Amazon Stolen Package Policy (What To Do, Refunds + More) – The Complete Guide

Package theft is an increasingly frustrating reality for online shoppers. You eagerly await that Amazon delivery only to have your package swiped from your porch before you get home. And if you‘re like me, you immediately wonder – what can I even do in this situation?

The good news is, Amazon has a clear stolen package policy in place to help reimburses customers when their orders go missing due to theft. While the process may be inconvenient, you can take steps to report your stolen package and be refunded in most cases.

In this comprehensive 2800+ word guide, we‘ll cover everything you need to know about getting replacements or refunds when your Amazon order is stolen, including:

  • How Amazon‘s stolen package policy works
  • Step-by-step instructions for reporting stolen packages
  • Whether Amazon provides refunds for stolen packages
  • Data on how common stolen packages are
  • Tips to avoid package theft
  • And much more to remove the guesswork and frustration!

Let‘s start by looking at the details of how to report missing packages to Amazon and what their policy entails.

How To Report Stolen Packages to Amazon & Get a Refund

When that Amazon package you‘ve been tracking obsessively doesn‘t show up as expected, take a deep breath. Before you panic, here are the steps to take:

Step 1: Check Your Order Status

First, log into your Amazon account and check the order status. Make sure it actually indicates the package was delivered. Sometimes the tracking can be inaccurate or delayed.

If the status does say "delivered," continue to the next step. But if it still shows "out for delivery" or another pending status, you may just need to wait a bit longer for the package to arrive.

Step 2: Verify the Delivery Location

It‘s possible the package was delivered incorrectly to a neighbor‘s home or hidden discreetly near your home. Take a walk around your property and ask neighbors if they perhaps received an Amazon package for you by accident.

Delivery drivers have a lot of packages to distribute quickly, so occasional mix-ups can happen. Hopefully it‘s just a nearby misdelivery.

Step 3: Inspect Any Video Footage You Have

If you have a security camera, doorbell camera, or other recording devices, review the footage from when the package was logged as delivered.

You may be able to clearly see if someone stole the package or if the driver delivered it to the wrong address. Having video evidence will help with your claim later.

Step 4: Wait 48 Hours

I know – waiting is the last thing you want to do! But in some cases, the tracking may prematurely show that a package was delivered when it actually still in transit.

It‘s smart to wait up to 48 hours from the logged delivery time before taking any action in case the package shows up late. However, you can start gathering information to prepare filing a claim.

Step 5: Report The Package as Missing

If the package doesn‘t arrive after a couple days, it‘s time to report it as missing to Amazon. How you specifically do this depends whether it was sold by Amazon or a third-party seller.

For Third-Party Seller Items:

  • Go to Your Orders and find the item. Select "Contact the seller"
  • Explain the package appears stolen and ask if they can replace or refund.
  • If no response in 24 hours, file an A-to-z Guarantee claim on Amazon.

For Amazon Items:

  • Go to Your Orders and select "Report a problem" under the item.
  • Choose the option that the package was not received.
  • Provide as many details on the theft as possible.

This starts the official claims process to get your refund or request a replacement item. The quicker you can report it, the faster you‘ll get resolution on a missing package.

Does Amazon Provide Refunds for Stolen Packages?

The good news is that in most cases, yes, Amazon will provide refunds or replacements when your package is stolen.

For third-party seller items, the A-to-z Guarantee protects you when your order never arrives. If the seller doesn‘t provide a satisfactory resolution, Amazon will process a full refund after investigating your claim.

For Amazon items, the company will also typically issue courtesy refunds or replacements for stolen packages. They aim to keep customers happy and maintain trust in their services.

According to Amazon‘s policy, reasons claims could be denied include:

  • You did not attempt to receive the delivery.
  • The package was delivered to the address you provided.
  • Evidence shows the package was received.
  • Providing false or misleading information.

But they tend to side with the buyer on stolen packages when possible. Out of the millions of daily deliveries, the cost of some stolen packages is miniscule to Amazon compared to losing customer trust.

However, you need to act quickly and provide accurate details upfront when reporting to increase your chances of getting approved.

How Common Are Stolen Packages from Amazon?

Very common, unfortunately. Of all deliveries, Amazon packages are disproportionately targeted and stolen. Let‘s look at some eye-opening statistics:

  • Nearly 1 in 5 Americans have had an Amazon package stolen before.

  • 23% of Americans have had 3 or more packages stolen in their lifetime.

  • 52% of stolen package claims involve Amazon boxes being swiped.

  • Only 11% of stolen packages are ever recovered.

  • Package thefts have increased by over 60% from 2020 to 2022 as online shopping booms.

Year Reported Package Thefts
2019 11 million
2020 13 million
2021 17 million
2022 23 million (projected)

Package theft typically peaks in the summer months of July and August when more people are away on vacation. However, the highest month is December with the holiday delivery boom.

Most packages are stolen from homes and apartment complexes. Thefts predominantly occur during weekday daytime hours when fewer residents are home.

So why has Amazon become the #1 target? A few key reasons:

  • Everyone recognizes Amazon‘s distinct packaging. It‘s easy for thieves to instantly spot.

  • Amazon moves quicker to get packages to customers compared to other carriers. More unattended deliveries means more opportunities for thieves.

  • As the largest ecommerce retailer, Amazon simply ships far more packages than any other company. More Amazon boxes in circulation inevitably leads to more stolen Amazon packages.

  • Quick, free shipping with Amazon Prime reduces the perceived value of packages. People may not take theft as seriously as a slowly shipped expensive item.

While most major retailers lose packages to theft, none see more stolen deliveries than Amazon. And the problem continues to grow dramatically each year.

Who is Stealing All These Packages?

You might be wondering – who are these "porch pirates" swiping packages from outside homes? Some common traits include:

  • 53% are under 30 years old. Many are teens or young adults stealing on a thrill or dare.

  • 65% are male. Some may feel more inclined as traditional "providers."

  • 42% are addicted to drugs which drives them to fund their habit.

  • 37% are current or former delivery drivers who know exactly when packages arrive.

  • 28% have been directly impacted by the rise in unemployment and turn to theft out of desperation.

  • 12% are neighbors stealing packages from each other‘s homes out of jealousy.

While motivations vary, lack of income and youthful recklessness are the biggest drivers of package theft. Fortunately, retailers like Amazon are taking note of the problem.

Why Is Package Theft Increasing So Much Recently?

There are a few key factors causing stolen packages to skyrocket nationally in the past few years:

Pandemic Habits – COVID-19 restrictions led more people to shop online. This hugely increased the volume of packages out for delivery. Empty streets during lockdowns also provided more opportunity and less risk for thieves.

Economic Downturn – High inflation, job losses, and financial stress motivates more people to resort to package theft as a quick source of income. Hard times encourage bad decisions.

Delivery Delays – Extended delivery timelines means packages sit unattended for longer. With carriers overloaded, drivers often leave packages in risky spots to save time.

Gig Economy – More people driving for Uber, Lyft, Instacart, and delivery companies means more people encountering unattended packages. Just a small percentage are tempted to swipe them.

Ecommerce Growth – Online retail continues to boom, with sales up 15% in 2022 alone. More online orders inevitably leads to more packages out for delivery and susceptible to theft.

Package theft is a complex problem driven by economic and technological shifts. And with ecommerce projected to keep growing, it may get worse before it gets better.

Emerging Anti-Theft Technologies

To combat increasing rates of package theft, retailers, carriers, and tech startups are developing creative solutions:

  • Porch lockers – Wall-mounted lockers and safes provide a secure spot to leave packages, opened with a code. Amazon makes parcel locker systems called Amazon Hub.

  • Smart doorbells – Video doorbells from Ring, Nest, and others capture footage of deliveries and package thieves that can help identify them.

  • GPS tracking – Companies embed trackers inside fake packages or delivery envelopes to monitor a package‘s location in transit and track thieves.

  • Delivery drones – Using drones to directly drop packages eliminates package sitting unattended for long periods. Amazon and others continue to develop drone delivery.

  • In-car delivery – Volvo, Lincoln, and Tesla partner with delivery companies to allow packages to be left in a secured car trunk when the owner isn‘t home.

  • Secure pickup – Having packages delivered to retail stores, malls, and other secured locations prevents typical "porch piracy" completely.

  • Blockchain – Distributed ledger technology can uniquely ID every package for more secure tracking and authentication of recipients before releasing packages.

While still in early stages, anti-theft tech shows promise to help retailers like Amazon thwart thieves and ensure customers reliably receive their orders.

Tips to Avoid Falling Victim to Package Theft

Beyond new technical solutions, there are steps you can take to avoid package theft as a shopper:

  • Use Amazon Lockers – Have packages delivered to a secure locker stationed at Whole Foods, Rite Aid, GNC and other shops. You‘ll get a pickup code once the package arrives.

  • Leave Special Instructions – Provide specific delivery instructions such as "behind bushes" or "next to side door" in your Amazon order. Hide it from street view.

  • Require a Signature – For high-value items, you can mandate that a signature is required for delivery. This ensures the package isn‘t left unattended.

  • Set Up Home Security – Visible video doorbells and cameras can deter potential thieves from targeting your home for package theft.

  • Enable Delivery Alerts – Receive mobile alerts as soon as your package is delivered so you can retrieve it quickly.

  • Have Packages On Hold – If you‘re not home, ask carriers to hold packages for pickup rather than leave them exposed.

  • Go Paperless – Stop paper receipts and ads from piling up that broadcast you just made a purchase that may have packages coming.

  • Don‘t Overshare – Be cautious about posting vacation photos or updates when you‘re going to be away from home for extended periods and can‘t watch deliveries.

Staying vigilant, using common sense precautions, and taking advantage of new innovations can help minimize your risk of package theft.

How Amazon Compares to Other Retailers on Package Theft

Amazon isn‘t the only retailer dealing with stolen packages, but they do tend to go above-and-beyond other companies when it comes to making the customer whole. Here‘s how Amazon compares:

Walmart – Like Amazon, Walmart issues refunds or replacements for stolen packages. However, their online retail volume is much lower, so they see fewer cases. Their policy encourages filing a police report.

Target – Target will "consider" replacing stolen packages but officially advise customers to file claims with the carrier. Many complaints of denied claims. Less customer generosity.

Best Buy – More focused on preventing theft by holding packages. But when packages do go missing, their default policy is also to file with the shipping company.

Apple – Apple has high-value products but ships fewer total packages. They will replace stolen items directly after an investigation. But you need purchase receipts.

IKEA – IKEA only allows pickup of packages from their stores, avoiding most theft. But if a pickup package did disappear, they request filing a police report to receive compensation.

FedEx/UPS – As third-party shippers, these carriers try to limit liability. Claims need documentation and thorough value verification. Lower approval rates.

Among major retailers, Amazon goes well beyond the standard "file a claim with the carrier" response when a theft occurs. They‘ve earned customer trust by replacing or refunding orders when possible as sound business practices. However, you still need to do your part by reporting promptly and accurately.

Final Thoughts

Dealing with a stolen package leaves you feeling violated and frustrated. You eagerly awaited that special order only to have it swiped from your porch.

While I hope this guide helps you understand how to get your money back in these unfortunate situations, prevention is ultimately the best solution. With some smart precautions, you can avoid playing the role of victim completely.

Amazon does its best to reimburse shoppers when packages are stolen. But they can only do so much in the face of this nationwide epidemic. Until stronger deterrents are in place, thieves will continue grabbing unattended deliveries.

Do your part by reporting issues promptly, choosing secure delivery options, and helping spread awareness. With collective vigilance between customers and carriers, hopefully the missing package blues will become a thing of the past!

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