Public Service Announcement: Do not use ReShip

eBay’s global shipping program is a disaster. Folks outside the US that buy things from eBay have learned to use US-based reshipping services to receive their stuff in a timely and cost-effective manner.

I’d been using Shipito for well over a decade. Over the past few months, though, I’ve been having problems with packages missing small items. Steve over at Big Mess O’ Wires recommends ReShip, so I decided to try them out.

They seemed okay. Their shipping fees were about 5% cheaper than Shipito, packages were reshipped within 24 hours, and packages were opened and photographed as soon as they were received (which was a major contributing factor to Shipito’s issues).

However, packages that were marked as “delivered” in USPS and UPS tracking systems didn’t show up in my account for several days. That was a bit concerning, but I reckoned that they were just overwhelmed with the amount of inbound packages.

Unfortunately, that turned out to not be the case. Two weeks ago, ReShip received three packages for me on the same day. None were placed in my account. I contacted their online support system, and this is how it went:

The order is not showing in our system as being delivered. USPS scans orders as delivered before they get to the warehouse. They do this due to the volume of packages so they are scanned and bundled up for bulk. USPS currently has over 100 orders backlogged to be delivered to us. We are trying to have this resolved. We are very sorry.

We really apologize for this. USPS holds packages at their facility for longer than they should. We have video evidence we have submitted to USPS as proof they don’t scan packages as delivered so we have actually no idea when they deliver packages. You can also monitor your account or Kindly contact USPS regarding your package.

This didn’t smell right. I asked the (outsourced) customer service representative to please escalate this to ReShip for investigation.

The next day, “Diane M” sent this email:

We have been experiencing issues with USPS not delivering to the correct address and then the driver telling us they have back logged packages at the warehouse (this is frequent and we have had to send staff to collect the backlogged packages). We are trying to work with USPS in hopes they will cooperate.

We were delivered a bunch of packages by our neighbors from USPS so hopefully these packages are in there and will be received soon.

… okay, that’s really not good. I said:

The situation seems to be very alarming. What you’re saying is that ReShip cannot reliably receive packages, and there is no recourse available to the customer as USPS says that it has been delivered but ReShip denies that has taken place.

That’s not good. I moved from Shipito to Reship awhile back because Shipito was having theft issues; if ReShip has a bad relationship with USPS, then it’s hard to trust ReShip to safely forward packages.

Is this problem documented by ReShip anywhere, so that customers are aware that ReShip often does not receive packages sent via USPS?

Specific to my situation: two of the three packages have now been marked as “received” and are in my mailbox. How long should I wait for the other package to appear?

Diane replied the following day with this:

We have had issues in the past with USPS and included this in our FAQ section. We have also raised these issues with USPS directly and issued federal complaints. We don’t determine what is and isn’t delivered unfortunately, although having that ability would resolve these issues. If the package was delivered, it may still be in the process of being received.

Okay. I burn about an hour scouring their website looking for a bit saying “USPS doesn’t like us, but we’re working on it”. Can’t find it anywhere. So I say:

I don’t see any reference to problems with USPS anywhere on your website. Could you please send a link?

What are the options regarding the missing package (USPS #9400111699000025640151)? USPS says that it was delivered on 18 June, but you folks say that you don’t have it.

What is ReShip’s liability and responsibility for packages that the carrier delivered but ReShip cannot locate?

What is the best way to resolve this issue, both now and going forward?

Should I escalate to the USPS postal inspection division for investigation?

Diane then ignores my questions:

When USPS delivers packages, they don’t bring a scanner with them at all. They 0deliver packages then drive away. Any packages that are marked as delivered are not done when the packages are delivered at our warehouse (we have evidence of this by video surveillance which we have provided to USPS on multiple occasions). If a package is not delivered to us, there is nothing we can do. That would be between yourself, the vendor, and the carrier. We can certainly write you letter letting you know we did not receive this package so you can submit that to the carrier for a claim.

Right. That’s really not okay with me. The missing package contains an obsolete and somewhat-hard-to-find Apple ][ video card, and I’m not going to tell the guy I bought it from that I didn’t receive it so he needs to refund my money because it isn’t even remotely his fault.

I filed an investigation claim with USPS (I was actually trying to get the postal inspectors directly involved, but it looks like I can’t skip directly to that part).

I looked ReShip up on the Better Business Bureau website (link goes directly to ReShip’s profile) … and, um, wow. They have an “F” rating. The reviews are brutal. They don’t even have a state business license. I sure wish I had checked these reviews before I trusted them with my packages.

I opened a case with the BBB requesting that ReShip reimburse me for the package that they can’t find.

I then told ReShip what I’m doing:

Thank you for your reply.

I’m sorry, but this situation is unacceptable.

Here is what is going to happen:

I have asked USPS to open an investigation into package XXXXX (service request #YYYY). ReShip will be contacted by a postal inspector in the near future. With a bit of luck, that will help to solve your issues with USPS.

I have opened a case with the Portland BBB, case number ZZZZ. I have provided them with this entire email thread. I have asked them to seek USD$85.00 from ReShip as repayment for the package that ReShip has lost.

I will be writing an article about this fiasco on my blog today. With an additional bit of luck, making this situation public can prevent others from using ReShip in the future.

I don’t believe ReShip’s explanation of the situation, but that doesn’t matter — at the end of the day, no matter what the actual reason is, I still won’t have that old 80-column card.

So there it is. Maybe somebody someday will be googling around for reshipping services, see this blog entry, and decide against using ReShip. If this blog entry can prevent just one person from having issues with ReShip, then this fiasco will have at least a minimally positive outcome.

About Chris Kobayashi

I'm a security systems engineer, specializing in UNIX, network, and physical security. I'm in Tokyo, and I'm mostly retired now. I'm well-versed in both electrical and software engineering, with a particular interest in old computers and game consoles. You can contact me here.
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