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USPS "recycled" Tracking numbers

USPS "recycled" Tracking numbers

designerlines
Pathfinder

I print out shipping labels using "Auctane" app.  The last few days, I have found that USPS has been using "recycled" tracking numbers.   When the buyer goes to track it shows "delivered, Oct 2012"!!   After about 24-48 hrs, the correct info shows...But I have had 6 buyers open cases against me... ( do they think I have a time machine?)...And dozens of time consuming e-mails explaining to buyers what is happening.    I have sent 100,000+ package, and this is a first.  Can anyone tell me how I can get this to stop?

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Message 1 of 48
47 REPLIES

Re: USPS "recycled" Tracking numbers

Re: USPS "recycled" Tracking numbers

in reply to Jul 24, 2013 6:08:28 PM
takikawa4
Rockstar

Most, if not all, carriers recycle tracking numbers so I doubt there's any way to stop that practice.

 

No need for "time consuming" email replies. Type up one in a word document and then just copy and paste. The only thing I would change is the salutation:

 

Dear designerlines:

 

Unfortunately, most carriers recycle their tracking numbers. But don't be alarmed! It should fix itself in the next few days.

 

If you don't see any new information on the tracking in the next 5-7 days, please let me know and I'll contact the carrier for more information. I understand how this would be of concern to you and will help out in any way possible. Thank you for your patience!

14,779 Views
Message 2 of 48

Re: USPS "recycled" Tracking numbers

Re: USPS "recycled" Tracking numbers

in reply to Jul 25, 2013 9:34:05 AM
kavi1030
Trailblazer

Hi

this happened to me a few days ago as a customer. checked a tracking # for some poly mailing bags and it showed

Sale date: 07/22/13
Tracking number: XXXXXXXXXXXXX
Delivered: Fri. Oct. 12

Of course I contacted the seller, but i did not open a case. I knew it had to be some sort of error on the part of the USPS. Now it has updated at the usps site to show the correct info. I wonder if it was just a glitch? did this happen to you one July 22?

Kavi
14,758 Views
Message 3 of 48

Re: USPS "recycled" Tracking numbers

Re: USPS "recycled" Tracking numbers

in reply to Jul 25, 2013 10:10:36 AM
bargain_dealers
Rising Star

I've been having the same problem for the past several days. It seems that the tracking only shows up wrong if you go directly through Ebay. If you copy and paste the number into the USPS website, it shows correct. I've had several customers open up disputes before they even contact me (geesh, really?) and I have to explain the problem with Ebay tracking. I talked to another seller who is having the same exact problem. Sounds like a serious Ebay glitch. I also sell on Amazon and haven't had any problems with their tracking numbers.

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Message 4 of 48

Re: USPS "recycled" Tracking numbers

Re: USPS "recycled" Tracking numbers

in reply to Jul 25, 2013 10:47:30 AM
max_rainet
Adventurer

I use stamps.com and it happened on Tuesday.  Customer upset.   Shows delivered Oct, 2012. 
Customer blames me, so I called Stamps.com and they say it's a "known" problem, and that once

the package is scanned it will clear out the old data.  Here I am Thursday, and it still shows as 2012 delivery.

It feels like it's going to be a cluster snarl for sellers, who have to explain the PO practices. 
  -- Ebay should post notices to buyers asap.

14,747 Views
Message 5 of 48

Re: USPS "recycled" Tracking numbers

Re: USPS "recycled" Tracking numbers

in reply to Jul 26, 2013 4:47:33 PM
bargain_dealers
Rising Star

It's really becoming a problem for me. I've had several buyers this week open up disputes when it shows their USPS package was delivered in Oct 2012. I just had another one open a dispute a few minutes ago. The tracking number is fine when you go to the USPS website but not on Ebay.

14,721 Views
Message 6 of 48

Re: USPS "recycled" Tracking numbers

Re: USPS "recycled" Tracking numbers

in reply to Jul 26, 2013 4:56:48 PM
black*max
Rockstar

designerlines wrote:

I print out shipping labels using "Auctane" app.  The last few days, I have found that USPS has been using "recycled" tracking numbers.   When the buyer goes to track it shows "delivered, Oct 2012"!!   After about 24-48 hrs, the correct info shows...But I have had 6 buyers open cases against me... ( do they think I have a time machine?)...And dozens of time consuming e-mails explaining to buyers what is happening.    I have sent 100,000+ package, and this is a first.  Can anyone tell me how I can get this to stop?


Thats odd because for one thing tracking numbers back Oct 2012 are different than tracking numbers now.

In OCT 2012 tracking numbers had 19 digits, now they have 22

 photo tig02-1.jpg
-A person can be rich in one of two ways, They can have lots of friends or lots of money, but not both.
14,717 Views
Message 7 of 48

Re: USPS "recycled" Tracking numbers

Re: USPS "recycled" Tracking numbers

in reply to Jul 26, 2013 5:03:07 PM
black*max
Rockstar

I'm no math wizard but with 22 digits the number of possible combinations would have to be in the quad trillion before a number would re-cycle.

 photo tig02-1.jpg
-A person can be rich in one of two ways, They can have lots of friends or lots of money, but not both.
14,714 Views
Message 8 of 48

Re: USPS "recycled" Tracking numbers

Re: USPS "recycled" Tracking numbers

in reply to Jul 26, 2013 5:03:56 PM
2002jrhaines2
Thrill-Seeker

I just landed me my first neutral because of that.People just can't wait till their item arrives.It's difficult enough trying to be a TRS without having to deal with problems completely out of our control.

14,712 Views
Message 9 of 48

Re: USPS "recycled" Tracking numbers

Re: USPS "recycled" Tracking numbers

in reply to Jul 26, 2013 5:10:27 PM
black*max
Rockstar

2002jrhaines2 wrote:

I just landed me my first neutral because of that.People just can't wait till their item arrives.It's difficult enough trying to be a TRS without having to deal with problems completely out of our control.


It's not really out of your control because you don't have to use USPS.

 photo tig02-1.jpg
-A person can be rich in one of two ways, They can have lots of friends or lots of money, but not both.
14,708 Views
Message 10 of 48

Re: USPS "recycled" Tracking numbers

Re: USPS "recycled" Tracking numbers

in reply to Jul 26, 2013 5:27:36 PM
2002jrhaines2
Thrill-Seeker

Yes I know that I could deliver them in person.

14,698 Views
Message 11 of 48

Re: USPS "recycled" Tracking numbers

Re: USPS "recycled" Tracking numbers

in reply to Jul 28, 2013 9:18:15 AM
crispy23
Adventurer

I had the same problem last week. I use stamps.com (or I did use stamps.com) to print my postage.

Since then I have only used stamps.com a few more times and one of those also ended up with a "recycled number" and a customer email.

The first customer did open up a case against me. My shipping is always very fast and in most cases I print the label within hours of the customer paying. Ebay allowed this customer to open a dispute against me saying they didn't receive the item and they had just paid for it about 8 hours eariler.

Sorry for the long post but it gets better ---

Ebay decided in the buyers favor and refunded him his money. It wasn't a large amount and ebay paid him back without taking money from me. But if they are going to side with the Buyers in these cases what is going to stop the buyers from opening stupid cases again.

I have been a seller for since 1999 and for the last couple years have sold quite a bit. Ebay is making it harder and harder for me to want to continue seller here.

14,662 Views
Message 12 of 48

Re: USPS "recycled" Tracking numbers

Re: USPS "recycled" Tracking numbers

in reply to Jul 29, 2013 2:03:40 PM
peggy8009
Adventurer

I was thinking the same thing about buyers reporting a package underivered. I have a buyer who hasn't received a package but the tracking number says delivered. So what does protect me from the buyer saying that and getting his money back. This package is $100 and thats alot to me. And maybe him for all I know.

14,631 Views
Message 13 of 48

Re: USPS "recycled" Tracking numbers

Re: USPS "recycled" Tracking numbers

in reply to Jul 30, 2013 2:26:57 PM
usgamecollector
Trailblazer
Last Edited 02:28:47 PM

this is also happening to me CONSTANTLY. Buyers are threatening me of lying, cheating and scamming. I get probably 1-2 messages a day of buyers telling me I gave them the wrong tracking number. USPS needs to fix this.

 

I am also using stamps.com.. is this just a stamps.com thing?

14,595 Views
Message 14 of 48

Re: USPS "recycled" Tracking numbers

Re: USPS "recycled" Tracking numbers

in reply to Jul 30, 2013 2:32:05 PM
usgamecollector
Trailblazer

black*max wrote:

I'm no math wizard but with 22 digits the number of possible combinations would have to be in the quad trillion before a number would re-cycle.


it's possible certain numbers are reserved for certain locations or printing methods. That might be why stamps.com is having the problem since they only had a certain amount of numbers and they are being recycled.

14,591 Views
Message 15 of 48

Re: USPS "recycled" Tracking numbers

Re: USPS "recycled" Tracking numbers

in reply to Aug 1, 2013 9:45:32 AM
ernesto1956
Adventurer

The D.C. numbers are not serial. They have check codes built into them for the purpose of accurate scanning. When the scanning software looks at a number, it performs mathematical operations on some of the digits, and then compares the results with some of the remaining digits. If the results don't compare correctly, the entire number is rejected as being scanned incorrectly. Hence, it is entirely possible to have many numbers which are not even valid for use in the first place. Therefore, there are fewer valid numbers than you think there are, even though they may be in the millions.

 

If you go to the post office and pick up some pre-printed D.C. forms, you'll notice the numbers are not serial. They skip over many numbers in between. Those missing numbers do not "work" as valid numbers because the check code system would reject them.

 

All of that said, that is why the numbers are so few despite the fact they are so long. Perhaps an expert on this subject matter could explain this better than I can?

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Message 16 of 48

Re: USPS "recycled" Tracking numbers

Re: USPS "recycled" Tracking numbers

in reply to Aug 2, 2013 2:53:06 PM

I am having the same problem.  I talked twice to stamps.com and twice to eBay shipping and 3 times to my local postmaster and in a nutshell, they all agree that numbers are recycled every 6 months and always have been, but the difference this time is someone somewhere didn't clear out the history like they were supposed to.  The postmaster filed a formal complaint with the regional office, but with all the cutbacks and layoffs, that must be one area where they are just not doing that particular job anymore.

 

Everywhere except eBay shows the up to date tracking info, so there's proof that the package was delivered correctly, just not on the item won link in eBay.  eBay's software is apparently written to stop updates as soon as a status of 'delivered' is posted and there's not enough people with a problem for them to re-write that part of the program.

 

To solve this problem, I use stamps.com to use up my remaining balance (because I'm not able to get a refund for a YEAR on any balance after the account is closed) and on any that show up delivered in Oct 2012, I have the post office issue me a new tracking number and download that new number into eBay when I get home.  It's a bit of a pain, but it's worth it until I use up all the balance or somebody fixes the problem, whichever comes first.

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Message 17 of 48

Re: USPS "recycled" Tracking numbers

Re: USPS "recycled" Tracking numbers

in reply to Aug 6, 2013 6:31:30 AM
sonpay
Scout

I had the same thing happen to me yesterday, for the first time!  I've been printing lables from E-bay for 10+ years and have NEVER had a duplicate tracking number on a label!  Freaked me out when I got home from the p/o to take my packages there and then got on the Ebay site about 2 hours later to check if my packages were "accepted" and on their way.  (I always like to check a couple of hours later to make sure the packages are moving).

 

So about 2 hours after taking my packages to p/o, one sold item's tracking number (uploaded on Ebay next to Item Sold) showed that my package was delivered in Oct. 2012 to Sandy Utah!  (It's addressed to Staten Island, NY!).  I really got nervous about it, so I hopped in the car and off I went to my local p/o.

 

The clerk was very relaxed about it (he's been a postal clerk for over 15 years there, so I know and trust him).   I brought my tracking number receipt and told him what was happening, and he nonchalantly said "Oh, no big deal, tracking numbers get recycled from time time and not to worry, when they "dock" tonight the old "delivered" status will clear out and the new information will appear".

 

Well, that PARTIALLY happened.  If I go directly to the USPS website and type the tracking number, it does show updated info correctly. 

 

However, if I just click on the tracking number in E-bay next to the item sold (which is what our buyers would do!!!!!), it shows item delivered Oct. 2012 to Sandy , Utah. 

 

So, this recycled item number shows up to date correctly on USPS site, but on E-bays site, all old news delivered last year. 

 

It hasn't updated on E-bay at all, and it's been overnight now.

 

I'm not saying a word about this to my buyer unless he happens to click on the tracking number next to his Item Sold.  It's a Priority Pkg and will be delivered tomorrow..........so here's hoping he won't bother checking and it'll just show up tomorrow and all is well.  (If he does notice the glitch on Ebay  before it gets delivered tomorrow, then I'll hope he contacts me first and says "Hey, what's going on, my items shows delivered to Utah last year"...............in which case I'll TRY to explain to him something I know nothing about, as far as reasoning!!!!) 

 

Incidentally, the clerk at the post office said, in a round about way, that this has somethint to do with software "whatever" between E-bay/PayPal and USPS.    He did ASSURE me that the pkg will get delivered though.  I hope this doesn't become routine, because it's really an uncomfortable situation, especially we, as Sellers, start to get p'd off buyers and we can't explain what is going on or why! 

 

I hope Ebay/USPS gets this resolved QUICKLY.  Imagine shipping something to another country and having incorrect duplcate tracking numbers with misinformation. 

 

I'll be contacting Ebay Tech Support later today to report the problem.  Each and every one of us experiencing these duplicate tracking number issues SHOULD take the time to call Ebay Tech Suppt so they know there is (still is?!) a huge problem with this.

 

 

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Message 18 of 48

Re: USPS "recycled" Tracking numbers

Re: USPS "recycled" Tracking numbers

in reply to Aug 6, 2013 8:45:31 AM
tungstenrings
Rising Star

This is outrageous!  We ship thru ebay and our TungstenFashions.com website - all thru Stamps.com

 

We now have people on our Facebook page telling the world that we are fraud and giving out fake tracking numbers!

 

Here we are working our as**es off, getting people their tracking numbers within minutes of placing an order and we are getting stomped on for doing the right thing!  For being proactive??  Outrageous!

 

These monkeys at the postal service need to get their sh*t together and fix this.  Today!

14,465 Views
Message 19 of 48

Re: USPS "recycled" Tracking numbers

Re: USPS "recycled" Tracking numbers

in reply to Aug 6, 2013 1:42:31 PM

I had the same problem today. Mailed an item to a customer in California from here in Colorado, first thing this morning. She emailed me to let me know she had checked the tracking number and it showed it already delivered, in New Jersey, in October 2012. I got the same info from the USPS website, showing the package mailed from Washington State.

 

I do not use Stamps.com, and the USPS site is showing wrong. I am hoping the package is still mailed safely and that the correct info will update in the system.

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Message 20 of 48