- I had a belly full of anger but patience won the day.
- My package was declared lost twice. It was first declared lost using the tracking number. It was subsequently declared lost again when I provided the names and addresses of both the sender’s and receiver’s.
- Finally, after providing Singpost with photos of my parcel, they found it and it was delivered to me intact with no signs of any damage.
All throughout the correspondence with Singpost staff as described above, it felt as though it was the information built upon one another that helped establish an “identity” for my parcel, thus making it easier to identify.
If I had insisted on providing the photos right at the beginning, they might have just been treated as another “faceless” photo/photos to the team (I guess… and it’s just a conjecture).
It might work for you, to jump straight into providing photos.
I rehash here, because I’m unsure if my earlier choice of words were clear, that I felt like the search team could “recognise” my parcel by the time I sent them photos, after two rounds of searching.
My parcel was time sensitive and was already late anyway. Following the “protocol” in clear logical steps and being patient with the service team definitely helped.
Details proper: The status of my incoming parcel stopped updating
It was the period spanning Christmas into new year and my parcel was supposed to reach me from overseas within three days, through speedpost.
As we can see, my parcel got stuck in the processing facility on 18th December 2019 for nearly a month after that before it was found.
I had let it pass for two weeks seeing that it was the holiday season, and as soon as the holidays were up, I called to follow up on the tracking number of my parcel.
Tracking number didn’t help (1st round of search has concluded)
After the very first call, they emailed me three days later informing me that my parcel had been declared lost.
I called again the very next day in anxiety, telling them that I accepted neither their conclusion nor their offer of compensation, and requested them to conduct another search.
In addition, on my own initiative, I requested the telephone operator to record the names and addresses of both the sender’s and the receiver’s.
I had surmised that the barcode on my parcel could have been damaged while the text details remained unaffected. It was the best I could do there and then, to offer more information.
To suggest any other scenarios would purely be hypothetical, and I doubt that any staff from anywhere, on a regular pay, would go out of the way to pursue hypothetical scenarios.
The following played repeatedly in my head, but please bear in mind that these points are merely a small detour from the purpose of this post, ie to provide insights on how to help Singpost to find your lost package.
- fact: last scan of my parcel was at the processing facility
- It follows that my parcel could
- still be in the processing facility because it got buried deep underneath a pile of incoming packages, or
- outright stolen from the premises which I cannot assume and insist when corresponding with Singpost support
Again, at this point, after being told my parcel was declared lost, the best I could do was to offer more information, and I did so by providing both sender’s and receiver’s details as they were written on my parcel.
Names and addresses didn’t help (2nd round of search has concluded)
Another three days later, I received a call from 1605 informing me that my parcel is declared lost a second time.
I refused their conclusion and compensation again, and requested yet another search.
This time round, I requested the telephone operator, on my own initiative again, to send me an email. This email would have a specific purpose of requesting me to send photos of what my parcel looked like as well as the dimensions.
It opened an official channel for me to send my photos to. If I hadn’t asked for it, they wouldn’t have asked the photos of me. This “strategy” kept the inquiry open in a most logical manner.
Indeed, Singpost hadn’t searched for my package based on photos, therefore there was no way the support staff could refuse my solution.
Emailing photos of my package failed
I was more than eager to send photos of my lost package through the email thread I requested the telephone operator to open.
However, mail delivery failed four times as shown in my screenshot above. It appears that the official email addresses have size limits.
It also didn’t help that by the time I sent the photos for the 4th time, each photo had only a file size of approximately 100kb, and I had reduced the number of photos from 13 to 7.
Still, I received the same email notification for the 4th time that my message size has exceed the fixed maximum message size.
Uploading photos via online live chat support
Time would be wasted again if I emailed them to inform them of mail delivery failure. With every day, my parcel gets closer to getting lost for real. MIght even be disposed of (I don’t know).
It was then that I remembered seeing what amounts to a live chat service somewhere. There it is, the words CHAT NOW.
One can access the live chat function through these steps:
All sorts of gift ideas to the self & loved ones
- go to the Singpost parcel tracking page
- type in your tracking number
- click on the “chat now” link when the package status has been loaded
Through it, I talked to the operator right from my phone (and on the toilet bowl in fact) and uploaded my photos live there and then.
That was really really cool. Kudos to Singpost.
The photos I sent
The lost package was one of two packages that were shipped to me together.
Fortunately, with one of the package in my hands, I had a working example of how the lost package looked like as both boxes were identical.
I replaced the binding straps which I have already cut.
Side view of my parcel where my commercial invoice was, in its plastic pocket.
I also sent photos of the contents of my parcel but they proved unhelpful, as you can see below later, because the box was intact and undamaged.
The morning I sent them the photos via “chat now”, I received a call in the evening from 1605.
The state of my parcel
The box was not damaged. The contents were intact and weren’t damaged either.
They did print out a fresh sheet of delivery order and had removed the original cargo details.
It highly suggests that the cargo details were ripped off. If the details were merely tattered and torn, I’m pretty sure someone would have picked it up to inspect it (right?).
*Bitching alert*: it also kinda reeks of a scenario where a box was lying around in plain sight with no parcel details and you know, no one bothered to pick it up to pass it to the recovery department or whatever it is named in Singpost. But this is all hypothesis. I am sorry I vented.
Why I suspected that my parcel wasn’t actually lost
And hence refused to accept the two declarations.
It wasn’t the first time I have received parcels through Singpost. Therefore, I am familiar with the various status updates in use.
My parcel being stuck at processing facility indeed, and subsequently declared lost twice was actually okay.
This compared to a situation where my package actually budged from the processing facility, but it wasn’t scanned, nor were there physical eyeball checks, and finally if the parcel was able to exit the facility without any status updates, it would have been a severe lapse in protocol. Or a theft had occurred.
Either way, the chances were way too slim so I suspected that my parcel was in fact still in the processing facility and I was right.
Putting myself in Singpost recovery staff’s shoes, it would be extremely difficult to pursue a parcel in an imaginably massive warehouse. Furthermore, understandably, my lost parcel wouldn’t be the only lost parcel on the staff’s plates.
Therefore, take initiative to provide as much information as possible, as I described of the steps that I myself had taken. Provide them with information that would be instantly recognisable on a single glance, which really means furnishing them with as many photos as is reasonably necessary.
Last but not least, however peeved you are, as I was, be nice to the support staff helping you. You need them to be on your side even more so.