Missing and Lost Parcels With Courier Companies7 min read

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In rare cases, packages get lost during their transit. Courier companies like DHL, DPD, GLS and others do their best to locate them, but unfortunately, it does not always end up found. Are you wondering what do it in the case when your parcel is lost or just missing?

How do courier companies like DHL, DPD or GLS handle missing and lost parcels?

For more detailed information of each courier company, check their official websites.

Lost parcel with DHL

If your package gets lost with DHL, you will have to complete a damage notification on their website or call the customer service team.

Liability in case of loss is under the Universal Postal Union conventions. Currently, for DHL Paket international, the maximum liability is 205,63€ for a maximum weight of 31,5 kg, and up to 500€ in case you have booked premium service.

For DHL Päckchen International, no liability is offered for damage or loss. If there is proof of delivery service, the company is responsible in the event of loss with the production of a stamped deposit receipt to goods up to a value of 35€.

Lost parcel with DPD

This courier company considers the package as lost as long as the customer declares that did not receive it. In this case, you will need to send an e-mail to the company with a description of your complaint and include details such as:

  • The date of shipping;
  • Parcel number;
  • Details concerning the parcel, such as measurements and weight;
  • Address information;
  • Description of the content;
  • Your contact information;
  • The invoice of the shipping service as an attachment to the e-mail.

With DPD, the complaint process has to be started within 7 (seven) days and needs to be submitted to the depot. The inquiry takes a maximum of 10 days to be taken care of.

You will be forwarded to the claims department if the customer service department is having problems resolving your problem. Later, the department will check whether the customer is entitled to compensation based on their Terms and Conditions.

Lost parcel with GLS

In case something is wrong with your package, you can either submit the complaint directly online or call GLS’s hotline in the respective country. This company is responsible for the loss or damage of parcels that are in the company’s custody. The liability’s amount varies depending on the country and also depends on whether the customer had previously taken out transport insurance.

In case you were not at home and the courier driver left the box to one of your neighbours, GLS drivers will inform the recipient with a notification card. In case there are any GLS ParcelShops, the courier driver might use them as an alternative delivery address.

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When is the parcel considered lost?

A missing or lost parcel will only be declared as such after they make an investigation, and look for it in their depots. If after this investigation process, the courier company cannot find the box, they will declare it lost.

It might take a while for the company to consider your parcel as lost. This period depends on the courier company responsible for the shipping service. By turning directly to the courier company that carried out the service, you might be able to receive an estimated time for resolution

What to do in case your parcel is lost?

If you think your parcel is lost, you should:

  • Inform the courier company or the company you booked the courier service from.
  • Give all the details about your parcel, such as your tracking number, colour and shape of the box, content and other relevant information. Companies usually have a form for missing and delayed items they will ask you to fill in.
  • After you forward all the necessary information to the company, an investigation process will start. It usually takes a few days to investigate. The time varies depending on if you have booked domestic or international shipping service.
  • You should also look in your payment details for tips on what could have happened. Check if all the payment details were correct and ask the company if the payment was successful.

How to recover a missing or lost parcel?

If your parcel is lost, sometimes courier companies can track it down. The courier company will try to locate your package in one of their depots and deliver it to you.

To make this possible, you need to inform the company you booked the service from as soon as you notice that something is wrong in the tracking system.

Package

What are your legal rights when your parcel is lost?

When your parcel has gone missing, the first thing the customer needs to do is open a claim procedure with the company you booked the shipping service. You will need to provide them with every detail and documentation required so that the losses could be estimated and recovered at a later stage, if applicable.

It is essential to be aware that the claim procedure depends on the Terms and Conditions of the company that provided you with the service. The Terms and Conditions of the company will give you more details of what you can or cannot do.

You can always turn to the European consumer’s rights for more information.

How do you know your parcel is lost?

It is vital to regularly check the tracking system for any irregularities in your delivery. The tracking system is updated every time your parcel arrives at a different depot or whenever some difficulties appear during the delivery. If the status in the tracking system remains the same for more than 48 hours, you should inform the courier company or the parcel broker as soon as possible.

Usually, courier companies will not initiate further investigations if the customer does not contact them for that purpose. It is the customer’s responsibility to check the tracking system and check for irregularities regularly. Due to a large number of parcels to take care of, courier companies are not required to check problems in the system for each package. So they must be notified immediately if you have any doubt or hesitation that your parcel could be missing or lost.

Sometimes, the information on the tracking system might be inaccurate. For example, the courier might mark the parcel as “delivered” before the customer receives it. This does not necessarily imply they handed it to a wrong address. The courier company might still show up at the address.

What if the parcel was misdelivered?

Before starting any claim procedure, you have to check if the courier driver left a delivery notice at your door. They will probably leave the note in a place where the wind or the rain can’t damage it. So check under your mat, next to the front steps of your house, your mailbox, flower vases, on the fence, or next to your doorbell.

In case your parcel was delivered to the wrong address, the courier company will try to recover it for you. Generally, the tracking system shows the surname of the person who signed when the parcel was delivered.

In case you live in a shared house, apartment, or close to other homes, you should check whether the courier delivered your parcel to the neighbours or housemates. In case your flat or accommodation has a reception or gatekeeper, you should also check if your package were left there by the courier driver.

In case you think something went on and if your house or apartment has security cameras, you can ask the doorkeeper or guard for special permission, to try and find what happened to your delivery.

Do you have more questions? Do not hesitate to ask us.

Last modified: March 19, 2020

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