What can I do if my Certified Mail item is not Delivered? Can I get a Refund?
Certified Mail items require a signature when the item is delivered, even if you did not purchase this service. Someone at the Delivery address must sign for the item. Typically, the first attempt to deliver the item will occur within three to five business days after you mail your item. During the first delivery attempt, if there is no authorized recipient available to sign for the item USPS will leave a notice of attempted delivery (PS Form 3849). This form will inform the recipient that a Certified Mail item is waiting to be delivered and they will need to pick up the item at the local Post Office or they can reschedule the delivery.
USPS will hold the letter at the local Post Office for approximately 15 to 20 business days before they will mark the letter “Unclaimed” and then the letter is to be returned to the sender. This process can take up to four weeks. It is not uncommon for a piece of Certified Mail to not have any tracking updates for several weeks.
If your letter has not been delivered after four to five weeks, it is possible that the letter is “missing.”
To locate a missing letter it is best to contact the Post Office located in the zip code of the last recorded scan or the Post Office in that zip code. Ask to speak to the Post Master and provide them the Certified Mail article number and explain that your letter is still pending Delivery or perhaps missing.
If USPS cannot locate or Deliver your letter, you can request a refund from the U.S. Postal Service for services not rendered. You will need to fill out the Revised PS Form 3533 at your local Post Office. You can apply for a Refund of the Certified Fee and the Return Receipt Electronic fee if you purchased that service at the time you created your label. USPS will not refund the First Class Postage fee because the letter was mailed.
You may request a refund for the services not performed by USPS. If your refund is approved, you need to submit a copy of the PS Form 3533 to Certified Mail Labels for each item. You can do this by using the Feedback and Support Ticket and attaching the PDF file to your request.
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