See How To Refuse A Package You Don’t Want

There are millions of deliveries made each year internationally and locally. Most times, a package is delivered to the wrong address or is intended for a former tenant. For these reasons and many more, you might be wondering how you can refuse such packages.

Did you receive a package you don’t want or were not expecting? Do you want to know how you can go about refusing a package and what happens when you do? Then read this article to find out.

Can you refuse a package?

Yes, you can. People refuse packages for a variety of reasons. It could be because the package is visibly damaged, was meant for a former tenant, or arrived late and is no longer needed by the recipient.

However, you will be unable to refuse or return a package if the package is important (Registered or Certified mail). They are mandatory and must be delivered by the courier.

You will also be unable to refuse a package if you open the package before attempting to refuse it. Once the package has been opened, it is deemed to be received by the recipient.

That being said, there are exceptions for packages that have been opened accidentally. If, after opening, the recipient finds out the package was mixed up and does not belong to him/her, then they can return such package.

How do you refuse a package on delivery?

At the time of delivery, before signing any document to acknowledge receipt of the package, simply inform the courier that you are refusing the delivery. The courier will take such a package back to the depot for processing. 

How do you refuse a package after delivery?

Simply write “refused” on the package, then use a marker to color the barcode and address and put it into the mailbox.

Afterwards, contact the delivery service via their customer care number. They will inform a nearby courier to inspect (if the package has been opened) and pick up the package.

You can also choose to go to the nearby local office close to you. After writing “refused” on the body of the package and using a marker to color the barcode and address, drop it off at the local office.

The delivery service worker will then process the package to be returned back to the sender.

What happens when a package is refused?

In most cases, after a package is refused, it is returned back to the sender, and he/she handles the shipping fee. In cases where the sender refuses to pay the shipping fee, the delivery service holds on to the package for two weeks.

If the package is not claimed within two weeks, it is abandoned in their warehouse. However, some delivery services go as far as destroying such packages after a while.


Are there packages that you cannot refuse?

Yes. You are unable to refuse registered or certified mail, this mail contains essential documents or items that cannot be returned.

Will you get charged for refusing a package?

No, you won’t. The package is sent back to the sender, and the sender is charged for the delivery.

Can you refuse to accept a FedEx international package?

Yes, you can. As a customer, you have the right to refuse a package. All you will be required to do is sign a confirmation of your refusal.

Can a courier refuse to deliver a package?


A courier can choose not to deliver a package if he/she suspects the package contains drugs or other prohibited items. Additionally, a courier can refuse to deliver a package if they are unable to physically get to your location, perhaps due to bad weather conditions.


Refusing a package for reasons best known to you is quite normal; as long as the package remains unopened. Simply refuse the package at the point of delivery without signing any document of acknowledgement.

You can also drop off the package at the delivery facility after writing refused on the package. The postal worker will process the back-to-sender request on your behalf.

That being said, you must note that not all packages are allowed to be refused. For example, packages that are important or tagged as registered or certified mail must be claimed if you happen to be the receiver.

I hope you found this article helpful, if you did, you should also see what a PO Box mean, the importance, & how to get one.

Thanks for reading.