Your Package Could Not Be Delivered – what Next?

You are eagerly awaiting an order. It’s really annoying when instead of the shipment, you find a message in your mailbox that your package could not be delivered. The answer to the question of why it could not be delivered is then often very tedious to find out.

In this article, you will get an overview of the most common reasons why parcels do not reach the recipient. You will learn what happens to the parcels and what you can do in such cases.

My Parcel Could Not Be Delivered—what Does That Mean?

This parcel status can have various causes. Five reasons are particularly common:

Insufficient Postage

It is often difficult to keep track of the current prices for letters and parcels. They differ depending on the provider, parcel sizes and weights. Especially if stamps are used for shipping or parcels are weighed at home itself, it can quickly happen that shipments are insufficiently franked. As a result, the goods are then not shipped.

The Recipient Does Not Exist

If you have recently moved to a newly built residential area, it is possible that the courier company has not yet recorded the correctly given address or house number in the system and therefore has not found your house. The fact that you have not yet put a name plate on your mailbox after moving in, or that you have still put the name plate of your previous tenant on your mailbox, can be further reasons.

The Delivery Address Is Incomplete or Incorrect

When rushing or due to a lack of knowledge, it can quickly happen that the house number is forgotten, or the wrong postal code is entered when addressing. In addition, the addressee may have recently married and now have a different last name.

The Recipient Refuses to Accept the Parcel

Package recipients have the right to refuse to accept a shipment. In addition to purely personal reasons, this can also be because the recipient would have to pay an extra fee upon acceptance, but does not wish to do so. It is not uncommon for packages to be sent anonymously as a surprise, but some recipients then react skeptically and do not accept it.

The Package Contains Items That Are Not Allowed to Be Shipped

For safety reasons, many goods may not be sent by mail, or only to a limited extent. They are described as dangerous goods. These include lighters or batteries. Internationally, there are even tighter restrictions.

In addition, there are special regulations on the prohibited shipment of certain items via DHL Express. These include money or valuable stones. It is also forbidden to send counterfeit brand-name clothing or perfume, for example—even if it is just a well-intentioned or funny vacation gift. You can see a complete overview using DHL as an example here.

What You Can Do in Case of an Undelivered Package

If your package exceeds the regular shipping time, you should immediately make a search request. With most service providers, you can request a redelivery attempt from the branch or Packstation online.

  • DHL package could not be delivered: At DHL, you can use this link to request a second delivery as soon as your parcel arrives at the Packstation.
  • GLS parcel could not be delivered: Using the track ID on your notification card, you can check the parcel status online and request a redelivery. According to our research, a subsequent change of address is not possible.
  • DPD parcel could not be delivered: According to DPD, it is possible for you to request a redelivery using the QR code on your notification card. If in doubt, contact the company directly. 
  • UPS package could not be delivered: Using the UPS InfoNotice number on your card, you can request a new delivery attempt online. 
  • Hermes package could not be delivered: Hermes will make another delivery attempt on its own. To redirect to another address or to choose a desired day, you must contact the company. Further information can be found by using a search engine.
Tip:If you suspect that no delivery person was with you at all, take a closer look at your notification card. If it says “The package could not be delivered. The recipient was notified” and not “… The recipient was not found”, this underlines your assumption. In most cases, messengers are simply overloaded. Unfortunately, a complaint is often not very promising due to lack of evidence. 

What Do Courier Companies Do with Such Shipments?

If a parcel could not be delivered, it is usually deposited in the respective parcel store. You can pick it up there by presenting the parcel card and your ID from the next working day. The storage periods are between seven and ten days (often not working days!) before they are returned to the sender.

If the sender does not want or cannot take the package back, or if it cannot be returned for other reasons, the office must hold it for some more time. After that, the package is officially considered undeliverable. According to Eurosender, the following can then happen to it, among other things: 

  • Valuable contents are sold at auction. 
  • Cash contained in the parcel (actually inadmissible for shipment) goes to the treasury.
  • The contents of the package are donated. 
  • The package is destroyed (last resort).

Beware of Text Messages about Package Deliveries

Cybercrime has regrettably increased significantly recently. One scam is SMS messages whose senders pretend to be delivery services.

“Please Check Your Shipment Details.”

Be on your guard if you receive an SMS with a request for action, such as “Your package could not be delivered. Please check your shipment details.” Usually, the message is sent with an attachment that is supposed to contain your shipment order or a detailed voice message with further instructions. Some criminals also choose phone calls or voicemails as a course of action, after which a link is often sent. The message is then mechanically recorded. However, parcel delivery companies do not send such messages.

How to Protect Yourself from Data Theft

Do not follow such instructions under any circumstances, and do not open such attachments. It is very likely that they contain malicious software, which the sender wants to use to gain access to your smartphone and steal data. Acquiring antivirus software on your cell phone can be a good prevention against such an attempted attack. Google has published an informative article on the correct way to deal with malware.

Never Miss a Parcel Again—Thanks to Parcelsea

You would prefer to never again read the message that your parcel could not be delivered? The modern solution for this is the intelligent parcel box from Parcelsea.

Your advantages at a glance:

  • Independence: Receive up to three parcels at any time of the day—whether you are at home or not. You can even send parcels if you wish.
  • Security: As soon as the postman closes one of the compartments, it locks automatically and can then only be opened with a code that only you have. Each time your box is filled or emptied, you also receive an automatic text message on your smartphone.
  • Flexibility: If you are away for a longer period of time, you can also open the box from your cell phone while you are on the move, allowing selected people to retrieve your items.
  • Fantastic extra feature: A built-in cooler lets you order fresh produce without worry, which can also be easily stored in Parcelsea’s parcel box.
  • Fair pricing means the parcel box can either be purchased once or rented for €15 a month. Maintenance costs are already included.

Curious? Then take a closer look at the product details. Of course, you can also order your smart parcel box right away. And if you have any questions, our friendly team in Berlin will be happy to answer your call or e-mail .