I have recently had problems with two different packages.
I paid for a book on February 6. Two weeks later, I did not have the book. This seller is sometimes a slow shipper, so I kept waiting. I finally received the package on February 28. The seller mailed the package on February 23. I stated in a previous post on this subject that shipping delays are very often the fault of the seller. This one certainly was.
The other situation involved a package I mailed out via First Class International to Canada. I mailed the package on January 22. It should have arrived within 10 to 14 days, by the end of the first week in February.
The buyer inquired about the package on February 11. She was eagerly awaiting the delivery and wanted to know about when the package would arrive. I was immediately concerned, because it had already been too long. The buyer contacted me again on February 18 to update me that the package had still not arrived. We were going to wait a little longer, and we still had hope that the package might arrive.
I have never sent out a package that has gotten lost; that is, I have never had a buyer report that a package never arrived. Each time I have a delayed package, I reason that I will eventually have one go missing and wonder if the current package is the first one.
I asked the buyer to let me know what books were of interest, because my plan was to send out another package to replace the one that was missing. I was willing to fully refund the buyer's money, but I would rather make it up to the buyer by sending replacement books. I told the buyer that I could fully refund the money paid but that I was sure she would rather have the books. I stated that a refund is never good enough. Wouldn't you agree?
We continued to wait. On March 2, the package showed up in my mailbox. It had a sticker on it from Canada Post from the buyer's province stating that it was returned because it was unclaimed. The buyer verified that the address was correct and speculated that the notice for her to pick up the package was likely not left in her box. I agreed, because this has happened to me when expecting a package. If a carrier forgets to leave a notice, the package can get returned to the sender after a few weeks.
I mailed the package out again on March 3. Finally, the buyer received the package on March 17. I am glad that the missing package situation was ultimately resolved successfully.
Sellers like to state that they are not responsible for packages once the packages are mailed. This statement is true, certainly. My view is more that the sellers cannot control what happens to the packages once they are mailed. Both viewpoints seem identical, but the implication is different.
While I cannot control what happens to the package, I am ultimately responsible to make the transaction right. If I fail to do so, then the buyer will almost certainly never make another purchase.
I am reminded of an international seller with whom I had had several transactions. Finally, one package went missing. I didn't say anything until the seller contacted me to find out why I had not left feedback. I informed the seller that I had not received the package and did not ask for anything. The seller apologized, but did not offer anything.
The end result is that I have never purchased from that seller again.