Mail from Northeast Ohio went ’round the world only to be returned to sender


LORAIN COUNTY, Ohio (WJW) — The FOX 8 I-Team has found a package mailed in Lorain County went around the world only to get returned back to the woman who’d sent it.

A box mailed to Hungary ended up going to Saudi Arabia before getting sent back.

We’ve reported on so many delays and problems with the U.S. Postal Service, we did some digging to find out what happened this time.

Four months ago, Agnes Strada put together a care package for her granddaughter studying overseas in Hungary. Some candy, snacks, homemade goodies, and a stuffed animal.

But this week, Strada found that package delivered back at her front door.

“I knew things weren’t great with the post office, but not expecting this,” she said. Strada said she had sent other mail and it was delivered to her granddaughter. But in this case, what a mess.

“Very frustrating. Sent a care package to my granddaughter and it never got there,” she said.

All began in February when that package was mailed at the Avon Lake Post Office. A receipt shows it cost $111 to ship that package to Budapest, Hungary.

But, on the way from Northeast Ohio to Hungary, that package went to Saudi Arabia, 6,700 miles away.

From there, it got sent back to New York. So, it travelled another 6,500 miles.

The tracking record shows the box bounced around in Pittsburgh and New Jersey before going back to Avon Lake from New York. That means it traveled hundreds and hundreds of more miles.

This comes as we’ve exposed delays and breakdowns with the postal service since late last year. But, mostly, that’s involved local mail.

So, what happened here?

The box is marked “return to sender due to export…regulations…missing electronic customs data.”

A U.S. Postal Service spokesperson wrote in an e-mail, “We appreciate our customers concerns and regret we could not complete delivery.  The package was returned to the U.S. by the customs office. USPS does not have control over customs agencies.  We do not control the time the package is in customs or what they decide to forward on or return back to the customer. If a package is not accepted, we follow their instructions. In this case, returning to sender.”

Somehow, that led to a very long detour for some snacks and homemade baked goods.

“Yeah. The package got to travel around the world,” Strada said.

She’d also like to get back her $111 from the postal service.

A spokesperson told us Agnes will have to take that up with her local post office.

We’ll check back with her.

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