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Thread: Lost money order

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Lost money order

    I sent a USPS money order to a gun shop on 1/2/19, and as of today it has not been received. I sent it in a stamped envelope, which should have been a 2 day trip, 4 days tops. At this point it is safe to say it was either stolen or lost by the USPS. I went into the post office I sent it, and was told nothing could be done. Envelopes cannot be tracked, which I figured, but the money order cannot be canceled. I need to wait 60 DAYS before I can open an inquiry. I can't believe that is right, some guy could have cashed that check last week, and I won't get to know until March. The money order was for a firearm I purchased on Gun Broker. What do I do now? Should I wait and pray the envelope shows up? Should I send another money order, and pray the first doesn't show up, and the gun shop is honorable enough not to cash it? Neither I or the shop is OK with waiting until March.

    I had always heard USPS money orders are as safe of payment as can be had. Is it better to send them in an envelope with a tracking number? I think I would rather pay the CC fee than deal with the post office from now on.

  2. #2
    Grouchy Old Curmudgeon

    shooter93's Avatar
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    It doesn't help you now but I always send such things Priority Mail because it can be tracked. Good luck too you though and I hope you find a suitable solution.

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    I always send Money Orders via Priority Mail Envelope which can be tracked.

    They can track the MO serial number, but being sent ordinary First Class mail you need to check with your postmaster to see how long you must wait to put in a claim for replacement.

    With an MO sent Priority Mail with tracking the last time I had one "lost" they wanted 30 days for it to turn up.

    I once sent a handgun Priority Mail with tracking to an FFL which was "lost" and the USPS gave me that same song and dance, so I contacted ATF, emailed them the response from USPS and the package turned up and was delivered the next day.

    Overall has less lost stuff from USPS than from the Brown Truck.

    If I must send something valuable and not replaceable I use FedEx. or Registered Mail, if allowed.
    The ENEMY is listening.
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I will definitely be sending them in a traceable package from now on. 30 days when you can prove it's lost? That's bogus. Why can't they cancel the dang thing and send another? I'm willing to pay the $1 it cost in paper and ink to print a new one. They want a full 60 days in my case, that is unreasonable. Is a bank money order a better way to go?

    Back to my current dilemma on what to do. I have not called the dealer since I went to the post office yet, so I'm unsure what their response will be. I'm basically left with two options, wait until march 4th (assuming they count weekends and holidays), or fork out the money a second time and hope I get it back eventually. I'm not excited at all about either option, but may just have to send a second check.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    This or at least certified with tracking
    Quote Originally Posted by shooter93 View Post
    I always send such things Priority Mail because it can be tracked.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by NyFirefighter357 View Post
    This or at least certified with tracking
    Still, if it gets lost they make you wait. It wasn't until now that I realized you couldn't cancel a USPS money order. Can you cancel a bank money order, or does it vary from bank to bank? How about a personal check? Surely in this modern day there is a way to send money without danger of theft, without waiting 2 months when it gets lost.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master



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    Quote Originally Posted by megasupermagnum View Post
    I will definitely be sending them in a traceable package from now on. 30 days when you can prove it's lost? That's bogus. Why can't they cancel the dang thing and send another? I'm willing to pay the $1 it cost in paper and ink to print a new one. They want a full 60 days in my case, that is unreasonable. Is a bank money order a better way to go?

    Back to my current dilemma on what to do. I have not called the dealer since I went to the post office yet, so I'm unsure what their response will be. I'm basically left with two options, wait until march 4th (assuming they count weekends and holidays), or fork out the money a second time and hope I get it back eventually. I'm not excited at all about either option, but may just have to send a second check.
    The first thing to do is contact the dealer and let him know what is going on. Communication with him is key at this point. You don't want him to think that you are a flake and just blowing off the deal. See what he wants to do. He may be willing to wait or he may want you to send payment again.

    You can issue a "stop payment" on the first money order. There is a $5.95 fee, but it's better than losing the entire value. The instructions are here: https://www.usps.com/shop/money-orders.htm


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  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Ok after doing more research it seems my post office was not entirely correct in that they did not have me fill out PS Form 6401. They were right in that there is nothing that can be done for 60 days. Some guy could have intercepted that check and cashed it, but that has no effect on me hopefully. It looks like I need to fill out PS Form 6401, turn it in to the post office with photo ID, all receipts filled out, and that form will be turned in. After 60 days from 1/2/19, there will be an inquiry. I can't tell how long it will take, but it sounds like it takes some time. Eventually I should receive a letter in the mail that my money order was lost. Either that or I have to dispute a faulty signature. At that point I take all the receipts, ID, and letter in again, the post office does not offer refunds, but I can have a money order made in my name, that I then cash at the bank. Thankfully I have all my receipts, but if I didn't that's an instant game over. It could be summer time before I see that money again.

    As I've come to find out there is nothing safe about USPS money orders at all other than with enough time you have the chance at seeing that money again, provided you keep the receipts. There's no way I'm ever using these again, none of this is right. I'm going to ask at the bank tomorrow about their money orders. If they can be canceled, I will be using them from now on. A 60 day wait wouldn't be acceptable back when mail was delivered by horse. The things I learn the hard way, all I can do is shake my head.
    Last edited by megasupermagnum; 01-17-2019 at 09:55 PM.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

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    That stinks, sorry to hear it. I imagine it's lost in the inner bowels of the postal system. We once had a lost mortgage payment, years back, and just sent another check. Months later we received the cover of the original envelope, returned to us wrinkled and torn. It looked like it had been jammed inside a sorting machine for a few months, probably had.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    That’s sucks! At least you can follow the above link and cancel it for six bucks. Never knew you could cancel it. Not going to help but lesson learned to never use money orders and the us postal system without any type of tracking. When I have used money orders in the past I paid $4 for a priority 2 day envelope with insurance and tracking. It will save an ulcer. I pay the extra credit card charge normally so I can dispute the charge if things go wrong. Hopefully it magically shows up.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    I'm sure you just canceled your check, or whatever payment you had used. It's just sad that you can't do anything at all for a USPS money order. It has a serial number on it. There is not one reason at all that it can not be canceled, and a new one issued. None. Just a bonehead move on the part of USPS.

    It should be common knowledge that a USPS money order is not a good form of payment. I'd just as soon send cash in a priority envelope. The fact that this bogus waiting period is not mentioned at the post office, not on the website, nowhere, it is a shady way to do business.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tripplebeards View Post
    That’s sucks! At least you can follow the above link and cancel it for six bucks. Never knew you could cancel it. Not going to help but lesson learned to never use money orders and the us postal system without any type of tracking. When I have used money orders in the past I paid $4 for a priority 2 day envelope with insurance and tracking. It will save an ulcer. I pay the extra credit card charge normally so I can dispute the charge if things go wrong. Hopefully it magically shows up.
    That's the thing, you can't cancel it. There is nothing that can be done for a full 60 days, and then it's a mystery how much longer after that where I actually get money back. Tracking is completely irrelevant. Even in a priority mail envelope, with proof the package is lost, nothing can be done until 60 days when they start the "Money Order Inquiry"
    Last edited by megasupermagnum; 01-17-2019 at 11:46 PM.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    If I want to buy something and the seller insists on payment with a USPS MO I will not buy it. Personal checks can be monitored so much easier including stop payments
    East Tennessee

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowwolfe View Post
    If I want to buy something and the seller insists on payment with a USPS MO I will not buy it. Personal checks can be monitored so much easier including stop payments
    Until today, I had no idea. I had always heard USPS money order is one of the safest methods. Sure, I'll get my money back eventually, but that is a weeks pay sitting out there for months, for no reason. Safer for the post office is more like it. I'd rather not go to personal checks if I can help it. Hopefully a bank money order is better. For the most part I prefer to buy guns in person, with cash. In some cases, like this one, online deals are just too good to pass.

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy adcoch1's Avatar
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    The PO lost a box of parts for me in the last hub before it got sent to my PO. Had them search, they know where it went missing tracking wise, but there website wouldn't let me download the form and their phone system put me on hold for a few hours before I gave up. Gotta go to the local PO and get the form to fill out. This is with insured priority shipping. Believe me I know how you feel...
    "Give me liberty, or give me death!" Patrick Henry ,March 23, 1775

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by adcoch1 View Post
    The PO lost a box of parts for me in the last hub before it got sent to my PO. Had them search, they know where it went missing tracking wise, but there website wouldn't let me download the form and their phone system put me on hold for a few hours before I gave up. Gotta go to the local PO and get the form to fill out. This is with insured priority shipping. Believe me I know how you feel...
    Isn't that a trip? You call USPS, go through their answering machine until you get on hold, not an easy task. "approximate hold time... more than one hour". How many people could be calling them in a day?
    Last edited by megasupermagnum; 01-18-2019 at 12:16 AM.

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy adcoch1's Avatar
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    I think it is just a loop. I can't seem to find a single person who has ever gotten through...
    "Give me liberty, or give me death!" Patrick Henry ,March 23, 1775

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    I once bought an impact wrench on ebay.
    I sent the money order and it never arrived. I emailed the seller.
    He had no idea what happened. After a few more days I sent another USPS momey order. I got the impact wrench promptly. Three weeks later my first money order came back. I had transposed 2 numbers and sent it to an address that did not exist. The post office took a month to return it. I took it to the PO and got my money back.
    EDG

  19. #19
    Boolit Grand Master
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    I agree with the advice to communicate with the seller so that he doesn't make false assumptions.

    After that, come up with a plan to send a second payment.

    Chances are fair that the original payment will eventually either arrive at its intended destination or be returned to sender.

    If it was stolen en-route that's done and its unproductive to dwell on that now. If it was lost forever en-route, that's done and it's unproductive to dwell on that now.

    I would concentrate on what you can do at this time, which is pay the seller. After that issue is handled, THEN you can address the lost or stolen MO which will take months to resolve, if it can be resolved at all.

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy

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    I'm with Snowwolfe on this if a business will not take a personal check they don't get my business. Checks are electronically processed now it doesn't take two weeks like the old days.

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