Do I Get a Refund and 6 Other Important Package Theft Questions

Jun 22, 2021

Theft of any kind is upsetting. Something of yours is gone, and there’s not much you can do about it.

Porch theft can run the full spectrum of emotions from violation to nuisance. Maybe you bought a big expensive birthday present for someone, and now you’re left empty-handed. Or you ordered 500 tiny manila envelopes to hide poems in, and now you have to order them all over again.

When you realize your package has been stolen, a lot of things go through your mind at once. It can feel overwhelming. Do you get a refund? Who should you tell about the theft? How can you make sure this never happens again?

To answer these questions and more, we’ve prepared this handy package theft FAQ. Read on for answers!

Do I Get a Refund?

hand holding money package theft refund Source

Maybe? Do you want one?

This is a complicated answer because there are a lot of factors in play.

What did you order? It’s always easier to get a refund for a lower-value item than a higher-value one.

If it was a more expensive item, did you buy insurance for the shipping in case the package was lost or stolen?

Who did you order it from? Big e-commerce retailers know that theft happens and will work a certain loss percentage into their budgets. As a result, assuming what was stolen was some all-purpose floor cleaner and splash pad for your sweet pooch Buster, and not a new flat-screen TV for the whole family, they’ll probably cough up a refund pretty easily.

On the other hand, if you ordered something custom or one-of-a-kind from a small business or an artist or designer, they’re going to feel that loss to their bottom line harder and might make you prove your package really was stolen.

Would you rather get a replacement shipped? If you needed something time-sensitive, then maybe getting a replacement sent out isn’t going to work. Or else it’s something you can just go pick up at the store. But many retailers would prefer to send you a replacement, rather than give you your money back.

How Do I Know My Package Was Stolen?

blue house front porch Source

Is the package on your porch? Is there a confirmation from the delivery company that it was delivered? Did they include a picture or anything to prove it was dropped off at your house?

If you answered no to the first question and yes to the other two, odds are good it’s been stolen.

Still, it doesn’t hurt to check in with the neighbors. You never know when Nancy across the street thought she was doing a nice thing by bringing your package inside to keep it from getting stolen before you got home.

If Nancy doesn’t have it though, it may be time to kiss your package goodbye.

Where Should I Report This?

man with mobile phone reporting package theft Source

A few different places, depending on where you live and what you bought. You can reach out to:

  • The seller
  • The police
  • Your neighbors
  • Any neighborhood association, homeowners association or community security company that might be keeping track of porch thefts in your area

Should I Call the Police?

police car at dusk Source

Yes. The odds that you’re going to catch a porch thief in the act are pretty slim, but even if your package box is long gone by the time you get home, you should still let the police know. Having a police report will show the seller that you sincerely believe you’re a victim of theft and some companies may actually require it in order to issue a refund.

No need to call 911, though; just phone your local department and report the theft. They may want you to fill out a report or provide additional information, but local police departments do keep an eye out in neighborhoods where porch theft is on the rise.

Should I Install Cameras?

porch theft doorbell camera Source

Cameras won’t always stop a thief from taking your package, but at least you’ll have some supporting evidence when you call the police or reach out to the seller about a refund or replacement.

Cameras are a reactive piece of technology, not a way to proactively protect your deliveries. Options like video doorbells are cost-effective and easy to install though, so if it will bring you some peace of mind, by all means, install a camera.

Should I Notify the Delivery Company of Porch Thefts, So They Can Be More Careful?

interior of package delivery truck Source

Sure. Delivery companies want satisfied customers, and if their packages are being consistently stolen in a particular neighborhood, they’re going to be dealing with a lot of unsatisfied customers. But delivery drivers work tight, time-sensitive routes, so while some go above and beyond to keep your package safe, you also need to be proactive, too.

If porch theft is common in your area, be sure to include additional instructions to the delivery company to keep your package secure. You could ask them to hide the box behind a gate or under the porch. Or schedule the delivery for a time you know you’ll be home. Being proactive in protecting your package is the best solution out there.

How Else Can I Proactively Protect My Package?

Package Protection

A lot of the common ways people think of to protect their packages from porch theft are reactive, like installing a camera. It will help you build your case if the package goes missing, but doesn’t actually deter thieves who are looking for a quick grab.

Likewise, tricks like getting packages delivered to your backdoor will help, but they aren’t 100% foolproof, since there are no guarantee drivers will see your instructions or that a very determined thief won’t check to see if the back gate is unlocked.

To be truly sure your package will be where you want it, a solution like Package Protector is your best bet. A secure locker with a code you share with delivery drivers, Package Protector keeps thieves out and your packages safe.

The Package Protector™ PRO is designed to be installed directly into your home’s exterior. Or, you can choose the Package Protector™ PORT as a standalone option that you can install anywhere on your property.

For help selecting the Package Protector™ model that works best for you, contact us today.