My Passport was Delivered to Someone Else - What to do?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by Griz Shel, Sep 21, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Griz Shel
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    Griz Shel Silver Member

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    I got a delivery confirmation for the package containing my passport (visa was added from the Myanmar embassy) - to someone in another state who I don't know!! I have no idea how this could have happened as I gave the embassy a stamped self-addressed priority mail envelope. The embassy can't answer this either and says the person who signed for the package is NOT someone who has applied for a visa there recently. I called up USPS and they opened up a case to investigate. I am being asked to wait a few days to see what they can find out about how this happened, but meanwhile the time is getting short and my entire international trip is in jeopardy. Any suggestions as to what I can do? I feel like someone should be responsible for paying for a new expedited passport for me but I don't know who, and even if I did, I doubt they would be willing to do so. I feel awful.
     
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  2. deant
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    deant Milepoint Guide

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    From what you said, I assume you have the name of the person that the passport was sent to. If that is the case, try and look up their phone number and give them a call. Explain the situation and see what they are willing to do to help. You may want to send them the money to have the passport sent to you. Remember, priority mail is only a few dollars. No reason to let you trip get cancelled.
     
  3. Griz Shel
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    Griz Shel Silver Member

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    I don't know if the name given to me is correct or correctly spelled. According to one website there are 18 people in the US with that name, none of them live in the same state as the recipient of my package does. I need to wait for the investigation to be completed before I know if that I'll some how be able to recover my passport. The cost to replace the passport appears to be $200 and takes too long:

    "As of ( Friday September 21, 2012 ), we are processing requests for expedited service in about 2-3 weeks door-to-door, when overnight delivery is requested and paid for both ways (to and from the passport agency)."

    That's expedited service, mind you.

    Plus, I will still not have a visa because my passport was lost in the mail.
     
  4. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    It may have happened because that other person very likely also sent a SASE, which they simply picked up and inserted the wrong passport (yours) into. I live in an apartment building where the doorman signs for all the packages that are delivered, so one cannot assume that the person who signed for your passport was the intended recipient, who is probably also in the same situation that you are in. Therefore, deant's suggestion above sounds like a good way to proceed. If you bring this to the attention of the State Department, under whose authority US passports are issued, they will almost likely consider your passport to be compromised and cancel it. Trying to get another and a visa in time for your trip might be tough...
     
  5. Griz Shel
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    Griz Shel Silver Member

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    Well there's no way I can contact the other person because I don't know their phone number or address and am not sure what their name is (at least the embassy knows no one of the (possibly mispelled) name of the recepient who has applied there). Hopefully the USPS will assist in the recovery of my passport and contact them on my behalf.
     
  6. Griz Shel
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    Griz Shel Silver Member

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    The USPS refused to tell me how they plan to handle this situation when I called them back. They said they do not know the name of the department that handles this and cannot find out. I'm not getting warm fuzzies about this.
     
  7. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    The person who got your package is key here:S/he will notice the error and hopefully contact the embassy because s/he also got the wrong passport and might need his/her own urgently just like you to travel.

    Please keep us posted...
     
  8. Griz Shel
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    Griz Shel Silver Member

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    Yes, I would think that most people who received such important mail by mistake would report it. They could easily call me from the information outside and inside the envelope (if it went in the right envelope; but even then the passport has enough info for them to contact me) - but nothing's happened yet.
    I did reach someone else at the USPS who told me that "Consumer Affairs" would be researching this and get back to me on Monday - but it is not clear yet how much they are able to assist in a situation like this.

    I'm not going to feel comfortable mailing my passport ever again.
     
  9. Griz Shel
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    Griz Shel Silver Member

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    Good News! The passport was delivered to a university (COMPLETELY different address from what was on the envelope) and forwarded to me by them. I have no clue how this happened but am glad I got my passport back! USPS did their best to be helpful in trying to find it.
     
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  10. Gargoyle
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    great news, thanks for letting us know.
     
  11. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    I'd start with the Postal Inspectors. They have offices in most large cities (I dealt with them in Oakland on occasion when post offices had alarms go off or mailboxes were stolen/compromised).
    https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/

    Just saw the followup post that you have your passport. I'll keep this in place should it happen to someone else down the line.
     
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  12. Griz Shel
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    Griz Shel Silver Member

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    And - I had a great trip! Fun times with family in Asia for a few days and sampling the latest CX First and Business, SG Business, TG Business, and finally DL international business class products on my quick round the world trip.
     
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  13. bigx0

    bigx0 Gold Member

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    Congratulations. Sounded like a real nightmare for a while. I used to work for a university and more than once ended up returning an unknown package. Once we even got a computer delivered by mistake.
     
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