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Media > Newsletters > Consumer Advocate > December 2011 > How to ensure safe delivery for your holiday packages

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How to ensure safe delivery for your holiday packages


When you are shipping packages this holiday season, take a few extra steps to ensure safe delivery.

Make sure the address is legible and complete:

  • Cross out all other previous shipping information if you are reusing a box.
  • Write the address large enough so it can be read from an arms length distance.
  • Include the street’s directional if it has one, for example 1234 High St NW.
  • Do not use periods or commas in the address.
  • Put the return address in the upper left corner on the same side of the envelope or package as the shipping address.

Also be sure to properly secure the contents of a package. Use a box that is strong enough and use packaging tape to create an adequate seal. If the content is fragile or does not take up all the room in the box, fill it with packaging materials such as bubble wrap.

If you want verification of the delivery, select services like delivery confirmation or certified mail which provide proof to the mailer that a package was signed for or delivered. Shipping companies provide a variety of these services. You also may buy insurance for the package.

If your package arrives damaged or doesn’t arrive, file a claim with the packaging service that you used.

Watch for Package Scams

Be aware that phony “phishing” emails may use shipping companies’ names to trick you into submitting your personal information.

The scammers may say they are trying to ship a package to you, but need more information to deliver it, or that you need to pay to have the package delivered.

If you are getting emails like this, report them to the fraud department of the shipping company that the email is pretending to represent.

Signs that you’ve received a phishing email:

  • Claims of urgency, “act now or your account will be shut down”
  • Grammatical errors or misspellings
  • Unexpected requests such as paying money to have a package delivered
  • Only one form of contact information provided, for example, only a website is listed but there are no phone numbers, email addresses, or physical locations available for you to contact