga bunga in response to: bunga bunga  
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YMMV on this, but I print out the Scan Form and still go to the window to get the acceptance scan. I know for some that's not practical for a variety of reasons, but if the problem is widespread enough and you are getting numerous emails, it might be better than having to answer a bunch of questions.
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bunga bunga

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Registered: 06 Mar, 12 11:20 AM
Posted on: 22 Jul, 2013 1:04 PM   in response to: johnnypuck in response to: johnnypuck  
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Oh, we use SCAN forms. I'm not sure that's going to solve the problem. It's the fact that a duplicate tracking number is generated in the first place that's the problem.

Fortunately it hasn't happened too often, or at least our customers aren't noticing.

bunga bunga!
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johnnypuck

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Registered: 05 Apr, 12 11:11 PM
Posted on: 22 Jul, 2013 1:30 PM   in response to: bunga bunga in response to: bunga bunga  
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Yeah, absolutely. But at least using the SCAN should get the first scan faster than just leaving it on a counter (at least at my station) and that seems to wipe the old data.
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CSHSPL

Posts: 258
Registered: 07 Oct, 12 8:52 PM
Posted on: 22 Jul, 2013 2:01 PM   in response to: BennyATMack in response to: BennyATMack  
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We have had 3 recycled USPS tracking numbers in the past 7 days that we know of.

USPS wonders why they are in trouble. eBay sellers have this rough because eBay's systems check the tracking number to snuff out fake shipments.

If USPS is going to recycle tracking numbers they should at least blank out the tracking status or maybe:

1. Tracking 9400 blah blah blah (recycled, may show prior tracking history)
2. Shipment information received
3. Shipped
4. etc, etc...

So now we have to explain to customers that USPS is recycling their tracking numbers.

I'd be interested to see how OTD stats are going to look with this. I bet you will get credit
for a recycled tracking number that has been delivered in the past even if the newly reused tracking number never ships.

I know how to solve this from a programming perspective but who's going to take my advice?
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