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Missing $10,000 package of PAL SNES games recovered (byuu.org)
366 points by ryan-c on Feb 23, 2017 | hide | past | favorite | 117 comments

While I love a happy ending as much as the next guy, this is a bit troubling:

> It wasn't until the story really started to take off that on February 16th, finally a manager at the USPS Consumer Affairs department took note of the case.

> And I mean that literally: he told me straight up the reason he was contacting me was because of the news articles he had encountered on this case.

Welcome to a future where only voices that broadcast their grievances loudly over social media get answered.

It very deeply concerns me as well. Very few people have the audience to even do what I did. And I do not like abusing the tiny bit of notoriety I have for personal reasons like this.

If it weren't for the fact they aren't my games, and that I promised the donor he would have them all returned to him, I wouldn't have made a big fuss about this.

And even in my case, I was extremely lucky that some sites picked up the story. The ones I personally asked all shot me down.

> The ones I personally asked all shot me down.

This has been my experience with any of my ideas, causes, or product marketing.

The most logical fits tell me to f* off in more words, and completely unpredictably random partners come out of the wood work after I just do it my way.

That kickstarter/product hunt style of lining up your marketing partners beforehand will never work for my ideas. The plan is to make a big splash for the time dimension of virality. Unfortunately, people that I think would understand my idea/cause/product, don't. And unlikely partners are completely enamored by it. This has limitations.

And I do not like abusing the tiny bit of notoriety I have for personal reasons like this.

It helps others. "The company, that faced a notorious case in February" is an interesting way of starting a news piece.

I used all my LinkedIn inMail credits to send the article link to all the senior people I could find who work at USPS. heh. ;)

USPS is especially bad. Google 'how to talk to a human at USPS' for an illustration of their approach to customer service. Then know that the advice on the first page of links is all obsolete. USPS is plugging the 'security flaws' in their customer support system as quickly as people can find them. However, there are other options. When I recently had a problem with a package, I was finally able to talk to a person by first calling Amazon. The Amazon employee connected me using a secret number.

When I had a lost package I called their regular number, and had no problems at all.

They started a case for me, and eventually called back to tell me they spoke with with mail carrier who was the last to scan the package, who explained that the package was routed incorrectly, but they had it and would be delivering it shortly.

In another case I've also had good luck simply calling the sorting station and talking with the actual human who handled my package (there was just a backlog and it would be delivered soon).

I did not get an "corporate vibe" either time, but rather was able to communicate with the actual person who would know.

Same here. I ordered two separate packages from Amazon that were marked as delivered but never actually arrived. I was easily able to get ahold of USPS support, and the customer support representative was very professional. I got both of my packages less than a week later, even though I (mistakenly) reported only one of them.

I feel like this depends a lot on the location.

My mail got delivered wet a few times, so I complained. And all they said to me is, it got wet because it was raining. They basically said that there is nothing they can do when it is raining...

A note about when it's raining.

Don't put out any outgoing mail. Even if yours is dry it will get wet when it comes in contact with other mail that is wet.

If you can hold off sending a letter in the rain do so

As an Irishman, this concept confuses me.

Outgoing mail can be placed in the mail recepticle where you receive incoming mail. Often the letters get wet. The carrier takes the outgoing letters.

If it's raining the wet letters get tossed into a bucket, then into a larger hamper than into a machine for sorting.

Wet letters make other dry letters wet. So even if you take them to the post office they may encounter wet letters in their way.

Ink runs.

I think the implication was that in Ireland, it's never not raining.

Lol. Man am I stupid.

Although I have had Canadians tell me that their postman does not pick up outgoing mail. Thats what I thought. DUH!2

I had identical experiences.

You can thank our representatives for that. Forcing the USPS to fully fund pensions has absolutely hamstrung their ability to operate. It was a clear attempt at putting them out of business thanks to the lobbying efforts of private shipping companies.

And if you think the story is even a little bit better losing a package at UPS or Fedex you're delusional.

Bullshit. The fact that they've been allowed to run for years without fully funding their pensions is the real scam.

That's not how pensions work. Seriously, the postal union was very against the law requiring this.

In 10 years. 75 years in 10

Having gone through this myself, the best way is to always go directly to a local post office and talk to the specialist there, or call the local post office directly and ask to speak to the right department.

If you're kind, and exceedingly polite to them, and are as understanding as possible, they'll be incredibly helpful in return.

The people that deal with lost packages and lost mail are used to being yelled at, berated, and treated poorly, so they often react surprised and helpfully when you go out of your way to be as nice as possible.

Most importantly, the best advice I can provide is to have all of the information you can possibly provide written down first (preferably typed so they can read it easier), along with a detailed timeline, and copies of any supporting documentation.

There should be market-driven ways to accomplish what Amazon did for you, but in a more general sense. "Personal Assistance as a Service," or whatever.

Basically you'd call a number or send an email with your problem ("File claim for missing package," "Put me in touch with a human being at the USPS," "Cancel my Comcast service," that sort of thing.) The service's agents would then waste time navigating phone trees and dealing with red tape on your behalf.

Seems that there'd be a lot of potential customers who could use a personal assistant but can't afford a full-time employee. Obviously some tasks would require granting power of attorney or other scary legal maneuvers, but plenty of others wouldn't.

I definitely agree with that.

I offered a $500 bounty to anyone who could help me locate the package. It was worth that much for me to recover it.

In the end, both USPS employees that really helped me out the most turned down my offer to send them the bounty.

I realize there's a dark side to this suggestion: it weakly incentivizes loss for the purpose of getting a reward for it, and makes getting help a luxury for the wealthy.

However, the current system of only helping when cases hit the media doesn't work either. Obviously they can't afford to do exhaustive searches for every last piece of lost mail. There needs to be some sort of middle ground, where value and personal importance of the package is weighed against costs and available resources.

Probably the first thing that needs to happen is for the USPS to stop getting bled dry over pension payouts.

Would this be something like Visa/MasterCard Concierge?

That already exists. Check this out: https://getmagic.com/

Hmm, yeah, that sounds interesting, will check it out.

And oftentimes, make sure your have a good amount of followers.

Like the guy who got sold fake / cancelled tickets to an NBA Playoff game. 200K Twitter followers made sure that StubHub (I believe?) "reached out to the Golden State Warriors to get you good tickets to tonight's game!".

While their hands are tied (somewhat - I have pretty little sympathy for companies who profit off of ticket resale), they were promptly, and rightly barraged by people without big followings who said "How come when you canceled my tickets you only offered a refund and $20 in credit?"

> Welcome to a future where only voices that broadcast their grievances loudly over social media get answered.

It's not exactly new. A prime example of that is Apple who tells you that it doesn't help to go to the media with a story, but time and again complaints go un-answered until somebody manages to hook in media attention (either through dumb luck or through their pre-existing clout).

Really? Apple? I've only interacted with Applecare a couple of times and had a great experience both times. And internet forums (Reddit, for example) are full of people singing the praises of Apple's post-sales support.

He might be referring to manufacturing defects, some of which didn't get proper attention until it became a reputation stain. Many people encountered the known GPU issue in 2011 macbooks just after the warranty expired. Here's a 2014 article about Apple's dodging attempts (http://appleinsider.com/articles/14/08/12/apple-ignores-call...). The next year, they finally got a replacement program (http://www.macworld.co.uk/news/mac/widespread-2011-macbook-p...). Notably, after a class-action lawsuit was filed.

AppleCare is good at a lot of things, but Apple's still been known to dodge responsibility for a lot.

It took five years to acknowledge that the Radeon X1900 XT video cards in the 2006/2007 Mac Pros were inherently faulty. They would regularly overheat and fail. Apple based forums spread out the internal case numbers that tracked the issue. In the end, five years later, anyone that had one was given a free replacement. Five years is a very long time in the terms of hardware obsolescence.

The only reason I did well in that situation is because I had the AppleCare warranty they kept replacing the video card no questions asked.

My 2007 MacBook Pro was given the option for a free repair or replacement as well for issues with the nVidia video chip overheating and desoldering itself. The problem with that was that it also took eight years for them to finally acknowledge the issue. However, I missed the short warranty window in which people were allowed to claim it.

Apple has a horrible track record for owning up to their problems.

I think it's probably referring to the Apple Developer guidelines. Quoting Apple directly:

"If your App is rejected, we have a Review Board that you can appeal to. If you run to the press and trash us, it never helps."


>Welcome to a future where only voices that broadcast their grievances loudly over ... media get answered.

Welcome to our past and future. The fastest way of getting any dispute resolved is often to contact the local media or a political representative. Disputes with utility companies, retailers or landlords that grind on for months are often settled in minutes when a journalist or council member picks up the phone. If anything, the ability to kick up a stink on Twitter is an improvement.

It's not the future. It's been like this since the first newspaper appeared.

For decades I've seen situations resolved only because a local paper or broadcaster took up the cause. It's routine.

At least with "United Breaks Guitars" there's some competent and rather tongue-in-cheek music that came out of it[1]!

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Breaks_Guitars

Oh man ... I am so regretting the fact that I wrote an article instead of making a music video now :P

This makes me wonder: What does happen to the packages that just get lost in transit? I presume it must be a sizeable amount considering the number of packages being shipped nowadays.

They're auctioned off at https://www.govdeals.com

That's a lot of "Approx. X pounds of knives/boxcutters"

Buy 'em by the pound!

I'm almost surprised by the number of firearms, more so that it appears most were drug-related seizures. I shouldn't be, but I am. Many of the pistols appear to be in terrible condition, too. (Unsurprising.)

I am wondering if any of the rifles not marked as confiscated property were lost in shipping...

Most of those were probably surrendered at TSA checkpoints.

As of last night, there were two lots of 190 Dell core i3 workstations on auction for $1,500USD.

Iphone 6's for $75USD, etc.

After a holding period, they get auctioned off.

Yep. Mine was sitting there for 45 days ... of the 60-90 required before items can be auctioned off.

It had my address clearly visible on the package still. They could easily have delivered it.

If not for the media attention, these most likely would have ended up on a govdeals.com listing, and going for an absolute fortune (tons of collectors know about that site.)

Then again, maybe they only try to recover mail right before they list it for sale. Can't know for sure, but glad I don't have to find out.

The one time Amtrak lost my bag, it went to the end of the line (New Orleans), and then sat there (despite my immediately filing a claim) until the 3-day pickup period had expired. Only then did they look at it. Not that surprising of a strategy, if you think about it.

I had an issue a few months ago with a sweater from Github that usps just never delivered. They left a lock box key in my unit that just opened an empty locker. Package was weirdly never marked as delivered.

Just recently they emailed me telling me they "searched" for it but found nothing. I get a feeling they never even bothered to look for it. The box is probably still sitting in a corner somewhere.

>Welcome to a future where only voices that broadcast their grievances loudly over social media get answered

Oh please. This has been the case throughout history. If you can get the attention of a higher up, by whatever means, you have a much better chance of getting what you need done.

Nothing has changed and social media has nothing to do with it aside from providing another avenue (albeit a more accessible one) to put pressure on those with the power to help you. People are people.

I stopped using my real name Twitter account a few years back after my favourite apps died - except to bitch about my ISP every so often. Why? Bitching on twitter gets the problem fixed, calling tech support doesn't.

I suppose it's better than the alternative, where no voices are answered.

here's the deal, they don't have to care.

it gets really bad if you use book rate/etc as my mom used to do a dog magazine for the breed she was involved with for fifty plus years. There is no actual requirement the magazine shipped that way show up by a set date, in good condition, or even be delivered. She once had people complaining about a magazine not delivered a month late only to find out they were still on the dock with other mail all pushed into a corner.

Guaranteed delivery isn't even that either. there are all sorts of exceptions. The simple matter is, you want it there then pay a shipping company that values their reputation. if you must use USPS then require a signature on delivery and insure it.

I didn't comment at the time, but I found the prior comment thread a little unsettling: people trashing on USPS and irrationally holding UPS and FedEx in very high regard. It's not like the other guys are universally honest and true. I had one experience a few years ago where it seemed pretty clear that a UPS employee stole a laptop. I have seen FedEx tracking claim they did a delivery attempt when I have a camera at my door suggesting nobody was there all day. At one prior address I had, UPS literally never attempted any deliveries on Saturday, and wrote "business is closed" in tracking - at my apartment.

I think people are really quick to assume that government employees are lazy and out to screw them, and so something like UPS or FedEx which are private should automatically be better. In truth, I really appreciate the post office. They work hard for us. They're our public servants.

I'm happy for a good ending. Reading this story when it first came out definitely made me feel sorry for the people involved.

Side note, when I worked at UPS they wouldn't even accept packages wrapped in brown paper for this exact reason. It gets stuck in the machine and ripped off, never to been seen again. When sending a package, put the label directly on the cardboard and write the address in marker on the side.

When I was a young hoodlum, one time I took a piece of a paper shopping bag, wrote my home address on it, and dropped it in a mailbox. About a month later, it was delivered to my house in a zip-lock bag, with the same note the OP got.

> When sending a package, put the label directly on the cardboard and write the address in marker on the side.

While you've got the marker in your hand, also make sure you black out any barcodes on the box from previous mailings, because supposedly they can make your package get redirected to unexpected places.

I have a funny/interesting story about the barcodes. As part of my job I run the mailed appeals for a non-profit. For certain appeals, we included pre-addressed envelopes that were supposed to come back to our office. For reasons we could understand these letters were taking months to reach us, and when we finally got them they had been opened on four sides and then stapled back together with dozens of staples around the edges, and an address sticker on the face of the envelope.

These envelopes generally contain a check, and oftentimes the check was getting lost, plus the people who process these gifts were going nuts pulling all of the staples out of the envelopes so they could open them.

The Post Office gave us a different explanation every time we called. At first they blamed a graphic we had on the face of the envelope. So we re-ordered the envelope without the graphic. Then they blamed the weight of the paper. So we re-ordered the envelopes with heavier paper. Then they blamed the color of the text and the font choice. So we re-ordered new envelopes with plain black block letters.

After all this, these envelopes were still being opened. The post office said our physical mailing address was causing problems, because mail can't actually be delivered. Instead our mail guys go pick it up. Unfortunately, that isn't really something we can change with the volume of mail we get, so we were stumped.

Then one day we got a call from our bank lockbox. They wanted to know why they had a bunch of our envelopes.

After we got that call, I went to the basement, pulled examples of all of the envelopes I could find and brought them back to my desk.

Presorted bulk mail has a barcode on it called an Intelligent Mail Barcode. It contains the postal ID of the person shipping the letter, delivery information (all the way down to route), plus a few variables for options.

When our envelopes were proofed, they just included our address on the face. After we approved the envelopes the plant would put a barcode on them. Every single envelope had the same barcode on it. I decoded the barcode by hand, and lo and behold, the barcode contained the delivery instructions for our lockbox PO address. The plant we were using didn't actually calculate a new barcode for our envelope orders, they just used a barcode they had on file for us.

We ended up ordering new envelopes with no barcode. Our mail immediately started arriving unmolested. Moral of the story: barcodes matter.

You might enjoy this article on Postal Experiments: http://www.improbable.com/airchives/paperair/volume6/v6i4/po...

They tested all sorts of wacky stuff sent through the mail, including an unpackaged flower and a ski, both of which made it to the recipient (but various others did not).

Awesome site. I shipped a few car tires when working at UPS that we just slapped the label on and a box of rare earth magnets that was a huge pain to ship. Also some guy's removed testicle to get tested for tumour cells was pretty weird but it just went in a normal box.

My test of the UK postal service was to address a postcard to my email address.

I figured they could lookup WHOIS on the domain, get the address, and deliver it.

Sadly not..

> When I was a young hoodlum, one time I took a piece of a paper shopping bag, wrote my home address on it, and dropped it in a mailbox. About a month later, it was delivered to my house in a zip-lock bag, with the same note the OP got.

I have to admit I did get a chuckle out of your outrageous act of teenage rebellion. Fight the system!

Heh, several people accused that note of being fake because of an obvious spelling error on it ("where the weight of the contests rest.")

Also, when sending anything important or expensive, put a copy of the address label inside the package itself. Especially important for international shipping.

I was really stunned that Deutsche Post in Germany not only accepted the package, but were the ones to recommend it be shipped this way. They really should have known better, what with doing this for a living and all. It wasn't reasonable for the sender to know about the USPS' bulk processing machines and their tendency to tear off brown wrapping paper.

> took them to Deutsche Post for assistance in packaging them up. They ended up taping my two boxes together, and then wrapping the box in thick brown wrapping paper.

If you've ever shipped or received anything internationally, you know packages get really beat up. Taping two boxes together and then wrapping that makes absolutely no sense.

I'm glad this was resolved well, but you can avoid a lot of headache by not trying to ship homebrew packaging internationally.

It sounds like Deutsche Post did this, not the original sender.

Yep. The guy is not a big-time games distributor. He's a guy with a childhood collection that offered to lend it to me for a few weeks.

There were definitely mistakes made on our part. But what I really can't forgive is ... once the outer wrapper came off, my address was still plainly visible on the box.

I can't for the life of me understand why they shipped it to their undelieverable mail / govdeals.com auction site location.

What an emotional rollercoaster this has been.

It's also a lesson in not putting all your eggs in one basket. Shipping these out incrementally, and via a system that has the proper insurance in place, would have been a better move. Hindsight and all that.

We actually did. His collection was 400 games. I asked to split it into four smaller shipments. But what I failed to take into account was that I really could not afford to replace even 100 PAL SNES games. They're just too expensive anymore.

I hate that blame is being placed on him for the shipping. He was doing me the favor. It was my fault for requesting so many games to be sent at once.

Prices of SNES games have gone crazy recently. I'm seeing the same with Gameboy/Gameboy Colour, but not with Gameboy Advance.

Anyway, I'm very happy that the games got to you eventually.

The scary part is I keep saying that each and every year.

They just keep getting more and more insane.

Even two years ago when I bought Iron Commando for the Super Famicom, the $240 asking price was insane. It's at $1500 now for a complete copy. I passed on Pokonyan for $100, thinking that was too high, and a year and a half later ended up paying $800 for it.

How many years can the prices keep doubling like this? How can anyone afford to collect these games at these prices?

The whole thing feels like a giant hyper-inflated bubble.

I wonder if it has to do with the people that were kids when those were new being 30-40 now. Maybe it's a good time to stock up on GBA games before they skyrocket in a couple of years.

"Blame" is one of those double-edged words. Unless you do this for a living or have seen many horror stories before it's easy to make mistakes.

Maybe it's just me but I don't really trust the regular postal service with anything, and if there's no other option, super-duper insurance is the order of the day.

Anyway, what a project this will be. Hopefully you can get it completed without any more unnecessary drama.

In all, it's been going for over six years now. I've collected around 2,200 of 2,800 games without incident. This lot puts me up to 2,300. So ... yeah, fingers crossed at there being no more drama.

> a system that has the proper insurance in place

insurance is a scam, especially with USPS. You can't just say "this package is worth $10k to me". They will let you buy $10k worth of insurance, but if you go make the claim, only then do they say "ok, you said it was worth $10k, now prove it". If you can't show a catalog, or a preponderance of evidence that the item was worth what you said, they simply won't pay.

"I am ashamed at having to abuse my position and ask for help in getting this story out there. It's not something that most people can do, and in any other circumstance, is not something that I would ever do."

No reason to be ashamed at this. All the free time invested into this project gave the author a little fame. They used that fame to further the interests of the project. Win win.

Thank you very kindly.

But I mean, it's not fair in the sense that other people have packages they really care about, but can't get help on.

That and the fact that I probably took someone else's place in the queue to find their lost package :(

On the flip side, this media attention may help motivate the USPS to improve their systems. So while some may have lost a place in a dysfunctional queue, there is a chance future customers will not have to wait as long.

I think postal staff really don't like to lose items in general. Here in the UK, I ordered a couple of metal pill bottles a few years ago. What I received was a clear plastic Royal Mail bag apologising for the damage to my parcel, contents: one loose metal container, one bubble mailer containing the other item and a circular tear exactly the size of the loose item. Clearly one of them had made a bid for freedom somewhere in mail processing and someone had gone to the trouble of matching up the completely unmarked and unbranded loose item with the corresponding hole it escaped through.

> Had this case not been escalated to the media, it likely would have gone up for auction in a bin with other electronics sometime in March.

I'm just picturing some guy in a back corner of an auction room hesitantly putting up a numbered sign to an rambling auctioneer and getting the whole package for $20 bucks.

They do it all online now, and all the big-time retro game sellers on eBay know about govdeals.com now. The auction would have gone for thousands of dollars, easily.

Well done.

As I said. It is a government agency and upper forces will create action.

We always like to say "if it had an address it will get there. - eventually. "

Despite the awful reputation, every carrier I know takes great pride in delivering. Most people take it for granted and remember the bad experience.

Like seeing the cop hiding in the hill once and always driving slow everytime you pass it -even though the cop is not there 95% of the time.

>Further, I understand they can't go to these lengths for every single lost piece of mail. But surely there has to be some sort of middle ground here? It should not be so impossible to escalate a case when something of significant value goes missing.

It's not. You just have to insure it for the correct value...

Insuring it doesn't help you in recovering the package. It just mitigates the loss. I fully expect that both byuu and the donor would much prefer to have the 100 SNES games than to have a $10k payout.

The higher the insurance amount is, the more likely it is that it'll be worth it for the company to look for your package.

they also won't pay the claim unless you can prove the item was worth what you say it is. They dont tell you this when you buy the insurance, of course. But once you try to make a claim, they demand proof. They want a catalog showing the item, an appraisal, etc. And just like any insurance, the first thing they will do when you try to make a claim is get out of paying it.

Yes, it was under insured. But do you feel the $1000 insurance we had was not enough insurance for them to locate the box that has my address clearly written on it? :/

If not, then I'm not sure $10000 would have been either.

There were many reasons we couldn't insure for $10000. That wasn't our mistake, though. The mistake was shipping 100 games at once instead of 20 - 25 games at a time.

> If not, then I'm not sure $10000 would have been either.

i'm given to understand that with at least fedex, there are magical cutoff amounts which change the handling of the package. qualitatively different things happen with something insured for $5000 than $4999.

so, yes, i'd be willing to believe that $10k might've triggered processes that would've gotten the package to you with less hassle.

Perhaps in theory; is there any evidence that the USPS actually operates this way?

I feel that the fact that they were able to recover this package with what seems to be relative ease is evidence of that.

I'm not sure what you mean by relative ease. This only got looked into after months, due to it raising a stink in the media. The package even made its way to the Atlanta office, presumably where its contents were intended to be sold at auction due to undeliverability.

Presumably he meant the relative ease of the USPS, not the sender/receiver's ease at getting the USPS to do the additional search. In other words, if the insurance payout had been higher, that would have triggered the more thorough search rather than media attention.

Why would you say that? What got this resolved was someone with influence at USPS seeing the news story and intervening. The insurance amount was completely irrelevant to this.

Also, it apparently wasn't all that easy. They searched, came up with nothing, and then had to request a second search in order to find it.

>Also, it apparently wasn't all that easy. They searched, came up with nothing, and then had to request a second search in order to find it.

But they seemed to have procedures in place for doing so, no?

Someone with influence saying "search again, and search harder" is hardly a procedure.

There is a system for congressional complaints that makes people act.

Do you have any idea how many calls a day a supervisor answering the phone receives? Not just "where's my parcel" but the patron has data that states intermediary carriers (ups to PO for last mile)

Thousands of calls a day. With 31,606 offices there has to be at least 2-3 calls per day.

Search harder is a congressional command. (Besides all their political mail is free to them)

They ended up taping my two boxes together, and then wrapping the box in thick brown wrapping paper.

Somebody failed Shipping 101.

"My package was sitting in Atlanta, GA for well over a month with my address clearly visible right on the box."

WOW, and they would just put that up for auction. That is the definition of theft. Don't apologize for that.

They did not actually put it up for auction, there is a long process before that happens.

Don't falsely accuse people!

The post office goes to great lengths with undelivered mail they open the boxes and try to find any kind of address, perhaps an invoice or other clues.

Do you think my address being plainly visible and highly legible right at the top left of each box counted? Because they had it for at least 40+ days just sitting there collecting dust. Even though I had my missing mail search in, just idling and going nowhere.

You're right though, there's the possibility that they don't actually try to deliver the mail properly until right before they are getting ready to auction it.

However, I'm very glad I didn't have to find out whether or not that was the case.

Until they open it all the way (remove the brown paper) they would not have seen the address.

They would only open it as part of the process to eventually auction it.

So I can totally imagine it sitting there waiting for someone to claim it (like you did), without anyone seeing the address.

Stop being so negative, it's not good for you.

No, that's not the definition of theft.

Theft is the criminal (i.e. against the law) stealing of someone's property without their permission. This situation would have been complying with the law, stupid as it may be. It's much closer to abandoned property or salvage.

The owner's address was clearly on the package. They knew whose it was and clearly did not intend to make the effort to deliver it. Until they were publicly embarrassed. That sucks.

> There is a very real issue in that [USPS's] machines are ripping the labels right off of packages.

I recently sent a USPS package that "disappeared," and they offered the same explanation. A month later it magically showed up at the receiving end. This wasn't a brown paper package or anything -- it was packaged for me by UPS employees in a UPS store and mailed US postal service by them.

Wondering if there's some new (flaky) label scanning tech in play at USPS?

All good that ends well! Just looking at those SNES cartridges makes me feel good!

Congrats on locating the package.

This govdeals.com site looks nifty. I may need to peruse it for, uh, research.

I know what you mean. Anyone need a DNA Analyzer?


Happy Valentines Day!

The USPS is something right out of a dystopian hellhole. I bristle every time I have to deal with some awful error of theirs.

Are these the same SNES games that 1 or 2 weeks ago were worth $5000

It's always been $5,000 - $10,000. It's extremely difficult to assign an exact value because PAL game prices are extremely fluid. One day a game can go for $50, the next day the only copies are all $200 and another copy won't show up for three years.

Sure, I was more replying to the insinuation that the value went up now that they've been found, by showing that it was always reported as 10k.

I'm a little confused. In the original story, they didn't mention that:

> Apparently, their machine ripped the shipping label right > off the box. And so the USPS sent me just the label in an > envelope, and proceeded to berate me to ship better next > time, even though I was the recipient.

They just wrote,

> As of the time of writing, February 14th, 2017 — this > package has yet to arrive. It has been stuck in the Jersey > City, NJ 07097 bulk mail processing warehouse with > absolutely no movement.

I was under the impression that the package simply vanished, rather than being given evidence that something else was up, like damage to the packaging.

Why not just tell me about the latter, first? It does shift blame a little...

Presumably the author didn't get the label in the mail until after they made the post mentioning the NJ warehouse.

The day of the first, "lost package", and receiving the letter are the same: February 14th.


    As of the time of writing, February 14th, 2017 — this 
    package has yet to arrive.

    On February 14, 2017, I received the following letter 
    from USPS:
They totally left out this when making their initial post. Part of the package arrived, with a letter by USPS - the package didn't mysteriously vanish. It's a little different story. I don't know why they wouldn't have mentioned it. In the initial story, he blamed USPS for being incompetent on taking control of the delivery; in the second he blames Deutsche Post for a bad packaging job.

I received the letter with the torn off label about six hours after having published that article, and after Kotaku ran the original story.

I was swamped with updates so I didn't get the chance to get to my mailbox sooner in the day.

Personally, I think that type of transparency is important, especially when you're asking for donations and you're publicly pressuring the USPS to do something. Why wait 9 days?

What did they not mention? I think the ripped shipping label happened after the original post, and it was mentioned at some point. I don't remember where, but I did read about the ripped label somewhere before today.

At the time, the author might not have know how this package was wrapped and assumed that it was sent in one box.

That is also correct.

This is when I found out the sender had reused my old two boxes, on February 16th:


In hindsight, I should have guessed from the label they sent me that it was paper wrapped. But I still received that letter after having published the lost-package article.

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