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USPS Missent – All You Need to Know

You’ve sent a mail item via USPS and have received a Missent” tracking update.

What does this mean exactly, what happens to the mail now and is there anything you need to do?

Let’s take a look…

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Summary: USPS Missent

The USPS Missent tracking alert means that the package has been mistakenly sent to the wrong processing facility or distribution center. This is generally due to human error during sorting and processing, incorrect scanning of labels, or glitches in the automated routing systems. Ultimately, it is a mistake by USPS, not the sender.

USPS Missent – Full Guide

trucks outside postal facility

So we have established that the status alert is triggered after USPS makes a mistake and sends a mail item to the wrong processing facility or distribution center.

In other words, the package has been routed in a direction that is inconsistent with its intended destination address.

What Happens If the Package Is Missent?

USPS delivery van

If a package is missent, it will likely experience delays in its delivery.

The package will be rerouted to the correct processing facility, which may add extra transit time to the original estimated delivery date.

Why Do Packages Get Missent?

packages on a conveyor belt

As covered in the summary above, Missent packages can occur for various reasons, however, the important issue to realize is that it does stem from USPS operational error.

Whether it is a mistake during the sorting process, technical glitches in the facility, or simple human error, it all amounts to the same thing… the package heading in the wrong direction.

Furthermore, these errors can happen at any point in the journey from the sender to the recipient.

Can I do anything to Prevent Missent Mail Items?


Not really. As I mentioned, USPS is to blame when an item is missent.

However, best practices on behalf of the sender apply in any case.

It is always a good idea to take precautions to minimize the chances of errors occurring.

These precautions include ensuring that the address is correctly written, using clear and legible labels, and double-checking all information before sending.

Is my Package now Lost?

lost package

Not at all… a missent package is still being tracked in the delivery network and USPS will know where it is.

They will take steps to ensure that the item is rerouted on the correct path toward the delivery address as soon as possible.

On rare occasions, the package could end up at the wrong house, but this is less likely due to address verification processes.

What If It Does End Up At The Wrong House?

package at doorway

If a missent package ends up at the wrong house, customers are encouraged to contact their local post office or USPS customer services.

The USPS will work to resolve the issue and ensure that the package reaches its intended recipient.

How Long Will A Missent Item Take to Deliver?

calendar and clock

This all depends on factors such as how far the item has gone in the wrong direction, the distance to the destination address, and the speed at which USPS is able to mitigate the error.

In any case, the delivery of a missent package will often be delayed for at least a couple of days while it is rerouted and processed through the correct channels.

Are Customers Entitled to Compensation for a Missent Package?


USPS provides compensation for certain services, such as Priority Mail Express and insured packages, in case of delivery delays or issues.

If the missent package was sent through a service that includes compensation, customers might be eligible for reimbursement for any applicable fees.

Standard postal options will not provide such cover, however.

How Quickly Does USPS Notice When A Package Has Been Misdirected?

post office usps

USPS has automated systems in place that can detect misdirected packages relatively quickly.

However, the exact speed at which USPS notices the error can vary depending on factors such as the volume of packages being processed and the efficiency of the tracking system.

What Should I Do If I See a “Missent” Alert?

Finally, if you end up seeing the “Missent” status on your tracking information, it’s recommended that you monitor the package’s progress closely.

If there are significant delays, you can contact USPS customer service for assistance.

They should be able to provide you with updates on the package location and what means of redress are open to you in the event of severe delay or loss of the package.

That being said, in most cases, the package will eventually be rerouted and delivered in a prompt enough manner.

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