Author Topic: Is it OK to ask if someone received your gift.  (Read 1380 times)

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luvmyboys

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Is it OK to ask if someone received your gift.
« on: October 03, 2013, 08:59:39 PM »
I recently received an e-mail from someone special to me, letting me know that she had a baby.  This woman lives 1000 miles away from me.   I was so happy for her and wanted to give her a special gift.  I bought a couple of things and also included a sentimental item from my son's baptism that I thought she might like to use for new baby's baptism.  I sent the package UPS and according to the tracking info, it should have been delivered this week.  If I don't hear from her soon, is it OK for me to e-mail her and ask if she received the package? 

gramma dishes

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Re: Is it OK to ask if someone received your gift.
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2013, 09:30:56 PM »
If she just had a baby, I'm sure she's pretty busy.  Please give her a little time to get back to you. 

But yes, if you don't hear from her in ... oh, say six weeks.  Nothing.  No thank you note.  No phone call.  No email.  Just radio silence, then I think it's okay if you simply inquire in a way that doesn't sound like you're fishing for a thank you.  You're not!  You just want to be assured that she actually received the package so that you can get a tracer on it if it's been "lost".

TootsNYC

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Re: Is it OK to ask if someone received your gift.
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2013, 11:51:25 PM »
I might not wait 6 weeks. If something went wrong, you won't have much leverage left to find a missing package.

CluelessBride

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Re: Is it OK to ask if someone received your gift.
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2013, 12:59:22 AM »
I might not wait 6 weeks. If something went wrong, you won't have much leverage left to find a missing package.

I agree. In a situation like this, I almost think the sooner you follow up, the less it looks like fishing for a thank you or veiled scolding for the tardiness of the thank you. 

Lynn2000

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Re: Is it OK to ask if someone received your gift.
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2013, 10:36:06 AM »
I've done this before. Sending packages to the other side of the country, with a slightly weird (to me) address--I wanted to make sure it got there, and if you wait too long to check and it hasn't arrived, the trail goes cold pretty fast.

I admit it can be awkward, though. Maybe you could drop her a quick email and say, "Hey, UPS tracking said you received the package I sent, could you just let me know if it got there safely? I know you're super-busy with the new baby so I didn't want to bother you, but one of the items is fragile and I want to make sure it made it there okay." Throw in a smiley face or something. :) I actually think it's better to do this right away, like as soon as the tracking says it was received, because no reasonable person is going to expect to receive a TY note that fast (though I guess some people might demand a call or email), so it lends more weight to the idea that you're just making sure it got there.

Story time. Every year my friend on the other side of the country and I exchange holiday gifts. She is notoriously slow at TY/acknowledgements, which really bugs me because she has a weird address--think Harry Potter's "Cupboard Under the Stairs" or something. She's slow about communicating in general--responding to emails, sending me my gifts (once I got them in February), etc., so it all goes together.

One year I was, I admit, overboard about asking if something had arrived. I think I sent her three emails asking if it came (three because the first two had received no response). I was complaining about it to someone else, saying, "I'm not even asking for a TY, just please tell me if it even got there!" Finally the friend responded by email, and it was literally just, "Yes, it arrived fine." No word of thanks then or later--but I guess I had kind of "asked for" that, right, by saying to the universe that I just wanted to know if it arrived.

After that, I decided not to worry about it so much. I send something to her (increasingly, electronically-delivered gift certificates), I tell her by email that I've sent it, and I let it be her issue as to whether it arrives or not. (If you're wondering why we still exchange gifts... I'm okay doing that. I've dialed it down over the years in terms of $$ and I wait for her to initiate the idea now. One of these days she won't mention anything about it, and in that case I won't give her anything, either.)
~Lynn2000

bopper

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Re: Is it OK to ask if someone received your gift.
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2013, 10:55:28 AM »
"I sent something your way that maybe you could use at the baptism...can you send me a quick text when you get it as UPS promised delivery by today."

gramma dishes

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Re: Is it OK to ask if someone received your gift.
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2013, 11:35:12 AM »
I might not wait 6 weeks. If something went wrong, you won't have much leverage left to find a missing package.

I agree. In a situation like this, I almost think the sooner you follow up, the less it looks like fishing for a thank you or veiled scolding for the tardiness of the thank you.

The two of you make very good points.  I amend my recommendation to agree wholeheartedly with Toots and CluelessBride.   :)

CrazyDaffodilLady

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Re: Is it OK to ask if someone received your gift.
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2013, 02:31:16 PM »
When I send a package, I give the recipient a head's up that it's coming and an approximate delivery date.  That way they know to watch for it since it might be left somewhere they wouldn't normally check.  This puts them in the loop and seems to improve the chances that they'll let me know it arrived.

I always get tracking for packages, but that doesn't ensure the package was delivered correctly or that the recipient actually saw it and took it inside.

If I don't hear from the recipient in a day or two, I have no problem with asking if the package arrived safely.  I have a need to know. 
It takes two people to play tug of war. If you don't want to play, don't pick up the rope.

gellchom

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Re: Is it OK to ask if someone received your gift.
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2013, 02:54:48 PM »
It's really, really hard to do this without it looking like scolding them for not thanking you promptly.

I have the same urge to check, too, and I tell myself that "I'm only concerned that the gift didn't come, it's not that I didn't get thanked."  But if I'm honest with myself, I know that in the vast majority of cases, I don't have any reason (other than not having been thanked) to doubt that it was received, and in fact I don't really need to know whether it arrived.  It's just a gift, not an organ for transplant or a court filing.  It's true that if the package doesn't arrive, it will look like I never sent a gift.  But let's face it, although there are always exceptions, most packages do arrive safely.  So I take that gamble rather than risk sounding scolding.

If there is some important reason that you must know, I'd alert the recipient with an email the same day as you mail the gift that you did so, and ask them to drop you a quick reply when it arrives so you'll know it got there.  (Six weeks is taking a real risk of being seen as "You never wrote a thank you note, you mannerless ingrates!")  It helps if there is some little reason you can drop for why you're worrying about it: "This store is notorious for slow delivery"/"We've had some problems with our post office lately"/"I've never used this vendor before" etc.

The only times I've ever asked if a gift was received was when I had good reason to worry that it wouldn't.  Once a store had delivered the gift to my house instead of the bride's and had to be redelivered, and once was from an online retailer that, I learned too late, habitually lies about items being in stock, and then doesn't inform you that they haven't sent it (and never will ... ), and the gift had indeed not been received.

In general, though, I would let it go.  If the circumstances are such that I wouldn't bother to follow up if it were any other kind of parcel, I don't do it for a gift, either.

TeraNova15

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Re: Is it OK to ask if someone received your gift.
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2013, 03:52:57 PM »
I had something similar happen a few months ago when I sent a thank you gift of chocolate and cookies to a friend. I knew it was out of character for her not to say anything so after a week I checked in and just said "Hey, thanks for having me, hope you're enjoying the sweet treats!" Well it soon became obvious that she had walked by the box in her mailroom (she lived in an apartment, one of the reasons I was concerned she might not have received it) for 3-4 days not even realizing the box was for her.

If you know your friend is (1) usually prompt with thank yous and (2) may have a good reason to have missed the package, I don't think its entirely out of line to say "Hey so & so, <insert pleasentry> hope you enjoy the <something about the gift you sent>. Its hard to not come across as just fishing for a "thank you" but if you have a legit concern the package didn't make it it doesn't hurt to check.

NyaChan

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Re: Is it OK to ask if someone received your gift.
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2013, 03:55:49 PM »
I like surprising people with sending them things, but really when it comes down to it, the safest thing to do is give them a heads up or someone else in the house a heads up when I put the item in the mail.  They still have the surprise of not knowing what the item is, but will still notice if the package does not arrive when it is supposed to.  That way they can let me know and I don't have to look like I'm fishing for a TY.