You’re expecting a delivery from USPS and have received a “Held at Post Office at Customers Request” tracking update.
If you made no such request this alert can cause concern. Did the sender change the delivery instructions? Do you now have to visit your local post office to collect your mail piece?
Let’s take a look…
Summary: Held at Post Office at Customers Request (When You Didn’t Make a Request)
The “Held at Post Office at Customers Request” status alert is sometimes used by USPS mail carriers in situations where the address cannot be found. Rather than send the package back to the sender, the item is scanned with this “Held at Post Office…” alert so that the recipient has an opportunity to either collect the item or the delivery address be located. It is also infrequently used when the mail carrier could not deliver that particular business day.
Held at Post Office at Customers Request – Guide
You have no doubt reached this page because you have received this update and it is complete news to you. In other words, you didn’t make the request.
The reason you have received the alert is due to a more appropriate one not being available for USPS staff to use.
As described in summary above, where the delivery person is unable to locate the destination address, (see potential reasons below), there will be occasions where stating “address not found” will not be the scan they wish to make.
The item will automatically be sent back to the sender when such a definitive tracking update is created.
Instead, the “Held at Post Office at Customers Request” provides a buffer. It allows the item to be held at the post office for up to 15 days.
At this time it is hoped that the recipient will either contact the post office to make arrangements or that the address can be located for successful delivery to be made.
- Related Content: USPS Tracking: No Secure Location Available – Meaning
Should You Go Straight to the Post Office After Receiving this Alert?
I would recommend that you call the post office before making the trip to collect your item.
This is due to the fact the Washington Post reported that the “Held at Post Office at Customers Request” was being used by mail carriers in times when they “cannot deliver a package on the day it was scheduled because their shift is ending”.
In other words, you could have received this alert after the USPS driver ran out of time to make the delivery, and will do so the following business day.
However, this news report was made during the early stages of the pandemic when mail delays were creating a very real problem for USPS.
The practice of using the “Held at Post Office at Customers Request” by USPS staff to “buy time” before delivering the following day is much less common in 2022.
That being said, contacting your local post office to confirm the status of your mail item before you make the trip is clearly a good step to take.
- Related Content: Does the Post Office Text You About a Package (USPS)?
Reasons You May Have Received the “Held at Post Office at Customers Request” Alert?
If you did not request your item to be held, yet you still received this update, there are a number of reasons the mail carrier created the scan:
- The carrier had difficulties locating the address
- Traffic or bad weather prevented the carrier from reaching the address
- Access to the address could not be obtained for a delivery to take place
- The mail item was misplaced inside the carrier vehicle and the driver only noticed it at the end of their shift
- The carrier couldn’t complete the set deliveries for the day and will deliver the following business day
What to do After a “Held at Post Office at Customers Request” Alert?
The first step after receiving this tracking update is to contact USPS. You can call customer services, however, I would recommend contacting your local post office directly. (You can obtain the details here).
This will allow you to ascertain why the alert was sent and the status of the mail piece. As explained above, it could be that the mail carrier will attempt delivery on the next business day.
If you are able to pick up the item from the post office you will also be able to arrange this too.
- Related Content: What Does “Arrival at Unit” Mean? (USPS Tracking Guide)
There Was a Problem with My Address – What Now?
If the USPS mail carrier had problems with your address, you will need to ascertain whether it was an issue caused by the sender, (missing an apartment number of the address for example) or if there is actually a legitimate issue in accessing or locating your mailbox.
The former will be easy to solve. Simply check the address used on the mail item and ensure that correct details are given to senders in the future.
The latter will involve you contacting USPS to find out the exact problem they have with your address. Are there access issues? Is your address new, and not entered into the database used by USPS? Has a new driver taken responsibility for your area and is unfamiliar with where your address is located?
Believe it or not, USPS mailboxes face stringent rules on where they are placed. Does your property abide by these?
In any case, you will want to get to the bottom of any reasons that are preventing USPS deliveries be made to your address.
- Related Content: USPS Says Delivered But No Package
Ultimately, the “Held at Post Office at Customers Request” should not cause you to be concerned in situations where you didn’t make the request.
It is a scan that is sometimes used by USPS delivery personnel in situations where delivery couldn’t be made that particular day.
You can choose to wait to see if the item will be delivered the following business day, or call your local post office to find out more.
If there are any issues in terms of delivering to your address, USPS will have to shed light on what these are. In most cases, however, your mail piece will be with you soon.
I’m a 25 year veteran of USPS. I’m retired now, but as the editor of Mailbox Master, I can’t quite remove myself from the carrier industry just yet. 🙂